Join us for six sensational jazz clinics featuring the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s inaugural artist-in-residence, Dennis Mackrel.
Building on the mission to train and foster the next generation of young jazz musicians, the New Jersey Youth Symphony is delighted to continue to attract leading musicians and educators to teach, oversee new initiatives and programs, and develop innovative courses. This inspiring series of free clinics aims to foster and empower high school and college jazz students as well as jazz educators. Limited seating. Mask and Full Vaccination Card required at the door.
The jazz clinics take place at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Event times vary by clinic, 1:30-6:30 p.m. Details provided upon registration. Questions? Call (908) 771-5544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 17, 2021 | The Fundamentals of Swing
A basic overview of the fundamental elements of Jazz and how they relate to big bands in general with a focus on the rhythm section in particular.
November 14, 2021 | Concert Preparation
A review of the aspects of the previous clinic and applying that information to the material that will be performed on the NJYS Big Band and Jazz Orchestra’s upcoming concert, as well as a discussion of various issues, including performance anxiety and stress, and techniques to minimize them.
January 16, 2022 | A Brief History of the Jazz Orchestra
A discussion about the history and development of the modern big band. We will analyze various audio and video recordings of the classic big bands beginning with the swing era up to the present.
February 13, 2022 | A Study in Styles
A review of the aspects of the previous clinic and applying what we learned while analyzing contrasting styles of arrangements (Bossa nova, Latin, Funk, etc.).
March 20, 2022 | Improvisation
In this clinic, we will spend the entire session discussing and working on individual soloing while primarily focusing on the function of the rhythm section.
April 10, 2022 | Putting It All Together
A recap of all of the previous clinics as well as a general discussion about what makes a world class big band.
Described by the Los Angeles Times, “Mackrel’s drumming, especially well-displayed in his brushwork solos on ballads, was illuminated by his far-ranging experience and his skills as a composer and arranger.” Dennis Mackrel is a noted jazz drummer and highly respected composer/arranger and conductor whose work has been recorded and performed by the Count Basie Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, WDR Radio Big Band (Germany), Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (Holland), Klüvers Big Band (Denmark), and the McCoy Tyner Big Band, whose Grammy-winning CDs include Mackrel’s arrangements.
Mackrel has won numerous awards including Who’s Who in Music, A National Endowment for the Arts grant for composition, and Outstanding Alumni from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is an experienced jazz educator who conducts master classes, seminars, and workshops throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the United States.