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New Oshman Family JCC Jazz Class
with pianist Mike Greensill


Three class meetings: Wednesdays, June 23, June 30, and July 7, 7–9 PM, plus concert July 14

Mike Greensill jazz pianist educator“You Call That Jazz?” with Mike Greensill
With an incredible diversity of contemporary sounds and more than a century of history, it can be daunting for a newcomer to enter the world of jazz. Mike Greensill, a longtime Stanford Jazz educator, whose piano artistry ranks “among San Francisco’s many musical blessings,” (SF Chronicle) will help newcomers and veterans alike get their bearings amid the musical landscape with discussions of jazz styles throughout history, insightful analysis of great tunes, and plenty of musical examples. This course features three 60-minute classes, culminating in a 90-minute performance by some of the area’s greatest jazz musicians. Classes may be taken individually or as a series. For more information and to register, visit the Oshman Family JCC website.


Discover Jazz with Mike Greensill
Don’t know bebop from bossa nova? Can’t tell Count Basie from Cecil Taylor? Get the inside scoop from jazz pianist and educator Mike Greensill, along with special guest artists. This three-part series of classes and a concert will explore the rich traditions of jazz, its forms and variations, and the history and future of America’s great indigenous art form. Each 60-minute class and the final 90-minute concert will include some history, plenty of music, and a lot of fun.  Classes are designed for novice jazz listeners, experts… and the simply curious. They may be taken individually or as a series.

Part 1: June 23
What is Jazz?

Jazz is America’s first original art form. We’ll explore its history from the early days in New Orleans to the contemporary scene in New York and beyond. Along the way, we’ll discover diverse styles like swing, bebop, and more.

Part 2: June 30
The Building Blocks of Jazz

What is improvisation? What is the purpose of a rhythm section? What is swing? Why all the saxophones, trumpets, and trombones? What is the origin of the classic jazz piano trio? These and many more mysteries of the jazz world will be revealed.

Musical examples by Mike Greensill, piano; John Wiitala, bass; Vince Lateano, drums.

Part 3: July 7
Jazz and the American Popular Songbook

We’ll examine the priceless contributions of American composers like Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter, and many others, whose timeless songs jazz musicians love to play. We’ll also study the development of the soloist in jazz, from Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins to Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, as well as the legacy of great jazz vocalists.

Musical examples by Mike Greensill, piano; Noel Jewkes, clarinet and saxophone.
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