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JAZZ DIVISION John Currey, Vice President

Information on the 2011-2012 School Year and a Special Jazz Feature “Nurturing the Creative Musician” by Adam Larson

As we start the beginning of the school year, I would like to get you caught up on the busy IMEA Calendar as it relates to Jazz.

Senior Audition Requirements

T e IMEA Jazz auditions at the district level are fast approaching. T e 2011 IMEA Jazz Audition piece was commissioned by T e Jazz

Division of IMEA for the 2012 All- State Jazz Ensemble and was written by Christopher Madsen. It was published by Doug Beach Music and is distributed by Kendor Music. In addition to the required piece students will be required to improvise on F blues changes. For practice use Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc., Vol 1 track 8, Blues in F. Some districts have additional requirements, so please use the IMEA website to confi rm the exact audition materials for your district.

2012 All State Conductors and Opening Night Concert

I am extremely excited about this years conductors and Opening night concert. T e Wednesday evening Concert that kicks off the 2012 IMEA conference will feature Wycliff e Gordon and the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble under the Direction of Ron Carter.

Our distinguished Guest conductors for this years jazz night will be:

Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices Honors Jazz Combo

Rick Haydon is a Professor of Music at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville where he is head of the Guitar Program and manages the recording studio.

54 Honors Jazz Band

Wycliff e Gordon a professional trombone player who has toured with many of the best Jazz musicians in the world.

All-State Jazz Band

Scott Cassagrande, Director of Bands at John Hersey High School.

If you have any Jazz related questions please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance to you.

John Currey Director of Bands Champaign Central High School 610 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P: 217.351.3911 ex 160 E:

Nurturing the Creative Musician

T e musician was Michael Brecker. T e band? T e Brecker Brothers. T ree minutes and twenty seconds into the track entitled “Night Flight” my life was changed forever. Having only started playing the saxophone a year prior to hearing this recording, I had no idea it was possible to play saxophone that way– the sound, technique, rhythm, harmony– simply astounding! T is particular solo played such an important role in my early development–in its provision of something that cannot be taught, only felt–and that is inspiration.

Over the years I’ve found that whether it’s musicians, athletes, insurance salesmen or a list of other professions, the individuals who truly love what they do can all point to a specifi c instance that fi rst inspired them to pursue their path with devout focus and passion. Looking at my life in music thus far, I continually fi nd myself

I took a rather backwards approach in this process as my ears gravitated to- wards musicians and bands that were of the 70’s and beyond. As I would quickly learn, the “correct” way to learn about the lineage of musicians was to start with the masters and move forward. Currently, I can say that I would not think about music and certainly the saxophone the way I do had I not “done my homework” by checking out the great masters of the jazz tradition.

However, I feel that a large part of my continual interest in the saxophone itself was due to exposure to the instru- ment in an array of diverse settings. It would not take me long at all (maybe six months) before my ears were at least curious about tenor sounds such as Lester Young and John Coltrane as well as other masters of the instrument. Be that as it may, my ears would have been instantly turned off to the idea of improvised music and perhaps to the saxophone if I had been exposed to an album as dense as Trane’s “Sun Ship” as a twelve year-old.

As my ears developed (and continue to develop), however, I fi nd myself able to relate to music such as the former, as well as other recordings that in my beginning days as a saxophonist I would have been unable to connect with emotion- ally or mentally. A mentor, colleague, friend and phenomenal musician, John Wojociechowski told me something at a very young age that has stuck with me ever since–“remember, we are musicians, who happen to play saxophone.” As a

Illinois Music Educator | Volume 72 Number 1

inspired by other musicians around me both past and present. Furthermore, the fulfi llment felt as a result of learning about so many great musicians through self-discovery, continues to be essential in keeping me inspired.

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