HOME 2019-04-16T01:54:48+00:00

ATTEND A LIVE SHOW

ATTEND A LIVE SHOW

JOIN A JAM SESSION

JOIN A JAM SESSION

WATCH & LISTEN: JAZZ VIDEOS

WATCH & LISTEN: JAZZ VIDEOS

VOLUNTEER WITH US

VOLUNTEER WITH US

B'TOWN JAZZ IN BLOOMINGTON

B'TOWN JAZZ IN BLOOMINGTON

B’Town Jazz Fest 2019

August 31 @ 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

This year’s Jazz Fest will Labor Day Weekend – Aug. 31 – at the Monroe Convention Center.

With all the things to do in town over Labor Day weekend, everyone will be out and about, and we invite all to stop by with friends and family to experience some of our local jazz stars. Likewise, out-of-town jazz aficionados will have even more reason to come and enjoy a Bloomington holiday.  Stay as long as you like. We’ll be there all afternoon and evening. Admission and air-conditioning will be free, food and drink will available for purchase!

In July of 2017, I had the privilege of working at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. I was a staff member, and my main responsibilities included taping evening performances by the jazz faculty, unlocking rooms for campers, and filling in as a drummer where necessary in various groups and ensembles.

Jam Sessions

Every night following the evening faculty concerts, jam sessions were held for students. There was one led by a faculty member, and the rest were up to students to organize with their peers. I was able to float around to several different jam sessions and listen, and observed many different skill levels. In every room, there was always someone taking the role of the leader.

The leader role is usually a very tricky one to navigate. Especially in the jazz jam session scenario, the leader needs to be less of a teacher– and more of a director of traffic. Jazz musicians are constantly stepping out of their comfort zones when they perform; the music is totally improvisational. They need to feel that they are in a safe environment where they are free to create without the criticism of others.

Here’s a scenario that I have witnessed many times at jam sessions with two very different resolutions.

Example: A student is soloing over a song they are not too familiar with. The chords are moving by at a very fast pace, and their playing sounds uncomfortable and frantic throughout their entire solo. The last section of their solo comes around, and they are very obviously lost and don’t know where the rest of the band is.

  1. The leader (who is a very accomplished jazz musician and respected by everyone in the room) loudly solos over the student to demonstrate where they are supposed to be. The leader, wide-eyed, glares at the confused student as he is musically interrupting him. The student packs up his instrument and leaves in the middle of the next person’s solo.
  2. The leader (who […]