"Adventures With Jazz" is an enrichment program intended for grades kindergarten through high school. The program is a very dynamic introductory experience as a listener's guide to jazz. The quartet, playing sax, flute, clarinet, acoustic bass, keyboard, and drums, has essential age-appropriate variables concerning choice of music, presentation style, and humor.
There are three distinct shows available, as explained in more detail below. The first, intended for younger audiences, demonstrates the individual instruments' role in the music and explains the improvisational "storytelling" and conversational qualities as well as the emotional personality of the music. The second is a hands-on jazz clinic focusing on improvisation. The group works with the school instrumentalists (at any
proficiency) to help them develop confidence and experience improvisation. Third, dynamic concerts are presented to the older audiences.
In the first show, using compositions by jazz greats, (Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, George Shearing, Theloneus Monk, to name a few) a jazz composition is constructed one instrument at a time; an improvised conversation takes place between two instruments; a familiar melody (a television theme) is developed into a fast dynamic jazz song. Emotion in music is demonstrated and featured in its own songs, with a few surprises. The audience participates in a physical way, either clapping or "skat" singing. This show works well through middle school, again with adjustments to make it age-appropriate. (30-45 minutes)
In the clinics, all instrumentalists are invited to participate, from first-year players to advanced. It is not necessary to have knowledge of scales or music theory, nor are the clinics exclusive to jazz band instruments. (One never knows where a new Stephane Grappelli will surface.) We provide a safe environment for improvisation, allowing the students an opportunity to experiment and discover, and we encourage peers to support their fellow players. This readily promotes a positive sense of self-esteem. Often the students are very surprised at how creative they can be! "Adventures with Jazz" teaches by example, performing for the students to illustrate the concepts that we are endeavoring to explain. If the school has a jazz band, the group works with each section (rhythm section, saxophone section, etc.) on "rhythmic feel," dynamics, ensemble, and soloing, often later including them in a concert for a larger audience of their peers. (Unlimited time frame)
The concerts on the high school level focus primarily on the performance of music, with emphasis on experiencing a jazz program from beginning to end as one would find in an actual concert venue, with only occasional explanation and/or introductions. The program is intense right from the start, commanding the audience's attention. Music of the jazz greats is explored, demonstrating the widely varied content of the jazz idiom. Through this presentation the audience learns that jazz is a current, living art form. (30-60 minutes)
"Adventures With Jazz" is available for fundraising events and concerts. The ensemble is comfortable in any venue, and will present a jazz program suitable to the event.
Harry graduated from New England Conservatory with a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, and is an sssociate professor at Berklee College of Music. Additional studies include clarinet at Ithaca College, architecture at Syracuse University, and film scoring at Berklee College of Music.
As a leader of his own jazz group, Mr. Skoler has performed throughout New England, New York, Tennessee, and Canada, appearing in such venues as The Blue Note in N.Y.C. and the Shenandoah Jazz Festival in West Virginia, to name a few. Since 1995, Harry has released three critically acclaimed CDs on the BROWNSTONE label, "Conversations in the Language of Jazz", "Reflections on the Art of Swing" (a tribute to Benny Goodman), and "A Work of Heart", receiving national radio airplay with all. He has had numerous television appearances, and has performed with famed trumpet player Warren Vache on television and in concert.
Harry Skoler's Endorsements include Boosey & Hawkes/Buffet Clarinets, Vandoren Reeds, and AMT Microphones.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Music degree in classical piano from Houghton College and has attended master classes with world renowned concert pianists Anton Kuerti and Mia Chung. He has studied jazz piano with Charlie Banacos, Jeff Covel and Luciano Salvatiore.
Mr. Retallack has been awarded Arts Council Grants for his Educational Seminar on Audio for Commercial and Industrial video. He has composed and produced music for National Video Studios NY, NY and written jingle music for AT&T and various local advertising agencies. He teaches piano and MIDI music production and has performed extensively in jazz trios and quartets.
Roger studied classical music at Boston University and both jazz and classical at the University of Miami, Florida. He studied bass with Lucas Drew of the Miami Philharmonic, as well as classical cello with Mischa Nieland of the Boston Symphony and Ingus Naruns of the Miami Philharmonic.
Mr. Kimball has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and the Middle East with numerous ensembles and orchestras, ranging from Classical symphony to Billy Eckstine to Carly Simon. Roger has performed chamber music in both the classical and the jazz realm, and has numerous recording projects to his credit, including three recent critically acclaimed CDs by fellow "Adventures with Jazz" clarinetist Harry Skoler (BROWNSTONE Records). He teaches bass privately and is a professional music copyist and arranger.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Music from Salem State College. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and is a recipient of the Presidential Arts Scholarship. He has studied at Berklee College of Music, attended master classes with the legendary drummer Max Roach, and studied privately with jazz great Alan Dawson.
Mr. Gilmore teaches at Plymouth State University, Kimball Union Academy, and The Concord Community Music School, all in NH. His recording credits include a Pete Seeger EP, Stanley Clarke's film score for "Women in Prison", PBS documentary "Dying to Please: The Dolphin Dilemma", and the film "Vermont is for Lovers". Tim has also performed and recorded with the group "Middle Earth". Along with fellow quartet member Roger Kimball, Tim can be heard on Harry Skoler's three recent CDs on BROWNSTONE records.
Profiled in the September '96 issue of DOWN BEAT MAGAZINE, "Adventures with Jazz" takes the music education of schoolchildren very seriously. Accompanied by rave reviews, the quartet has performed extensively in the schools of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, offering both a listener's guide to jazz and hands-on improvisation clinics to the schools' instrumentalists.
"Musicians were talented, humorous and very engaging… Children were mesmerized…"
"5 Star… Super… The children stayed interested and involved…"
"A 10…awesome, totally involved the students…they danced back to class"
"Instruction, humor, and music all receive superior ratings from me…"
Teachers, Richer Elementary School, Marlborough, MA
"Our students left what felt like a master class filled with appreciation and motivated for further study in jazz. I want to thank each one of you for providing an excellent service to our school. "Adventures With Jazz" is to be commended for fine work."
Robert Manseau, Triton Regional High School, Byfield, MA
"Your program, Adventures With Jazz, was clearly self-contained and quite easy for the school to sponsor. The musicians were prepared to explain their material regardless of the level of the students' understanding… Each performer was extremely professional and the talent exhibited is unquestionable… Thanks again for an outstanding performance!"
Fred A. Morris, Principal, Henry E. Goldman School, Norwell, MA
For further information regarding pricing and availability:
5 Worthen Place
Haverhill, MA 01830
In New Hampshire
56 Eldridge St.
Lebanon, NH 03766
Adventures With Jazz Website: www.adventureswithjazz.com