Eddie Erickson, left, and Bucky Pizzarelli perform during the School of Jazz Guitar Seminar at Ginsberg Music, Saturday. Mark Wilson Photo
Music enthusiasts of all skill levels gathered at Ginsberg Music Saturday as the Roswell Jazz Festival continued with a series of seminars.
Art[auth] istic director Michael Francis said the seminars serve two main purposes. The first purpose, he said, “is to explain the mystery of what the musicians are doing during the performances.” He said that by showing listeners what all goes into creating jazz, they are able to enjoy the jazz concerts from a more educated standpoint and come away with more knowledge about the multifaceted style.
“There’s lots of ways of playing jazz, many, many, different styles,” he said. “And this is a way to let people know on the inside [what goes into creating jazz].”
The second goal of the seminars is to reach young people and peak their interest in the music style, thus keeping the art form alive.
The day included insight on playing jazz guitar, piano and horns. Attendees then received a treat as the musicians rehearsed a few numbers they would later perform at Tropical Rhythms.
Pianist Roger Dickerson, who helped conduct the jazz piano seminar, said the event had a different vibe for him. He first came to Roswell as an evacuee of Hurricane Katrina and said he was welcomed by the community with open arms. He felt he wasn’t really addressing a crowd during his portion, but interacting with loved ones.
“I’ve gotten to know these people and they’re just really at the bottom of my heart,” he said. “ So when I’m talking to them about anything, particularly about music, it’s very heartfelt and I feel like I’m speaking to people who are close to me, members of my family.”
The seminar left many ready for the concert that took place at the Sally Port Saturday night, and some to sharpen their own musical skills, including Trudi Manuel, of Colorado. She said she happened to be visiting the state and decided to attend the festival while here. She’s been playing the piano since since she was 6, but learned more about the gradations and rhythms of jazz piano music and took away how to improvise when playing. Manuel added that the information gleaned at the seminar, coupled with her new hobby, will take her piano playing to a new level.
“One thing I will say is I had a great piano teacher, but I don’t think my ear training was that good,” she said. “Since I’ve been taking tap dancing lessons it has really helped me open up the possibilities of not playing on the page.
The concert wraps up today with Jazz Worship at Pueblo Auditorium, Third and Kentucky, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., and Honoring the Ginsberg Family at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, 409 E. College Blvd., from 2 to 4 p.m.