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December, 20, 2024
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM




Jerry Tolson

Jerry Tolson

It's All About the Rhythm (Section): The Key to Jazz Ensemble Success

Clinic Synopsis:

Establishing the rhythmic feel, i.e. "finding the groove," is one of, if not the most crucial elements of a successful jazz performance. The integrated efforts of the rhythm section are crucial to a successful “groove.” There are three keys to the success of the jazz rhythm section: Groove, Time, and Clarity. This session will demonstrate rhythm section techniques that address the crucial elements of "groove," clarity, and style in authentic jazz performance.

Jerry Tolson - Biographical Information

Jerry Tolson recently retired as professor of jazz studies and music education and chair of the Department of Academic and Professional Music Studies at the University of Louisville, where he directed jazz ensembles and taught jazz pedagogy, jazz style, jazz history, and African American Music classes. He is a clinician for Excelcia and Kendor Music, and serves as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and jazz camp instructor internationally. Tolson has presented at state, regional, and national Music Education conferences, the Jazz Education Network, the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and the Midwest Clinic and has conducted All-State jazz groups in numerous states. He is the author of The Jazz Commandments: Guidelines for Jazz Articulation and Style (Kendor), African American Music: History and Heritage (GRL) and a contributor to Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz (GIA) and The Jazz Director’s Handbook and Resource Guide (Alfred). Tolson writes for both large and small instrumental ensembles as well as vocal jazz ensembles. His vocal jazz works are published by UNC Jazz Press. Performing on keyboards, woodwinds, and vocals, Tolson leads three groups and has worked with artists such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Antonio Hart, Don Braden, Rufus Reid, Kevin Mahogany, James Moody, and Benny Golson. Tolson’s CDs include Nu View, Back at the Track, and Fresh Squeezed, Black Sand Beach, and Late Night Cruise. His groups have appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and in Barbados, Brazil, and Trinidad.