The Jazz Department of the Prince Claus Conservatoire is like no other jazz school. ‘New York Comes to Groningen’ is the name of this programme: a programme that gives students the opportunity to learn the values of tradition and exploration that are associated with musicians on the New York Jazz scene. In addition to ongoing weekly instruction from a world class Dutch faculty, each student receives lessons from our visiting New York jazz faculty which features as of September 2011: Joris Teepe (bass and head of the jazz department), Don Braden (sax), Gene Jackson (drums), Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), JD Walter (vocals), David Berkman (piano), Robin Eubanks (trombone) and Freddie Bryant (guitar).
These New York musicians each teach for one week as part of a rotating system, each teacher returning every 2 months or so for the duration of the school year. Each guest teacher teaches private lessons for the students who play the guest teacher’s instrument, but guest teachers also teach history, listening sessions, theory, ensembles and master classes, covering subjects that concern every student.
Thus, unlike a lot of other schools that bring in well known musicians to teach, ALL students work with ALL of the guest teachers, irrespective of the student’s instrument. Of course, students also receive regular courses from the permanent Dutch faculty. These courses include private lessons, theory, ear training, jazz history, arranging and a wide variety of performing ensembles. In addition to this, renowned international musicians such as Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman, Kevin Mahogany and Bill Goodwin make guest appearances, teaching master classes and workshops.