Music Education Monday: A master class with David Liebman's Expansions

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This week for Music Education Monday, it's a video master class with saxophonist David Liebman and his band Expansions, who will be in St. Louis to perform for one night only this Saturday, April 23 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Liebman, who's now 69 years old, has played thousands of live dates and made hundreds of recordings over the last 45+ years, leading his own groups and working with notable musicians including Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and many more.

He's also been involved seriously with jazz education for most of his career, giving master classes and workshops at colleges and universities around the world- one of which was showcased right here last September- and writing several books, including Self Portrait Of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody, and Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound.

Liebman also serves as an artist-in-residence at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC and a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Berklee College of Music, and is the founder and artistic director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, a network of schools in nearly 40 countries.

Expansions is a group of young musicians, including a couple of Liebman's former students, that the saxophonist formed a couple of years ago as a way to get a fresh perspective on music and as another way to pass along some of his knowledge. In addition to Liebman on soprano sax and flute, the group includes Matt Vashlishan (alto sax, clarinet, flutes), Bobby Avey (keyboards), Tony Marino (bass), and Alex Ritz (drums).

In the video below, you can see Liebman and the members of Expansions as they present a master class last October at the University of Louisville School of Music. After an introduction, they alternate short performances with discussions of the material just played, which gives them an opportunity to talk about very specific musical choices and ideas as well as broad concepts and philosophy.

If this video master class whets your appetite, know that you can see Liebman presenting a workshop and performance in person from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 at Saxquest. Part of an ongoing series of master classes and performances at the shop, the event is free and open to the public.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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