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Varis Leichtman Studio

The Great American Songbook: Week Six

Singing The Blues

In this final session, we look at the other great source of inspiration for the great jazz singers and musicians – beyond what is usually defined as the Great American Songbook – to what might be described as “The OTHER Great American Songbook”: namely, the blues. This two-hour session will be a crash course on the blues as a musical form, and will illustrate how the parameters of the blues are much wider and more all-inclusive than is generally believed. Here, we’ll cover all aspects of this remarkable American music, which has been a wellspring of inspiration for jazzmen for over a century, from the original urban or “vaudeville blues” (Bessie Smith), to the delta blues (Robert Johnson), the country music blues (Jimmie Rodgers), the rhythm and blues of the ‘40s (Louis Jordan), the big band blues (Count Basie, Duke Ellington) and the sophisticated, majestic blues stylists who represent the apogee of the music (Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Joe Williams). We’ll hear such masterpieces of the form as “St. Louis Blues,” “Goin’ to Chicago,” “Got My Mojo Workin’,” “Early in the Mornin’,” “Ev’ry Day I Have the Blues” and lots more.

***Please note that due to an unexpected issue, the 11/14 Great American Songbook class is cancelled. We will be in touch with each enrolled student about scheduling a make-up session. Please email swingu@jazz.org for more information.

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Frederick P. Rose Hall, 5th floor

Broadway and 60th Street


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