Jazz Ensemble (MPF4250.01)

Jen Allen

This ensemble will perform a wide range of jazz music (a genre that is constantly evolving), with an emphasis on both ensemble playing and improvisation skills. By playing together, students will learn how blues, swing, Latin, and modern music elements have all fueled this music called jazz. Students will also learn how major jazz artists such as Ellington, Monk, Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman and others have approached composition. As a group, we will explore different techniques for playing over chord changes and ways to make improvised solos more interesting, both harmonically and rhythmically. Whether playing a jazz standard, a student composition, or free music, the emphasis will be on listening and on interacting with each other, finding ways to create blend, groove, dynamic contrast, and tension/release.

We will learn some music by ear and other pieces will be read. Students will also be encouraged to bring in arrangements, transcriptions, and compositions, which will be read and developed by the ensemble. Students need to have adequate technique on a musical instrument, be able to read music and have a basic understanding of harmony (chord structures, chord-scales, etc.).

We will also focus heavily on intensive critical listening since listening is the key to playing more authentically. We encourage former students who have taken Jazz Ensemble to consider taking this class again to continue learning, exploring, and developing your instrument and knowledge of improvisation.

Learning Outcomes:
-Work cooperatively

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Audition is required; contact: jenniferallen@bennington.edu. Auditions will be held May 6-10.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M 7:00PM - 8:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every Term

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , Performance , Two Credit