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.
Steve illustrates his discussion of the musical styles that originated in Latin America with tracks from Mexican/American singer Lila Downs and the wonderfully eclectic band Pink Martini who base themselves in Portland Oregon.
In this episode Steve features a second helping of the eccentric pianist Thelonious Monk, first featured by Steve in episode 7. He will be playing a couple of Monk's quirky compositions and two songs performed by jazz diva Carmen McRae.
This episode features bass player Jaco Pastorious. Though he died young, Jaco is acclaimed as one of the most respected electric bass players in jazz history. Jaco' virtuosic skills have had a widespread influence on electric bass guitarists since the mid 1970s.
For this episode Steve goes for a more in-depth look at one artist – pianist/singer Shirley Horn, and illustrated by tunes from just one of her many albums, the 1995 release “The Main Ingredient”.
Episode 17 goes back to the late 60's and mid 70's to feature, two guitarists more famous for their rock music than jazz. They are Frank Zappa and Jeff Beck.
Steve introduces us to Jenny Scheinman and the special artistry that this violinist/singer/ songwriter contributes to the contemporary music scene.
In this episode Steve explores the jazz trombone. While this versatile brass instrument has been used by bands throughout the entire history of jazz, Steve focuses on two modern players Fred Wesley and British star Dennis Rollins.
The topic of this episode is “Hard bop”. This funky style borrows from rhythm and blues, as well as gospel music to create a new direction in Jazz.
In episode 11 Steve introduced us to electric jazz guitar. In this episode he looks more broadly into the world of jazz guitar.
Steve gives us an introduction to the life and work of Ornette Coleman, a rebel and innovator in both his playing and his compositions.
Episode 3 touched lightly on the Bossa Nova. In this episode Steve is having deeper look into this Brazilian style of music.
Steve highlights some of the music of internationally acclaimed artist Van Morrison.
For details about Jazz in the Hall, as well as what is coming up this season, click here.