My article Inclusivity and Adversity in Jazz Education: A Case Study of Paul Read was just accepted for the Canadian Music Educator. Very exciting. This got me thinking about what is Canadian, whether that is jazz, jazz education or popular music. I often have this discussion in my classes. Is there a Canadian sound or a Canadian philosophy? Great topic. I may just write an article about it so here is a preview. It seems that the consensus is that we are lacking a common Canadian sound. Our strength is our diversity. This is why I always find it interesting that people latch on to the trends, and I am guilty of this too. For instance, Drake. The TSO just played a cover of the man and people go nuts on social media. Well, great but why not play a cover of something a little more symbolic of Toronto or Canada (in my opinion) . . . Maestro Fresh Wes, Jully Black, Classified, Lights, Tokyo Police Club, etc. Playing Drake is too easy and too mainstream. I love marrying the "classic" ensembles (symphony, concert band, big band) and popular music so I shouldn't whine. I guess I wish I had put out more arrangements sooner. Maybe this trend will blow-up and we will have a real variety, but that's probably wishful thinking.
I just finished writing an arrangement of Love for Sale as a mambo. A month ago, I would not have been able to do this, as I was ignorant (and maybe still am) about Afro-Cuban styles. Now, I have a little help with the "Salsa Guidebook for Piano & Ensemble" by Rebeca Mauleon. It really helped me to grasp the basic roles for each rhythm section member. It was recommended to me and I recommend it to you.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.