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Audition Info

Big Band Jazz Performance Practices with Andy Clausen

Registration for Big Band Jazz Performance Practices is now closed. 

Join NYYS Jazz Director Andy Clausen and a host of world-renowned guest artists for a highly interactive eight-week online seminar exploring the performance practices, history, and evolution of Big Band Jazz from the 1920s through the present day. Providing specific practice materials tailored to each student, play-along recordings, musical scores, and expert masterclasses, the course will offer students first-hand playing experience, and critical understanding of the evolving stylistic intricacies and historical significance of the genre.

The course will focus on four major periods of Big Band Jazz evolution, highlighting the artistic contributions of key figures of the day.

1920 - 1935: The Formation of The Big Band Sound 
Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, and Duke Ellington

1935 - 1945: For Dancers Only - The Swing Era
Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Goodman,Glenn Miller, and Mary Lou Williams

1945 - 1970: Post-War Innovations
Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Gil Evans, Nelson Riddle, and Thad Jones

1970 - Present: Modern Voices
Bob Brookmeyer, Carla Bley, Maria Schneider, Wynton Marsalis, John Hollenbeck, and Darcy James Argue

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be equipped with ample practice materials and information to navigate any big band playing situation they may find themselves in. 

Through playing, listening, reading, analysis, and expert lecturers, students will immerse themselves in the stylistic intricacies and performance practices of the genre. In addition, they will gain a critical understanding of the Social, Economic, and Political factors within American History that have shaped the Big Band Jazz Art Form over the past century.


The course will meet Sunday afternoons on Zoom from 4:00 - 6:00 pm (EST), from October 11 - December 6, 2020. This course is open to any students ages 12-22, of all experience levels. We encourage students from any location to register and participate, however all classtimes will be held in Eastern Standard Time Zone so students will need to calculate the time difference on an individual basis.