Monday, November 30, 2015

"Breaking the Barrier" - Francis Stromboe Receives Top A-JAM Honors

"...being a part of A-JAM and all the opportunities it will present will help me break the barrier of technicality and find my inner voice." (Francis Stromboe)


A-JAM auditions were held the week before Thanksgiving, with San Antonio's top jazz students competing, and several of our finest professional jazz musicians adjudicating; Morgan King, Rene Saenz, and Richard Oppenheim. As always, the decisions are tough and we are pleased to announce the results. The three student finalists this year were Roberto Alaniz (bass) from Northwest Vista College, Nikkei Flores (saxophone) from San Antonio College, and Estevan Hernandez (saxophone) from Northwest Vista College. Top honors for the 2016/2017 academic year go to Francis Stromboe (guitar) from San Antonio College. Thanks to our three judges, and congratulations to Francis and our three finalists!
Francis Stromboe (guitar, SAC) 

When asked about his musical background, Stromboe replied, "I was born on March 22, 1992 in San Antonio Texas. I got my first guitar at the age of eleven and haven’t put it down since then. I learned to read music by joining the John Jay Marching Band my freshman year of high school. During my time at John Jay I was actively participating with the drum line, percussion section, as well as the John Jay Jazz Band in which I played guitar and where I was initially introduced to playing jazz. I'm currently seeking an associates degree in music at San Antonio Community College and taking electric bass lessons with Jim Kalson. "

Why did Stromboe audition for A-JAM, and what does he hope to gain from the experience? "I auditioned for A-JAM for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was to get out of my comfort zone and force myself to dive into a new realm of music. This program is a great way to get out and collaborate with new and diverse musicians. Another reason I auditioned is because I hope to participate in the IASJ meeting at Berklee in Boston next year that will present great opportunities for me to gain knowledge of improvising and the universal language of jazz. I believe being a part of A-JAM and all the opportunities it will present will help me break the barrier of technicality and find my inner voice."

Stay tuned as the spring 2016 semester begins and A-JAM activities get underway. Exciting events are in the wings, including a live radio broadcast for Trinity University's KRTU Jazz 91.7 FM and the 2016 international jazz meeting of the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz), to be held this year in Boston at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.   


 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Artist-Teacher from Tel Aviv to Present Master Class in Jazz Harmony - Tuesday, Nov 17, 2015


Our A-JAM program is part of a global network of jazz artists, students, and teachers that fosters intercultural collaboration at a very high level through the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz). Opportunities made possible by participation in the organization's global jazz meetings extend far beyond the one-week jazz intensives held in June, which are hosted in a different country each year. Ask any A-JAM alum who has been there: Jeané Gaines (Brazil), Stephen Bennett (Austria), Odie Wallace (Denmark), and--most recently--Thomas Mullins (Portugal).

Relationships forged in these global jazz meetings, and in the A-JAM program in general, can continue and blossom throughout one's life as a musician. And, hey, don't forget: It could be YOU next year!

Here's a case in point... Through our association with two IASJ member schools in Israel, the Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv, and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, we are fortunate to welcome Dr. Arnon Palty to Northwest Vista College for an exclusive master class on jazz harmony. Read his short bio below to see some of the interesting and fun things he's been up to. The event is free and open to the public. Mark your calendars now. You won't want to miss it.
 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 / 2 PM / Recital Hall 107 of Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College / Admission Free

Palty Arnon, Dr.


Bassist / Composer / Arranger / Theorist
Dr. Arnon Palty is a graduate of Berklee School of music (B.A.) and  Manhattan School of music (M.A. in Jazz composition and arranging), and holds a Ph.D. degree with highest distinction from Bar Ian University for his research on jazz harmony. Additional studies include bass with Jeff Andrews, harmony with Hal Galper and Mark Levine and composition with Dr. Boaz Ben-Moshe and Reuven Seroussi.

Arnon has performed with Jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, Benny Golson, Didier Lockwood, Lee Koniזz, Lewis Porter, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Airto Moreira, Jeremy Davenport, Dave Douglas, Donald "Duck" Bailey, Norbert Stachell, The Grateful Dead/Blues project reunion, with British progressive rock band "Ordinary Listeners"; and arranged, played, and recorded for countless Israeli artists.
 
Arnon teaches bass, arranging, traditional and jazz harmony, advanced ear training, ensembles, bass history and highly popular survey classes such as "The Music of Frank Zappa," "The Music of  The Beatles," and more. Dr. Palty was chairman of the Bass Dept. at Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music for 14  years. He was Assistant Director for the years 1994-1996 and  is the recipient of "The outstanding Rimon lecturer award"  for the academic year 2008-2009. As well as Rimon, Dr. Palty teaches at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and at Ono Academic College School of Music. 

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

"What Dreams Are Made Of" - Thomas Mullins' Summer Abroad Experience

Thomas Mullins spent one intensive life-changing week abroad this summer as the 2015 A-JAM delegate to the prestigious international jazz meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), held this year in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the 25th anniversary of unique global jazz meeting, and an unforgettable experience for all involved. Hosted by a different member school each year, students, teachers, and school representatives from all over the world gather to learn, perform, exchange ideas, and generally live and breathe jazz. Fresh from the trip, Mullins shared some of his insights and experiences.

"My participation in at 25th annual IASJ Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal was unlike anything else I’ve experienced in all my life.  The sights of the city were like stepping into a postcard.  Everyone involved was unbelievably welcoming, eager to share their friendship and love of music.  There, I met people from all corners of the world, brought together by the uniting force of music.  I had the privilege of talking with David Liebman, founder of the program.  When I commented on what an amazing experience he has provide to all with talented students and educators he responded, 'Good people, great music.  Where else are you going to get this?'”

"I would be lying if I said I wasn’t overwhelmed at times," Mullins continued.  "There I was, far from home, surrounded by unfamiliar sights and faces.  I would leave the master classes feeling as though I knew nothing about music.  I would leave rehearsals thinking we would never make the deadline.  My mind was constantly screaming, “Fight or flight!” (Given that the flight was a literal 19 hour flight, fight it was.)  I would find myself questioning my abilities and my right to participate with these caliber of musicians, but through my conversations and experiences with my fellow students, I learned that I wasn’t alone.  And that was the beauty of it all.  None of us were truly alone, despite what we felt at times.  We were together in our pursuits, ambitions, struggles, and triumphs.  The international meeting is what dreams are made of."


Thomas Mullins, a 2015 graduate of Northwest Vista College, entered the UTSA music program with a full scholarship in composition in fall 2015. A student of classical guitarist Dan Smith, he auditioned on guitar. He studies trombone and improvisation with Armin Marmolejo of Palo Alto College. As a composer, Mullins received a Jack Stone Award for New Music in 2013, while at Northwest Vista College.



 



 
   


 



 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mark Your Calendar! A-JAM Auditions - Week Before Thanksgiving, Nov 16-19

Audition to become part of the 2016 A-JAM program! Make your appointment today. Auditions are the week before Thanksgiving. That's Nov 16-19, 2015. Call Katchie Cartwright at 210-486-4828 for more information or to schedule your audition. Check our Facebook page for breaking news...

Auditions are open to all fulltime students at any of the five Alamo Colleges and Trinity University.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of a college-level course in improvisation. You can be taking one this term, provided you pass the course. :-) If you're not currently enrolled, try to enroll in MUAP 1185: Private Improvisation for Flex II. There are multiple instructors for this course on multiple campuses within the Alamo Colleges system. Contact your music department chair or discipline coordinator for more information.

This year's IASJ international jazz meeting will be hosted by the exciting and relatively new Berklee Global Jazz Institute. One lucky student will get to participate in this life-changing intercultural experience. It could be you this year!
 

Remember...

Auditions for the A-JAM program are held annually--the week before Thanksgiving--by appointment only. To join A-JAM in the spring term, you must have successfully completed a basic course in improvisation, which is offered in the fall semester. Contact Katchie for further information on A-JAM audition requirements and dates.

Prepare: 2 contrasting jazz pieces of your choice

Bring: 3 copies of your written music (lead sheets, C-concert)

Scales/arpeggios: Major and minor, all keys

Sightreading: chordal (lead sheet), rhythmic, and melodic



 

Friday, June 5, 2015

A-JAM Performances and Interviews at KRTU Studios - An Annual Tradition

On June 3, 2015, multi-instrumentalist Thomas Mullins led his combo into KRTU's Studio B at Trinity University for what has become an annual tradition since 2011: a recording session featuring participants in the A-JAM program. The session was produced by KRTU Operations Manager Emilio Alvarez, for broadcast as part of the South Texas Jazz Project. For many A-JAM participants, this marks their first professional recording, and--for most--their first on-air radio broadcast. A-JAM thanks KRTU for their support of our program! Listen to the show right here.


Thomas Mullins
This year, the group was primarily alumni of the A-JAM program: Odie Wallace on bass (A-JAM 2013, IASJ Denmark), James Buentello on drums (A-JAM 2011), Marco Antonio Escobedo on guitar (A-JAM 2011), with newcomer Alisa Cotto (Northwest Vista College) on voice. Standing by and joining in were potential A-JAM candidates for 2016, Francis Stromboe from San Antonio College on guitar and bassist Roberto Alaniz from Northwest Vista.

Thomas Mullins, a 2015 graduate of Northwest Vista College, will enter the UTSA music program with a scholarship in composition this fall. A student of classical guitarist Dan Smith, he auditioned on guitar. He studies trombone and improvisation with Armin Marmolejo of Palo Alto College. As a composer, Mullins received a Jack Stone Award for New Music in 2013, while at Northwest Vista College. Thomas Mullins is the 2015 A-JAM delegate to the prestigious IASJ international jazz meeting, to be held this year in Lisbon, Portugal.
Top 10 Tunes to Know in Jazz (IASJ 2000, Paris)


Highlights of this year's recording session were performances of two of the "IASJ Top 10 Tunes to Know in Jazz," "There is No Greater Love" and "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise."


The performance segment of the program was followed by interviews, with students recounting memorable moments of their A-JAM experiences. 

"What are you experiencing now--that you didn't have before you entered the program--in your musical journey?" Alvarez asked Mullins. "Someone to push me into the scenarios that I need to be in, in order to grow as a musician; as a jazz musician, but--overall--as a musician. Going to the open jam sessions, going to the master classes; things I'd probably shy away from if given the opportunity. But Katchie is very good at pushing, so it just puts you in the scene, makes you get your hands dirty, do the heavy lifting. You get up there, do the best you can, take your licks, go home to the drawing board, and try and come back stronger the next day."



The conversation touched on aesthetics, with Mullins contributing heartfelt and profound thoughts. Asked who he was listening to lately he replied, 
"I've gotten into Thelonious Monk a lot more than I had been prior. But I've been straying more toward vocalists, like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone. Something about…they've got this beautiful melancholy that really draws me in. That's one of the aspects of music I really enjoy.  Sometimes more upbeat music seems to me a bit false, like it's got something to hide. But those melancholy songs, they're revealed, they're laying everything out, they're vulnerable. It's fragile. I really enjoy that kind of music...I want to try to encapsuslate that style."

Eric Ineke masterclass with Odie Wallace (IASJ 2013, Denmark)


Odie Wallace, who was the A-JAM student delegate to the 2013 IASJ international jazz meeting in Denmark, summed up his experience there. 

"It was life changing. I was just telling some of the guys before we started this interview that, going over there, I got my butt kicked all up and down the streets of Denmark--musically of course--but it was a great learning experience. If it hadn't have been for that, I don't think I'd be where I am today, with the knowledge that I have today and the connections, the networking. It was just a big combination of playing, learning, meeting people, and then you get to take that home with you, even if you felt you didn't do 100%. I've felt, ever since I got home--ever since I hit the state soil again--that it has been nonstop for me, trying to be better than I was when I was over there. Just having that--being part of that experience alone--has been the most important thing to me. It was the catalyst for where I am today.


As of this writing, Odie Wallace is on full scholarship in the jazz music program at St. Mary's University, where he studies electric bass with Jim Kalson, drums and percussion with Joe Caploe, and plays in small and large jazz ensembles. He auditioned on drums, bass, and percussion. The faculty of St. Mary's reported that his was among the best auditions they'd ever had. Wallace performs currently as a leader and side person in various groups and settings in and out of town. Keep up the good work!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Preparing for the Concert? Play Along

We're into dress rehearsals for the first annual NXNVC (North by Northwest Vista) festival, Monday, April 13 through Thursday, April 16, 2015. Four funfilled evenings of music by students, faculty, and guest artists. Jazz ensemble and student-led combos are up on Thursday night. Gourmet food truck. Looking forward to it!  For more information, visit this website: PalmettoArts.org.

After sufficient careful/mindful slow work  in the practice room or woodshed, a quick--and pleasurable--way to grab a few extra run-throughs is to play along with the arranging publisher's demo recordings. 

They're easy to find with the following BIG THREE search terms on Google: "song title in parentheses" "arranger name" and the word "listen." Voilà! The audio pops up first virtually every time.

Here are some of the tunes you'll hear us perform on Thursday. Play along if you're in the band!

"Bye Bye Blackbird," arranged by Dave Rivello (James Coleman, trumpet soloist)

"Gentle Rain," arranged by Kris Berg (Andrew King, alto saxophone soloist) 

"I Got Rhythm," arranged by Dave Wolpe (A-JAM honors student Thomas Mullins, trombone soloist) 

"Straighten Up and Fly Right," Wolpe (Alisa Cotto, vocal soloist)

"How High the Moon," Wolpe (trombone section feature)

Happy practicing. Break a leg!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Branford Marsalis - Performance & Master Class

If you missed the open rehearsal with YOSA (Youth Orchestra of San Antonio) or the master class at Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, or if you caught those and want to see the musician in action, come to the Tobin Center Sunday, February 22 at 7 PM

Students with valid ID get in for a mere five bucks. This is a chance to take in the splendor of our newest and most prestigious  performing arts venue while hearing a bonafide Jazz Master perform classical music composed for the jazz instrument par excellence, the saxophone. Don't miss it.


In a rambling but straight talking master class at Trinity University, New Orleans saxophonist  Branford Marsalis talked about his royal family and musical journey to an audience of enthralled students and teachers, including A-JAM trombonist Thomas Mullins, on Saturday, February 21.  



His talk was peppered with anecdotes and correctives, including facts about his family. People assume that the Marsalis dynasty is patrilineal, he said. But the musical genes are mainly on his mother's side, he explained. Wellman Braud, the distinguished bassist with Duke Ellington's band, was his mother's kin, for example. 

With so many musicians in his family, people sometimes imagine that it was a non-stop family jam session growing up. But no. With almost seven years between him and his younger brother, there was "no way" he was going to be jamming--in or out of the house--with a ten year-old when he was seventeen, despite what his parents might have wished.  But Branford and his distinguished brother Wynton Marsalis, who were much closer in age, did work and play together.  Growing up, Wynton worked hardest to become the amazing classical trumpeter that he continues to be to this day. If you're not familiar with this side of his work, check out his classical discography. But, of course, we all know him as the man who lead Lincoln Center to become the jazz bastion that it is today. And it was Wynton who first moved to New York, the jazz capitol, and persuaded Branford to join him, which he does not regret.

How to learn songwriting? "Learn every tune ever written," he said, then smiled. "It's all about melodies," he continued. When improvising, he's thinking of melodies, not simply chord progressions.

He doesn't aim to please an audience of 20-something people. Why? "My music is for adults," as he put it. It takes years to develop one's art and craft in jazz. One has to be willing to suffer "humiliation," but not to succumb to defeat; to admit that there are things to learn, and to keep on working to improve.

NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee composer Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time.  The three-time Grammy Award® winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Advice for young players?

"Advice for young cats?"
the old woman responded,
"Know all of your scales."
"But is that enough?" he asked.
"Learn all your tunes in all keys."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"It's Not About the Music" - The International Jazz Meeting

"...a documentary film about jazz education that's not about the music. It's a film about collaboration, creativity, and community; a film about sharing ideas across cultures, a film about the legacy that passes from generation to generation; a respect for the elders, and the hope that the younger generation will take that knowledge and pass it forward. David Liebman, who won the NEA Jazz Masters award in 2011, founded the IASJ [International Association of Schools of Jazz] about twenty years ago with the sole purpose of creating a forum for cross-cultural communication." - Leon Segal, filmmaker and psychologist.

If you're new to the A-JAM program and haven't yet seen the teaser for Leon Segal's documentary film on the IASJ's annual international jazz meeting, take five minutes to watch it now.

 Learn how this intercultural conference affect the lives, careers, and curricula of students, teachers, and schools; and the impact they have on local and global communities. Very inspiring! Could be YOU next year...

The International Jazz Meeting, a "Pearl Beyond Price" - Perspectives from Ronan Guilfoyle

"It's remarkable that jazz, as a means of human communication between people from different cultures, brings people together for a week in tremendous camaraderie and friendship. I think that's really a pearl beyond price..."

Watch this short and personal history of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) from founding member artist-teacher and bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, head of the Newpark Music Centre in Dublin, Ireland. IASJ presents the annual intercultural and intergenerational jazz meeting that is the jewel in the crown of the A-JAM program.

"In twenty-three meetings, I've brought twenty-three students, and every one of those will tell you--have told me--that this was really a life-changing experience for them." 

A-JAM prepares young San Antonio musicians to enter the global jazz community, right at the top of the field. The international jazz meeting introduces our best students to their peers from all over the globe.  It's a game changer. Learn why and how it works...

As a founding member, Ronan has been to some twenty-three of the meetings. "In twenty-three meetings, I've brought twenty-three students, and every one of those will tell you--have told me--that this was really a life-changing experience for them." 

Speaking of memorable moments, "It's terribly difficult to pick just one moment, because there are so many moments...I remember particularly being in the United Nations building when the meeting was in New York, the Brazilian music we heard when it was in Sao Paulo, the South African music we heard...and, of course, tremendous performances..."

"It's incredible every year when you go to the meeting and you see the concerts by the students and you realize that--literally from all over the world--the music that they play after only four or five days of rehearsal is really extraordinary."

 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thanks for your support!

A-JAM helps serious San Antonio students to succeed in the exciting global field of jazz. You can be a part of our success by contributing to the program financially. Your donations are tax deductible, and can be made through the Alamo Colleges Foundation online, via mail, or by phone. To contribute, call Lynne Dean at the Alamo Colleges Foundation, 210-486-4135 during business hours or email her at ldean12@alamo.edu. Tell her you want to contribute to the A-JAM fund, code 340005. She'll take care of everything.

Looking to help create unique opportunities for serious community college students?  Our program gives young San Antonio musicians skills, knowhow, and entry into the exciting intercultural and international world of jazz, right at the top of the field. Your contribution to our A-JAM mentorship fund ensures that this year's A-JAM honoree will be able to participate in the international intensive that is the capstone of our program. 

Endowed, the A-JAM fund sponsors--annually--one student to travel to the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz) meeting. This global summit is a game changer for the individual student and for the local jazz culture. Over the past two decades, I've witnessed the change in communities near and far. The results run deep. 

Your contribution ensures the wherewithal to send students to places like Brazil (Jeané Gaines, 2011), Austria (Stephen Bennett, 2012), and Denmark (Odie Wallace, 2013) to perform and learn with peers from all over the globe. In 2014, the meeting was in Cape Town, South Africa, at the University of Cape Town. 

Exciting, isn't it?  How much money do we need? Costs vary, but an annual income of somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 is ballpark. Not much in the grand scheme of things, is it?

Alamo Colleges music students thank you!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enjoyable Warmup - (Rhythm and) Blues Exercise

Forty-four degrees Farenheit tonight in San Antonio. Perfect moment to share a warmup with you players of melodic instruments...

Bob Cranshaw
It gets the blood flowing and the keys knowing. It requires little or no reading, and a minimal amount of equipment: your instrument, a CD or mp3 and player, plus about 44 minutes of focused time.

Here's a link to purchase the CD or download the tracks from jazzbooks.com. It's Volume 42 of Jamey Aebersold's Play-a-Long series, "Blues in All Keys."  (We have several of these playalongs in the circulating collection of the library at Northwest Vista.) It comes with a booklet containing chord sheets for Eb, Bb, C, and bass clef instruments.

As its name would imply, the CD contains playalong tracks for blues progressions in 12 keys. They are performed by a trio of world class jazz musicians: James Williams at the piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums. Follow the links and look them up...

James Williams
The form and formula are simple. There is one basic progression and one variation of it.  These are played in each key; from 3-5 choruses for each progression. When you're in a particular key and it's time to move from the basic progression to its variation, listen for a little bell dinging during the last four bars of the form; you switch progressions at the top of the next form. You'll hear it...

So how to dig in? It's not as daunting as it may seem. Twelve keys, yes, but only one simple progression...

First, put the CD or mp3 into the player, turn to track #13 and tune your horn. Set it back to #1 and hit pause.

Second, get out the booklet and take the time to look at it. There's a discography and other items that may be of interest, along with the progression and its variation, written out in all twelve keys for C, Bb, Eb, and bass clef readers.

Mickey Roker
Third, analyze and memorize the progression. Yes, memorize the progression in at least two keys. Bb and C concert would be good choices. Play it at the piano.

Fourth, put on the first track and play along. Start simple if this is unfamiliar territory. Play roots in harmonic rhythm, guide tones, etc. (I have a checklist for learning new tunes that I can share with you if you email me.)

Finally, play through all of the keys before returning to the first track. This is a discipline. There are always things you can improve next time, but one of the main objects of this exercise is to gain fluency in all keys. You don't have to play all keys in one sitting at first, but make a note of which key you stopped on and resume with the next one at your next practice session. With practice, you will be able to play through all twelve keys in one sitting, one after the other. This only takes, as I said, about forty-five minutes.

My fearless prediction is that you will soon look forward to this as a daily exercise, finding it to be both relaxing and invigorating, satisfying and rewarding. Once you've memorized the progression, you can do it in the dark if you like. I use it as a way to center myself, as a kind of meditation on the blues... 

With mindful practice, you'll witness your facility with all keys growing and strengthening.  When you encounter these progressions in "real life" on the bandstand or in a session, this is likely to make it easier for you to play what you hear. Sounds like fun now, right? Let me know how it goes.

Note to multi-wind players--Play through the blues tracks on Bb, C, and Eb instruments alternately (and/or whatever other keys your horns are in). Your tonal relationship to the track will be different, which will probably change what you play. Record yourself...

Once more, with rhythm...
Once you're comfortable with the blues in all keys, try working similarly with Aebersold's I Got Rhythm Changes in All Keys (Volume 47).

Second only to the blues, "Rhythm" changes are the most popular form in jazz. Thousands of contrafacts have been written to this harmonic scheme.

Todd Coolman
As with the blues, once you've looked at the progression, don't read from it; analyze and memorize it. Pause the recording between tracks as necessary to recalculate the changes in the upcoming key. 

Unlike the Blues in All keys playalong, this volume doesn't have a voice reminding you of the new key. But the movement through keys has logic; starts in concert Bb, then goes to F. The remaining keys appear in circle-of-fourths order: Eb-Ab-Db, etc.

Jim McNeely
As always, check out the players you're practicing with! This playalong features bassist Todd Coolman, pianist Jim McNeely, and drummer Steve Davis

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Master Class with a Genius, this Saturday Afternoon, Jan 17 at The Carver!

Just for you, A-JAM! Like manna, an opportunity has fallen across your path, thanks to the generosity of The Carver...

This Saturday, January 17, you are invited to participate in an exclusive master class with Vijay Iyer at the Carver. The master class takes place at 11 AM in the Jo Long Theater of The Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry, San Antonio TX, 78202. Phone 210.207.7211. Get directions here.

Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer, bandleader and MacArthur "genius" award recipient, VIJAY IYER is regarded by Pitchfork as” one of the best in the world at what he does”. Iyer, a highly accomplished artist bridges the avant-garde with the mainstream, composes classical arrangements yet loves improvisation.

This past year has been an exceptional one for Iyer. March 2014 marked the release of Mutations, Iyer’s eighteenth album and his debut for the prestigious ECM label: a recording for piano, string quartet and electronics, the first album to document his works for chamber ensembles. He also began a permanent appointment at Harvard University’s Department of Music, as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts. Other recent honors include a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year), the Pianist of the Year Awards for both 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.

But wait, there's more... To see Vijay Iyer in concert, come Saturday evening at 8 PM. For additional information, contact Katchie via email or phone at 210-486-4828.