[Dixielandjazz] Jazz in the Classroom/memorzing solos, etc.

JT jack.teagarden at comcast.net
Mon Jan 8 10:46:59 PST 2007

  Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry has a great piece of advice for aspiring 
jazz musicians: "Imitate, assimilate, innovate." It's a phrase that's 
been picked up by practitioners of many disciplines, from dance to 
graffiti. The basic idea is that one can't effectively innovate until 
one assimilates the state of the art, and the starting point for 
beginning to assimilate is to imitate what has worked before. Through 
imitation, one begins to internalize what's going on in the music and 
thus to understand why the jazz greats of the past approached certain 
things in certain ways; why certain things "work" in certain contexts. 
That's the foundation one needs before one can extend the scope of the 
art. "innovation" isn't a question of doing something randomly 
different just because it's different; its a question of building on an 
existing foundation. If you don't understand the foundation, on what 
will you build?

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list