Music enthusiast Steve Gedrose explores the world of jazz from its roots to the present day. He breaks the fascinating, ever evolving, genre of jazz into easily digestible themes, backed up of course with plenty of music examples.
In each episode Steve will introduce you to musicians who were (or are) some of the key driving forces behind the evolution of Jazz music.
We recorded Steve's presentations live at the beautiful Old Fire Hall in downtown Whitehorse, Yukon. Annually, between October and April Jazz Yukon presents five concerts as part their Jazz in the Hall concert series. These events feature leading local jazz groups and are opened with a presentation by Steve where he provides some background about the live music performed that evening.
Steve delves into the origins of jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana, illustrated with music samples from Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the king of them all, Louis Armstrong.
For our second episode Steve is focused on “The Swing Era.” This is usually defined as the period between 1935 to 1946, when Big Bands and swing dance halls made jazz the most popular style of music in North America. You’ll hear swinging music from the big bands of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, William ”Count” Basie and Duke Ellington.
Steve examines the fusion of music from Latin America with North American jazz. We share music examples from such respected musicians as Machito, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto as well as Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval.
We are sticking close to home with “Canadian Jazz Legends” as we introduce some of the most influential Canadian jazz musicians of the post war era. Included in this episode is music from such important artists as Fraser MacPherson, Tommy Banks, Moe Koffman, Ed Bickert, and Rob McConnell.
In this episode Steve talks about “Gypsy Jazz”. He discusses the influence of a style of jazz that began across the Atlantic Ocean, in France, in the 1930’s. There's the music of one of it’s main architects “The Quintette du Hot Club de France”, featuring gypsy guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt and French violinist Stephane Grappelli. We will also hear music recorded by Bireli Lagrene and The Rosenberg Trio.
Episode six introduces several of the most influential singers in the development of jazz. Of the many important figures in the story of vocal jazz, Steve chooses examples from Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole and “old blue eyes” Frank Sinatra.
The focus of this episode is the American jazz musician Thelonious Monk. The work of this eccentric composer, pianist and bandleader is fundamental to the story of modern jazz. With his quirky playing style and unique sense of harmony and melody Monk’s music continues to inspire and challenge jazz artists. This episode looks at several well-known pieces delivered by such remarkable artists as Kevin Mahogany, Carmen McRae, Miles Davis as well as The Thelonious Monk Quartet, featuring John Coltrane and The Thelonious Monk Big Band.
During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s rock was king. This jazz- rock fusion style grew from jazz players’ interest in incorporating the intensity of rock and it’s electronic instruments into their jazz repertoire. We’ll hear several key figures in this movement including Miles Davis, Weather Report, Larry Coryell, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.
In this episode Steve shines some light on “The Art of the Trio.” The trio format remains one of the most popular in the jazz genre. He investigates the trio development as illustrated by such brilliant artists as Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, the Poll Winning Trio of Barney Kessel with Ray Brown and Shelley Manne, as well as an all-star trio led by Pat Metheny.
Steve gives us an overview of some contemporary jazz vocalists working in the music scene of today. We’ll hear a variety of musical examples from Roberta Gamberini, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Tierney Sutton, Esperanza Spalding and Kurt Elling.
In this episode Steve focuses on a single instrument – the electric jazz guitar and samples some favourite contemporary electric jazz guitarists who have pushed the boundaries of modern jazz. Musical guests include Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Mike Stern, and Pat Martino.
This episode features a single artist, the uniquely voiced Blossom Dearie. This gifted pianist and singer brought her joyous personality to every piece of music that she recorded. Blossom chirps her way through song excerpts from such highly regarded song-writing duos as George and Ira Gershwin, Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, E.Y. (Yip) Harburg and Harold Arlen, Marty Clark and Bob Haymes.
For details about Jazz in the Hall, as well as what is coming up this season, click here.