To be honest, the idea of the new normal isn’t normal yet for me, but seeing others adapt in creative and innovative ways is helping. For example, the Milwaukee Jazz Institute is starting a series of free online classes.
The program is called ‘The Jazz Circle” and it is an effort to bring jazz instruction to students since many school jazz programs have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milwaukee Jazz Institute’s artistic director Mark Davis and education director Eric Jacobson will teach a four-week online series on jazz improvisation and harmony. Even though the classes are targeted for middle school and high students, anyone can take them.
The first class, which is on triads, begins on 414 Day at 5:30 p.m. Davis will show participants how to play triads, three-note chords that are the building blocks of harmony. The attendees will be encouraged to play along at home on a piano, keyboard or other instruments. Vocalists can sing along. Attendees will not be seen or heard on video but will have the option of asking questions during the session.
Also, the institute is hosting other online events like ‘The Music of the Messengers‘ this Thursday The online event will be a guided tour, with the institute’s Paul Silbergleit, through the different eras of their music. This session will be dedicated to the memory of Jymie Merritt, the bassist for one of the band’s most significant lineups, who passed away this past Friday. The event costs $15 and supports the Milwaukee Jazz Institute.