SEPTEMBER 2012 â€˘ $5.00
Become Who You Are
Nat Hentoff: Jazz Revolution vs. Radio Stations Slashing Jazz Survey: College & University Jazz Programs The Official Publication of
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Mastering music is more than a destination. Itâ€™s about all of the experiences you have along the way. We give you the freedom to experiment, find your own solutions, and evolve. But we also give you a structured and demanding curriculum that will test even the most talented musicians. Youâ€™ll be prepared to succeed in the world of music. Wherever it takes you. Learn more at berklee.edu
WHERE MUSIC TAKES YOU
"The young musician will need to discover how much he or she loves and cares about music, and the necessity of perseverance and patience."
LESSONS LEARNED: CLOSING THE QUALITY GAP 14
Dave Marowitz investigates strategies and techniques to ensure your jazz ensemble isn’t hindered by skill disparities emerging between its musicians.
BASIC TRAINING: HELPING STUDENTS FIND THEIR VOICE AS A COMPOSER 28
Contributor Ezra Weiss discusses the delicate art of guiding students through their early years of composing toward a knowledgeable, open-minded, and original start to a lifetime of writing.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: “BECOME WHO YOU ARE” 32
Still going strong after a lifetime on jazz’s front lines with Miles Davis, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti, Wayne Shorter, and more, guitarist John McLaughlin talks to JAZZed about his experiences as a young student, a seasoned mentor, and tireless musical explorer.
GUEST EDITORIAL: JAZZ REVOLUTION VS. RADIO STATION SLASHING JAZZ 40 Esteemed jazz journalist Nat Hentoff reports on the recent clashes between Boston jazz activists and the local radio stations who’ve nixed the music from their programming.
SOUND ADVICE FOR THE JAZZ VOCALIST: AN INTERVIEW WITH KIM NAZARIAN OF NEW YORK VOICES 44 FOCUS SESSION: JIMMY RANEY’S SOLO ON “DOUBLE IMAGE” 48
Scott Mercer provides an in-depth study of Raney’s classic solo from 1954, mixing smiple motivic development with complex (almost dangerous!) lines.
SURVEY: JAZZ EDUCATION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS 51 ™
A recent survey polls over 150 instructors and faculty members at university and college jazz programs on everything from early skill development to enrollment trends.
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Volume 7, Number 5 GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel email@example.com Editorial Staff EDITOR Christian Wissmuller firstname.lastname@example.org
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Eliahu Sussman email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Matt Parish firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers Chaim Burstein, Dennis Carver, Kevin Mitchell, Dick Weissman Art Staff PRODUCTION MANAGER Laurie Guptill email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew P. Ross firstname.lastname@example.org GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laurie Chesna email@example.com
departments PUBLISHER’S LETTER 4 NOTEWORTHY 6 NATALIE CRESSMAN: WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST? 10 JAZZ EDUCATION NETWORK SECTION 20 • PRESIDENT’S LETTER • JEN'S NEW LOOK • JENERATIONS JAZZ FESTIVAL • 2013 CONFERENCE EVENING CONCERTS • TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL JAZZ PROGRAM • NEWS
HOT WAX 55 JAZZ FORUM 52 CROSSWORD 54 GEARCHECK 56 CD SHOWCASE 59
CLINICIANS CORNER 59 CLASSIFIEDS 61 AD INDEX 63 BACKBEAT: "UNCLE" LIONEL BATISTE 64
Cover photograph Sigi Baramsky. JAZZed™ is published six times annually by Symphony Publishing, LLC, 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494, (781) 453-9310. Publisher of Choral Director, School Band and Orchestra, Music Parents America, and Musical Merchandise Review. Subscription rates $30 one year; $60 two years. Rates outside U.S. available upon request. Single issues $5. Resource Guide $15. Standard postage paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to JAZZed, 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494. The publishers of this magazine do not accept responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competition. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. © 2012 by Symphony Publishing, LLC. Printed in the U.S.A.
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JAZZed September 2012 3
Revolutions Within the Evolutions
t seems that music has evolved in ways that are who study certain periods of music to become wellsometimes linear, but often with significant revo- known experts, but the students should, perhaps, lutions within the evolutions. There are points in have enough exposure to gain a basic understanding time for all types of music that can be identified as of the various styles that have come before in order the sparks that took music off its steady path into to develop new, breakthrough ideas. Can the creunknown new realms that either gained recognition ativity be taught enough, so that students may come or quickly flamed out of existence. Beethoven and up with their own different style of music? Should Stravinsky shook up the classical world; the Bebop this even be encouraged? After all, being different movement took jazz on a significantly different path; just to be different isn’t always the answer. Our cover story this month is on one and performers like Hendrix, the of the early purveyors of fusion, Beatles, The Ramones, and Nir“Can the student be John McLaughlin, who deftly invana moved pop music off its cenencouraged to go off in tegrated jazz, rock, and forms of tered path. The establishment of radical new directions classical and Indian music with the our educational world tends to be short-lived but historically imporslower moving and usually takes without having a solid tant original Mahavishnu Orchessome time to recognize, absorb, foundation of the past?” tra: He sheds some light on this and then begin teaching music of difficult topic. the “new” genres, composers, and McLaughlin cites his early influences as a dispastyles. This is certainly understandable. It’s not always easy for people who have learned and grown rate variety of sources, including early Mississippi up with certain genres to make the horizontal or blues musicians, Flamenco guitarists, Miles, Colvertical leap to a new form of music and be able to trane, Bill Evans, the Beatles, and so many other historically important figures. He states that he help the younger generation adapt to it. The question that tugs at many of us is how to go “never, ever had the intention of making or creatabout imparting the knowledge of past styles while ing ‘fusion’ jazz,” but it appears that the happenings still encouraging and engaging students on not only of the world at the time, the “upheaval in society,” the cutting-edge styles, but also on how to go about and the coming together of various influences lead considering ideas that have yet to happen? Can the him to develop his style. Beyond reviewing the past, student be encouraged to go off in radical new di- students should be encouraged to open their eyes to rections without having a solid foundation of the what is happening in the world around them and past? And, if they need a foundation, how far back consider it, and allow it to seep into their musical and deep should it go? There are musical scholars ideas…
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Festival of New Trumpet Music Celebrates 10th Anniversary
he Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music), directed by Dave Douglas, is presenting its 10th Anniversary Festival this fall throughout September and October. The festival is a “multi-genre, multi-venue celebration of new trumpet music by the instrument’s most creative musicians.” “For our tenth festival we decided to go back to the full month model,” said Douglas. “It’s a blowout of creative music that spans generations and genres that is our biggest festival since the early days when we had a residency at Tonic. We’re book-ending the festival with two great free events: Stephanie Richards’ Rotations Rotations and Claudio Roditi with the West Point Jazz Knights.” The festival also includes newly-commissioned work from pioneers like Charles Tolliver, Tom Harrell, and Jack Walrath, as well as music from emerging talents like Adam O’Farrill, Alicia Rau, Bruce Harris, and Douglas Detrick. Douglas will also be presenting his own new project, which will feature singer Aoife O’Donovan. The festival is taking place throughout New York City, including performances at the Jazz Gallery, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Village Zendo, Smalls Jazz Club, Rockwood Music Hall.
Font Music director Dave Douglas.
30 Years of Jazz at the Manhattan School of Music The Manhattan School of Music will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the creation of its jazz program during the 201213 season. In the 1940s and ‘50s, when jazz innovators such as drummer Max Roach, and pianist/composer John Lewis, were already creative forces in bop and post-bop jazz, they were students at Manhattan School of Music. In those years, long before MSM had a jazz department, or the internationally recogTrumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and drummer Obed Calvaire at a 2003 concert for the Manhattan School of Music.
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nized Jazz Arts Program, the school had the resources, faculty and atmosphere conducive to educating “the complete musician.” It was in the fall of 1982 that Manhattan School of Music became one of the first conservatories in the United States to acknowledge the prime importance of jazz as an art form by creating a jazz/commercial music department, which first offered courses toward a master of music degree in 1984. The awards and accomplishments of the MSM Jazz Community is long and growing. Its members include NEA Jazz Masters like Roach, Lewis, Joe Wilder and Yusef Lateef, as well as MacArthur Fellows like Miguel Zenon and Jason Moran. Many concerts are being planned to celebrate MSM’s Jazz Arts 30th Anniversary Festival. Highlights include performances by the MSM Concert Jazz Band, the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, and performances of masterpieces like Oliver Nelson’s Blues and the Abstract Truth and Miles Davis’ Miles Ahead.
noteworthy NEA Announces 2013 NEA Jazz Masters The National Endowment for the Arts recently added four new names to the list of legendary jazz
Newly announced NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson.
figures with the announcement of the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters. Like the 124 honorees who came before them, these four individuals are recognized for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the development and performance of jazz. They will each receive a one-time award of $25,000. The 2013 NEA Jazz Masters are Mose Allison (pianist, vocalist, composer), Lou Donaldson (saxophonist), Lorraine Gordon (jazz club owner), and Eddie Palmieri (pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer). Lorraine Gordon is the recipient of the 2013 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz. Full profiles of the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters are located on the NEA’s website (www.nea.gov).
Berklee Names Steve Bailey New Bass Chair
Berklee College of Music recently announced that Steve Bailey has been named chair of the college’s Bass Department. Bailey, six-string fretless bass pioneer, educator, and author, began his tenure this summer. He succeeds Rich Appleman, who retired in May 2012 after holding the position for 40 years. A partial list of Bailey’s extensive recording and performance credits include Paquito D’Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, Victor Wooten, Claudio Roditti, the Rippingtons, Bassist and jazz educator Steve Bailey. David Benoit, Jethro Tull, Willie Nelson, and Mel Torme. Bailey brings to Berklee over 25 years of teaching experience, with faculty appointments at Musicians Institute, UNC Wilmington, and Coastal Carolina University. He is the author of six books and instructional DVDs on bass performance, and is an indemand clinician and performer. He holds a B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami, with additional study at the University of North Texas. Bailey was twice recognized as runner-up Bass Player of the Year by Bass Player Magazine, and is co-founder of Bass Extremes, a collaboration with Victor Wooten. www.berklee.edu
Montreal Jazz Festival
The 33rd annual Festival de Jazz de Montreal once again treated over two million people to an extraordinary show of jazz, folk, blues, world music, and several other genres. The Festival, which took place from June 28 to July 7, featured 10 outdoor stages where concert gatherers could enjoy a variety of music as well as state of the art theatres including the Maison Lady Linn and her Magnificent Seven at the Symphonique Montreal and Salle Wi- Montreal Jazz Fest. Credit: Frédérique Ménardfrid-Pelletier. Jazz legends like Stanley Aubin. Clark, Ron Carter and John Schofield performed on bills with singing stars like Liza Minnelli and James Taylor, while numerous upstart groups made the Festival perhaps the singular largest musical event in the world. A new chapter opened this summer as some of Miles Davis’ old brothers in arms assembled as the “Miles Smiles” collective and put on an extraordinary show which featured Wallace Roney on trumpet, saxophonist Bill Evans, bassist Darryl Jones, keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, guitarist Larry Coryell, and drummer Omar Hakim. www.montrealjazzfest.com
LA Jazz Society Names Wayne Shorter Jazz Tribute Honoree The Los Angeles Jazz Society’s (LAJS) 29th Annual Jazz Tribute Awards Dinner & Concert is set for this October at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, where Wayne Shorter will be the 2012 Jazz Tribute Honoree. Leonard Maltin will host the eve-
JAZZed September 2012 7
noteworthy ning’s festivities and Herbie Hancock is this year’s Honorary Chair. LAJS’ 2012 Jazz Tribute awardees include Lifetime Achievement Award recipient John Pisano, Lifetime Composer/Arranger Award recipient Gordon Goodwin, Jazz Vocalist Award recipient Denise Donatelli, David L. Abell Angel Award recipient Jim
Barrall, Jazz Educator Award recipients Roger Neumann and Scott Whitfield, Teri Merrill-Aarons Founder Award recipient Terence Love, and Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award recipient Jamael Dana Dean. The Jazz Tribute also includes special guests, Jeff Hamilton, Larry Hathaway and Barbara Morrison. www.LAJazz.org
Marvin Hamlisch Dies Well-known composer and pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch recently
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What’s on Your Playlist? By the time she graduated from high school, trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman had already performed alongside luminaries such as Miguel Zenon, Joe Lovano, Ambrose Akinmusire, Eric Harland, Josh Roseman, and Carlos Santana. Since moving from her native San Francisco to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, Cressman has delved heavily into the world of composition, in addition to performing widely throughout the city with bands including Nicolas Payton’s Television Symphony Orchestra and Peter Apfelbaum and the New York Hieroglyphics Ensemble. In 2010, Phish’s Trey Anastasio invited Cressman to be part of his seven-piece rock band, TAB, with which she’s been playing sold–out shows in major venues. In May of 2012, she was a featured soloist at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in Wycliffe Gordon’s Jazz A La Carte. Sharing the stage with the likes of Savion Glover and Maurice Hines, Cressman was dubbed “the future of jazz” by Gordon, her mentor and host of the evening. On top of all that, she’s formed her own band, Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden. Unfolding, her debut CD as a leader, captures the 20-yearold’s rapidly blossoming sensibility, a sound shaped by her love of Cuban, Brazilian and West African music, indie rock, funk, and the post–bop continuum.
1. Sarah Vaughan With Clifford Brown – Sarah Vaughan & Clifford Brown Sarah Vaughan was one of the first great jazz singers I truly fell in love with, and this album is one of my favorites. When I was little, I sang along with “Lullaby of Birdland” on repeat, trying to mimic her incredible phrasing and attempting to emulate her rich, dark tone. Her finesse in her improvising was also something that particularly inspired me on this album. Adding the elegant voice of Clifford Brown on trumpet makes this one of my favorite Sarah albums. Another one of my favorite tracks is the obscure and heart-wrenching ballad, “Jim.” 2. Free For All – Frank Rosolino Frank Rosolino is one of my all-time favorite trombonists, and I literally wore out this CD with repeated listening in high school. Frank’s vibrant, effervescent voice really comes through on this 1958 release, which also features tenor saxophonist Harold Land and Victor Feldman on piano. His rendition of “Stardust” taught me volumes about how to interpret ballads, and his rhythmic pocket on “Don’t Take Your Love From Me” was so captivating that I transcribed it and used to play along with him over and over.
3. Turbulent Indigo – Joni Mitchell It was incredibly hard to pick just one of Joni’s albums to put on my playlist because there are so many that I feel make up a significant part of my musical DNA. She is possibly one of my biggest influences as a vocalist and songwriter. But it’s Wayne Shorter’s interaction with Joni’s lyrics that really struck me about this album. On “Sunny Sunday,” Shorter’s interjections are literally evoking the words of the song. His sensitivity and unbelievable depth, demonstrated here in such a unique musical setting, makes him stand out to me as one of my favorite musical minds. 4. III – Walter Smith III This album contains some of my favorite modern jazz musicians/composers. I was first exposed to Walter Smith III through Ambrose Akinmusire’s release, Prelude to Cora (another one of my favorites), and this album features Ambrose along with Jason Moran, Joe Sanders, Eric Harland, and Logan Richardson, one of my favorite modern alto players in NYC. Every single musician on this release is stellar, and they deftly bring out the best qualities in each other’s playing. I love the lyrical nature of some songs, the subtlety of “Aubade” contrasting with the more brazen “Highschoolish” and “Himorme.”
Natalie Cressman’s latest album, Unfolding, was released on August 14, 2012. www.nataliecressman.com. 10 JAZZed September 2012
LEGENDS. ÂŠ2012 Avedis Zildjian Company
Roy Haynes & Terri Lyne Carrington
5. GroundUp – Snarky Puppy Snarky Puppy has been together for a while and they’ve been, in my opinion, largely underappreciated up until this most recent release. I am consistently impressed by their ability to make even the most complex, instrumental music danceable and appealing to non-jazz listeners. Their incorporation of more popular music styles and grooves with jazz is something that I do with my band, and bringing jazz to a broader audience is something that I care about as well. If you haven’t seen a live Snarky Puppy show, I strongly urge you to check them out. They are an incredible band. 6. Weightless – Becca Stevens This album is certainly one that has changed the way I write. She has a unique compositional voice, and her soft-spoken, earnest delivery really resonated with me. She writes beautiful lyrics and, coupled with her song’s great harmonic content and detailed textures,
I feel there is a great balance of honest simplicity along with musical complexity and nuance. I keep coming back to this album from time to time, which is why I attest to her greatness as a composer/ vocalist/bandleader. 7. How Bright A Shadow! – In One Wind I was first introduced to the group through my friend Steven Lugerner, who plays various woodwinds on How Bright A Shadow! It skillfully synthesizes so many different genres that the result is uniquely beautiful music. I love their graceful melodies and three-part harmony, but the contrasts on the album in terms of texture, groove, form, and harmony, are particularly brilliant. They are one of my favorite young bands, definitely a group of musicians to watch. 8. Signs of Life – Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble I remember going to see Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics live and
spending the entire set with butterflies in my stomach. Something about the profoundness of his melodies and the deeply grounded African rhythms was so exciting. I remember leaving the concert and thinking, “I want to spend my life playing music like that.” Since moving to NYC, I have joined the NY Hieroglyphics Ensemble, and it is one of my favorite groups to play with. Peter has acted as a great musical mentor to me over the years, and each time I play with him I’m struck by how soulful he is. 9. Personalities – Fabian Almazan Fabian is one of my favorite pianists. I first heard him when attending a performance of Terence Blanchard’s band, but I love his solo debut for its graceful lyricism. I love how he meshes his Cuban background with jazz and classical music. This release is definitely on the cutting edge of where creative music is going. His sound of a piano trio plus a string quartet is great: it gives such fullness to his pieces. The rhythm section of Fabian, Henry Cole and Linda Oh is a serious combination of some really inspiring players who have gained recognition for their unique voices in jazz today. 10. In Pursuit – Donny McCaslin I’m a huge fan of Donny McCaslin: he is one of my favorite tenor players today. I love this album particularly because of its incorporation of Afro–Caribbean rhythms within the aesthetic of modern jazz. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, my first professional gigs consisted largely of salsa, Latin jazz, and Brazilian music, so this album really spoke to me and encouraged me to let those influences seep into my own writing.
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ENSEMBLE PLAYING & JAZZ SOLOISTS
Closing the Quality Gap ENSEMBLE PLAYING AND JAZZ SOLOISTS IN THE SCHOOL ENSEMBLE
BY DAVE MAROWITZ
stute jazz ensemble directors are always looking for ways to upgrade the performing ability and musicianship of their jazz ensembles. This article addresses a vitally important and often-neglected aspect of jazz ensemble performing that is characteristic of professional and outstanding student bands, and is essential to truly effective performance. The Quality Gap It is not uncommon among school jazz ensembles today to find a disparity between the quality of ensemble playing and the quality of improvised solos. More often than not, the improvised solos are the weaker of the two elements, so this article will proceed from that point of view. Skillful ensemble playing juxtaposed to improvised solos that are relatively inferior in quality pose a problem of inconsistency and a lack of integrity in a band’s overall sound and effectiveness. Imagine a chic, upscale men’s suit worn with a bargain-basement tie. Not only does the tie detract from the visual effect produced by the elegance of the suit, but also it actually attracts attention to itself. In essence, the tie takes center stage and steals the spotlight from the suit! Likewise, superior ensemble playing does not cover up for inferior improvised solos and neither is the reverse true. In fact, the stronger of the two can actually highlight the weaker state of the other. In terms of quality, ensemble passages and improvised solos should be evenly matched, and transitions between them should be seamless. Jazz ensemble directors should assess this aspect of their jazz ensemble’s overall performance and if necessary, address it.
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Why the Gap? What could engender a quality gap between ensemble playing and improvised solo sections of jazz ensemble performances? Most commonly, it is that the ensemble’s soloists and rhythm sections do not receive adequate instruction and training in improvisation, while the ensemble gets the lion’s share of instructional and rehearsal attention. I was once a member of a nationally recognized college jazz band whose ensemble playing was admirable, but the caliber of the improvised solos did not measure up to that of the ensemble playing. The director was a brilliant jazz composer and rehearsed his ensemble well, but he left his jazz soloists to fend for themselves. They received no training in jazz improvisation neither did they practice or ‘jam’ with the rhythm section independently from the full ensemble rehearsal. If the director had ensured that his soloists got proper instruction and training, the band, as good as it was, would have ascended to yet another level. Since improvisation is the lifeblood of jazz music, improvised solos should be a highlighted and anticipated aspect of any jazz ensemble performance. This demands excellence on the part of improvisers and rhythm sections. Excellence here is not synonymous with complexity, but it does demand sound musical taste and listening skills, a good sense of timekeeping and style, sensitive soloist/rhythm section interaction, and adequate instrumental proficiency and improvising skill. Some students improvise basically by combining the indiscreet ‘throwing of notes in the air’ along with notes that they have found to ‘work’ through experience, in the hope that all will work out. In this survival approach there is usually no musical relationship between the improvised solo and the written arrangement or jazz tune. Others emphasize emotion and expressiveness at the expense of meaningful musical content. Both expression and musical content (melodic, rhythmic,
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and harmonic especially as it relates to the jazz tune and arrangement) are equally important elements in jazz improvisation and should receive equal attention. Then there are those whose method of improvising is largely founded on crowd-pleasing hype techniques (extreme high register playing, fast-for-the-sake-offast notes, loud volume, showmanship, etc.) in an attempt to cover up for the lack of true improvisational skill, musicianship, and taste. Motivated students can learn to improvise skillfully, intelligently, and expressively through instruction and guided practice. They can, in fact, learn principles of improvisation that are not only applicable to jazz, but also will enhance their understanding of and approach to music in general. In addition, rhythm section players need to become proficient in the art of supporting and interacting with soloists, which is quite a different skill set than playing with a large ensemble.
“SINCE IMPROVISATION IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF JAZZ MUSIC, IMPROVISED SOLOS SHOULD BE A HIGHLIGHTED AND ANTICIPATED ASPECT OF ANY JAZZ ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE.”
Closing the Gap with an Adjunct Improvisation Instructor One means of upgrading the improvising ability of student jazz soloists is to have them study privately with qualified jazz musicians/instructors. Another more comprehensive approach is for the jazz ensemble director to enlist an experienced jazz musicians/instructor to serve as adjunct improvisation/ rhythm section instructor. On baseball teams, head coaches maintain oversight of overall team development while assistant coaches are employed to focus and train players on specialized aspects of performance
such as pitching and batting. Since jazz soloists too are specialists, they need specialized instruction and supervised practice in order to effectively grow and mature in their ability as improvisers. For this reason, recruiting an improvisation instructor would be a wise move, especially for directors who are not trained in and experienced in the art and craft of jazz improvisation. The addition of this “assistant coach” can significantly accelerate the overall progress of the ensemble. An improvisation instructor may be recruited either from within one’s school district faculty, or possibly from the surrounding locale or region. Directors may want to request that their P.T.O. or band parent’s organization fund the enlisting of an adjunct improvisation instructor, or perhaps ask the appropriate school administrator to consider earmarking funds from a school activities account to do so.
How the Instructor can Function Effectively A jazz improvisation instructor can meet with a jazz ensemble’s jazz soloists and rhythm section separately from ensemble rehearsals. In another sce-
lessons learned nario, a typical jazz ensemble rehearsal session could consist of a combination of the director working on ensemble playing with the brass and saxophones in one room while the improvisation instructor works with the rhythm section and jazz soloists in another room. This can be followed by a full ensemble rehearsal led by the director with the improvisation instructor observing, taking constructive critical notes on, and coaching the soloists and rhythm section. The job description of an improvisation instructor can include the following:
Closing the Gap through Wise Soloist and Music Selection Choices Another strategy in closing the quality gap between ensemble playing and jazz solos, is to, when necessary, reassign improvised solo sections to
• Instruct and train soloists and the rhythm section in practical principles of improvisation and style. • Instruct and train soloists and rhythm section how to make their improvisations connect musically with the tune and/or written arrangements. • Instruct and train soloists and rhythm section in the expressive elements of jazz improvisation. • Instruct and train soloists and rhythm section in principles of soloist/rhythm section interaction. • Instruct and train the rhythm section in the art of playing with a soloist in contrast to the art of playing with an ensemble. Application of these principles taught should be applied directly to current arrangements that the ensemble is preparing for performance. As students apply and internalize these principles in rehearsals and performances, they will intuitively carry them over and apply them in other and future musical situations. Another resulting benefit from this specialized instruction could be the emerging of a distinct performing jazz combo. This combo, by performing as a separate unit during jazz ensemble performances, could provide a very effective contrast to the large ensemble. They could even maintain an independent performance schedule.
players other than who is designated in any given arrangement. For example, an arrangement that includes a section for a jazz trombone improvised solo could be assigned to a stronger soloist in the band (regardless of instrument), if the trombone play-
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lessons learned ers are not strong improvisers or interested in becoming such. This is especially important when preparing for competitions and performances. Musically, this is consistent with the artistic license and extemporaneous spirit that is inherent in the nature of jazz music and, consequently, is not foreign to the professional music world. In an arrangement that I wrote for Buddy Rich and his Big Band in 1976, I had designated a section where the baritone sax player would improvise. The band recorded the arrangement in that way, but on a later date and different location, for whatever reason, they recorded it again with a tenor sax playing the solo rather than the baritone sax. In general, directors should take care to choose music that is within their soloist’s ability to improvise com-
fortably in the jazz solo sections, just as they would realistically consider their ensemble’s ability to play the written arrangements. Failure to do so could create a quality gap between the ensemble and the soloists.
Maintaining a ‘No-Gap Zone’ through a Feeder System Finally, a longer term and more far reaching strategy for elevating the quality of improvised solos, in the case of high school bands, is to set up a feeder system. This would entail identifying talent in grades prior to high school, and beginning the process of teaching jazz improvisation and rhythm section playing at that grade level. In this way, high school jazz ensembles can count on a steady incoming stream of trained jazz soloists and rhythm sections, by
n o r t h w e s t e r n u n i ve rs i t y
establishing an ongoing method of maintaining and helping to ensure that the quality of ensemble playing and jazz soloists will match.
Conclusion The principles and strategies outlined in this article, if applied, can go a long way in upgrading the quality, integrity, and effectiveness of jazz ensembles, and can catapult their performing prowess to new heights.
Dave Marowitz has worked as an arranger, trombonist, and euphoniumist extensively in the commercial, jazz, and classical fields of music, including with Lionel Hampton as a trombonist and Buddy Rich as a recorded arranger. He has taught music in the public schools since 1977 and is currently doing so in the Toms River (N.J.) regional school district.
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In addition to this 400-seat recital hall, the Bienen School’s new facility will include an opera rehearsal room/black box theater, a choral rehearsal/recital room, teaching studios, practice rooms, classrooms, and administrative offices.
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PRESIDENT’S LETTER A Message from JEN President Andrew Surmani Dear JEN Members, We are close to 100 days out from the 4th Annual JEN Conference and are excited to announce some of the great musicians that will be performing at the Atlanta show. See the following pages for more details. The JEN Board of Directors held our semiannual meeting in early August at the site of our 2013 Conference, the Hyatt Regency Peachtree Center in Atlanta, Georgia. As you know, the Board is comprised of some of the most accomplished and respected thought leaders in jazz education today and I want to share with you some of the highlights of our many plans outlined by the committees that will help us fulfill the mission of JEN. 1. Education Materials/Curriculum: This committee presented many educational resources that we hope to deploy this year and beyond, to enhance member benefits and provide support for jazz education. 2. Finance: We approved the 2012–2013 budget, which will be used to present the annual conference and support our programs. As always, JEN prides itself on its transparency for our members and the financial information is available online for all members. 3. Fundraising & Development: We laid out plans to move forward on fundraising, registered on various grant sites and applied for some grants.
The JEN board at their August meeting in Atlanta.
4. Festival Development: We reviewed and approved plans for the 2013 JENerations Jazz Festival. 5. Marketing: We reviewed a detailed marketing plan and budget for this year that will allow us to communicate new developments with our existing membership, as well as reach new audiences. We are delighted to launch a brand-new look for the JEN website and streamlined communication to JEN members. 6. Mentoring: We evaluated the first year of this great program, which provides mentorship to young musicians from industry professionals, and are happy to be continuing it with improvements in the upcoming year. 7. Outreach: We solidified a plan to expand the Outreach Program beyond the annual conference. 8. Strategic Planning: We began the first draft of a JEN Strategic Plan, a vital and important document that we hope to complete and release some time next year. 9. 2013 Conference: We explored the beautiful Hyatt Regency Peachtree Center that will host our 2013 convention and are thrilled to welcome you there next January. As always, thank you for being part of JEN. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta. Together, we can serve the beautiful art form that is jazz! Sincerely,
Andrew Surmani | JEN President JEN Board of Directors (2012–13): Rubén Alvarez, Paul Bangser, Bob Breithaupt, Caleb Chapman, John Clayton (Vice President), José Diaz, Dr. Lou Fischer (Immediate Past President), Dr. Darla Hanley, Dr. Monika Herzig (Secretary), Judy Humenick, Willard Jenkins, Rick Kessel (Treasurer), Mary Jo Papich (Past President), Bob Sinicrope (President-Elect), Andrew Surmani (President). Office Manager: Larry Green; Webmaster: Gene Perla; Marketing & Communications: Marina Terteryan; Web Hosting: AudioWorks Group, Ltd./JazzCorner.com
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JENâ€™S NEW LOOK JEN is Proud to Debut an Updated Logo and the NEW JazzEdNet.org
View organization info about JEN Apply for scholarships and awards
View detailed conference info Purchase or renew membership
Updated logo for strong brand recognition
Hear JEN member recordings Download logos and assets to help promote JEN
JAZZed September 2012 21
JENERATIONS JAZZ FESTIVAL Develop Your Ensemble at Our Unique Event JEN is extremely excited to present the JENerations Jazz Festival at the 2013 Conference. Piloted at last year’s conference, the event received rave reviews and excitement from all participants. Open to big bands, vocal groups, and combos, the JENerations Jazz Festival is unique because it truly focuses on students and directors experiencing jazz, performance, and mentorship in an innovative and educational format. The festival features: • A non-competitive format designed to encourage groups of all levels, including new groups and directors, to participate. • The perfect scenario to challenge accomplished groups to perform more difficult music without the pressure of only letting the best players improvise to highlight the group. • A performance format that includes a 10-minute setup/warm-up, 30-minute performance, and a 30-minute clinic. • World-class clinicians.
• Big Bands: Ray Smith from Brigham Young University
• Vocal Groups: Connaitre Miller from Howard University
• Combos: Jeff Coffin, three-time Grammy-Award-winning saxophonist from the Dave Matthews Band and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones • An additional surprise celebrity clinician, who will offer encouragement and feedback. • Full conference access for all group members. JEN is about music education and developing a culture of jazz music through nurturing and mentoring young musicians, teachers, and seasoned professionals. The JENerations Jazz Festival is a wonderful opportunity for student jazz groups of all skill levels and ages. Playing for and receiving focused attention from fantastic clinicians in a friendly and supportive environment is a unique experience not to be missed. Come join us and have an amazing time experiencing America’s musical gift to the world—JAZZ! 22 JAZZed September 2012
How to Have a Winning Jazz Festival Experience (Part 1: Musical Preparation) By Caleb Chapman
Maximizing ensemble growth at a jazz festival involves so much more than just rehearsing music! This article is the first in a two-part series that will help you create the best possible festival experience for you and your students. Showcase the Strengths of the Ensemble A great director will be very sure of the particular strengths and weaknesses of the ensemble. If you are a big band director you might ask yourself questions like: What is the range of your lead trumpet? Who are the soloists you would like to feature? Do you have a strong bass trombone? Directors of combos and vocal ensembles need to take stock in a similar manner. These questions and others need to be answered before the music selection process can begin. Once you have the answers, make an outline of characteristics the music should have. Knowing that information will make your music selection process much easier and more effective. You also should be aware of your ensemble’s weaknesses and work to avoid them. If, for example, you have an inexperienced bass player accompanying your vocal ensemble, a chart with an up-tempo double time section may not be a good choice.
JENERATIONS JAZZ FESTIVAL
Choose Music at the Right Level of Difficulty Resist the urge to attend a new music reading session, hear some exciting, very challenging charts, and then try to push them on your ensemble without thought for their ability level. There is a real difference between challenging your ensemble with music that is a bit of a stretch and setting them up for failure with charts that are simply out of reach at their ability level.
similar to the style of Neal Hefti’s “Li’l Darlin’” (as compared to a straight-eighth note feel). These are challenging for inexperienced musicians and provide a great vehicle for growth.
expect to see no more than 20–25 musicians on stage. More importantly, without limiting the number of musicians your students are not getting the unique experience of playing in a big band.
Another substitution worth considering is replacing the rock/ funk chart with a Latin chart or
Listen! Listen! Listen!
Finally, once you have selected your program its time to start listening to recordings of those charts (if available) and other great recordings in a similar style. Compile a list of these Too many directors fall and distribute it to into the thinking that students early in the simply because a chart is year. Design assigndifficult, it is automatiments that require cally better than easier focused listening. arrangements. This is This is a fantastic certainly not the case! opportunity to There is fantastic music improve your festival available at every ability Caleb Chapman’s groups have won numerous awards and set, expose the level. As a director, you performed in venues of all sizes. They will be performing in students to new Carnegie Hall next Spring. need to make an investartists, and grow ment of time to find the their listening library. best fit for your students. Take time other world music style (Celtic, This advice isn’t just for the to study the many demo recordings Reggae, Calypso, etc). For vocal ensembles this may mean tackling students. Just as you expect your that publishers release each year on a different language. This will this students to master intonation, CD and online. Also, utilize push the ensemble musically and dynamics, articulation, and style resources like online bulletin provide opportunities to explore on their individual instrument, a boards, social media, and blogs to other cultures! director needs to be able to do the get recommendations from other same at the ensemble level. This directors, educators, and musicians. For Big Bands, One to a Part! will only happen if you diligently As educators, we are naturally listen to the music! Demonstrate a Wide Range inclined to allow as many students of Styles Learn more about Performance as possible to participate in ensemPreparation and Educational Most festivals allow time for three bles. That means we often find our- Preparation in the upcoming issues. selections. With that in mind, selves with too many saxophones, the traditional formula for trumpets, or maybe guitars. Caleb Chapman is a saxophonist, programming is as follows: • A medium or up-tempo swing • A ballad, and • A rock, pop, or funk chart You may also consider replacing the ballad with a slow swing chart
It is important to remember that big band music is designed to have one player per part for proper balance. If you feel the need, let the players all be involved for home concerts. However, at festivals adjudicators
educator, author, and JEN Board Member currently residing in Utah. In 2011, he was named the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year.
JAZZed September 2012 23
2013 CONFERENCE EVENING CONCERTS JEN Announces the Spectacular Evening Concert Lineup at the 2013 Conference WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra
Freddy Cole Quartet
Emory Faculty Jazz Quintet Rufus Reidâ€™s Quiet Pride
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3 Christian Howes Group
Bria Skonberg Ensemble
Kris Berg & The Metroplexity Big Band with Chris Vadala, Wayne Bergeron, and Clay Jenkins
Booker T. Washington HSPVA Jazz Combo I
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2013 CONFERENCE EVENING CONCERTS
Berklee Global Jazz Institute with Joe Lovano
FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble with Wycliffe Gordon
Central Washington University VJE
The University of Manitoba Northern Alternative Jazz Faculty Ensemble featuring Steve & Anna-Lisa Kirby & Derrick Gardner
Kobie Watkins Group with Bobby Broom
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5
University of Miami Frost Concert Jazz Band featuring NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman
Karachacha featuring Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón
University of North Texas Jazz Singers
For more information about these artists, visit JazzEdNet.org. Artists and programming subject to change.
JAZZed September 2012 25
NEWS New Conference Sponsors JEN welcomes the following sponsors of the 2013 Conference. There is still time to sponsor additional stages at the event. Visit JazzEdNet.org for more information. Berklee College of Music is sponsoring the Visions Stage.
Emory University is sponsoring the Conservatory Stage.
New Dates & Locations Announced for Future Conferences January 2–5, 2013 Hyatt Regency Atlanta, GA
January 8–11, 2014 Hyatt Regency Dallas, TX
January 7–10, 2015
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, CA
January 6–9, 2016 Galt House Louisville, KY Jupiter, Mapex, and XO are sponsoring the LeJENds Stage.
New Member Benefit Added
January 4–7, 2017 Hyatt Regency New Orleans, LA
JEN members will be able to sell their music and merchandise commission-free at the onsite 2013 Conference JENeral store. Artists keep all their revenue and will expose their music to the thousands of attendees at the event!
Connect with Us Online Join JEN’s social media community of teachers, artists, industry professionals, and more!
LinkedIN Group: Jazz Education Network
26 JAZZed September 2012
Networking the Jazz Arts Community …
… Local to Global! ATTEND OUR
4TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
JAN 2–5, 2013 ATLANTA, GA DIRECTORS Z Submit your group to the
JENerations Jazz Festival. Deadline: September 30, 2012
STUDENTS Z Apply for one of our many educational, composition, and design scholarships. Deadline: September 30, 2012
VOLUNTEERS Z Apply online now (first-come, first-served). Deadline: December 15, 2012
Become a member and register for the conference today at JazzEdNet.org
Helping Students Find Their Voice as a Composer
BY EZRA WEISS
hen I was a student at the Oberlin Conservatory, I had the privilege of studying composition with the now late Dr. Wendell Logan. Even though Dr. Logan was a great composer, he did not try to make me (or any of his students) into a clone of himself. Rather, he helped me find my own voice as a composer. To me, that means having a personal and recognizable compositional sound, and having the skills necessary to craft the desired composition. This guidance from Dr. Logan was one of the greatest gifts I received from any teacher, providing the foundation for my musical career. As I teach composition students today, I strive to help them find their own voices, much as Dr. Logan helped me find mine. My students generally spend their first year writing lead sheets before moving on to writing for jazz combo, then big band, and then studio orchestra and traditional chamber ensembles. This initial emphasis on lead sheets allows us to focus on melody, harmonic motion, and form. These elements provide the foundation of a composition, so they must be strong before we build an arrangement on top of them. Otherwise, we are likely to end up hiding behind big-sounding arrangements that don’t “say” anything. The lead sheets also allow us to write many different types of tunes very quickly. I suggest students attempt to write a tune every day. While actually doing this for an entire year is nearly impossible, the goal is still worthwhile. It helps us develop the habit of always thinking about writing music. It also helps us learn to write without creative inhibitions, as composing becomes not some special event requiring perfection, but rather a simple daily practice like brushing our teeth. Further, it helps us get used to throwing away the 90 percent of our music that is not good (which in turn helps us feel grateful for the 10 percent that is). Most importantly, writing a lead sheet every day allows us to experiment with writing many different types of tunes. Students often find it helpful to keep a list of ways to write tunes. While this list initially may seem creatively limiting,
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basic training our most creative ideas are often born out of these limitations. Here is a sample list: Some Ways to Write Tunes:
1. Sing a melody 2. Feel a groove 3. Come up with the rhythm first, then hear the pitches 4. Based on a musical concept: polytonality, set theory, mixed meter, etc. 5. Inspired by a mood 6. Inspired by a place 7. Inspired by an emotion 8. Programmatic music 9. Use words: text-painting, lyrics 10. Traditional forms: AABA, ABAC, Blues 11. Come up with the chord changes first 12. Bass Line 13. Use a phrase from the “stream of consciousness” exercise (see below) 14. Use elements of music from a different culture 15. Write for a specific performance space (concert hall, night club, football game, Broadway show, circus, recording studio, etc.) 16. Write with someone else’s band in mind 17. Imitate someone else’s style 18. Ask yourself, “What do I want to hear?” 19. Ask yourself, “What do I want to say?” 20. Ask yourself, “What do I want to play?” As students seek inspiration for new tunes, they may also find it useful to keep a notebook filled with other lists: 1. Musical ideas: melodic phrases, rhythms, chord progressions, etc. 2. List of words to look at while composing: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, space, range, color, timbre, structure, form, etc. 3. Listening log: include title, composer, performers, year, personal observations about the piece.
4. List of “Moving Musical Moments”: specific points in a piece of music that the student finds personally moving. These are powerful moments that strike a nerve, give chills, or cause a sudden smile. For me, an example would be “The Beatles – ‘Golden Slumbers’ (0:32) – drums enter going into the chorus.” 5. List of titles for pieces to write someday In addition to writing tunes, other daily activities can help students find their compositional voice. Taking a few minutes each day for free improvisation can help us to find new sounds for our creations. Similarly, we can also practice a “stream of consciousness” composition exercise, where we write spontaneous musical phrase after phrase for about 10 minutes, filling several pages of staff paper. This exercise both leads us to new musical ideas and helps us to hear which direction the music wants to go. Studying the works of other composers also plays an important role in a student’s development. Listening to music
will likely occupy several hours each day, probably the equivalent of time spent practicing an instrument. That said, this is not about the quantity of pieces heard. Rather, we are listening to find pieces that move us, and then to get to know those pieces as intimately as possible. (For instance, I listened to Joni Mitchell’s Travelogue every day for a year.) We will probably end up listening to a single piece multiple times, taking notes on the compositional elements: structure and form, melodic and rhythmic development, harmonic motion, counterpoint, and orchestration. Students may also choose to study musical scores and fake books (available at most music libraries). When examining music, students ideally will first make discoveries for themselves before seeking analysis by others. This initial individual thoughtfulness will help foster the student’s unique compositional voice. Of course, reading books about music is also essential to obtaining necessary compositional skills. For example, Rayburn Wright’s Inside the Score and Samuel Adler’s The Study of Orchestration make ex-
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basic training cellent reading for any composer. As we help students to find their compositional voice, certain practical tips will prove invaluable: 1. Go for walks. Get out of the practice room and walk around somewhere that inspires the music in your head. Once you hear it in your head, then you can go back to the practice room, figure out what it is, and write it down. As Wendell Logan often said, “Music is not about music.” 2. Don’t push the music around. Rather than trying to force the music to fit our preconceptions, we will find much more success in trying to hear what direction the music wants to go. 3. Take risks. You will either discover a new musical possibility, or you will learn of something to avoid in
the future. Either way, trial and error is a valid approach to composition and learning. 4. Set specific goals with deadlines. Composition requires time, and time management skills will help give you that. 5. Have lots of staff paper handy. As you throw away 90 percent of your writing, you do not want to be worrying about running out of paper. Think bulk quantities. Finally, we as teachers can directly help students find their own compositional voice by asking what they think about their music. Ideally, we want our questions to help students steer themselves towards stronger writing. This means that we must pinpoint the specific aspects of a composition that need more attention, and focus our questions on those aspects. As we
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listen to their responses, we generally want to follow up with objective questions, such as: -“What effect does this have?” -“Is that the effect you were hoping to create?” -“How could we create more tension/surprise/continuity/etc.?” We want to avoid telling the student what we personally like or dislike about their piece, as the focus for the student should not be in gaining our approval. Instead, we can talk about a student’s piece in terms of “effectiveness.” (Similarly, we want to avoid the temptation to write the student’s pieces for them, although the occasional compositional example can prove useful.) By seeking students’ thoughts, we directly help them find their compositional voice. As I look back to my time as a music student, I am filled with gratitude for the help Dr. Logan gave me in finding my voice as a composer. My voice has evolved and changed in the years since that time, but the foundation for my approach to composition was laid then. In fact, I often still hear Dr. Logan’s voice in my head, asking me questions while I compose, and reminding me that “music is not about music.” Thinking of him, I feel honored and inspired to continue this tradition, and to help my own students in the search for their voices.
Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Queens Photo by Vanished College. His recordings Twin. include The Five A.M. Strut, Persephone, Get Happy, The Shirley Horn Suite, and most recently Our Path To This Moment featuring Greg Gisbert and the Rob Scheps Big Band. He has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times, and currently teaches at Portland State University. www.ezraweiss.com
There is still room for your group!
Crescent City Jazz Festival March 13-16, 2013 - New Orleans
s (IGH 3CHOOL 5NIVERSITY AND #OMMUNITY *AZZ %NSEMBLES s 6OCAL AND )NSTRUMENTAL *AZZ %NSEMBLES s 4HREE AND &OUR .IGHT 0ACKAGES s 'ROUPS 3TAY AT 4HE (ILTON .EW /RLEANS3T #HARLES !VENUE (OTEL s #LINICIANS )NCLUDE 4ERELL 3TAFFORD 4ONY $AGRADI 3UNNY 7ILKINSON AND $OREEN +ETCHENS s 3ELECTED %NSEMBLES 0ERFORM 7ITH *AZZ 0ROFESSIONALS !S 3OLOISTS s $INNER #RUISE !BOARD 4HE 3TEAMSHIP .ATCHEZ s #LINIC 0ERFORMANCES /N 4HURSDAY &RIDAY AND 3ATURDAY s 0UBLIC 0ERFORMANCES )N 4HE &RENCH 1UARTER /N &RIDAY 3ATURDAY AND 3UNDAY s !TTEND A 3PECIAL 0ERFORMANCE AT 0RESERVATION (ALL s !WARDS &OR /UTSTANDING 3OLOISTS s 3OUVENIR 4 3HIRTS AND $IRECTORS 'IFT s *AZZ %DUCATION .ETWORK %NDORSED s -ARY *O 0APICH 3ERVES AS !RTISTIC $IRECTOR s 0ROFESSIONALLY -ASTERED #$ OF #LINIC 0ERFORMANCE
Three Night Package March 13-16, 14-17, or 15-18 )NCLUDES #LINIC 0ERFORMANCE 0LUS /NE 0UBLIC 0ERFORMANCE
0ER 0ERSON 1UAD /CCUPANCY 0ER 0ERSON 4RIPLE /CCUPANCY 0ER 0ERSON $OUBLE OCCUPANCY 0ER 0ERSON 3INGLE /CCUPANCY
Four Night Package March 13-17 or 14-18