Jazz91    See's  37th season
April 2008     


This month, we have two informative articles by SJW Faculty: Joe Gilman takes on the subject of modes, while Jaz Sawyer talks about his formative years as a developing jazz artist, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way. In other Workshop news, Founder Jim Nadel is teaching a class at Stanford with Orrin Keepnews, and our Spring Fundraising Appeal has just begun!

We'll be announcing our 2008 Festival Season in a special eBlast message later in the month; if you'd like to receive our Festival brochure in the mail, send your request and contact info to info@stanfordjazz.org, or call 650 736 0324.

Finally, a trivia question: which popular ’70s vocal jazz quartet sang three songs with "April" in the title ("April in Paris," "When April Comes Again" and "I'll Remember April")? (The answer is posted on the newsletter archive page of our site!)


In This Issue
>> Spring Fundraising Appeal: Make A Donation and Make A Difference

>> Ask an Artist: What are Modes?

>> Coming of Age with Jaz Sawyer

>> Nadel/Keepnews Teach "Jazz in the Golden Age" at Stanford


Make A Donation and Make A Difference! - SJW's Spring Appeal
Jimmy Cobb
Stanford Jazz Workshop strives to makes jazz accessible through our Youth Scholarship Fund and our new “Take 5!” ticket program. This year we aim to distribute $90,000 in scholarship aid for underserved youth to attend Jazz Camp and Jazz Residency. We are also introducing a new youth and family-friendly ticket price for concerts in Dinkelspiel Auditorium: $5 per individual/per ticket for youth under 18 and those accompanying them (up to five people per group; more information about Take 5! will be included in our May newsletter).

SJW needs your help to make these programs happen. Your generous gift will:

  • Provide deserving young musicians the opportunity to participate in individualized and intensive jazz instruction regardless of financial resources.
  • Offer an incredible opportunity for young musicians to both meet and play with fellow students and professional jazz artists in a supportive, diverse, and multi-generational environment.
  • Expose students from low-income homes to a university environment, inspiring both students and parents to believe that college education is a possibility for the future.
  • Allow families to enjoy world-class jazz concerts together for less than the cost of a night at the movies.
  • Make jazz an affordable entertainment option, developing a young new generation of audience for jazz music.

Thank you for your support! Please contribute online by clicking on the button below or visit our website at stanfordjazz.org.

Photo: Jimmy Cobb and his Blue Note Combo at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Workshop (photo credit: Scott Chernis)


Ask an Artist: What Are Modes? by SJW Faculty Member Joe Gilman

Joe GilmanJoe Gilman is a full-time professor at American River College. He has received Bachelor's degrees in Piano and Jazz studies at Indiana University, a Master's degree in Jazz and the Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music, and a Doctoral degree in Education from the University of Sarasota. Joe has performed professionally with Eddie Harris, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Richie Cole, George Duke, Chris Botti and Slide Hampton, and has recorded with Joe Henderson and Jeff Watts. Joe recently won the 2004 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida and has twice been an International Jazz Ambassador through the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and USIA, traveling to West Africa in 1999 and East and Southern Africa in 2000.

Q: What are MODES? What is MODAL JAZZ?

This is a great question. In fact these are two great questions that call for two different though related answers. The answers are separated by as much as 1100 years of music history. And it will take two articles to answer, so here is part one!

First, what are modes? The answer to this question can really be taken from two different sources, the “Greek modes” and the “Church modes.”

The “Greek modes” date back to at least 350 B.C. and are a collection of musical tones (and melodic embellishments) that Plato believed had different emotional effects on the listener. These modes were named after Greek citizenry (Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, and Locris) and regions of Asia Minor (Lydia and Phrygia). Plato even believed that the different arrangement of tones could make a person relaxed, sad, enthusiastic, inspired to work, or cause a social revolution! Pretty drastic stuff! He called this the “ethos of music.”
Read the complete article…



"Coming of Age" with Jaz Sawyer

Jaz SawyerBorn and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jaz Sawyer began playing drums at the age of 2 and also learned the trumpet and the bass before beginning music studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music/Preparatory Division at the age of 15. Sawyer was a member of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra for two years before graduating from the San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA), and participated in Stanford Jazz Workshop’s programs for several years while in his teens.  Jaz has performed in numerous venues across the world including The Blue Note, The Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, The New Morning, The Concertgebouw, Red Sea Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival, and has worked with Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Phil Lesh & Friends, Abbey Lincoln, The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Hutcherson, Jacky Terrasson, Irvin Mayfield, Mlumbo and many others. Now 29, he holds a B.F.A. degree from the Mannes Jazz & Contemporary Music Program and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Metropolitan College of New York.  Jaz will be on the faculty during Jazz Camp Week 1.

At an early age I started playing drums to records and having fun. I was no child prodigy but I could play a few beats, keep time and loved solos. Some of the first lessons I received from teachers actually discouraged me, beginning with one teacher who gave me too many advanced concepts and drum music that I couldn’t read at 8 years old. I stopped taking lessons until I joined school bands. Occasionally, I would get to jam or see a few of my mentors. Eddie Marshall was one of my first teachers.
Read the complete article…



SJW's Jim Nadel Teaches "After the Golden Age: Jazz in the Seventies" with Orrin Keepnews, Enrollment Now Open!


SJW Founder and Director Jim Nadel is also a lecturer on the faculty at Stanford University. This semester, Jim will be teaching "After the Golden Age: Jazz in the Seventies" in association with pioneering jazz producer and raconteur Orrin Keepnews. The five-week class begins on Monday April 21, and space is still available for those of you who would like to take a trip down memory lane with two of jazz's most knowledgeable (and personable) guides! Keepnews, founder of the Riverside and Milestone labels, and former Director of A&R for Fantasy Jazz, has worked with Thelonious Monk, Joe Henderson, Jimmy Heath, Wes Montgomery, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins and Bobby Hutcherson among many other legends, while Jim (as many of you know firsthand) is a friend to the who's who in jazz via his 37 years at the Workshop helm.

To register or for additional information, please visit the Stanford University's Continuing Education Dept's website.

Photo: Orrin Keepnews backstage in conversation with Bobby Hutcherson at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Festival (photo credit, Scott Chernis)