Performance, Education, and Scholarship
Over the past few years my focus as an educator has turned to de-mythifying and deromanticizing jazz education and jazz history. Nietzsche’s aphorism, “They muddy the water to make it seem deep,” seems an apt description for much of jazz education (though by no means all). My mission is to elucidate jazz performance (improvisation, theory, etc.) and deconstruct notions of jazz and authenticity found in traditional (and untraditional) jazz history narratives using techniques from melodic embellishment for improvisation and "New Jazz Studies" in history and historigraphy. I'm particularly inspired by the writings of Krin Gabbard, Tony Whyton, David Ake, and others.
Though I'm an eager participant in the performer-scholar/artist-teacher lineage, I champion the notion that there are a multiplicity of avenues for living a fulfilling and meaningful life in the “music world” (a la Howard Becker’s Art Worlds). Single-minded focus on performance as the primary measure of success is a detriment to individuals, music, and the communities in which young artists find themselves. Rather than exalting “superstardom” (or virtuosity, or releasing an album, or size of repertoire, etc.) as the benchmark for success, performance educators would do well to reframe the mission of the music major to the development and strengthing of relationships and engagement between musician and their local community via artistic citizenship.
Education philosophers and music-education philosophers (including Dewey, Reimer, Alperson, Kivy, Elliott & Silverman, Bowman, Noddings, and others) have profound insights that can help us clarify and achieve the aims of music education. The pursuit of clear philosophical aims can be coupled with research produced in both quantitative and qulativate spheres in music, psychology, sociology, and beyond. I once read about an old saying: "He's educated, but it didn't hurt his playing none." Jazz education in particular has much to gain by simply opening itself up to the aims, practices, and research in its sibling fields, of philosophy of (music) education, assessment, sequence, and feedback. As soon as jazz educators and performers accept that jazz stands to gain from the fruits of its sister fields, not unlike Frederick Garbers statement that "The primacy of improvisation is in no sense encumbered or compromised by an awareness of the frames of discourse," the better.
Courses taught: Advanced Theory and Aural Skills, Pedagogy, Big Band, Combos, Ensemble Workshops, Chamber Groups, and Private Lessons
Courses taught: Private Jazz Lessons for Classical Saxophone DMA Candidates
Co-director of Los Angeles based high-school jazz ensmble organized by USC Thornton School of Music's Music Teaching and Learning Outreach Program.
On Michael Bublé's 2018 album, ❤, (pronounced, "Love").
A solo with Jon Hatamyia Group
A solo during the Paquito Rivera workshop at Carnegie Hall
A solo with Peter Erskine and the Disneyland All-American College Band
Saxophonist (all parts) on Disney's Making Today a Perfect Day for the TV show Best Friends Whenever
Saxophonist on Disney's
Sophia the First
1) "Invoking Jazz: Meanings of 'Jazz' in Television, Film, and Advertising"
2) "Coltrane in Pop Culture"
Documenting Jazz 2019, Dublin, Ireland
"Jazz Music, Musicians, and Iconographic Depictions in Popular Culture and Mass Media," JEN 2019, Dallas, TX
As an undergraduate at the University of North Texas, I taught myself basic web-development to put online a Chris Potter discography that I had created. This first attempt at coding and publishing a web-project put me in contact with other jazz scholars and fans around the world and initiated meaningful musical connections that expanded my perspective of jazz beyond performance. During my doctoral studies, I took classes in interactive web and database development.
Currently under construction
In mid-2018, I migrated all of my music theory web-applications to music-theory-practice.com, which now features approximatley 28 interactive music-theory articles, tutorials, and flashcards. A sample of those is below.
Currently under construction
At the Newport Jazz Festival (CA) -- with Gordon Woodwin, James Morrison, Terell Stafford, and Willie and Becky Murillo
I currently have openings for private lessons (saxophone, improvisation [any instrument], and music theory) in the Pasadena, CA area. I provide in-home lessons. Please contact me through email if interested.
I'm additionally available for masterclasses and workshops with high schools and colleges. Contact me through email if interested.