I am excited to announce that I will be offering a lecture at the upcoming 2018 International Trombone Festival. My presentation will be titled “Jazz Pedagogy for Classical Repertoire.” This is the abstract as it was accepted by the Festival:
Current trombone degree plans often specialize in either “jazz” or “classical” repertoire, and require students to choose between the two. At some schools, students must decide whether to study with the “jazz” teacher or the “classical” teacher, while at others, jazz is offered an optional add-on to the degree. The rift between these two disciplines is artificially magnified at the expense of artists on both sides of the divide. Some of the most celebrated musicians in our field refuse any genre label and are fluent in multiple idioms.
This session surveys some of the principles often taught in a “jazz” context from the perspective of learning “classical” repertoire. Exercises that are popular in “jazz” courses are re-introduced as classical pedagogical tools. Repertoire common in “classical” study is examined from a “jazz” perspective. Trombonists who have been limited to a “traditional” context are introduced to benefits available in “jazz” study, even within the boundaries of classical repertoire.
Cross-pollination between players in different genres used to be common. Arnold Jacobs played jazz upright bass in addition to classical tuba, J. J. Johnson took a lesson with Arnold Jacobs, and Joseph Alessi cites J. J. Johnson as a key influence. It is important for musicians to be familiar enough with multiple genres that they can learn from the masters in disciplines other than their own.