The summer school aims to provide an intimate environment for
practical music making and education in the jazz genre. Improvisation,
jazz harmony, an exploration of various jazz idioms, and group
performance will be the main areas covered. At the end of the
week there will be the opportunity to perform to a live audience
from the local community. We provide course materials and a
download of musical examples.
The main concept behind the Dordogne Jazz Summer School is to
combine the fun of a jazz course with a sun packed holiday.
The area is of outstanding natural beauty with excellent local
wine and cuisine at affordable prices. We strongly recommend
that you don't miss out on at a least a little exploration of
the region. Check out our links page for some ideas. Or download the pdf guide Things
to do in Lot produced by local resident and DJSS enthusiast Gus Hunnybun.
WEEK ONE - INCLUSIVE WEEK
A basic ability to play one's instrument is required and music
reading would be helpful but not essential. The styles of
jazz will include standards, bebop, modal, latin and contemporary.
We divide the tutor groups into six levels according to ability
initially according to what you write on the booking form.
There are "Option Groups" such as BIG BAND / SALSA
BAND / SOUL BAND / MINGUS BAND / SUPER SAX / MONK BAND etc.
which break up the day .
Tuition on individual instruments is not available due to pressure
of time. It's only a week's course. There will however be the
opportunity for students to attend master-classes by a guest
tutor and to receive tuition in small groups on their own instrument.
WEEK TWO / WEEK-the-THIRD
No beginners please. No Vocalists - (see vocal course). You need to have been on
the first week or a similar course before, or have a good
grounding in the basics from another source. Please give details
of your training and experience when applying. Places will
be limited so priority will be given to people who book for
both weeks and to more advanced players - and of course those
who book early. Please be aware that we have
no control over applicants self-assement of their own ability.
Which is why we call it "intensive" as opposed to
"advanced" week. So there may be some students who
are a little out of their depth. We divide the course up into groups according to ability to ameliorate this but it
will always be mixed ability. On the other hand if you feel
at all nervous that you might be out of your depth - you won't
WEEK-the-THIRD (NB Smaller, Cheaper, Shorter course)
with Andre Canniere.
SAMPLE DAY - WEEK ONE
10.00 Improvisation workshop e.g. Pentatonics.
Learning of the blues scales and it's relationship to the pentatonic
family of scales; using pentatonics over chord sequences; pentataonic
based harmonies and their wider use in jazz; chord make-up &
voicings; swing rhythm vs. 'straight eights' (rock rhythm);
and listening and analyzing performances from famous jazz artists
who use this tool - such as McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea etc
11.30 Coffee break
Group music making/small bands. This will involve putting
into practice concepts studied that morning. e.g. Learning some
blues tunes, rehearsing the numbers, constructive criticism
of improvisation and the ensemble. Studying the role of each
instrument within the particular style.
1.00 Lunch in the Chateau de Monteton restaurant
2.30 Different each day
Previous years have included activities such as MASTER CLASSES
/ BIG BAND / SALSA BAND / SOUL BAND / MINGUS BAND / SUPER
SAX /MONK BAND etc. example:
Saxophone Masterclass led by (for example) Mark Lockheart
A performance of some well known standards by the tutors'
band with particular emphasis on the role of the saxophonist
in jazz. Areas covered will include how harmony and melody
are best interpreted on the instrument; improvisation, scales
and patterns. Practical issues will also be covered such as
breathing, embouchure, intonation and creating a good tone.
All students will be encouraged to attend and ask questions.
Particularly confident saxophone students will be invited
to play with the tutors.
4.00 Free Time Left open for individuals
to choose their own pursuits. These could include individual
practice time; extra tuition in the areas covered that day;
small group rehearsals for the evenings jam; classes in particular
areas requested by students, or simply enjoying the area and
relaxing with a glass of wine.
An informal session in which students can try out what they've
learned (and maybe teach us a thing or two !) in a relaxed 'Jazz
Club' atmosphere accompanied by fine wines of the region. Music
will be drawn mainly from the standard jazz repertoire. This
is also a chance for students to suggest music they would like
to play, and for tutors to learn the strengths and weaknesses
of course members in order to better structure lessons to their
7.00 Tutor led performances Each tutor leads
their workshop group in performing the pieces they've learned
8.00-9.30 Dinner in
the Chateau de Monteton restaurant or terrace. Often accompanied
by tutor performances , dinner jazz sets and enthusiastic students
who just can't stop playing !
Late night jam session
Play all night (if you like) in the Cave . In past years students
jammed far into the early hours with short breaks for drinks
in the bar and a quick game of "Kinito", the local
dice game. This session is unsupervised and students take responsibility
for organising their own bands and music. NB the "Cave"
where the jam sessions will be held is in the basement of a
different tower to the sleeping accommodation, (and behind several
feet of mediaeval masonry), so those students wanting an early
night will be free to do so undisturbed.