We're pleased to announce the inception of the JazzAmerica Big Band 2017!
Rehearsals will again take place at the Musicians Union, 817 Vine St., Hollywood 90038, from 9:45 am to 12:30 pm, every Saturday, beginning June 3 and continuing weekly through August 5.
Performances of the Big Band:
- Sunday, July 30: Central Avenue Jazz Festival, 43rd and Central Avenue, downtown Los Angeles call time: 10:00 am performance time: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
- Sunday, August 6: Valley Jazz Club - Canoga Park Elks call time: 2:00 pm performance time: 3 to 4:00 pm
(We are also forming a JazzAmerica Combo, consisting of musicians from the Big Band. The Combo will perform at the Central Avenue Festival aftger the Big Band - in the Dunbar Hotel, 43r4d and Central, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
The Combo will also perform at Catalina Bar & Grill on Sunday evening, August 6, at 7:30 pm, as part of the Buddy Collette Birthday Celebration. Details will be forthcoming.)
Everyone who wants to be in the 2017 Big Band must submit a "remote audition" - a recording of yourself playing the Melody and a Solo on any 5 of these tunes:
You may submit your recorded audition by May 31, 2017.
You should play a Blues "head," a Blues solo, and a Standard melody and a one-chorus solo on that Standard.
Please check your family's calendar for the summer.
We do not charge tuition; our only requirement is your commitment to attending at least 7 of our 10 rehearsals.
Every year we hear about some students' activities that conflict with our every-Saturday rehearsal schedule.
Every year, some students are disappointed that they are not permitted to Perform after they've missed rehearsals leading up to a performance.
We try to be flexible and fair, but we don't always please everyone.
Please bear in mind: this is a Group activity. We try to teach values such as Commitment, Respect and Group Needs vs. Individual Wants as well as music.
If you see now that you will have to miss 4 or more rehearsals - between June 3 and August 5 - please don't plan to participate in the 2017 JazzAmerica Big Band
Also: if you see now that you will not be available to perform on July 30 or August 6, please don't plan to participate in the rehearsals.
If you know of a student who wants to join the Big Band, please forward him/her this message.
To get us started with this year's Big Band, let's DOWNLOAD some music and bring it to the first rehearsals. Note: Please download all the parts for your section. (If you play Trumpet, please download Trumpet 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Trombones: please bring Trombone 1, 2, 3 and 4; Saxes: please bring Alto 1, Alto 2, Tenor 1, Tenor 2 and Baritone parts; Rhythm section: please bring the part for your instrument - Piano, Bass, Guitar, or Piano)
Blues for Yna-Yna Gerald Wilson came to L.A. as a jazz trumpet player - and stayed at the home of Buddy Collette. He toured with Les Hite's band, and then he formed his own big band. Inspired by the writings of Dule Ellington, Mr. Wilson began writing and arranging, developing a sound that attracted the best players on the West Coast. This is a tune dedicated to his cat. (Note: As with all the arrangements listed here, it is highly recommended that you acquire a recording of the piece. In the case of "Blues for Yna-Yna," you'll need to listen to know how to interpret the length of the solo choruses.)
"Night Train" is one of the most recognizable blues tunes ever stolen.
Here is one version of how it came into being, according to Wikipedia:
Origins and development
"Night Train" has a long and complicated history. The piece's opening riff was first recorded in 1940 by a small group led by Duke Ellington sideman Johnny Hodges under the title "That's the Blues, Old Man". Ellington used the same riff as the opening and closing theme of a longer-form composition, "Happy-Go-Lucky Local", that was itself one of four parts of his Deep South Suite. Forrest was part of Ellington's band when it performed this composition, which has a long tenor saxophone break in the middle. After leaving Ellington, Forrest recorded "Night Train" on United Records and had a major rhythm & blues hit. While "Night Train" employs the same riff as the earlier recordings, it is used in a much earthier R&B setting. Forrest inserted his own solo over a stop-time rhythm not used in the Ellington composition. He put his own stamp on the tune, but its relation to the earlier composition is obvious.
Like Illinois Jacquet's solo on "Flying Home", Forrest's original saxophone solo on "Night Train" became a veritable part of the composition, and is usually recreated in cover versions by other performers. Buddy Morrow's trombone transcription of Forrest's solo from his big-band recording of the tune is similarly incorporated into many performances.
A jazz fan writing on the site Jazzwax.com offers this 'Take':
"Such Sweet Thunder"is the name of an extended work by Duke Ellington. It displays his deep understanding of both music and literature - drawing upon themes in several of Shakespeare's plays. The individual piece, Such Sweet Thunder, found its impetus in Shakespeare’s most magical play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, notably in a line that so well captures the harmonious clashing of styles and languages in both the Duke and the Bard: “I never heard so musical a discord, such sweet thunder.” Dangerous Minds quotes Ellington, who called the piece his “attempt to parallel the vignettes of some of the Shakespearean characters in miniature—sometimes to the point of caricature.” The suite of songs premiered at New York’s Town Hall in April, 1957, at a concert called “Music for Moderns.” (from the website opencuture.com)
"Jumpin' at the Woodside" is a signature piece of the Count Basie Big Band. You can find various examples on YouTube, perhaps the best of which is from 1945, featuring tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Another terrific version features saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis.
The band functions as a "riff machine," tossing out rhythmic ideas in unision to keep the soloist jumpin'.
The chord changes for Soloing are provided at the end of the individual instruments' parts, below.
"Au Privave" (probably a misspelling of "apres vous," or "after you," in French) is a Charlie Parker tune based on the chords of the blues in F. The arrangement we are playing takes Bird's melody in unison, harmonizes his recorded solo across the saxophone section and then gives way to improvised solos. This is the modus operandi of the group Supersax, led by Med Flory.
In its first performance of 2013, the JazzAmerica Trad Band performed to a packed house on Sunday, March 17.
Under the auspices of Jazz Forum, 17 musicians wailed through an hour-long set of "early jazz" tunes.
Jazz Forum meets one Sunday per month, providing a haven for fans of "trad" jazz and a place for trad and mainstream-jazz players to jam. Jazz Forum also encourages young musicians to attend, listen and jam; in fact, every other month, Jazz Forum presents a youth band, and then presents a different professional group on alternating months.
Among the outstanding soloists in the JazzAmeric Trad Band were: - Jason Kurokawa, trombone - Jarred Dahlerbruch, trumpet - Dylan Grecius, clarinet - Jamael Dana, piano - Julian Gomez, bass - Max Kim, bari and alto sax - Darynn Dean, vocalist
Also playing with distinction in the ensemble were: - Harmony Wassil, bass - Sasha Brustinov and Gabe Feldman, drums - Massimo Paparello, trumpet - Cameron Klein, clarinet - Vincent Le, alto - Andrew Cohen, trombone - Cooper Simpson, alto - Pat Chartrand, alto (mentor and soloist)
from left: mentor Mike Price, Carlos Jimenez, Kevin Mendoza, Zully Flores (not pictured: Jarred Dahlerbruch)
JazzAmerica Raises the Roof again -
opening Day two of the 17th Annual
The Central Avenue Jazz Festival!
visit www.centralavejazz.org for details
On Sunday, July 29th at 11 am, The JazzAmerica Big Band brought down the house with a mixture of ballads, blues and be-bop.
Three thousand jazz fans marveled at the precocious talents of the 24-piece band.
"Blues Walk" by Clifford Browhn gave everyone a chance to solo on the Blues. Standout soloists included Max on baritone and Carlos on trumpet.
"A Night in Tunisia" started with a stout bass intro by Abe. Mentor Mike Price delivered a scorching solo as if in tribute to composer/virtuoso Dizzy Gillespie. Closing the piece were dazzling cadenzas by Rickey Lucchese on trombone and Jarred Dahlerbruch on trumpet.
Vocalist Darynn Dean then took center stage. She evoked oohs and aahs in the early phrases of Ellington's lush ballad, "I Didn't Know About You," which featured a heartfelt introduction on alto by Tom Djerjian. Darryn then paid tribute to her teacher, Barbara Morrison, by singing one of Barbara's charts on "Do Nothin' til You Hear from Me."
Other highlights included Jamael Dana's soulful solo paino on "Miss Fine"; Christopher Astoquillca's vibrato-laden treatment of "Harlem Nocturne"; and violinist Francesco Canas's excellent solo on the Gerald Wilson classic, "Blues for Yna Yna."
Providing solid support throughout were flutist Chelsea; trumpeters Zully and Kevin; trombonists Andrew and Royal; saxophonists Tomo, Cooper and Dylan; and drummers Nashir and Sasha.
photos by Cesar Mendoza
For a review of the entire Festival, please paste this link into your browser window and read the fine article by Ricky Ricardo: