Category Archives: Affiliations

The Accessible Music Notation Project

An important announcement!

Some of you may know that I have been working on and off over the past few years on tools and methodology to support blind musicians as well as educators working with them.  I have managed to put this work to good use in my own teaching, but so far, I have not developed anything really polished enough to be ready to share it with the rest of the world.  Recently, I became inspired to try to change that.  After engaging in discussions with some blind musicians and educators – including some of the experts in the field – I have come to believe strongly that that there are some real needs here and some real opportunities to address them.  While I am sure there are any number of people more qualified than I to be dealing with these issues, the universe seems to be telling me that I need to take the initiative to start making some things happen.  So, I have launched The Accessible Music Notation Project:

http://accessiblemusicnotation.wordpress.com/

Right now, the “we” referred to throughout the site is the “royal we” – that is, it’s really just me speaking for myself (albeit with the support of some people I respect).  But I hope to see the project grow over time.  I hope to find musicians and educator willing to share their ideas regarding what is needed, programmers willing to help address these needs, and perhaps people and organizations willing to help fund these efforts.

I honestly do not know where all this might lead, but I have ideas of what I think is possible, and I intend to be setting forth as time permits.  Please feel free to share this and if you have ideas for me, please let me know.  Replies on the site itself would probably be best for any substantial comments.  One of the whole reasons for creating the site was to make sure there was a permanent record of some of the ideas being tossed around via email over the past few weeks.

Gift of Jazz Winter 2013 Jazz Courses

The Gift of Jazz winter courses offered by professional pianist, composer, and educator Marc Sabatella begin on January 26, 2013.

The theme to this series of courses is Modal Jazz, a phrase that encompasses the music of Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”, John Coltrane’s “A Love Surpeme”, Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage”, Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil”, and much more.  The primary aspect of modal jazz that we will be looking at is the idea of using scales as the harmonic foundation of composition and improvisation.

Please enroll soon to reserve your spot!


Jazz Composition – Beyond Functional Harmony (Saturdays: 10:00 – 11:15 am)

  • Dates:  January 26 – March 16  (8 week program)
  • Fee:  $150

Some of the most beloved jazz recordings of all time are based on relatively sparse composed material – most notably, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”.  These deceptively simple foundations allows the performers to build their own structures, improvising with just a few scales rather than being locked into a predictable chord progression.  At the same time, composers like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter extended the vocabulary of jazz harmony to include unique but more complex sonorities that also encourage the use of scales as improvisational tools.  In this class, we will learn to create compositions that go beyond conventional harmonies and provide different types of frameworks for jazz performance.  The final projects will be performed by a professional combo at Dazzle.


Jazz Improvisation and Theory – Improvising Using Scales (Saturdays: 11:30 – 12:45 pm)

  • Dates: January 26 – March 16 (8 week program)
  • Fees:  $150

Improvisation in modal jazz involves learning a set of scales and developing the ability to create melodies with them.  This is something most musicians have always done using the major scale, minor, and/or blues scales, but modal jazz introduces other possibilities.  In this class, we will learn a number of other useful scales and when/how to use them, playing over tunes by people like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others.  This course culminates in an (optional) performance at Dazzle.


The Gift of Jazz Small Jazz Ensemble – Modality (Saturdays: 1:00 – 2:15 pm)

  • Dates: January 26 – March 16 (8 week program)
  • Fees:  $150

Work on soloing and playing in a combo setting with a special emphasis on the modal jazz – music that encourages the use of a variety of scales as a basis for improvisation. This course culminates with a performance at Dazzle.


Space in all classes is extremely limited. Discounted tuition is available for students interested in taking more than one class. To enroll click here! (tuition is non-refundable unless the class is not held).

We hope to see you there!

Gift of Jazz Fall Education Classes – Live Recording at Dazzle, 11/20/2012

The Gift of Jazz presents courses for beginners to professionals on the development of jazz techniques. This installment is a series of courses that approaches the study of the Cool jazz harmony, melody and improvisational style. Courses culminate with a concert of original compositions, student performances and collaboration with professional Colorado jazz musicians. Combine two or three courses to gain a greater understanding of the many aspects of composing and performing in the Cool jazz style. It is my honor and pleasure to teach these classes this year.

Here are videos from our fall concert at Dazzle. The first is of a professional ensemble playing student compositions:

This one is of the student combo: