A strong emphasis on playing
Joris Teepe and his colleagues are a faculty of seasoned professional musicians who have played with many of the greatest musicians in jazz. They are part of the rich musical community of New York City, the city that is the centre of the jazz world. This life experience and commitment directly effects how they teach; the ‘New York comes to Groningen’ program is a more pragmatic, performanceoriented way of studying jazz than what is often
taught at other conservatoires. This means that when you enter the conservatoire, you will be performing from the first day. The theory that you study is applied to real playing situations, and in general classes are focussed on making you ready to play jazz on the highest professional level. Piano study, lessons in arranging and compositions all find quick applications in studio projects and student performances.
Your main subject forms the central theme in your course of study, but playing in ensembles (including a wide range of jazz groups, fusion, latin and soul bands as well as traditional big bands) is an important part of the curriculum. Student-led ensembles are plentiful, both for required concerts and exams as well as extra- curricular jam sessions, world music ensembles and other bands that offer a stunning array of original directions in improvised music. These bands are performing regularly at the many jam sessions,clubs and concert venues in Groningen and around the Netherlands. For inspiration, world renowned jazz musicians appear regularly in De Oosterpoort (cultural center) and in the club circuit around Groningen. In the student’s third year, many students go to exchange programs with schools in Europe and the United States. And to really get to know the New York Jazz scene, a school trip is organized each year to visit New York and attend performances in clubs around the city.
Jazz as a career
After completing the program, you will be able to work in a wide variety of musical ensembles. After your graduation you are equipped to start a career as a musician, performing in various ensembles and in all styles of jazz. You know how to promote yourself and your group, you can compose and arrange music for all kinds of ensembles and orchestra’s. If you complete all the teacher training course you can teach at a music school or privately.
Even though the focus of the Jazz department is ‘Jazz’, many other contemporary styles of music are studied, such as fusion, latin and soul. We also make use of the expertise of the classical department of the conservatoire.
Workshops and Concerts by the New York Jazz Faculty
every Monday the visiting New York teacher of that week presents a concert and workshop. Both the concert and workshop are free of charge and open to the public.
Lunch Concerts by Jazz Students
Every weekday a lunch concert is given by jazz students. A different student acts as the musical director of each day’s concert, giving students the opportunity to increase their performance experience and prepare for situations in which they will present their own compositions and arrangements. These concerts bring a lively atmosphere to the school and a supportive environment and sense of community to the jazz department. These concerts are also open to the public and free of charge.