Jazz91    See's
January 2008     


SJW News has a New Look!
Happy New Year everyone. We're excited to present the new and improved Stanford Jazz Newsletter, refreshed and updated for 2008. In addition to the redesigned layout, we're also working to develop more informative and educational content of interest to jazz listeners and musicians alike, much of it written by Stanford Jazz Workshop's illustrious faculty. For example, in this issue, pianist Taylor Eigsti is featured in our inaugural "Ask an Artist" column, while SJW Jazz Camp Faculty Director Rob Kohler discusses a different way to think about improvisation that was introduced to him by saxophonist Steve Coleman back at a Stanford Jazz Workshop presentation in 1994! So, in addition to keeping you informed about the latest news and developments in and around the Stanford Jazz Workshop community, we hope to be an even more valuable resource connecting you to the music you enjoy.


In This Issue
>> The Other Notes: A Lesson Learned from Steve Coleman at the Stanford Jazz Workshop

>> SJW Registration Continues & 2008 Faculty Highlights

>> Stanford Jazz Workshop's Scholarship Fund

>> Ask an Artist: Taylor Eigsti

>> San Jose Jazz Spring Season: Mike Vax Orchestra


The Other Notes: A Lesson Learned from Steve Coleman at the Stanford Jazz Workshop

by Rob Kohler, SJW Jazz Camp Faculty Director
A Montana native, Rob Kohler is a bassist who has performed jazz, classical, and pop music all over the world. His playing, composing, and producing skills have appeared on recordings by groups such as the Jared Burrows Trio, the Olem Alves Band, Three Form, This World, and the Platt/Kohler Trio. He has also toured and performed with such artists as Stefan Karlsson, Alice DiMicele, Madeline Eastman, John Stowell, Danny Gottlieb, Nancy King, Brian Bromberg, and Art Lande. Kohler has also been long active as a private tutor and school music teacher.

Rob KohlerI was very excited to see Steve Coleman in person for the first time (during a presentation at the 1994 Workshop). He was giving a clinic on some of his concepts of improvisation, using the famous solo that Bird had played over the changes to Cherokee as his main example. Bird and Dizzy called the tune Ko-Ko. Steve put the horn to his mouth and proceeded to play the solo note for note. I remember it being flawless, with Bird-like grace and tone with a signature Coleman bite. It completely floored me and the other workshop participants. Afterwards he remarked dryly, “I didn’t come out of my room for months, learning that one.”  He went on to explain how he heard and understood the notes that belonged in the changes, but noted that Bird also used pitches that weren’t in the changes. He proceeded to show the class some amazing examples of how he had developed concepts for his own melodic ideas from this discovery. Later on in the clinic he talked about putting these concepts in his compositions together with ideas that he had learned from various African traditions of melody and rhythm, but my mind was transfixed by what he had said about the “other” notes.

Read the complete article…

Steve ColemanLeft: Alto Saxophonist Steve Coleman. Read more about Steve by visiting

SJW Registration Continues & 2008 Faculty Highlights

Larry GrenadierThis is always an exciting time of year in our office as Jim Nadel, our founder and Executive Director, books the faculty for the summer season. Though we still have some positions yet to fill, many of our faculty have been selected and a picture of the season ahead is emerging rapidly. The 2008 Workshop will welcome Joshua Redman (saxophone), Larry Grenadier (bass), Barry Harris (piano), Mark Turner (saxophone), John Scofield (guitar), Bill Stewart (drums) and many more prestigious jazz artists and educators (click here for a complete list).

Registration opened in December for Jazz Camps Weeks 1 and 2 (July 20-25 and July 27 - August 1) and Jazz Residency (August 3-8), and is moving along briskly. If you have questions about the program, take a look at our comprehensive FAQ section (Jazz Camp FAQs, Jazz Residency FAQs). Our online registration process is quick and easy. Or email registrar@stanfordjazz.org to ask your question to somebody in the know (our Registrar, Shen Weiss).

Pictured: Bassist Larry Grenadier (photo credit, Lourdes Delgado)

Stanford Jazz Workshop's Scholarship Fund

Stanford Jazz Workshop EducationThe SJW Youth Scholarship Fund is supported in large part by individual contributions.  In 2008, we hope to distribute $90,000 in scholarship aid.  If you are interested in helping make Jazz Camp accessible to deserving young musicians through a gift to the Scholarship Fund, please make a donation online by clicking the link below.  For more information about ways to support SJW’s educational programs, contact Jeanne Sweet via email at jsweet@stanfordjazz.org or by phone at 650.736.0324 ext.307.


Support Stanford Jazz Workshop

Pictured: 2008 Education Brochure featuring Ruth Davies
Cover photo, Scott Chernis, Design, Wayne Smith

Ask an Artist - SJW's Talented Faculty Takes Your Questions - this month, Taylor Eigsti

An opportunity to hear from SJW's Workshop and Festival artists as they respond to questions of interest to jazz listeners and musicians. If you have a question, send it to newsletter@stanfordjazz.org to be considered for a future issue of the SJW E-Newsletter!
Taylor Eigsti
Pianist Taylor Eigsti has been a popular member of the SJW faculty since 2000. From Menlo Park, Taylor’s initial introduction to Stanford Jazz was as a Jazz Camp participant!  Now 23, he records for the Concord Jazz label, receiving two Grammy nominations for his 2006 recording, “Lucky To Be Me” (in the “Best Instrumental” and “Best Composition” categories). Eigsti has been featured on the cover of JAZZIZ and Keyboard Magazine, and has recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, James Moody and many other distinguished artists. Taylor now resides in New York and will return to the SJW faculty this summer.

Based upon your experience, how do you view the role of talent (nature) versus hard work and enthusiasm (nurture) in becoming a successful musician?

I think that no matter how someone defines "success," one must put in enough hard work and enthusiasm to bring out one’s best talents. I am the type of person that truly believes that if you set goals and directions, work hard for them, and try not to control every little thing along the way, opportunities will present themselves. Kind of like that movie "Field of Dreams" (if you build it, they will come….). Lay the foundation for your talent to thrive by working really hard to develop it and by keeping an open mind – personally and musically - and somehow I think the universe will present you with opportunities.

Another important aspect that often gets overlooked is to do stuff that you ENJOY! If we are learning something because we are forced to, it does us no good. I believe that the only time when real progress happens if you are ***patient*** and you are excited by what you are doing. If you are beginning to learn drums, and all of your teachers and parents tell you to stop playing punk rock music while you're learning jazz, but you really love playing punk rock, then get some soundproofing for your room and play away! We NEED to play the types of music that we LOVE to play (while keeping an open mind) when we’re trying to learn.

Read the complete article…

San Jose Jazz Spring Season: Mike Vax Orchestra
Sunday, February 10, 2008 (presented by San Jose Jazz)

Mike VaxVax, the lead Trumpet player for the Stan Kenton Orchestra, brings an all-star lineup in a tribute to the music of Kenton and other great big bands. Mike has recorded over 75 albums, 20 as a leader. He is also a widely respected jazz educator. www.mikevax.net.

Sunday, February 10, 2008 3 pm
The Improv, 62 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose.
Tickets available through the Improv Box Office:
San Jose Jazz members: $20-$30 (you must have the member code)
General public: $30-$40
Students with id: $20-$30 (walk-up only)
Improv Box Office: 408-280-7475; online at www.symfonee.com/improv/sanjose or 62 S. Second St. between Santa Clara and San Fernando streets

San Jose Jazz's Sunday Concert Series:
The concert series features nationally and internationally acclaimed jazz artists including the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Ernie Watts, pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mike Vax Orchestra, John Worley and baritone sax players—Aaron Lington, Fil Lorenz, and Geoff Roach, vocalist Kim Nalley, and the Patois Records Showcase. Ranging from contemporary and big band to Latin and vocalist’s jazz, this 2008 20th Annual Sunday Series has something for the jazz enthusiast in everyone. All concerts start at 3 pm. More information about the Sunday Series and season subscriptions at: www.sanjosejazz.org. No concerts on February 3 (Super Bowl Sunday) and March 23 (Easter), 2008.