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Steve Waterman / Alan Barnes

Contemporary Big Band 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


Read what past attendees have said about
their weekend course


Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes and Alun Vaughan host a unique residential jazz weekend focusing on performing contemporary and swing big band and jazz improvisation.

We are inviting intermediate to advanced players of the trumpet, trombone, sax, bass, piano, guitar, drums, and percussion to join us in a series of tutorials and workshops covering ensemble, improvisation and sectional playing.

It’s an ideal forum for those who are teaching (or want to teach) in the jazz idiom either in the classroom or in a big band setting.

Contact us to find out more about the 2021 course.

Places are reserved on a first come first served basis and will be confirmed in writing on receipt of your application.

Jazz Improvisation Breakout Sessions

There are lots of reasons why even experienced players find improvisation a daunting experience.

Breakout sessions specialising in the art of jazz improvisation will suit all levels of players. It is specifically designed to eliminate the mystery and add confidence and creativity to your improvisation skills.

We will be:

  • Learning to improvise over the chord sequences of popular jazz standards.

  • Developing improvisation over common 2-5-1, 1-6-2-5, 3-6-2-5 etc sequences.

  • Developing jazz vocabulary

  • Learning melodies and chord sequences from memory.

  • Exploring Jazz instrumental techniques - articulation, transcription, rhythm. etc.

If you'd like to improve your understanding, skills, and techniques so that you can feel truly confident when it's your turn to express yourself through your instrument, join me, with Alan Barnes and Alun Vaughan on our next Contemporary Big Band Weekend.

We understand how daunting it can be to improvise with confidence, and we will guide you every step of the way.

As usual, we are offering a 'Returners' Rate to those who attended our Big Band Weekend during the past three years.

If you live locally, we offer day rates so you can enjoy the music sessions and hospitality, during breaks, lunch, and dinner, but you make your own sleeping arrangements off-site after the jam sessions.

Non-playing partners are always very welcome and we can offer special full-board rates for them.

If you'd like to find out more about the improvisation weekend, please contact Lorraine by telephone on 01427 718900 or email to express your interest.

If you know anyone whom you think might be interested in joining us this time, please feel free to pass on this information or suggest they give Lorraine a call on 01427 718900 to discuss their options.

Costs & Booking

Currently, the dates and costs for the 2021 Steve Waterman / Alan Barnes Contemporary Big Band Weekend are yet to be finalised due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Please visit the website again soon, or contact us if you would like to be added to our email distribution list, where we will send occasional updates.

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