Collaborative Commissions – You Can Do It!

Dean Sorenson and Nolan Hauta Dean Sorenson and Nolan Hauta completed a collaborative commission experience in the spring of 2021. The piece “Farther Down the Bank” was composed over the course of a semester and was premiered by the University of Dubuque Jazz Ensemble on April 14, 2021. This article will share elements of thatContinue reading Collaborative Commissions – You Can Do It!

A Note on Preparing Students for the Collegiate Level

In my capacity as a jazz professor at UNI, I meet or email with prospective students on a more or less weekly basis throughout the school year. One question that arises again and again is some variation of “How can I best prepare myself for success in jazz in college?” Most of the first-year collegeContinue reading “A Note on Preparing Students for the Collegiate Level”

Warm Ups From A Small School Setting

As I’m sure it is with all young band directors, we go into teaching with a quiet confidence that we’ve got this.  But also admitting to ourselves that we have a lot to learn along the way.  We try to balance the unknown with the known and keep pushing forward hoping that no one willContinue reading “Warm Ups From A Small School Setting”

“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”

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”

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”

Dr. Conrad’s Rhythm Section Listening Resources

Students: DO NOT set out to listen to every artist and every recording listed here within a short amount of time. Instead, use this guide as a starting point to choose some records to check out.  Through that process, when you find something you really like, listen to it over and over. NOT as backgroundContinue reading “Dr. Conrad’s Rhythm Section Listening Resources”

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