Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

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A thriving jazz culture depends on strong jazz education. tune-up features material that’s particularly pertinent to both students and educators.

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May/June 2017: Buster Williams (Festival Edition)

Showing Your Maths

Every year, the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival offers a series of free Jazz Labs where anybody interested in this music can take in some behind-the-scenes conversation about what goes into this music. Tuesday, June 20 – Gabriel Palatchi is a young Argentinian pianist who is putting a fresh spin on Latin jazz. His influences, […]

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March/April 2017: Neil Watson

Help Aplenty for Aspiring Jazz Musicians

We often lament that we are not living in the time of Bird and Diz, with lots of live music and jam sessions galore. On the other hand, in some ways we are living in an amazing time because of the resources that are so accessible. Recordings have never been more available, and wisdom from […]

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January/February 2017: Warren Wolf

I Just Have Too Much Practice Time!

Have you ever heard of the 10,000-hour rule? It is commonly (and misleadingly) paraphrased as claiming that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. The idea originates with the work of psychologist Anders Ericsson but captured the public consciousness with Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Many people took the idea this […]

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November/December 2016: Alicia Olatuja

From Big Band to Jams and Back Again

For a lot of people, jazz means big band—and big band is an important part of jazz, but it’s not the whole field. Big band (or jazz orchestra) is a gateway between the classical world and the jazz world. It’s organized and balanced, and there’s always somebody there to usher you through the challenges that […]

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September/October 2016: Robi Botos

Community or Conformity

There is a lot of talk in education these days about building a sense of community within our music ensembles and programs. Is there a flip side to a strong sense of community? As a teacher I often think back to my students who had a passionate love of music but not necessarily the music […]

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July/August 2016: Greg Lowe

Baby Steps to Giant Steps: Talent or Persistence

Over many years, Carol Dweck at Stanford has studied children and their mindset as it relates to their learning. The basic idea is that children who are praised for their intelligence after successfully completing a task develop a “fixed mindset.” In other words, they come to believe that their success is a result of their […]

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May/June 2016: Kamasi Washington (Festival Edition)

Developing Your Rhythmic Language

Most young jazz musicians look at all the chords and scales they need to master and find it a bit intimidating. (I mean, what is an M# demented chord anyway?) They spend countless hours practicing so they will instantly know exactly what scales work over which chords, and how to create smooth voice-leading. That’s all […]

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March/April 2016: Aaron Diehl

Play More Than You Practice

Play more than you practice. What an odd phrase to come from a music teacher! This advice from Victor Wooten’s TED Talk video, “Music as a Language,” doesn’t capture the totality of becoming fluent in music, but it points to an idea that perhaps needs a bit more attention. Many young musicians find daily practice […]

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January/February 2016: Seamus Blake

The Roots of Jazz Improvisation

The most effective way to learn how to play jazz is to start by learning how to do what a bass player does: play the root notes of all the chords in the right spots. The root notes are like fence posts that appear on a continuum or time line. They tell you the order […]

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November/December 2015: Grace Kelly

Demystifying the Blues

A couple of things to know about the blues. First of all, it consists of notes that don’t normally exist on the piano. So if you find a lot of your notes lining up with piano notes, you’re probably not really playing the blues. Number two, the rhythms are overtly sexual—because sex was not forbidden […]

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September/October 2015: Vincent Gardner

Jazz Masterclasses: Sharing the News

What is a masterclass? The Desautels Faculty of Music at the U of M has been hosting Masters of Jazz Masterclasses for the past few years. The idea is to grab some of the world-renowned artists performing here and give them a chance to share some of their experiences, their artistic concepts, their routines, and […]

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July/August 2015: Walle Larsson

Joel Green

Joel Green started playing trombone in his junior high band. He borrowed his grandfather’s trombone, and never really gave it back. Within a month, he was hooked! Classically trained, he remembers being almost overwhelmed by the raw energy and intensity of jazz when he first encountered it. “It’s addictive,” he adds, “so I just kept […]

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July/August 2015: Walle Larsson

Writing for Big Band?

In the fall, the Big dig! Band will roll out its second season, and once again, we’re inviting anyone in the community to try their hand at composing/arranging. It’s a big deal to feel your musical imagination expressed by seventeen or eighteen professional musicians! Getting those ideas translated and organized for that large an ensemble […]

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May/June 2015: Esperanza Spalding

The Incubator

In April, I stood at the back of the band room at Vincent Massey Collegiate to hear the Youth Jazz Collective, an auditioned tentet of young jazz musicians from high schools around the city. They played tough, contemporary music—including a tune composed by their bandleader Jon Gordon—and they sounded good. Very good. They were playing […]

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March/April 2015: Regina Carter

Youth Jazz Collective: 2015 Edition

On January 24, the Youth Jazz Collective had its first rehearsal, and we got off to an excellent start! I’m taking over from Professor Derrick Gardner this year, and I’m looking forward to working with this talented group of kids from high schools across the city. They are hungry to learn and excited about continuing […]

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January/February 2015: big dig! band

Rent Party 5

On November 16, Winnipeggers packed the Park Theatre for Rent Party 5, a special celebration of dig! magazine’s tenth birthday! Small groups of students and alumni played while people milled in the lobby, getting their pictures taken on the red carpet, making strategic efforts to win prizes at the rainbow auction table, watching images from […]

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September/October 2014: Chick Corea

A Great Day in Winnipeg!

“A Great Day in Harlem” is one of the iconic images in jazz. A crowd of dapper musicians spills down the steps of a New York brownstone, and a row of kids sits along the curb in front of them. In 1958, the New York jazz scene was electric, with busy clubs and enthusiastic fans. […]

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July/August 2014: Curtis Nowosad

Introducing… The Jazz on Wheels Academy

This summer, a new learning opportunity is opening up for a handful of gifted young musicians in Winnipeg’s underserved neighbourhoods. Thanks to a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council and some determined maneuvering by Jazz Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, and a few committed souls, we’re rolling out the first incarnation of the Jazz on […]

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May/June 2014: Jimmy Greene

Live at Massey Hall

By all indications, more and more teenage musicians are getting bitten by the jazz bug. They’re pumping Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk and Avishai Cohen through their earphones. They prowl around YouTube watching musicians at work, then send the links to their friends. They hang out in the band room over lunch to work out […]

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January/February 2014: Neil Coligan

The Cool Wednesday Night Hang

Ten years ago, people packed into The Freehouse, a sprawling bar on the corner of Osborne and Stradbrook, to find out what all the buzz was about. The Cool Monday Night Hang took this city by storm. University students like Will Boness, Heitha Forsyth, Paul Metcalfe, Chris Butcher, and Neil Watson, and even a few […]

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