Jazz Symposium

For this Amazing Symposium on jazz composition and the future of jazz Berklee invited a bunch of fantastic people: Geri Allen, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Vijay Iyer, Tania Leon, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Shamie Royston, Patrice Rushen, Maria Schneider, Magan Stable and … Continue reading 

My first drum lesson from Adam Cruz

2014-04-09 21.01.41Visiting artist Adam Cruz (drummer of Danilo Perez, McCoy Tyner, Tom Harrell, Chick Corea and many more) told us that every musician has to play – at least a bit – of drums. He is right. So today he gave us all his old drum sticks and showed us the first drum rudiments. How to hold the sticks and then do ‘rolls’.

First baby drum steps:

[ ]R – L – R – L
[ ]RR-LL-RR-LL
[ ]RRLR LLRL (paradiddle)
[ ]‘walk the dog’ hi-hat hits

We also had to clap different clave, and then use the clave in the left hand, and the 4/4 or the 3/4 in the right hand…to really work that independence 🙂

Time to practice now!

David Gilmore and our Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble

We performed a couple of the songs we have been working on this semester with Dave Gilmore and here are the recordings.

I’m especially happy with one of the recordings which is my original composition ‘the Concept of Falling’.
Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 12.47.35 PM

David Gilmore – Guitar and ensemble teacher.
Vivienne Aerts – Voice
Seungho Jang – Bass
Simon Budoc Moullier – Vibes
Jin Young Park – Piano
Hironori Suzuki – Drums

Enjoy.

Cheryl Bentyne

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.57.58 PMIts so amazing that Berklee invites all these wonderful musicians to give workshops and masterclasses 🙂

Today it was Cheryl Bentyne, known for singing with the Manhattan Transfer, one of the best vocal groups in the world. When studying jazz choir conducting I studied a lot of their music. And, since I am also a big fan of Bobby McFerrin I really love their version of ‘Another night in Tunisia’.

Next to her career with the Manhattan Transfer she also performs as a soloist and played with musicians like Kenny Barron, David Newman, Don Alias and Lewis Nash.

A couple of statements that resonated with me:

* trust in simplicity

* study the meanings of the songs

* you must bring joy

* instant fame is not the way

http://www.cherylbentyne.net/

Lizz Wright workshop

This week we had Lizz Wright visiting the vocal department of Berklee. Amazing.

2014-04-16 13.16.39Lizz Wright (1980) is an American Jazz/R&B singer and composer, originally from Georgia. She is mainly self taught and she signed a contract with Verve in 2002 and her first album, salt was released in 2003 and reached number two on the Billboard Jazzchart. You could compare her voice with Norah Jones, but you will find a lot of gospel influences. She is an very spiritual person, and the way she answered all our questions was touching. I am a fan 🙂

Here some short tips she gave us that I like to share.

* Try to “sit in the bass” when there is a nice blues shuffle

* When you improvise in a swinging tune, focus on the hi-hat.

* LIsten to Shirley Horn when you wanna learn the perfect spacing.

* Always for technique focus on your hips and shoulders when you do your exercises.

* Watch Dianne Reeves for microphone technique, but also for everything else she does.

http://www.lizzwright.net

A short video: