Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Andy Jaffe Piano Seminar: Piano Voicings and Comping

August 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Participants will explore jazz piano voicings for comping and accompaniment through a series of targeted exercises and listening examples.  Emphasis will be on voicings for two hands in ensemble settings, with some additional study of various left hand voicing techniques.  Listening examples will emphasize various accompaniment roles, especially working with vocalists as a solo accompanist and in a traditional rhythm section, exploring such issues as learning to identify and communicate chord substitutions and working with guitarists.

Composer/Arranger/Educator/Author Composer, author and bandleader Andy Jaffe recently retired from teaching in the Williams College Department of Music, where he founded the jazz program and was its Director for 27 years, as well as having served from 1999- 2009 as Artistic Director of The Williamstown Jazz Festival, which he also founded. Andy has been a leader in jazz pedagogy for forty years, having taught at the Berklee College of Music (1977-81); The Institut Musical de formation Professionelle in Nimes, France (1984); The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Graduate program in Afro-American Music and Jazz (1994-98); Amherst College (1987-99); Tufts University (1991-93); Smith College (1997-99); The Tainan (Taiwan) National University of the Arts (2009 and 2014), as well as at Williams (since 1989), where, besides directing the Jazz ensembles until 2013, he has taught courses in jazz ear training, theory/improvisation, arranging/composition, on the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, and on the music of Brazil.

He currently is in residence two weeks a year at The Vermont College of Fine Arts low residency Masters program in Music Composition. His newest CD, entitled “Arc”, features his original compositions and has received positive reviews and extensive airplay since its release in April 2016. Musicians include Wallace Roney (Trumpet), Jimmy Greene and Kris Allen (Saxophones), John Clark (French Horn), Bruce Williamson (Soprano Saxophone and Bass Clarinet), the composer’s son (and protégé of Ron Carter) Marty Jaffe on Bass, Jonathan Barber on Drums, and the Interestring Quar

tet from Taipei. Listed among the “top 10” releases for April 2016 by David Adler of the New York Times, Downbeat praised its “graceful precision”, while All About Jazz’s Mark Carroto described it as “…flawless…”. His numerous original compositions and arrangements are written for a wide range of instrumental ensembles, from piano solo and duo to works for Jazz Orchestra. Recent projects demonstrate his compositional versatility, and include a Suite for Jazz Orchestra dedicated to his late colleague Prof. Ernest Brown, entitled “Every Day Blues” (premiered by the Berkshire Symphony under the baton of Ronald Feldman in Nov. ’12), and a series of a cappella settings of Taiwanese aboriginal folksongs by the Taipei based “Okai Singers” (these and other pieces for big band, sextet, and piano duo may be heard at the public dropbox folder located on the homepage of www.AndyJaffe.com).

In addition to “Arc”, his commercially available recordings include “Manhattan Projections”, original material for Jazz Sextet featuring former students Branford Marsalis, Wallace Roney and Marvin “Smitty” Smith; recently re-released on Parma Recordings, and “Double Helix” (a Piano Duo with Tom McClung originally released on Liscio Recordings). His 2004 release, “An Imperfect Storm”, featuring large ensemble compositions, was also reissued in 2011 on Parma Records. It includes Jaffe’s music as recorded by the Bill Lowe-Andy Jaffe Repertory Big Band, for which he has been principal arranger and musical director since 1986, and the Slovak Radio Orchestra and Big Band, featuring soloists Thomas Chapin, Tom McClung, Richard Stoltzman, Bruce Williamson, and Bob Weiner.

His woodwind quintet was recently released on Darryl Harper’s most recent CD “The Need’s Got to be So Deep” (excerpts from the quintet may also be accessed via the public dropbox folder on the homepage of www.AndyJaffe.com).

Andy has appeared frequently as a guest lecturer, artist and conductor, including at Harvard University, Brown University, Rutgers University, The University of Kentucky, Wesleyan University, Vermont All State Festival, Bratislava Conservatory (Slovak Republic), University of Auckland (New Zealand), The National Conservatory in Valletta, (Malta), Soochow University (Taiwan); Taiwan Normal University; Sun Yat Sen University (Taiwan); Taipei National University of the Arts; The Beijing Midi School; the DoDD School System (Germany), and as a perennial presenter at the International Association of Jazz Educators’ annual convention, having published articles in the IAJE Research Papers Journal on such topics as the music of Duke Ellington, Hermeto Pascoal, and Jazz Composition.

In 2015 his Sextet headlined the Taipei Jazz Festival; and in 2009 he led his e

nsemble at the Toulon Jazz Festival in France. In 2001 he led an ensemble including Winard Harper (drums), Freddie Bryant (Guitar) and John Blake (violin), in a concert of his original music at the IAJE convention in New York, for which he was given an award for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education.

In 2003, he premiered a three-movement double quartet entitled “Bridge” (for jazz Quartet and String Quartet) for saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet, joined by The Ciompi Quartet and Tabla player Samir Chatterjee.

His 1996 text, “Jazz Harmony” (Advance Music; www.advancemusic.com ) is now in its Third Edition and is widely recognized as one of the most influential in its field. His most recent book, entitled “Something Borrowed, Something Blue”, was also published by Advance in 2011, and was the subject of his January 2005 presentation at the IAJE annual conference, held in Long Beach, California.

He is a member of the editorial board of the University of Michigan Press’ “Jazz Perspectives” Series, founded by Lewis Porter. He is included in Porter’s online “Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians” at the Institute of Jazz Studies website, and has twice won Fellowships in Composition from the Artists Foundation. A short list of his former students includes Marsalis, Roney, Smith, Steve Vai, Stefan Crump, Steve Lacy, Claire Daly, Darryl Harper (Chairman of the music department at Virginia Commonwealth University), and Williams graduates Doug Boyce (Chairman of the music department at George Washington University and founder of the new music ensemble “Counter)induction”), Chris Lightcap (bassist with Regina Carter and leader of “Bigmouth”), Brian Coughlin (founder and leader of “Fireworks ensemble”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (co-composer of the music for “Frozen”) and 2016 honorary degree recipient Wang Leehom. He has arranged for vocalists Kitty Kathryn and Semenya McCord, the Coltrane Big Band, co-led by Archie Shepp and the late Majid Greenlee, as well as for Walter Robinson’s Gospel Opera “Oh What a Wonder Jesus has Done”.

He has also written for and performed with various other ensembles, including the Greg Hopkins Big Band, Max Roach Double Quartet, The Kings Singers, The Okai Singers and saxophonist Bill Barron, among many others.



August 17
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm