Jazz Improvisation Workshop Information

Do your jazz improv solos need help?

The St. Olaf College Music Department is pleased to bring you our Jazz Improvisation Workshop, which will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Our workshop is meant to help improvisers and rhythm sections work together on the improvised portions of big band music. Most jazz festivals focus primarily on stylistic elements of big band compositions, with little time devoted to the improvised sections.

We will invite up to eight schools to send three or four soloists, along with your rhythm section, to work with the St. Olaf jazz faculty on strengthening solo sections of your ensemble music for jazz festivals, contest, or just upcoming concerts. Each school will get 45 minutes with our faculty: Phil Hey, drums; Sarah Burk, piano; Kevin Clements, local freelance bass player; and jazz band director Dave Hagedorn. We will not only help your students solve their improvisational challenges, but also work with your rhythm section on their interaction with the soloists.

St. Olaf is home to three jazz bands, including the nationally recognized St. Olaf Jazz ensemble that has been invited to perform a series of concerts in Cuba this spring. Dave Hagedorn, hailed as one of Minnesota’s top jazz musicians, has led the program for nearly two decades.