January 18th, 2012 ·

WSO Workshop

In April of 2011, Pearl Django was invited by the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra play a concert with the Orchestra and to lead a Gypsy Jazz workshop at Western Washington University the afternoon before the concert.  Michael Gray, Rick Leppanen and I gave the workshop.  We talked briefly about the history of the genre and then broke the class into smaller groups, arranged by instrument, so we could discuss and demonstrate technique and musical concepts relevant to Gypsy Jazz.  We also worked on a couple of tunes in the small group and after about an hour we brought the whole class back together and everyone played together in one massive combo.  And, yes, that is a bassoon in the near left of the second photo.  In the spirit of jazz, these work shoppers were interested in pushing the boundaries!

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