Attending the annual Pitt Jazz Seminar for the first time: day 1

42nd Pitt Jazz Seminar poster

This year I decided to attend events of the 42nd annual Pitt Jazz Seminar for the first time. I’ve never had any instruction in jazz, and frankly have only a little bit of experience trying to play it myself, so I enjoyed the opportunity to attend presentations by great performers who could talk about what they do, where they’ve come from, and demonstrate their craft.

I went in to Pitt campus on a Friday morning to learn from some master musicians.

Yotam Silbertein, guitar

I thought it was interesting that an Israeli musician, Yotam Silbertein, kicked off the morning of seminars. Of course, as he emphasized in his talk, jazz is an international phenomenon. It happens in Israel, it happens in Japan, it happens in Europe. It may have started off in the United States, but it is everywhere now.

That said, he did eventually have to head to New York, the place to be. He even speaks English with a New York style accent.

He emphasized that it’s necessary to go where the action is and learn from the best.

Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone

Javon Jackson spoke a lot about being a professional in music: how you behave, how you work with others, and develop a career.

Indeed, he pointed out that he wears a suit because it projects a professional image.

That’s it for the day

There was another session later in the afternoon, but I skipped it because I needed to return to work.

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