Jazz Appreciation

Jazz Appreciation

Tuesday - 11:00am

First Class: 2/7/23

Last Class: 3/21/23


Instructors: Charley Rich and Michael Salsburg

Charley Rich is a lifelong musician, composer and guitarist residing in Sarasota, Florida. He worked in the IT industry for almost four decades most recently as a Research Director at Gartner specializing in Application Performance Monitoring and AI. He retired from his career in IT in October 2020. Charley obtained his undergraduate degree in music at S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook and continued his studies at Berklee College of Music and NYU. Earlier in life, Charley studied with Jazz notables Joe Monk and Harry Leahy. His YouTube Channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/user/charleyrich

Michael Salsburg has been playing violin/fiddle for over 50 years. In the early 1970s, he was engaged as a professional studio musician in Hollywood. His fiddle playing includes a track on Billy Joel's Piano Man album. Live appearances included the Tonight Show with the David Carradine band. After moving back to the Philadelphia area, Michael continued being active in the music scene and has been performing regularly in many genres of music, including Classical, Baroque, Klezmer, Country, Bluegrass and Jazz." Videos and music clips are available at his YouTube Channel “Michael Salsburg."

Course Description

This lecture with musical content provides a look at the history of Jazz music, how it evolved, who practiced the art, and the audience that appreciated it from its inception at the beginning of the 20th century up to the present day. Jazz started out as a fringe art that was considered beneath the tastes of “high society” and those who appreciated “culture” (as opposed to folk and primitive art). It wasn’t considered to be “serious” music. However, over time this changed, and it has developed into what many believe to be America’s primary contribution to world culture. This course will delve into the evolution of Jazz and provide samples of the music and artists that led to its mainstream adoption including some live performances.

Class attendees will walk away with a solid overview and appreciation for the art of Jazz, from its beginning through its progression to the current day.

Class Sessions:

Session 1: This will cover the early origins of Jazz (1817- 1926) and listen to some of its earliest recordings, publishers, and performers.

Session 2: The Roaring 20s (1926-1930), referred to as the “Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, sparked a change in Jazz with increased sophistication and ground-breaking arrangements to emerge as a mainstream musical form in America.

Session 3: The “Swing Era” traces the swing bands that became popular through records and radio from 1935-1944. It will also cover the parallel development of Jazz in France and its so-called “Hot Club” style.

Session 4: This will examine the “Rise of the Female Singers”, discussing the most popular bands, band leaders and their coveted female vocalists who became the “voice” of the Jazz orchestras and big bands.

Session 5: BeBop was the next step in the evolution of Jazz as musicians wanted to create a sophisticated art form to rival the music of Europe that was not easily appropriated nor commercially usurped. These Jazz musicians desired that appreciation for their music would out last their lifetimes.

Session 6: This will provide a chance to hear how vocal Jazz in the era of Bop sounded as vocalists grew become more than just a conveyor of lyrics and went on to become new improvisational instruments in the band.

Session 7: This will explore the development of Cool, Modal and Latin Jazz. Cool was characterized as being more restrained than Bop, used formal arrangements sometimes including orchestras and included classical music influences.

Session 8: This session will cover the emergence of Jazz Fusion and the current era of eclectic and world Jazz.

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