What Makes it Jazz: From Ragtime to Our Time

  A lively overview via audio and video recordings along with live performances by trumpeter/pianist/composer Alan Matheson, focuses on the main jazz styles and important figures of jazz history.

Instructor: Alan Matheson
Recommended for:
Adults and High-school age students. No musical
experience required
Adults and High-school age students. No musical experience required.
Dates and Times: Thursdays, 7-9pm. See dates below.
Fee: For the series: $100 (includes BONUS CLASS: The Great Voices of Jazz).
Stand-alone: $25 per class
Minimum enrollment required


Ragtime to Swing: 1890–1930

Thu, Oct 13, 7.00–9.00pm

Via audio and video recordings along with “live” performances, the lives and music of leading early jazz figures including Scott Joplin, “Jelly Roll” Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Fletcher Henderson will be illuminated.

The Swing Era: 1935–1945

Thu, Nov 10, 7.00–9.00pm

Revisit the exciting time when jazz was the popular music in North America and abroad. The big band greats Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Count Basie will be presented along with the great soloists of the period including Roy Eldridge, Billie Holiday and Art Tatum.

Be-Bop – East Coast and West Coast Sounds: 1945–1958

Thu, Feb 16, 7.00–9.00pm

Modern Jazz in the post-war period brought new ways of composing and playing jazz. Explore the post-war changes through the music of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan, among others.

Modal Jazz, Free Jazz and Beyond: 1959 to Now

Thu, Mar 30, 7.00–9.00pm

The music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bobbie McFerrin and Maria Schneider reflect new developments and vocabulary that stretches jazz well beyond its North American roots. Also features other important contemporary jazz artists such as Brad Turner, Wynton Marsalis and Renee Rosnes.

Duke Ellington

Thu, Apr 13, 7.00–9.00pm
*New date!

Widely considered one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, Ellington holds a special place in jazz and cultural history as one of the 20th century’s best known band leaders and composers.

BONUS CLASS: The Great Voices of Jazz

Thu, Nov 17, 7.00–9.00pm

The best jazz vocal artists who are often the “gateway” to jazz for many listeners, are all covered here, from Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Bobbie McFerrin to the music that influenced the American popular masters such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee.

           Minimum enrollment required

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