I came across a great little article about the music making processes of some young jazz musicians. In the June 2011 issue of DownBeat, Hilary Brown writes about three student groups who won in the jazz group/combo category of DownBeat‘s prestigious annual awards.
As I read the article below, a few things really jumped out at me. I was particularly struck by the importance of relationships. The students collaborate with each other to learn by student-directed exploration. And they also gain much from the expertise of teachers and mentors. Also, I love the idea that musicality is being driven by cooperation, rather than competition. Let’s face it, all of these kids are likely incredibly talented musicians. Suppressing egos in order to serve the music and the betterment of the group…well, that’s not easy for some people. But it’s credited for the great success these kids are having.
Special thanks to Hilary Brown for getting me the PDF so quickly after my request, and to DownBeat for permitting me to post it here!
By the way, the main reason I was looking through that issue of DownBeat was to check out the award-winners from my own campus, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Really proud of these students in our jazz program!