“The Tool I Wish I’d Had In High School”

Playbook aims to bring the conservatory experience to every student Watch Sammy Miller demonstrate Playbook on the JEI YouTube channel. Sammy Miller is a Julliard-trained and GRAMMY nominated drummer whose band Sammy Miller and The Congregation has headlined at the Newport and Umbria Jazz Festivals, and opened for diverse performers ranging from One Republic toContinue reading ““The Tool I Wish I’d Had In High School””

Remembering John Rapson

JEI Hall of Fame member Ira “John” Rapson, former chair of the University of Iowa Jazz Studies department and a prolific educator, composer, and performer, passed away July 21, 2021 after a long bout with cancer. John joined the UI music faculty in 1993. He established both the BA and MA programs in jazz studiesContinue reading “Remembering John Rapson”

Jerry Tolson Named to JEI Hall of Fame

Jerry Tolson, Professor of Music Education and Jazz Studies and Chair of the Academic and Professional Studies Department in the School of Music at the University of Louisville, has been named the 2021 inductee to the Jazz Educators of Iowa (JEI) Hall of Fame. The JEI Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have created newContinue reading “Jerry Tolson Named to JEI Hall of Fame”

Jazz History Resources

Here is some recommended reading on Jazz History from the panelists in our January 2021 discussion on Honoring the Roots of Jazz in Teaching: “Thinking in Jazz” by Paul Berliner “JAZZ” by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux “Sayin’ Something “by Ingrid Monson “Notes and Tones” and “Keeping Time” edited by Robert Walser “Blues People” byContinue reading “Jazz History Resources”

Maximizing The Potential of Your Young Jazz Guitarists

By Luke Saunders Question: How do you get young guitarists to stop playing?Answer: Put sheet music in front of them.While a comedic generalization, this jab often holds true. However, it does not have to be that way! Young guitarists bring plenty of useful skills into your jazz band, and you do not need a backgroundContinue reading “Maximizing The Potential of Your Young Jazz Guitarists”

Al Naylor’s Musical History

JEI Hall of Fame member Al Naylor has mentored and taught thousands of Iowa jazz players. Many of them have followed him into teaching and playing professionally. Al’s music career began in his home town of Jefferson, Iowa, where his school band was directed by the legendary Jack Oatts, founder of high school jazz inContinue reading “Al Naylor’s Musical History”

Jazz Listening Resources from Kyle and Mike

We asked Kyle Engelhardt, band director at Cedar Falls High School, and UNI professor Dr. Michael Conrad to give us some examples of jazz artists, along with audio and video suggestions, that students and fans just getting in to jazz can listen and watch on their own that will help them get and keep upContinue reading “Jazz Listening Resources from Kyle and Mike”

IBA Hall of Fame – Jim Dreier Plays His Life

  by Dennis Green “When you play jazz, it really shows your whole life experience, all your influences. You’re playing your life for everybody to see,” says 2020 JEI Hall of Fame inductee Jim Dreier. “And I think if more students listen to jazz that way, it makes it all the more interesting.”Jim is oneContinue reading “IBA Hall of Fame – Jim Dreier Plays His Life”

Kyle Engelhardt’s Wind Instrument Listening Resources

Thanks for taking the time to check out some great jazz artists, from historically important jazz musicians to multi-instrumentalist contemporary performers and educators. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of performers. Instead, it’s a curated list of three performers on each wind instrument, and is a “jumping off” point in your exploration of jazz instrumentation.Continue reading “Kyle Engelhardt’s Wind Instrument Listening Resources”

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