With the 2 quartetsWith the 2 quartetsAlto player Alto player
Quartet #1

Quartet #1

Quartet # 2

Quartet # 2

We arrived at JaeNung College in Incheon for our master class not really knowing exactly what to expect, but as we entered the university complex there was again a huge banner with The Mark Sherman/Tim Horner Quartet displayed as you drove through the gate. When we entered the hall where they held it, there were maybe 100 eager students who absolutely went nuts when we walked in. What a feeling it was for all of us to be accepted that way without even playing a note or saying a word. We set up and the master-class continued.

First 2 different student quartets performed for us play tunes like “Confirmation”, “Stella By Starlight”, “Autumn Leaves”, and “Wave”. Then we each one at a time were to critique the groups. We each had productive things to say, and advice to give to the 2 groups re: time feel, communication with each other on the bandstand, as well as the constant need for all of us jazz musicians to develop our language and improv skills. We talked about some of the necessary tools us jazz musicians use, and generally tried to inspire them. Of course these kids were so excited, it did not take much to motivate them. Then we performed 3 or 4 tunes from our huge list of original compositions that we have together, and of course they went crazy after each solo etc. For the fourth tune we decided to bring play Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation”, as that was one of the tunes that the first quartet played. In that first quartet there was a young alto sax player who had a really nice sound on the alto, and had clearly practiced and developed a little language. He seemed to be one of the better players in the school. So we invited him up to play “Confirmation” with us, we had heard him play it already, and knew he would be comfortable with it. WOW! He nearly passed out with excited and the kids went nuts as he stepped up on the stage. Well we played the melody and I pointed at him to take the first solo. He took 2 choruses, then a third, and much to our surprise with his eyes closed deeply in the moment he went for a fourth chorus. We were all so happy he took all those choruses. It was clearly his big chance to play with an American and, and he just ate it up. I was thrilled. The entire 1.5 hours was a triumph for us as educators, and of course for the students. I am sure now that alto player is a little star in that school. It was a beautiful moment. Afterwards again they showered us with love and applause, and autographs of the 8 CD’s we gave out to the two quartet members, and all the other Rhythm Road materials we had for gifts. It was a beautiful afternoon. Our host Tom Underwood from the US embassy was thrilled with the outcome.

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