The primary goal of the workshop is to give people the knowledge and skills to enter into a performance setting with jazz musicians, specifically the traditional jazz trio (piano, bass and drums), and be able to function as just another musician. To get to that point, it's important to understand the basic "rules of the road" for jazz performance.
1. Choosing material: The songs each person chooses should be from the standard jazz repertoire, primarily tunes from the Great American Songbook (Cole Porter, Gershwin, Duke Ellington, etc.). While some vocalists may like to sing other types of material in other settings, it's our belief that the best way to learn the skills necessary for performance in a jazz setting is to also learn the repertoire performed by jazz instrumentalists.
2. Learning your tunes: This involves a number of elements:
--figuring out your key
--determining song form (AABA, 12-bar blues, etc.)
--deciding on the time feel (ballad, swing, bossa nova or other Latin feel) and the tempo
--learning the melody accurately
3. Performing your tunes: Again, this involves a number of elements:
--counting off your tune
--coming in at the right time
--allowing for instrumental solos that follow the form of the tune
--coming back in after the instrumental solo at the correct point of the form
--learning the standard approaches to intros, endings and tags
--communicating effectively with the musicians in your band