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West LA Jazz Jam Pages

Jazz Jams V 2.0

Just a little history for the people new to this group...

Originally, this group started out as jam sessions at the Keyboard Concepts Piano store in Santa Monica by Organizer-Emeritus Jeff Bauer. We have had jazz jam sessions once or twice a month since mid-2010 and we've all had a good time, met new friends, and learned a lot about performing jazz. Jeff did a fabulous job of creating this group and I have now volunteered to continue it.

We now have a new permanent site which we will be using starting on June 13, and it's literally a Jazz Sanctuary in the heart of the Westside. It's the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester. Parking is extremely easy. Acoustics are incredible. A Chickering Grand Piano (that sounds great) is there. Lot's of pews to sit on.

I'm extremely appreciative of the help provided to us by Pastor Fr. Peter Rood who not only hosts regular jazz events here but has now helped us by making a contribution to jazz Education with our jam sessions. Jazz pianist Patrice Rushen is a big supporter of the jazz activities at this site and holds an annual concert. There are also monthly Jazz events tied to brief Church services (called Jazz Vespers). Jazz Students from USC Thornton and Cal State perform here.

In the future, I hope we can also have Master Classes here on various subjects to help us all become better at our craft.

Who Can Attend?

The jams have been a mix of levels. Some participants have a lot of experience and active gigging schedule and some have come to learn. Others join to watch only. Everyone is welcome and we would also be happy to have a larger audience so we get some feedback. What I can say is that those who've attended this and played have gotten better (myself included) and the sharing of knowledge is what I'd like to actively promote. This is not a "cut-down" jam session.

Frequency of Jam Sessions

The jams/events are scheduled to occur once or twice a month.

Cost of Participating

The current cost to attend is $10 per person, including the audience. I'm expecting to most of the monies collected to Holy Nativity Church.

What do You Bring?

Bring your instrument and amplification unless you are a pianist or a Vocalist. I will bring the PA and Mikes. I will attempt to do a recording of the jams but I can't promise that I have the time to edit and post. So if you wish to record, bring your own device.

Important for all to bring a "Real Book" (C or Bb depending on your instrument). Or alternatively, get the Iphone/Ipad App "iRealB" so you have everything and can easily change keys.

Vocalists and Soloists, if you expect the group the play your music in YOUR KEY, you must bring music in the key appropriate for the rhythm section (Piano and Guitar are "C" Instruments). Several copies PLEASE (Possibly for Piano, Guitar, Bass, Horns).

Usual Procedure

Each musician needs to sign-up if they wish to play. Each ensemble will play for 2 tunes. If a vocalist is present, the Vocalist will have one tune and the next will be instrumental.

There will be times when some Jam sessions will be indicated as "Instrumental" only. So please note if that is specified in any particular date.

If the agreed upon tune is not something you are able to play, please do not hesitate to "sit-it-out" and take a later turn. This way everyone gets a chance to play at the level of music they want at least for one of the two tunes.

After playing, sign-up again for next rotation.

What Do We Play?

Some tunes get played a lot. I will make a list here so everyone can prepare and not be surprised at what comes up. Since everyone has to agree on what to play, it usually leans to the common ground, which are the jazz standards.

Common Jam Tunes:

Afro Blue
All Blues
All of Me
All the Things You Are
Angel Eyes
April In Paris
As Time Goes By
At Last
Autumn in New York
Autumn Leaves
Beatiful Love
Besame Mucho
Billie's Bounce
Black Coffee
Blue Bossa
Blue in Green
Blue Monk
Blue Skies
Body and Soul
Bye Bye Blackbird
Cantaloupe Island
Cissy Strut
Chan's Song
Dat Dere
Days of Wine and Roses
Devil May Care
Dolphin Dance
Don't Explain
Falling Grace
Fly Me to the Moon
500 Miles High
Frim Fram Sauce
How High the Moon
How Insensitive
Giant Steps
Girl from Ipanema
God Bless the Child
Good Morning Heartache
Have You Met Miss Jones
I'll Be Seeing You
Inner Urge
In Walked Bud
I've Got You Under My Skin
Joy Spring
Just Friends
Killer Joe
Look of Love
Lullaby of Birdland
Manha De Carnaval
Maiden Voyage
Moment's Notice
My Foolish Heart
My Romance
My Funny Valentine
Manha de Carnaval (Black Orpheus)
Mercy Mercy
Night in Tunisia, A
On Green Dolphin Street
One Note Samba
Out of Nowhere
Red Clay
Route 66
Satin Doll
Softly as In the Morning Sunrise
Someday My Prince Will Come
So What/Impressions
Song for My Father
Soul Eyes
Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
Stella by Starlight
Stolen Moments
Take Five
Take the A-Train
There Will Never Be Another You
They Can't Take That Away from Me
Very Early
Waltz for Debby
What is this thing called Love
Whisper Not
When Sunny Gets Blue

This is About Learning

This jam session is about learning. Those who learn here graduate on to gig publicly somewhere. So risk taking is encouraged. You have a train wreck? Don't worry. Think about how quickly you can recover and then see if you get better next time.

Gigging Opportunities

There have been several success stories in this group. After taking risks in jam sessions and gaining confidence, several players/singers are performing publicly. I myself have a quintet that's been performing regularly and several meetup members have performed with the group.

Performance has to be learned with live people and this meetup has really provided a great opportunity for that.


Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Concert Pitch, Bb, Eb Instruments May 18, 2011 1:05 AM RobTheOrganizer
Common Jam Tunes November 28, 2018 8:47 AM RobTheOrganizer
About West LA Jazz Jam March 15, 2017 6:36 PM RobTheOrganizer

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