Music Education Monday: Master classes with pianists Chick Corea and Kenny Werner


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This week for “Music Education Monday," you can check out video master classes from a couple of prominent keyboardists.

Chick Corea is one of the best-known pianists in jazz, having served his apprenticeship with Miles Davis and played free jazz with Circle before co-founding the seminal jazz-fusion band Return to Forever. His extensive catalog as a composer and bandleader includes recordings with various acoustic and electric groups and as a solo pianist, so his experience pretty much runs the gamut of modern jazz styles.

Kenny Werner may be less well-known to the general public than Corea, but he still gets substantial respect in the music community for his work as a pianist, bandleader, teacher, arranger/composer, and collaborator with the likes of the Mel Lewis Orchestra, saxophonist Joe Lovano, singer Roseanna Vitro, harmonica player Toots Thielemans, and many others.

Werner can be seen in the embedded video window up above presenting a master class in jazz piano back in 2012 at the Blue Note in NYC. The class “addresses a wide variety of issues that jazz players on all instruments face," including “issues of confidence and mental preparation, techniques for better improvisation and for improving your ability to collaborate, and how to overcome the mind games that every musician plays with themselves over 'what to play next?' and 'does this sound good?'"

After the jump, there are two more master classes with Werner - one titled “A Master Class in Jazz Performance and Creativity," recorded in 2005 at the very same Blue Note; and “An IAJE Clinic in Playing Free Jazz with Kenny Werner," a presentation sponsored by the now-defunct International Association for Jazz Education in which he “discusses the history of free music, what it is and what it means, and offers extended thoughts on what players can and should to do prepare themselves mentally, physically, and musically for the unique challenges that free music presents."

Last but certainly not least, today's fourth video is Corea's “Electric Workshop," an instructional video from 1989 in which he talks about how to create new sounds and combine them into textures, and then takes the viewer through the process of writing, developing and performing a new composition.

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