Jazz Institute of Chicago

Straight Ahead Jazz Camp - Session Descriptions

For Posterity: Louis Armstrong in His Own Words
Monday, July 8, 9:00–10:30am
Ricky Riccardi, Chief Archivist, The Armstrong House
Have you ever wondered about Louis Armstrong’s feelings on music? Racism? Making people happy? Explore answers to these questions and more using rare private recordings and video interviews featuring candid refl ections from Armstrong on his endlessly fascinating life.
Hello Pops: The Life of Louis Armstrong
Monday, July 8, 10:45am–12:15pm
Wycliffe Gordon
Trace the roots of Louis Armstrong’s life from New Orleans to Chicago to the world at large. This session covers events not just related to his musical genius, but expands them to his life as a person, traveling from boyhood to manhood to world ambassador.
Get Your Improv on!
Monday–Thursday, July 8–11, 1:45–3:15pm
In these 4-part workshops, learn tunes, interact with peers, develop your sound, and refine your improvisational skills. Choose between one of three levels:

Beginning Jazz Improvisation - Audrey Morrsion
Designed for those new to jazz performance, interplay, harmony, and standards.
Intermediate Jazz Improvisation - Jarrard Harris
Designed for those with some familiarity playing and improvising on jazz standards.
Advanced Jazz Improvisation - Pharez Whitted
Designed for those ready tackle complex harmonic progressions and rhythmic feels.
Bright Moments, Memories of the Future: South Side “Jazzy Collages” Mural Tour
Monday, July 8, 2:00–5:00pm
Jeff Juebner
Join us for a guided tour of the works of muralists/musicians Mitchell Caton, Calvin Jones and others which explore the continuity of musical traditions from Africa to America & Chicago’s South Side blues/jazz heritage. The tour also includes a brief view of Louis Armstrong’s Chicago residence.
Cinematic Satch: Rare Footage of Louis Armstrong
Monday, July 8, 3:30–5:00pm
Ricky Riccardi, Chief Archivist, The Armstrong House
The Chief Archivist of the Louis Armstrong House returns for a second session showcasing rarely seen footage of Louis Armstrong from films, television, European concerts and more.
Instrumental Master Classes
Tuesday–Friday, July 9–12, 9:00–10:30am
In these 4-part master classes, discuss and practice styles, techniques, and exercises to improve your individual and sectional playing. Choose one based on your instrument:
Rhythm Section Master Class - Dan Anderson
For guitarists, pianists, bassists, drummers, and other rhythm section instrumentalists.
Saxophones & Woodwinds Master Class -  Dan Nicholson
For saxophonists and other woodwind instrumentalists.
Trumpets and Trombones Master Class - Pharez Whitted
For trumpeters, trombonists, and other brass instrumentalists.
Voice Master Class - Tammy McCann
For vocalists and chorus instructors.
Pops’ Legacy in Education
Tuesday, July 9, 9:00am–10:30am
Darius Hampton
Investigate various endeavors to perpetuate the legacy of Louis Armstrong in educational settings and discuss the triumphs and challenges encountered during those efforts.
Ambassador Satch is Black and Blue
Tuesday, July 9, 10:45 am–12:15pm
Wycliffe Gordon
Examine the musical performances of Louis Armstrong and his effect on people worldwide. Whether it is a Pops original or the music of great composers, Louis Armstrong’s impact was so strong it could stop wars abroad while poignantly addressing difficult subjects back at home.
Modern Pathways: Exploring the Multi-dimensional Music of Andrew Hill
Tuesday, July 9, 1:45–3:15pm
Dana Hall
Drummer, composer and bandleader Dana Hall illuminates the life and work of Chicago pianist and composer, Andrew Hill. Hill is recognized as one of the most important innovators of jazz piano from the 1960’s. Like many who explored musical possibilities, Hill’s desire was to advance the music while paying respect to his predecessors.
Collective Improvisation
Tuesday, July 9, 3:30–5:00pm
Mwata Bowden
Discard preconceived notions of ensemble music making during this interactive session. Learn to think differently about harmony, rhythm, melody, form, and texture, then apply these redefined ideas in a live performance with your peers.

Creative Improvisation and Social Practice
Wednesday, July 10, 9:00–10:30am
Kate Dumbleton with Tomeka Reid, Mikel Avery
Jazz has from its very roots held the value of social practice--its radical inventiveness rooted firmly in carving out new space for cultural expression, community, and ritual. Join a discussion about working as a community-based artist, and the impact on neighborhood development and education strategies.
Pops for the People
Wednesday, July 10, 10:45 am–12:15pm
Wycliffe Gordon
Thiis session will discuss Pops as a power for social justice. When many thought that he was an “Uncle Tom” Louis Armstrong unapologetically spoke out against injustices here in the United States. Pops believed we have to lead the way by example for others to follow if we are truly the great nation we claim to be.
Von Freeman: Mentoring the Future
Wednesday, July 10, 1:45-3:15 pm
Michael Allemana
Von Freeman taught countless musicians, not from established theory and lessons plans, but from life experience and by example. A long time member of Freeman’s quartet, Allemana discusses the various ways that Freeman shared his musical, practical, and philosophical knowledge with younger generations of jazz musicians.
Music Improvisation and Musical literacy: Why creativity and invention is essential to the development of musical skills at any age
Wednesday, July 10, 3:30-5:00pm
Dr. Larry Scripp
An interactive session on the role of music improvisation in the development of a broad array of basic literacy skills. Explore how myths and misconceptions of innate musical talent may adversely affect the progress of music’s essential contribution to 21st century education.

Express Your Inner Groove: Guided Improvisation with Classroom Instruments and Voice
Thursday & Friday, July 11 & 12, 9:00–10:30am
Jose Diaz
This 2-part clinic explores how to engage children with improvisation experiences that foster self-expression and the application of music skills/knowledge. Pedagogical foundations, improvisational approaches of call and response; ostinato; layering; peer modeling; and timbre exploration will be discussed.

Satchmo, A World of Education
Thursday, July 11, 10:45 am-12:15pm
Wycliffe Gordon
This session will address the importance of educating people, starting with our children, about the life of Louis Armstrong, a man who came from tough circumstances to become one of the most influential musicians and greatest humanitarians of all time. The legacy of Pops has touched all of us, even when we don’t realize it.

Little Brother Montgomery: Swinging the Blues
Thursday, July 11, 1:45–3:15pm
Robert Irving III
Montgomery was an important blues pianist with an original style who worked in jazz bands as well. Discover the connections between the mother of all music and the evolution of jazz during an interactive session with one of his mentees, Robert Irving III, pianist for the legendary Miles Davis.
Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal: From an Auditory Tradition
Thursday, July 11, 3:30-5:00pm
Jose Diaz with the Jazz Institute’s Jazz links Youth Ensemble
The African approach of master/student relationship is one of observation and imitation. This participatory session will involve listening, scat singing, instrumental performance and information to help students discover the beauty of self-expression.
New Music Selection and Reading
Friday, July 12, 10:45 am-12:15pm
Scott Hall with the Noteworthy Jazz Ensemble
Learn how to build a repertoire for student jazz ensembles with new arrangements and compositions. Find just the music you want, design programs that cover a variety of styles and showcase the strengths of the group while pushing young musicians to new heights.
SHOWCASE: Noteworthy Jazz Ensemble
Friday, July 12, 1:45-3:15pm
Quite possibly the only band of its kind in the country, Noteworthy Jazz Ensemble is an ensemble comprised of Chicago Public School music teachers, many of whom are also the jazz band directors at their schools. Join us for a Jam session and reception following the performance!


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