Yesterday my name appeared in the Nrc Next – a Dutch national Newspaper. It was an article by Anouk Vleugels about crowdfunding. It tells about new ways to fund your studies, like I did before going to Berklee. Actually I’m … Continue reading
This summer I was teaching a summer workshop week for the University of Leiden at their cultural center (called LAK.) The goal was to write and record your own song in 4 days. During the first day we spoke about … Continue reading
And then I was graduating Berklee College of Music. Broken elbow or not, commencement was there. Over 900 graduates from all over the world. All music related majors being the best in what they do. I have been in Berklee … Continue reading
With my private instructor Joanne Brackeen I’ve been working on phrasing this semester. And, how do instrumentalists and vocalists speak their melodies. In earlier blogs I’ve mentioned that I like to approach music as a language, and if you can … Continue reading
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
Visiting 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
[ ]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!
We performed a couple of the songs we have been working on this semester with Dave Gilmore and here are the recordings.
David Gilmore – Guitar and ensemble teacher.
Vivienne Aerts – Voice
Seungho Jang – Bass
Simon Budoc Moullier – Vibes
Jin Young Park – Piano
Hironori Suzuki – Drums
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
During one of the Global Jazz classes – Creativity in the arts – my perspective on music changed. Our teacher was Anthony Scibilia and during the course we would work with different visiting artists like Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, John … Continue reading
This week we had Lizz Wright visiting the vocal department of Berklee. Amazing.
Lizz 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.
A short video: