The Jazz Musician Intensive 2019: I'm out - now what?

The Jazz Musician Intensive
Date: 
Tue Jun 25 10:30am
Ticket Price: 
Free and open to the public
Ticket Information: 

Outstanding saxophonist Melissa Aldana relates her journey from Berklee College of Music student to internationally acclaimed musician, sharing some of the tips she's picked up in the ten years since graduating. Mark Micklethwaite facilitates.

Jazz Musician Intensive clinics are free and open to the public. The 2019 Jazz Musician Intensive is generously supported by Long & McQuade Music Instruments, the Ken Page Memorial Trust and Victoria University.

Developing the next generation of musicians goes beyond providing performance opportunities: in order to have the best chance at future success, musicians must understand what it means, in broad terms, to be a member of the music industry – beyond mastering their instrument. An understanding of the business of music – building a brand, marketing strategy, networking, manufacturing and licensing – are vital to a musician’s long-term viability, especially given today’s rapidly changing digital and online landscapes.

The Jazz Musician Intensive seeks to support developing musicians through two streams of activity: in one, a series of daily clinics, free and open to the public, covers a variety of topics related to the wider music industry; in the other, 8 post-secondary students, selected from the four major GTA post-secondary jazz programs, rehearse daily under the guidance of a local jazz veteran, ultimately culminating in a performance on an official TD Toronto Jazz Festival stage.

Complete information on the Jazz Musician Intensive is available here.

On her first jazz quartet "Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men. On her first jazz quartet recording, Aldana adds a new dimension to her sound, resulting in a transformative movement of expression and self-identity.

Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile. She began playing the saxophone when she was six, under the influence and tuition of her father Marcos Aldana, also a professional saxophonist. Aldana began with alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Michael Brecker. However, upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, she switched to tenor; the first tenor saxophone she used was a Selmer Mark VI that had belonged to her grandfather.

She started performing in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens. In 2005, after meeting him while he was on tour in Chile, she was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the Panama Jazz Festival, as well as a number of auditions at music schools in the USA. As a result of these introductions, she went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, where her tutors included Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, Bill Pierce, and Ralph Peterson

Aldana graduated from Berklee in 2009, relocating to New York City to study under George Coleman. She recorded her first album, Free Fall, released on Greg Osby's Inner Circle Music imprint in 2010. Her live shows in this period included performances at the Blue Note Jazz Club and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and her second album, Second Cycle, was released in 2012. In 2013, aged 24, she was the first female musician and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which her father had been a semi-finalist in 1991. The prize was a $25,000 scholarship, and a recording contract with Concord Jazz. Reporting her win, the Washington Post described Aldana as representing "a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz".

Mark Micklethwaite is a musician, educator, historian, and administrator. He is currently Administrative Coordinator for trumpeter Dave Douglas and Greenleaf Music. His work experience in the music field also includes key positions at the Banff Centre, JAZZ.FM91, and Manhattan School of Music. As an educator, Mark has developed innovative community and educational programing and facilitated relationships with schools and community groups to present many engaging events. He has developed outreach programs, music appreciation courses, and educational videoconferences for students throughout North America. As a freelance drummer for over twenty years, Mark has performed at clubs, concert halls, and festivals throughout North America, Europe, and Egypt. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music at York University and his Masters of Music at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

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