Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A-JAM 2014 - Winning Combo Announced!

And the members of the winning 2014 A-JAM combo are...

Tania Reyes, voice (Northwest Vista College)

Andrew King, saxophone (Northwest Vista College)

Luis Gonzalez, guitar (San Antonio College)

Isaiah Cosey, piano (St Philip's College)

Lorenzo Perez, bass (Northwest Vista College)

Odie Wallace, drums (Northwest Vista College)  

Congratulations to all! We're excited about spending next term with this talented group of students. Special thanks to all who auditioned for the program, and to Richard Oppenheim for adjudicating. If you did not get into the program this year, don't be disheartened. Stay in touch, keep practicing, and try again next year...

One of our lucky A-JAMmies will be honored with an invitation to the annual Jazz Meeting of the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz), which takes place this year in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa from June 22-27. S/he might even get to ride the Jammie Shuttle.
Thanks again to all the applied teachers and jazz program directors for sending students and spreading the good word. Here's hoping we'll be able to bring one of our superb teacher/performers to the 2015 IASJ meeting in Portugal. Stay tuned...
Stay in touch! Follow this blog via email by clicking the box on the right, and like A-JAM on Facebook. Could be YOU next year...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Music Fest! And A-JAM auditions...

Hey, people, it's time
This Wed and Thursday.
Celebrate our students and
Support our A-JAM program... :-)

And don't forget that
Come by, bring a tune... 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Auditions! Could be YOU this year...

One night only! Tuesday, November 19, 5-7 PM
at Northwest Vista College
Wiseman Boulevard at Highway 151
Rehearsal Hall 152

Who can audition? Auditions are open to any serious full-time student enrolled in any of the Alamo Colleges and Trinity University.

What instruments do we want? We will select a rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums, along with an open "front line" (any combination of voices, reeds, brass, percussion, strings, vibes, guitar, etc.). Horn players, electric bassists, and guitarists should bring their own instruments. Vista will provide piano, double bass, vibes, xylophone, drum kit, Afro-Latin percussion, and PA system for singers, as required.

What to prepare for the audition? Prepare a couple of contrasting standard jazz tunes. Please bring at least three copies of accurate treble clef concert key lead sheets for each tune you want to perform. Prepare to play melody, accompaniment (rhythm section players), and to improvise on each tune. You'll also be asked to read a couple of additional standard treble clef concert key lead-sheets.

What to expect if selected? We will select a combo of 4-8 players, which will meet at Vista during the spring semester, on Tuesdays from 5-6 PM. You'll register for this as a 1-credit course in improvisation. In addition, you'll play live performances and a radio broadcast, and participate in master classes by local and visiting artists, as available. Some time during the semester, the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz) will invite one lucky member of the combo to take part in the international jazz meeting in Cape Town, South Africa in July. It could be YOU this year! 

Judging criteria? We are looking at 4 primary aspects of your playing:  sound, including intonation and technical proficiency; improvisation, including soloing, melodic variation, and accompaniment (as applicable); rhythm, including steadiness and swing; and reading ability, including interpreting treble clef concert key lead sheet notation 

Questions? Contact Katchie Cartwright, Program Director: kcartwright2@alamo.edu, 210-486-4828.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A-JAM and the IASJ: It could be you next year!


Where is Odie Wallace?
This summer, bassist-drummer-guitarist Odie Wallace, a multi-talented Northwest Vista college music student, spent a week in Denmark, participating in the IASJ (International Association of School’s of Jazz) jazz meeting. The IASJ selected Odie to be the 2013 “super star” delegate from our A-JAM (Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship) program. Each year, a limited number of music students from all over the world are chosen by the IASJ to form no more than six student combos, small collaborative performing groups. 

Each group is coached by two teachers from the organization, all from top jazz programs in different corners of the world. The students spend an action-packed seven days learning together: rehearsing, performing, composing, attending concerts and workshops, participating in late night student jam sessions, and—yes—even doing some sightseeing. We call it “playing” music, but there is a lot of hard work involved! Odie Wallace will remember his experience with the IASJ for a long time. “Mind-blowing, enlightening, and inspiring” are a few of the words he used to describe it. 

How did Odie Wallace find his way to Denmark? A-JAM. Launched in 2010, A-JAM was created to provide opportunities for Alamo College students to succeed both locally and internationally in the world of jazz. An intercollegiate and intercultural project, it is open--by audition--to music majors from any of the five Alamo Colleges and Trinity University. Auditions are held each year in November (the week before Thanksgiving), at which time finalists are selected to form the A-JAM combo for that year. Contact Katchie Cartwright for more information. 

A-JAM prepares serious music students like Odie Wallace for high-level pre-professional experiences like the IASJ meeting. During the spring semester, The A-JAM combo meets for weekly rehearsals, performs locally, and is coached by top regional professionals and visiting artists. Among other events, they are the subject of a one-hour radio broadcast on KRTU’s South Texas Jazz Project, hosted by JJ Lopez, and a follow-up interview on KRTU’s Planet Jazz, hosted by A-JAM program director Katchie Cartwright. The 2013 A-JAM group featured student soloists Bianca Johnson (voice) from St. Phillip's College, Odie Wallace (bass) from Northwest Vista College, and Ben Whitehead from Trinity University.

Odie is the third student from San Antonio to participate in the international jazz meeting. Singer Jeané Gaines went to Brazil in 2011 as the first A-JAM super star; Stephen Bennett went to Austria in 2012 as the second. The experience of this yearly jazz meeting is the subject of a new documentary. You can watch the inspiring trailer to see the program’s vision in action. As Israeli filmmaker Leon Segal said, “It’s not just about the music.” All participants go back to their schools with energy and ideas that they share with their friends and colleagues back home. It’s not hard to see how these one-on-one experiences widen the local horizons exponentially over a very short period of time.

The A-JAM program gives San Antonio students a chance to learn their craft at home and to collaborate with a small select group of students and teachers abroad. It serves as a launching pad for serious students who want to make their way into the field, and gives them an opportunity to learn from high level teachers and to collaborate with the finest students in the jazz world.  Both at home and abroad, the program is sustainable, precisely because it is based on small-scale grassroots one-on-one experiences.

The 2014 jazz meeting will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in July. Auditions are the week before Thanksgiving. Listen up, jazz students. It could be YOU next year!
Follow the A-JAM Blog.
Contact Program Director Katchie Cartwright, 210-486-4828.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Picture! A-JAM Meets the IASJ Mother Ship...

Here's the group photo of the 2013 IASJ family, taken in Herning, Denmark.
Can you find Odie Wallace? :-)

You may also recognize "Elia," the fabulous giant fire breathing sculpture created by Ingvar Cronhammar, the extremely interesting savant artist who gave us a guided tour. This was our beautiful day off...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Odie Wallace Interview - Katchie's Planet Jazz

Odie Wallace, our lucky and talented 2013 A-JAM representative to the 23rd annual International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) jazz meeting, held forth on Monday, July 15, 2013 on Katchie's Planet Jazz, KRTU Jazz 91.7 FM (krtu.org). He was fresh back from his "mind-blowing," "enlightening," and "inspiring" trip, which was held this year in two locations in beautiful Denmark.

You can hear it all right here...

We spun some gorgeous sides from the brand new CD featuring the 2012 IASJ student groups, recorded live in Graz, Austria, including our 2012 A-JAM alum, Stephen Bennett from Northwest Vista College. Between cuts, Odie reflected on the music and spoke about his experiences, his fellow students, the nightly jam sessions, original compositions, teachers, and multi-lingual fun on the bus. We looked at what's next for him on his musical path, and he gave words of wisdom for the next A-JAM crew. The 2014 jazz meeting will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. Could be YOU next year!

And what's that crazy earthship? It's a huge iron sculpture called ELIA, created by Ingvar Cronhammar, who gave us a guided tour in Herning.  We were privileged to enter this incredible meditation space full of parabolae. It's set to spew flames into the sky on a randomized clock, with sensors that prevent it from firing if there are birds or humans in the area, or winds that would make it dangerous. Absolutely unbelievable!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

IASJ Denmark - Streaming Video

Only a couple of days away from this year’s IASJ Jazz Meeting and we are very much looking forward to the events and the meeting. We hope that our A-JAM student representative Odie Wallace will have a great time meeting fellow musicians, students, teachers and representatives from schools all over the world.

Our Danish hosts have done their best to unfold a wonderful and inspiring artistic program, starting with a great concert evening on the 29th of June in Herning. The evening starts with Kadri Voorand Group followed by Dave Liebman with a saxophone quartet and the string quartet called Who Killed Bambi. It will be a great evening.

In Aarhus we will attend a fantastic concert with Blood Sweat Drum+ Bass, Dave Liebman, Palle Mikkelborg, Carsten Dahl and Ensemble MidtVest. This concert will be streamed live! Feel free to spread the links so that your friends will be able to follow this great event.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A-JAM on KRTU - Listen to the Program!

If you missed the broadcasts of A-JAM on KRTU's South Texas Jazz project in May 2013, don't fret. You can listen right here.

Program host JJ Lopez interviews St Phillip's College singer Bianca Johnson, Northwest Vista College bassist Odie Wallace, and Trinity University drummer Ben Whitehead.  Richard Oppenheim and Katchie Cartwright sit in on alto saxophone and piano respectively.

They perform several of the IASJ Top 10 tunes and discuss the A-JAM program, their mentorship experiences, and what lies ahead. Many thanks to KRTU for documenting our program on this third annual A-JAM broadcast of the South Texas Jazz Project!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pictures! A-JAM, Spring 2013

Some lovely pictures taken by Cynthia Cortez. A-JAM at St. Mary's Fiesta Jazz Festival and at KRTU studios at Trinity University. What a great bunch!

Ben Whitehead (Trinity, drums), Bianca Johnson (St Phillip's, voice), Odie Wallace (Northwest Vista, bass)

Ben and Odie at St. Mary's Fiesta Jazz Fest (April 2013)

A-JAM at St Mary's, with Richard Oppenheim (sax), and Katchie Cartwright (piano)



Thursday, May 2, 2013

A-JAM on KRTU! May 16, 18, 30; June 1

Tune in to Trinity University's KRTU Jazz 91.7 FM for A-JAM on JJ Lopez's South Texas Jazz Project!  

FOUR BROADCASTS: Thursdays, May 16 & 30, 7 PM; Saturdays May 18 & June 1, 5 PM CST.

Bianca Johnson, voice (St Phillips College)
Odie Wallace, bass (Northwest Vista College)
Ben Whitehead, drums (Trinity University)

Hear some of SA's finest young jazz musicians, our 2013 A-JAM combo!

Thanks to JJ Lopez, JD Swerzenski, and Trinity University's KRTU for their support of the Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship (A-JAM) program! And to our community partners and resources in 2013, including Northwest Vista College, Rez Abbasi, Bett Butler & Joël Dilley, Bob Dorough, Greg Gonzales, Jim Kalson, Chris Magee, Ron McCurdy, Iraida Noriega, Richard Oppenheim, Musical Bridges Across the World, Jazz de Mexico, the Instituto Cultural de Mexico, Krazy Kat Music...

Monday, April 22, 2013

A-JAM to Perform at Vista Spring Music Festival - Thursday, April 25

Read more about the SPRING MUSIC FESTIVAL at Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College, April 24 and 25, 7:30 PM...

You are invited to listen to two nights of exhilarating music from talented NVC students!
•Wednesday, April 24: the choirs and chamber ensembles will be featured; and on
•Thursday, April 25: the A-JAM combo and the jazz ensemble will perform.

Each night, soloists: singers and instrumentalists of all kinds will perform. The ticket ticket charge is $4 per night.

For more information, contact 486-4527 or visit the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College CALENDAR

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A-JAM to Perform at Fiesta Jazz Fest - April 26, 2013

The A-JAM combo has been invited to perform at the 51st annual Fiesta Jazz FestEstablished in 1962, Fiesta Jazz Fest at St. Mary's University is one of the oldest educational Jazz Festivals in the nation.

The 2013 A-JAM group features student soloists Bianca Johnson (voice) from St. Phillip's College, Odie Wallace (bass) from Northwest Vista College, and Ben Whitehead from Trinity University. Program director Katchie Cartwright will sit in on keys. The students will feature classic jazz repertoire from the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) "top 10 tunes to know in jazz."

More information is available on FACEBOOK:
Fiesta Jazz Fest on Facebook
Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship (A-JAM) on Facebook

Monday, February 18, 2013

CAAP Workshops at Vista

A grant from San Antonio's City Arts Access Program (CAAP) has enabled three workshops this semester at Northwest Vista College. Master classes with singer actor and writer Lindsey Van de Kirk and with the San Antonio Brass Ensemble take place on Monday, February 18, 2013 from 12:30 to 3 PM. A third is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 5 PM, with singer-songwriter and pianist Bett Butler and Joël Dilley, her bassist husband. All events take place in Rehearsal Hall 152 of the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College. All students and members of the community are welcome to observe. More information.

LINDSEY VAN DE KIRK (Monday, February 18, 2 PM) is an accomplished singer, actor, and writer.  Her stage experience includes such shows as City of Angels, Me and My Girl, Urinetown, Oklahoma, Into the Woods, The Laramie Project, Kindertransport, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Children of a Lesser God, Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol, Lend Me a Tenor, and Rumors, among many others.   She traveled throughout Texas for two years performing with Opera in the Schools.  She has taught voice privately since 1979 and also teaches voice at Saint Mary’s Hall.  She is a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  She holds a Master’s degree in Opera/Musical Theater from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

SAN ANTONIO BRASS (Monday, February 18, 12:30 PM) Ensemble is South Texas' premier large brass ensemble. Founded in 1982, this versatile brass ensemble performs a wide variety of musical genres ranging from Classical music to Dixieland, Jazz, show tunes, classic rock, swing, big band, and everything in between. San Antonio Brass_ range of musical abilities has produced engagements throughout the State of Texas including collaborations with the Texas Bach Choir, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Children_s Chorus and the City of San Antonio_s annual Luminaria event. Musical explorations have ranged from the music of Bach for brass and organ to a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Comprised of some of the finest brass players in Texas, including the principal brass of the San Antonio Symphony and the area_s finest University Instructors, the San Antonio Brass has contributed to the cultural life of San Antonio, Bexar County and the state of Texas through its performances and educational programs. The musicians derive great satisfaction from their youth activities and spend considerable amounts of their time encouraging and mentoring young brass players. 

(Tuesday, March 19, 5 PMS) Jazz singer/songwriter/pianist BETT BUTLER has two albums of original music: SHORT STORIES, which earned a “recommended” rating from All Music Guide; and MYTHS & FABLES, which won a performance grant from the San Antonio Artist Foundation. Her song “When Love Has Left the Room” placed first in the Jazz category of the International Songwriting Competition out of over 10,000 entries worldwide. In 2008, she was named a Woman of Influence in the Arts by the San Antonio Business Journal and chosen Artist of the Month by the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. In 2010, she was awarded the inaugural Fred Weiss Memorial Grant for Professional Development by the Texas Music Coalition, and in 2011 she was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame. Recent recording projects include BOLEROS, a fusion of traditional Latin American music and jazz with Trio Azul; and A NEW WORLD, a world fusion project with Joël Dilley. Her upcoming album is AN AMERICAN SAMPLER, featuring classics from the Great American Songbook.
(Tuesday, March 19, 5 PMS) Award-winning bassist/composer/producer JOEL DILLEY has toured, performed, and recorded with Willie Nelson, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Arturo Sandoval, Richie Cole, and regional symphony orchestras, including performances at the Moscow Conservatory and philharmonic halls across the Russian Federation. He was a featured guest bassist on Public Radio International's "Whad'Ya Know" and a featured composer on Texas Public Radio's "Classical Spotlight." Commissions include musical settings for poems by Li Young-Lee at Round Top Festival institute and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" at San Antonio Museum of Art. His three critically-acclaimed albums on Dragon Lady Records—RIVER OF HOPE, THE WINDOW, and A NEW WORLD—have received airplay on jazz radio stations across the US and podcasts worldwide. He co-owns Mandala Music Production, where he produces music licensed worldwide for commercial and non-commercial use, including tracks on HBO, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Playboy Channel, Food Network, and ambient airplay in retail outlets throughout the United States and Australia. Dilley's song "Luz de la Luna" from A NEW WORLD was nominated for best song in the Jazz category in the 2010 Independent Music Awards. His upcoming solo album LULLABY OF THE FLATLANDS is currently in production.