A Brief History Of Jazz Education, Pt. 2

As a teach­ing assis­tant for UCLA’s under­grad­u­ate course “Jazz in Amer­i­can Cul­ture,” I spend much of my time in a scene found on col­lege cam­puses around the world. My pro­fes­sor, the sea­soned jazz gui­tarist Charley Har­ri­son, lec­tures eager stu­dents on the music’s geniuses. In the evening, he directs the col­lege big band through clas­sic Swing Era reper­toire and mod­ern rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of it. Har­ri­son and his col­leagues also lead smaller ensem­bles that take 1960s hard bop as their aes­thetic core. His stu­dents are deeply com­mit­ted to hon­ing their skills as jazz impro­vis­ers; most were already indoc­tri­nated in high school or ear­lier. Dur­ing the sum­mer, many of them play in a nearby sum­mer jazz work­shop, where vis­it­ing mas­ters fur­ther school them in the intri­cate art of jazz performance.”

Read the full story at NPR.org.

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