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Los Angeles Grad Schools

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by BrandonTurner, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Hello all,
    I am moving to Los Angeles from Maine in January (no more maine winter!) and am going to be looking into going to grad school. I have looked into the USC and Calarts , John Clayton and Darek Oles are monsters! I would love to go study with them but grad schools are not cheap!
    What about the other schools in Los Angeles?
    Does anybody go there or know the reputations? Their Teachers ? Any good info?
    I am looking for a jazz teacher mostly but somebody who is competent with classical music and reading studio stuff. Electric bass is not important.
    Thanks in advance
    Brandon Turner
  2. John Clayton sounds like the guy you should look into studying with. He has experience in all of those areas, and is more than competent with classical music (he was principle bass of the Amsterdam Phil. for 5 years). Charlie Haden is also at Cal Arts, but I don't really know how often he is there and how many students he teaches. I believe if you can establish residency in California then USC is tuition free because it is a state school. I am not positive about that...you may want to ask someone who goes there. It is a great bass department...one of the best around, not just in LA.
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    While at jazz camp this summer, Kieran Overs (Toronto player, total monster) was telling the bassists about a conversation with Steve Colley, an NYC player who's pretty well known around here. Steve was taking lessons with the principal of the LA Phil, as well as with Haden at the same time. Apparently the lessons with the principal bassist were fantastic and he learned a lot about playing from the guy. Lessons with Charlie Haden were basically comprised of going out to coffee and talking about Charlie Haden.
  4. Regardless, Charlie Haden is among the living bass legends today...so I feel like whatever his lessons consisted of, they would be worthwile. I think him being a potential teacher is something to look into if you are in the area. Scott Colley is an incredible bass player and one of my favorites, but Charlie Haden's influence is certainly evident in his playing...so he must have gotten something out of those coffee talks.
  5. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002

    Actually USC is not a state school. And it is actually an incredibly expensive private school. That being said John Clayton rocks. Worth checking out.

    PS I don't go there I just lived in Southern California.

    PSS Clayton is a monster (that's a good thing).
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Not every great player is a great teacher. I'd hazard a guess that Colley's influence from Haden is far more from simply listening to records and transcribing Haden's playing.

    PS: Yes, John Clayton is a total monster. I'd love to take lessons from that fella.
  7. I completely agree that not all great players are good teachers...it also works the other way around. Sometimes the best teachers aren't the greatest players anymore. But I do think that Charlie Haden deserves more consideration than just a second hand story about his teaching. I have actually been curious about his teaching styles for a while (I've considered Cal Arts just to study with him), and would like to talk to some people directly that have had experience with him as a teacher. I just think it is a dangerous thing to base your opinion on one story that didn't come from a first-hand source.
  8. USC can be a very expensive school...sorry about the wrong info on in-state tuition. The music department does have money to give...I know some bass players who where there on full rides for their masters. It can't hurt to apply and see what you can get out of them. In addition to being an amazing all around bass player, John Clayton is one of the friendliest people I have ever met.
  9. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
  10. Thanks for the help guys. Anybody currently study with these monsters?
  11. John Clayton came to JMU for a clinic when i was there. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of playing one of the superbass trios with him (talk about terrifying). But, we had a couple of rehearsals and they were very much like lessons. he had some really helpful things to say. I also got the chance to talk to him quite a bit about his personal students. The approach he takes with them is very much geared to their individual goals. I remember him saying he had a student who really wanted to play with scoffield, so they spent a year just working on scoffield tunes. But no matter what their focus, all of his students play both classical and jazz (unless they also study with one of the classical teachers). It sounds like your goals might studio oriented...so I'm sure that is something you could work on with him.
  12. That is great to hear about John Clayton. My current teacher stresses playing both classical and jazz together. It does so much for your time, intonation and just a general appreciation of phrasing. I imagine Darek Oles at Calarts must do the same coming up in europe. Thanks!
    Brandon Turner
  13. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA
    Darek Oles is also a monster player. He subbed in the Mehldau trio for Grenadier, and played some with Charles Lloyd (the Water is Wide band). Both those schools are painfully expensive. (USC and Calarts) Does Northridge and UCLA have grad programs yet? Long Beach is also someplace to check out. Remember, there are some great teachers that you may not have heard of, so don't go somewhere because of the famous names....

  14. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Oh yeah, Northridge definitely is getting its act together. I have a buddy who's going there for jazz drums and he is ridiculous. The jazz guy if Gary Pratt (he's the department head and bassist) he's a great teacher and he'll get you a great teacher if he can't teach you for scheduling stuff. And I'm talking about guys like bob hurst (which is excellent).

    I believe the classical teacher there is either a section player or the assistant principle of the LA Phil.
  15. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Nope ... I was on the B-school facilty for 8 years, and the high tuition at USC was always an issue (USC is private, BTW). Typical of private schools, we would set tuition high, and then give scholarships to 75% of the students (only the rich had to pay). This is very effective at improving standards.

    I used to know John Thomas (played with Chick Corea) who was head of the Jazz program in those days, but he left long ago.