I've been a way for a few weeks. Meanwhile, lots of new things are happening in JazzWorks Land. Here’s some catching up:
New role for Judy
After being instrumental in the founding of JazzWorks and serving for almost two decades as president and chair of the board, Judy Humenick is taking on a new role as executive director/producer. Stepping down from the board, Judy will, in her executive capacity, bring a new dimension to the organization, helping it to raise its profile, diversify its activities and find new sources of funding.
Reporting to the board, Judy will work with Artistic Director John Geggie and Administrator Anna Frlan. Anyone who has been close to the organization in recent years knows that the climate we operate in has changed in many ways, posing new challenges as well as opportunities. There is greater competition, new camps both locally and internationally, and an always shifting grant grant environment.
Meanwhile, JazzWorks has broadened into an organization that operates year-round putting on a variety of concerts, workshops and other activities. The new administrative structure is a response both to increased activities and increased challenges.
If you have ideas or suggestions, Judy will want to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ultimate Jazz Combo Workout nears
Last year’s inaugural Ultimate Jazz Combo Workout was successful enough to encourage us to try it again. Elsewhere on this website you can find details and registration information on this year’s workshop, which will be held on Saturday, April 26, during the day. The basic set-up is: a smallish group of participants working with four faculty members, allowing a high degree of hands-on work. This year’s faculty line-up consists of Jim Lewis, trumpet, Kevin Barrett, guitar, Sharada Banman, voice, and Steve Boudreau, piano. John Geggie, artistic director, will be co-ordinating activities.
The participants will be divided into two groups, beginner and advanced, each working with two faculty members. Key to a successful day is advance preparation by the participants. Everybody who registers can download lead sheets for the three tunes his or her group will work on. The hope is that the participants will arrive with a good sense of how the tunes work and perhaps with some informed questions. Limiting the day’s playing to three tunes, means you learn about the tunes — and not only the tunes, but how to deconstruct any tunes.
Plus, it avoids all that “I don’t know: what do you want to play?” that takes up so much time.
If it all sounds like work, well, it’s a workout. But it’s also fun.
Carrying on at the Carleton
Meanwhile, the twice-monthly schedule of jam sessions continues, co-ordinated by Janet Hofstetter. Next Sunday afternoon, April 6, the band Jammed Fingers hosts, with the following personnel:
Adam Cwinn — sax
Brian Elder — guitar and voice
Chris Newshaus — bass
Mike Hickey — drums
Marylise Chauvette — piano
As always, after the host band begins at 2 p.m., plays its 45-minute set, then the floor is opened up to jammers until 5 p.m. Usually less populated than the Thursday evening events, Sunday jams offer more opportunities to play and a quieter audience.
And, of course, camp
In case you haven’t noticed, registration is open for this year’s JazzWorks summer jazz workshop, which runs from Aug. 21-24, with a two-day add-on, August 19-20, for composers and those who want to spend some time in individual practice before the main camp starts. Those who have been know that the setting, at Lac McDonald in the Laurentians, is gorgeous, the facilities at CAMMAC are first-rate, and the experience is both stimulating and big fun. This year’s faculty is largely set, including the return of vocal instructor Sharada Banman, which should be a popular development. More details will be coming soon.
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About this blog
Tune Up won't be a calendar of events — Ottawa Jazz Happenings takes care of that. But it will discuss events and issues of interest to the JazzWorks community. Journalist, author, trumpet player and a jazz camper since 1999, Charley Gordon is a former vice-president of JazzWorks.