27 July - 1 August | Kato Drys, Cyprus
Jazz is a music taught in the oral tradition. This workshop will involve ensemble-playing with analytical talk. The focus is on rhythm, which sonically is what defines Jazz. There is way too much focus in schools on harmony – a Eurocentric concept. Jazz operates on the same principles as African music. We will talk about why historically certain things were played, and what their meaning is. It is about learning a language, a way of life. Musicians will play tunes, which may be interrupted for criticism. There will be no sight-reading as the workshop will mainly focus on listening and learning by ear. Participants must be prepared for heavy criticism if the situation warrants it; Egos can be checked at the door. The same rules that apply in Jazz also apply to learning any other language; the same is true regarding group improvisation – how you play on the bandstand mirrors how you interact with other humans in everyday life. The focus will be on Jazz – defined by me personally as music that sounds like it came from Louis Armstrong. There will be no focus on later derivatives such as Electric-Fusion, Free Improvisation and the like. Τhe workshop concerns musicians of all levels, instruments and backgrounds, as well as individuals who have an interest in jazz. The workshop will be taught in English.
Alexi David - Bio
Alexi David is a Charles Mingus scholar, born in Cyprus and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at The New School, where he also did a semester of internship at The Door, a youth center in SoHo for mostly minority teenagers – showing them music as a way out of the harsh inner-city troubles. As a freelance bassist in NYC, his employers past and present have included Nellie McKay, Terry Waldo’s Gotham City Band, The Fat Cat Big Band, and Junior mance. He plays mostly any style of jazz – from Dicieland to Free/New York style. He is a multi-instrumentalist who performs everywhere in New York – from private events to clubs to the Lincoln Center with his own groups such as “Alexi David’s Patriot Act” which combines greek rembetiko with American jazz, and is also the leader of many other jazz groups. He is also an arranger, composer and transcriber of music – all of which he provides as a service on a regular basis.