Jazz Academy Music Making Opportunities with Columbus Music Co-op, Sarah Morrow, Duke Robillard, Nia Allen


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The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) offers extraordinary music making opportunities at the Jazz Academy to engage all ages and interests including free workshops with the Columbus Music Co-op and clinics with international trombone star Sarah Morrow, Blues Music Award-winning guitarist Duke Robillard, and gospel singer Nia Allen.

The Columbus Music Co-op continues its free workshop series for aspiring musicians this Sunday, November 21 with “So You Want to Make Music in Columbus?" Learn how to book shows and make a press packet. Find out how much a “sound guy" costs. Plus, get tips from a panel discussion featuring veteran musicians, engineers and online bloggers. This workshop is geared towards high school and college musicians, but all are welcome.

On Saturday, November 20, bring your instrument and join Sarah Morrow for a participatory master class on funk titled “Play That Funky Music." Sarah will share the history of funk music, discuss the theory and elements as well as demonstrate how to improvise in the style. Participants will have the opportunity to play with a rhythm section and work tunes and improvisation. This clinic is proudly sponsored by Getzen Instruments.

Join Duke Robillard for an advanced blues guitar master class on Monday, December 13. During this exclusive one evening class, Robillard will review technique, phrasing, string bending, vibrato, improvisation and soloing. This intimate master class will help participants advance their blues guitar playing in a fun and intensive format with one of the living guitar legends of blues. Workshop is also open to observers for a reduced fee. Proceeds of this workshop benefit Blues for a Cure.

The holiday spirit continues on Saturday, December 18 as we join gospel singer Nia Allen and sing the “Songs of the Season." This holiday sing-a-long is for anyone and everyone who would like to gather together, sing, have fun and celebrate the season! Accompanying Nia will be Dr. Milt Ruffin and, we may have other surprise guests, too! After the singing, enjoy cookies and punch and time to visit with one another at the Jazz Academy. Free admission with non-perishable food donation for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Treats provided by Culinary Classics Catering.

Discounted registration is available for Jazz Academy community partners including subscribers to the Columbus Jazz Orchestra; Jazz Arts Group's Youth Jazz participants; employees of Abercrombie & Fitch, Cardinal Health, Columbus Dispatch/10TV, Grange Insurance, Limited Brands, Nationwide and the State Auto Group; students and faculty of Capital University and Columbus State Community College; and members of the Columbus Blues Alliance (CBA), the Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA), Columbus Music Co-op, King Arts Complex, Swing Columbus, TiXiT, WCBE 90.5 FM, WOSU Public Media and United Way of Central Ohio's Young Leadership Group, Key Club and Cinquefoil.

With nearly 5,000 square feet, the Jazz Academy is a premier facility for multi-generational and recreational music making, ensemble playing, after-school programs, technology instruction and lectures with world-class musicians. For more information regarding classes, registration policies, or scholarships, please contact Jazz Arts Group at 614-294-5200 x 107 or visit www.jazzartsgroup.org for complete class descriptions, faculty biographies and online registration.

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America's oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world's finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG's extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a new jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

About Sarah Morrow:

Trombonist/ Composer/ Lyricist Sarah Morrow was born in Houston, TX but grew up in Pickerington, OH an area rich in marching and concert band tradition. Sarah started her musical path early by playing in school bands as well as in groups at the all-state level before attending Ohio University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Communications. Following her education, she began working at an arts center in New Jersey and it was during this time that she decided to pursue her passion for jazz.

Shortly thereafter, Sarah was discovered by the legendary Ray Charles, and became the first female instrumentalist to join his all-star orchestra. She toured with the legend for two years and left the group to join Foley (ex-lead bassist of Miles Davis) playing funk. She has since toured, recorded and performed with many great artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, David Murray, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, organist Rhoda Scott, funk legend Pee Wee Ellis, the American All-Stars in Paris, Mingus Tribute featuring Mingus alumni Ted Curson and Ricky Ford and most recently with iconic New Orleans pianist/singer/songwriter Dr. John.

About Duke Robillard:

The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist" four years out of five (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award.

In 2007 Duke received a Grammy nomination for his Guitar Groove-a-rama CD and was also honored with the prestigious Rhode Island Pell Award for “excellence in the arts." Other awards over the last decade include three Canadian Maple Blues Awards for “Best International Blues Artist," and The Blues Foundation's “Producer of the Year" award.

BB King himself has called Duke “one of the great players," the Houston Post called him “one of God's guitarists," and the New York Times says “Robillard is a soloist of stunning force and originality."

About Nia Allen:

Allen's gift of singing was cultivated from the early age of five when she was often called upon to sing in the church where her grandfather was pastor. She eventually attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. It was her experience at Berklee that confirmed her desire to pursue music as a career and ministry.

Nia's ministry has continued to expand and evolve on local and national levels. For the past three years she has traveled across the country leading worship with Women of Faith and she has gained national exposure as a worship leader. She has also led worship for the National Worship Leader's Conference in Austin, TX, which was comprised of 3,000 Worship Leaders from around the world.

Currently Nia resides in Nashville, TN where she is the Worship Leader at Born Again Church and Christian Outreach Ministries. She also travels and leads worship throughout the United States, and hopes to minister abroad in the near future.

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