Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jazz Night at Lu's Cafe

This Thursday, September 6th, marks the return of jazz to Lu’s Café in UConn’s Family Studies building. Each Thursday throughout the Fall 2012 semester, live music will be performed in the form of a jazz jam session. Music begins at 8:00pm; it ends at 11:00pm. Coffee, espresso and pastries will be available.

jazz night

I see this weekly jam session as crucial for the musical development of my students. It will give them the opportunity to apply to the bandstand what they have learned in the classroom. They can try out their skills, as well as challenge and push one another.

Students are required to memorize the standard jazz repertoire, as I am stipulating that reading of music in this setting is not allowed. To play a song, it must be memorized. For starters we will draw upon the list of 12 required tunes for the sophomore jazz jury:

· All The Things You Are
· Alone Together
· Anthropology
· Billie’s Bounce
· Body and Soul
· Maiden Voyage
· Out of Nowhere
· Recordamé 
· Solar
· Someday My Prince Will Come
· Stella By Starlight
· What Is This Thing Called Love

Each week I will be adding one new tune to the list which will be played regularly thereafter. Here’s the schedule:

Sept 6: Four
Sept. 13: Pent-Up House
Sept. 20: Broadway
Sept. 27: Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
Oct. 4: 26-2 and Countdown
Oct. 11: Darn That Dream
Oct. 18: What’s New
Oct. 25: Chelsea Bridge
Nov. 1: Moment’s Notice
Nov. 8: Milestones (bebop head)
Nov. 15: Unit Seven
Nov. 29: UMMG (Upper Manhattan Medical Group)
Dec. 6: Windows

I will lead the sessions from either the piano or drum set. In addition to benefiting my students, this jam session will certainly assist me in keeping my chops sharp. There is a nice Yamaha upright piano and a drum set at the venue, so schlepping will be kept to a minimum. Plus, it will be nice to play on my home turf, rather than having to drive 40 minutes to Hartford.

Another favorable outcome to this weekly jam session is the social aspect. For students and faculty, it will be nice to have a place to hang out on Thursday evenings, where we can all interact on a more casual level. This should help in building a sense of community. I hope you will join us!

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