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Jazz Festival’s education day schools listeners in soul

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

Improvisation, loud music and public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in the confines of the classroom and it may be fair to say that, for this reason, jazz music has been at odds with book learning since the first boy band beat out the first note of ragtime on the first dance floor in the 1800s.

It’s not hard to understand why kids prefer listening to music above almost anything else: Music is cool. School is not. The blues makes teenagers feel better. Books just make them feel blue.

Organizers of the 2008 Park City Jazz Festival say that Saturday’s free clinics with musicians such as saxophone player Javon Jackson, the horn section of Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and singer/songwriters Monty Powell and Anna Wilson are going to make learning fun.

Workshops start at 10 a.m. at Ecker Hill International Middle School and run until about noon. Celebrity musicians teach tricks of the trade and offer a backstage glimpse at what goes into making music. Some of the workshops are "Hip to Bop: Combining Mondern Elements with the Traditional" at 10 a.m. and "Inside the Song Writing Machine" at 11 a.m.

Other workshops explore how to improve improv performances and how to perform with confidence. Admission is free and participants get into the Park City Jazz Festival free of charge. Tickets for the public are $45 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

"Our philosophy is that everyone is a student," Caleb Chapman, education director, said. "These clinics are a chance to get up close and personal and learn the nuts and bolts of the music."

Chapman, who has worked for the Jazz Foundation for seven years, said he was first attracted to the organization because of the clinics offered during the jazz festival. Chapman plays the saxophone, but he said that the classes are entertaining for musicians and laymen alike. "We want to build audience for jazz," he said. "A lot of people don’t know what jazz is. There’s something for everyone."

Chase Baird is a musician studying the tenor saxophone at California State University at Long Beach. He has spent his summer preparing for the jazz festival, which runs from Friday, Aug. 22 to Sunday, Aug. 24.

"Jazz has an oral tradition," he said. "It’s almost more inspirational to be in the presence of great musicians. There’s a certain vibrancy."

Baird attended Skyline High School and was named to the festival’s honors group for talented young performers in 2002 and 2003. "Every experience builds upon another," he said, adding that watching professional recording artists in action gives some students a newfound enthusiasm for music.

Park City Jazz Foundation executive director Kris Severson said participation in free clinics continues to grow with each year. "We’re very committed to the educational programs," he said. "We take advantage of having all these world-renowned teachers of jazz here."

Organizers say participants should RSVP for free clinics by Wednesday to guarantee their spots, but people may be able to register at the door if space is available.

The Park City Jazz Festival’s Education Day is being held Saturday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The festival starts Friday, Aug. 22 at 3:3p and runs through Sunday. Tickets are $45 for adults. For more information go to parkcityjazz.org.

Musication:

Park City Jazz Festival Education Day

2008 Park City Jazz Festival Artist Lineup

Courtesy of the Park City Jazz Foundation

Saturday Aug. 23, Clinic Schedule

All Clinics are free and held at Ecker Hill Middle School.

Pre-register by calling 435-940-1362

10 a.m.

Bill Summers (percussion) presents: "Clave Is The Key".

Ecker Hill Auditorium

Christian Sands (piano) presents: Musical Ingredients for Success".

Clinic Room 1

Maurice Brown (trumpet) presents: "Hip to Bop: Combining Modern Elements with the Traditional Clinic Room 2

11 a.m.

Stefon Harris (mallets) presents: "Evolution: Developing a Musical Vocabulary"

Ecker Hill Auditorium

Javon Jackson (sax) presents: "Improve Your Improv"

Clinic Room 1

Monty Powell and Anna Wilson (Singer/Songerwriter) – "Inside the Song Writing Machine" Start to finish song writing clinic. (Song from this clinic will be performed at the Festival live August 23, 2008) 11:00-12:30 pm

noon

David Bromberg (bass) presents: "Say It Loud: Preparing to Perform With Confidence"

Ecker Hill Auditorium

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Horns (horns) present: "The Art of Section Playing"

Clinic Room 1

More than 500 students and interested adults participated in these clinics last year alone. They are lively, interactive, and a unique opportunity to learn technique right from today’s top performers.

Clinic topics in the past have included history of jazz, instrument instruction, styles of jazz, improvisation and general discussions on the state of jazz to name a few.

Friday, Aug. 22

3:30pm Doors open

4:30pm Pat Carnahan Sextet

5:30pm Joshua Redman

7:00pm Park City All-Star Band w/Special Guest Christian McBride

8:00pm Blues Traveler

Saturday, Aug. 23

2:00pm Doors Open

3:00pm Little Big Band

4:00pm Anna Wilson

5:15pm Los Hombres C

6:45pm Crescent Super Band w/Special Guest Stefon Harris

7:30pm Student Scholarship and Merit Awards

7:45pm Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy

Sunday, Aug. 24

1:00pm Doors Open

1:30pm Four Corners

2:30pm Papa Grows Funk

3:45pm Blind Boys of Alabama

5:00pm Javon Jackson with Les McCann

6:15pm The Rippingtons


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