Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tons of fun on 1/31/09

This week we had a great turnout: thirteen musicians came out to play jazz at McRae Park!

We had two tenor saxes (Wes and Roger), two trumpets (Mary and Sam), three vocalists (Annie, Vicki and Dick), a bassist (Chip), a drummer (Gene), two keyboards (Norman and Jim) and two guitarists (Robert and Tim). Whew! Lots of enthusiasm and lots of fun. Several of the attendees today were returning regulars who hadn't been in for a while. We were also visited by Don, who will be working up a press kit for publicizing the Workshop.

Tunes played today included "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Take the 'A' Train," "Forest Flower," "St. Thomas," "Blue Room," "Corcovado," "I'll Remember April," "Pent Up House," "Moonlight in Vermont," and several others that I have forgotten. I should write the tunes down.

Anyway, we had a really good time playing jazz today! Hope you can join us next time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Great turnout on 1/24/09

We had a lot of musicians today, with the lineup including Annie, Vicki and Dick on vocals and (from left to right in the photo) Wes (tenor sax), Jim (alto sax), Mary (trumpets, her first time at the workshop), Tim (guitar) and Sam (bass/trumpet). That's Annie with her back to the camera; Dick and Vicki managed to be out of the line of fire. Tunes played included "Sugar," "I Love You," "Nature Boy," "Four On Six," "St. Thomas," an original by Dick Jacques, "Ruby, My Dear," "Take Five" and several others over the three hours.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Come learn to play jazz!

Do you play an instrument? Do you want to learn to play jazz? Have you wondered how to find somewhere to learn how to play jazz? We've got an answer for you: the McRae Park Jazz Workshop.

Started by the late Sam Favors (also one of the original organizers of the Freedom Jazz Festival) and now coordinated by Annie Favors, the Jazz Workshop has been going on at various Minneapolis parks for over 30 years. Currently we meet at the McCrae Park building in south Minneapolis on Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 PM between Labor Day and Memorial Day, and a weeknight by arrangement in the summer months when the park building is closed on Saturdays. With a "learn by doing" approach, we play mainly songs from the Great American Songbook, the Real Books and sometimes people bring in originals or other songs. In addition to meeting on Saturdays for three hours, we also periodically give performances at park functions, jazz festivals and the like.

Not sure you have what it takes? All you really need is some ability to play your instrument, basic to good familiarity with reading sheet music, and a desire to learn how to play jazz. If you sing, play piano, bass, guitar, drums, percussion, a horn, or whatever, we've got a spot for you.

Hope to see you there!