If you’re in the music department in the education building at the U of S this week you’ll hear New Orleans style jazz, or maybe some jazz improv or someone’s voice saying “Yeah man, you gotta really lean into those notes.”
What you’re hearing is the TD Jazz Intensive – a weeklong workshop enabling high school and university students to learn the intricacies of playing jazz from internationally acclaimed musicians.
“Its a win-win scenario for them (the students) because they get a whole bunch of instruction that they just don’t get during the year.” said Mark DeJong, workshop coordinator and faculty member. “A lot of band teachers just don’t have time to get into the improv stuff,” he said.
For Soren Nissen, a current clinician and a past participant, the workshop allowed him to see “how amazing music is, as an expression.”
“It teaches a lot of things about jazz that are hard to find in Saskatoon. It’s a very unique program and teaches in a very unique way,” Nissen said.
DeJong says a significant aspect of what the students learn comes from the daily interactions between faculty and students.
“None of the faculty comes in with an attitude – no one has an ego, and the students need to see that,” said Dejong. “That’s also part of our philosophy too. For them to understand that for the greatest players, there is no room for egos or that kind of thing.”
Anna Wheeler, a grade 12 student from Aiden Bowman High School says that the opportunity to learn from the clinicians is fantastic.
“They bring so much to the table. When they talk to you and share their stories, you learn so much,” she said.
Students and faculty of the TD Jazz Intensive ,will play a final concert on Saturday June 30 at 1 p.m. at The Basment. You can also see the faculty play as the Outer Bridge Enemble, hosting jam sessions at the Basement on Friday June 29.