The essential history of jazz in 20 cuts

Course Dates: 15/01/24 - 18/03/24
Time: 13:00 - 15:00
Location: Keeley Street
Through a selection of 20 iconic albums, we will study the key figures, the innovators and the star soloists of 20th century jazz, as well as some important artists you might be less familiar with.
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Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00

The essential history of jazz in 20 cuts
  • Course Code: MD620
  • Dates: 15/01/24 - 18/03/24
  • Time: 13:00 - 15:00
  • Taught: Mon, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Albi Gravener

Course Code: MD620

Mon, day, 15 Jan - 18 Mar '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Featuring albums such as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue; John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and key recordings by Duke Ellington; Charles Mingus; Charlie Parker; George Russell; Ornette Coleman; Billie Holiday; Lester Young; Fats Waller; Louis Armstrong; George Russell; Cecil Taylor; Jelly Roll Morton and many more. This course will introduce the leading exponents of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical revolutions.
The term “Jazz” is used to describe many different styles of music but what is it; how is it constructed; how do you know if it’s good or bad; why is it so important?

What will we cover?

- The roots and evolution of jazz throughout the 20th century
- Biographies and recommended listening for the Major figures as well as lesser-known artists
- The social and historical forces that gave rise to and propelled the music
- Jazz beyond the United States
- The influence of the music upon popular culture then and now
- An introduction to recording and playing techniques
- How to listen
- The jazz vocalist.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Recognise major figures within Jazz.
- Place artists, bands and styles within a historical context
- Be able to seek out other recordings made by the artists discussed and related artists
- Discuss playing and recording techniques using the relevant terminology
- Leave with extensive guided listening lists to explore the music further.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge of music is required but you should have an interest in music and be keen to find out more. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Sessions will comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.

Albi Gravener

aLbi is a mostly self-taught saxophonist and composer, obsessed with jazz and its evolution since his early teens when he stumbled across his father’s precious vinyl collection of half a dozen discs. Perhaps something of the emotional nuance and intensity of John Coltrane and Stan Getz resonated with his own adolescent turmoil. aLbi was stunned to discover that Coltrane and Getz were playing the same instrument, tenor sax, so different were the “voices” they projected, and came to understand that the striving for a personal sound and expression were integral to the music. He became immersed in that world and its history. aLbi has formed bands playing original compositions, a sort of neo punk, jazz, reggae, funk, calypso with surreal and comic lyrics, often manically theatrical and at one point popular in the pubs, clubs and colleges of Kent. He has since become involved with theatre companies composing and collaborating and has written, produced and appeared in two original musicals. In 2007 one collaborative project was awarded the Samuel Becket Trust award for new and original theatre. aLbi has taught a variety of jazz history courses at City Lit since 2014.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.