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Professional musicians work with Shaker Jazz Ensemble

| February 16, 2016

A trio of professional jazz musicians, including pianist Brian Axford, saxophonist Jeff Nania, bassist Ed Tourge and drummer Gene Garone, led a jam session with student musicians from the Shaker High School Jazz Ensemble on Thursday, February 11, teaching them the basics of an important characteristic of the genre: improvisation. The musicians shared ideas that encouraged students to find their own voice in improvisation, saying, “The more you do it, the more articulate you become; the more it becomes a language for you.”

The Albany Musicians Union applied for a grant that funded the opportunity for students to work with such high caliber musicians. Every member of the jazz ensemble had a chance to improvise on jazz standards, and received encouragement from the artists, with Mr. Axford telling student musicians to be fearless: “If you don’t go for it, you’ll never do anything awesome.”

picture of musicians working with SHS Jazz Ensemble

picture of musicians working with SHS Jazz Ensemble

picture of musicians working with SHS Jazz Ensemble

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