Contemporary Big Band Weekend

Aim of the weekend

Aim of the weekend

A short introduction to the structure and aims of this contemporary big band weekend

The Tutors

Find out more about your weekend tutors, Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes and Alun Vaughan

Sample Music

Here you'll find some sample sheet music and audio from previous courses

What to expect on the weekend

Read about what 's organised for you over
the big band weekend

Testimonials

Read what past attendees have said about
their weekend course

To help you to develop the musical skills that will enable you to become an improved big band ensemble player and improviser. You will leave at the end of the weekend with a greater understanding of the practical processes of creating big band jazz music and a clear idea of what to practice and how to practice.

How the Jazz Weekend is run

The weekend is run on a non-competitive basis so that everyone - whatever your level of ability or experience - gets the maximum benefit from the weekend. Each delegate is given the same level of attention. The tutors are concerned to ensure that the course is enjoyable and non-stressful and that each student is allocated to parts appropriate to their level of ability.

Who should attend?

The course caters equally to adult beginners and experienced professionals. This is achieved by careful grading on the first day to determine your level of instrumental ability so that you can be placed in positions that will work best for you and have fun!
 

  • If you are a relative beginner to jazz, so long as you have a good basic grasp of your instrument, you will benefit from this weekend. Don't feel that you won't be 'good enough' for the course - it's there to assist you!

  • If you have been playing for several years, this course will help you to refresh your playing and advance it to a higher level.

  • This weekend is ideal for teachers teaching (or wanting to teach) in the jazz idiom either in the classroom or in a big band setting.

  • For teachers, we have extra sessions this year on the subject coaching for ABRSM and Trinity Jazz examinations and auditions. We will also discuss the pros and cons of life versus the CD accompanying.
     

Extra-mural activities

Delegates can use the main room or bedroom facilities for practice and jamming after sessions until 10:00 pm. On Friday & Saturday evening there will be an informal jam session, with private bar, until 1:00 am - for those who wish to take part.

Instruments
With the exception of pianos/keyboards and amplification, instruments are not provided. Apart from pianists, students should bring their own instruments and music stands. Bassists and guitarists should also bring portable amplifiers, multi-way power sockets, and guitar cables. We can help drummers from overseas to hire a drum set for the weekend. Delegates are welcome to record classes for their own personal use only and may wish to bring a digital recorder or video camera.

What to expect...

 

IS THE STEVE WATERMAN CONTEMPORARY BIG BAND JAZZ WEEKEND GOING TO BE SUITABLE FOR ME?

It is very important to us that all delegates on our jazz weekend take away with them a great experience of playing challenging music charts, by two of the most sought after jazz musicians and educators in Europe.

The weekend caters to adult musicians, and by carefully grading players on the first day to determine your level of instrumental ability, you will be placed in positions that will work best for you, be most comfortable, learn lots, and have fun!

During the sessions it is not necessary for people to improvise if they do not wish to, you can attend purely as a reader. If you are a good reader but with little experience of playing jazz then that’s fine, as you will get a lot out of phrasing, articulation, and ensemble playing.

  • If you are a relative beginner to jazz, so long as you have a good basic grasp of your instrument, you will benefit from this course. Don't feel that you won't be 'good enough' for the course - it's there to assist you!

  • If you have been playing for several years, this course will help you to refresh your playing and advance it to a higher level.

  • This course is ideal for teachers teaching (or wanting to teach) in the jazz idiom either in the classroom or in a big band setting.|
     

Our tutors will go through the basics of the style, common rhythmic ideas, and jazz terminology so that everyone is starting to speak the same language.

Breakout sessions with our tutors are available during breaks or evenings, where you can ask anything about the charts your playing, or chord sequences, or even when the next jam session is!

The big band sessions are very informal, and we strive to create a comfortable, relaxed, and friendly environment that encourages creativity and the opportunity to communicate with tutors and colleagues on a level playing field.

If you are wondering typically what sort of music you will be playing, then please follow this link to our sample music page, here you can download sheet music for your instrument, and play along to 'Haig & Haig' and “Call it a day”, Steve Waterman arrangements recorded by The Steve Waterman Big Band.

These typse of arrangements are typically the type of exciting challenge that will greet you after your breakfast, or coffee break - and believe us, you will love it.

Tutor Alan Barnes will, in contrast, present you with his spectacular arrangements, encouraging a different style of playing and soloing, and we have received very positive testimonials from previous delegates on how this slight change of style keeps every session fresh and invigorating.

 

If after looking at the sample charts if you still have questions, then please contact us for a chat - it is important that your place is right for you, and us.

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