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Jazz History

Big Bands from Basie to the Present

Rowe Center

Image of the subject matter that will be discussed during the lecture
Chuck Bergeron - Image of the lecturer in a promotional photo
Jan 20, 10:00am
Rowe Center 10:00am
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Jazz History
Big Bands from Basie to the Present

Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning

Chuck Bergeron, Professor of Jazz History and Ensemble Program Coordinator at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami

With its powerful driving rhythms, rich harmonies and ample opportunity for individual solos, big band’s signature wall of sound is one of the most impressive forms of presentation in all of jazz music. Big band’s meteoric rise in popularity from the early 1900s to its peak popularity in the 1930s and 1940s was made possible by advancements in recording technology that allowed for larger ensembles, generally consisting of a saxophone, trombone, trumpet and rhythm section — totaling anywhere from 10-25 musicians. This lecture presents a study of the evolution of large jazz ensembles after the dance band era, from the Count Basie Orchestra to present day bands like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Christian McBride Big Band and others.

This presentation is part of Chuck Bergeron's Jazz History series.

Chuck Bergeron

Chuck Bergeron

Chuck Bergeron is professor of jazz history and ensemble program coordinator at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and is a leading figure in the field of jazz education. His students and ensembles have won many national and international awards and competitions. In addition to working with students majoring in music and jazz studies, Chuck is responsible for teaching the evolution of jazz and the history of rock and roll to 400 non-music major students each semester at the University of Miami.

As a jazz bassist and composer, Chuck’s unique approach to improvisation and compositional style reflects the wide variety of musical influences while confirming a deep commitment to his musical cultural heritage as a native New Orleanian. This can be seen in his leadership of the South Florida Jazz Orchestra — a critically acclaimed, modern big band comprising many of the top jazz artists and studio musicians in Miami. 


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