Yale School of Music, Jazz Initiative

Academia provides an invaluable furtherance for musical study.

I am blessed to live a stone’s throw away from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Due to an anonymous gift to the Yale School of Music the legacy of jazz studies will continue to thrive and expand for everyone’s cultural benefit. Read more about the rejuvenation of jazz studies at Yale here.

Wayne Escoffery, Grammy Award-winning award saxophonist joins the illustrious ranks of influential jazz musicians like Christian McBride, bassist appointed artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival and Jason Moran, pianist who is the artistic director at The Kennedy Center. Professor Escoffery will be teaching a jazz improvisation course and coaching the Yale Jazz Ensemble.


Later this year the Yale School of Music celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Ellington Jazz Series (2016-2017) commencing with a performance by Savion Glover on September 30 at Morse Recital Hall.

Wayne Escoffery Quintet – Live At Firehouse 12

I am fortunate to live close to the  jazz music scene in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Live jazz music is featured prominently at the Firehouse 12 venue at 45 Crown Street. It has near perfect acoustics warmly accented by a wooden floor architecture in the listening room.

“The pre-eminent spot for improvised music in the region” – Nate Chinen, New York Times

Wayne Escoffery and his quintet returned last year to hometown New Haven, Connecticut to record a live performance at this site. The jazz set they performed is highlighted on the imminent album, Live At Firehouse 12. (March 4th)

Wayne Escoffery is an artist who gives back to the jazz community. Being a teacher myself I fully appreciate the teaching effort Wayne Escoffery provides his students. Wayne currently offers private saxophone lessons from his in home studio and is also available to teach Jazz ensemble classes, theory classes, Jazz improvisation classes, Humanities/Music History Courses and many other music related courses.

He is the author of “A Practical Method of Playing Changes” a method book meant as a clear and practical guide for improvising over common chords and chord progressions, and for developing fluency in all the keys. You can order his book from his Web site, http://escofferymusic.com/teaching.html#book.

Wayne Escoffery also has teaching videos at My Music Master Class.

Wayne will be a teaching artist on the saxophone at the Litchfield Jazz Camp which is held July 6-August 8, 2014. I don’t know when he is teaching during that timeframe but I do hope this means he will be performing at the Litchfield Jazz Festival August 8-10 2014. He is not presently listed but perhaps he will be appearing on the agenda. For those of you who are interested the first jazz artist lineup for the Litchfield Jazz Festival was announced yesterday February 19th.

I also noticed that Wayne Escoffery is appearing at The Side Door in Old Lyme, CT on March 1st. Tickets and more information are available here.

I hope I get to cross paths with Wayne Escoffery this year as his new album is way cool as is his catalog of recordings. I love his commitment to the craft. 🙂

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In Pursuit of More Jazz

One of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions is to include more jazz in my life. In pursuit of more jazz the first two concerts of 2012 were jazz events. We saw Tim Berne‘s quartet at the Rubin Museum in the Chelsea district in New York City and the Lionel Loueke Trio at Wesleyan University (for free) in February.

I am hemming and hawing about catching Vijay Iyer at Birdland and Wayne Escoffery at the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in NYC in April. We have decided to pass on the Newport Jazz Festival 2012 due to the cost of a hotel stay being out of our price range.

A jazz festival I want to attend instead is the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen, Connecticut. I received e-mail notification that tickets are now on sale for the 17th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival to be held August 10-12. We’ve been spending more time in Litchfield County the past few years as patrons of Infinity Hall. The Litchfield County environs offer a picturesque setting with a rolling pastures set against the Connecticut hills.

Saturday August 11th looks like the best day of events. I am very interested in seeing the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet play.

2012 Festival Line-Up

Wayne Escoffery Quintet – The Only Son of One

My favorite “hang” yesterday at the Pop Conference was Jazz Alley which I covered in yesterday’s blog post. I learned actively from several of the presenters about the jazz artist, Wayne Escoffery. I quickly discovered there is mutual consensus building about his next jazz recording, The Only Son of One, on Sunnyside Records. I picked up on the vibe that all the jazz cognoscenti were in agreement about the impact the Wayne Escoffery Quintet is going to have when this recording is released next month. I figured I would plug myself in early and begin to discover more about the  structured sounds and textures of this competent quintet.

It’s just too cool that we live so close to the jazz scene in New York City. I am contemplating attending the Wayne Escoffery Quintet CD release event on Saturday, April 21st at the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club if it’s not too late to do so and the Mrs. agrees 😉

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