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Musician

Bill Dobbins

Bill Dobbins teaches courses in jazz composing and arranging, gives applied lessons to jazz writing majors, and directs the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and the Eastman Studio Orchestra. As a pianist he has performed with classical orchestras and chamber ensembles under the direction of Pierre Boulez, Lukas Foss, and Louis Lane, and has performed and recorded with such jazz artists as Clark Terry, Al Cohn, Red Mitchell, Phil Woods, Bill Goodwin, Dave Liebman, Kevin Mahogany, Paquito D’Rivera, Peter Erskine, and John Goldsby. He was a prizewinner in the 1972 International Gaudeamus Competition for interpreters of contemporary music, and has been the recipient of several jazz composition grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way

Read "Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most notably a jazz pianist, it comes as more than a surprise that Bill Cunliffe was not in the same orbit as jazz until he was in college. With the sheer volume of top shelf jazz he has written and recorded since, he would seem to have made up for any lost time. That time, those ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Denin Koch

Read "Take Five with Denin Koch" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Denin Koch Hailed as possessing “pristine playing, meticulous composing" and “a very personal voice deserving of attention," guitarist and composer Denin Koch has synthesized his wide and varied influences into a unique approach to jazz improvisation. He has performed with Arturo Sandoval, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Daniels, Ryan Keberle, and ...

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Article: Live Review

Enjoy Jazz 2019

Read "Enjoy Jazz 2019" reviewed by Henning Bolte


Alte Feuerwache and other venues Enjoy Jazz And More Mannheim, Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen, Germany October 27--November 1, 15-16, 2019 Enjoy Jazz And More this year lead me through two sections of its seven-week concert-series in October/November, with a great diversity of concerts ranging from seasoned German clarinet master Rolf Kühn to advanced ...

News: Education

Music Education Monday: Developing a theme into a big band arrangement

Music Education Monday: Developing a theme into a big band arrangement

This week's Music Education Monday is a sort of case study in big band arranging, presented by pianist Bill Dobbins, professor of jazz studies and contemporary media at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. A veteran jazz educator, Dobbins first joined the Eastman faculty in 1973, and played a major role in designing the ...

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Article: Album Review

National Jazz Ensemble: Featuring Gerry Mulligan

Read "Featuring Gerry Mulligan" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any new CD whose cover proclaims “Featuring Gerry Mulligan" is guaranteed to turn heads, raise antennae and whip up interest. This one, on which Mulligan performs with the then-three-year-old National Jazz Ensemble, was recorded February 19, 1977, in a sold-out auditorium at the New School in New York City. In his liner notes, trumpeter David Berger ...

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Article: Interview

Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions

Read "Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger


This title is more than a rhyme: it's an attempt to capture some of the legendary versatility of pianist Bill Mays. “Inventions" refers to his unprecedented, working jazz trio of piano, trumpet, and cello. “Conventions" is a nod to his invaluable contribution to the annual meeting of the International Society of Bassists (in 2013, he played ...

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Article: Big Band Caravan

Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators

Read "Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Stan Kenton Orchestra / NOVA Jazz OrchestraDouble Feature, Vol. 2Tantara Productions2012 One of the more difficult aspects of reviewing Tantara's series of impressive salutes to Stan Kenton and his music is knowing where to begin. As on Volume 1 of the label's Double Feature (with Volume 3 ...

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Article: Live Review

Erica Seguine / Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: New York, October 20, 2011

Read "Erica Seguine / Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: New York, October 20, 2011" reviewed by Daniel Lehner


Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz OrchestraSomethin' Jazz ClubNew York, NYOctober 20, 2011 Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz postulated that the present becomes the past only when a new present emerges. The existence of the contemporary big band--exemplified by restless creativity but a somewhat limited playing capacity--seems to belong to a handful of ...

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Article: Big Band Report

BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz

Read "BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On August 8, my friend Wes Pfarner and I drove to Santa Fe for a once-in-a lifetime event: a performance by the German Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra, better known to big band enthusiasts by its more condensed and colorful name, BuJazzO. The twenty-piece ensemble, directed by Jiggs Whigham, an American trombonist and educator from Cleveland, Ohio, ...


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