Jazz Rehearsals started in January 2014 for people who want to play jazz in a friendly environment. I began this project for jazz enthusiasts like myself who have a passion for the music and want to improve their ability to play jazz.
I became aware of the difficulty of developing my jazz knowledge and playing ability alongside a busy full-time job. There were few entry-level weekend jazz workshops and jams available for amateur musicians in London so I decided to start something myself. Jazz Rehearsals is a space where participants can develop their improvisation skills and practise jazz in a group with musicians playing at a similar level.
The Jazz Rehearsals sessions are led by experienced jazz musicians who share their knowledge about jazz theory, rhythm, playing as a group etc in a friendly and relaxed setting. The sessions start as a tutor led jazz workshop for the first 1.5 hours. The sessions then continue in a jam format where participants play a number of jazz standards and can put into practise what they have gained from the workshop.
Most of the tutors are graduates from jazz programmes of the UK’s leading conservatories and play with some of the leading names in the UK jazz scene. The tutors select the topics that are covered. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for a broad range of jazz styles provides the participants with exposure to a variety of streams within the genre.
The aim of these sessions is that people improve and gain confidence in playing jazz and come in contact with other aspiring jazz musicians. The sessions have a lasting impact: participants have established a number of ongoing spin-off rehearsal sessions alongside their attendance to further develop their jazz skills.
Lead sheets are issued to all participants when they sign up so they can practise the tunes prior to the session. The number of participants is limited to two people per instrument so that everybody has a real opportunity to play. The sessions in London are currently held at The Premises Studios. Recently we have also decided to organise one of our sessions in Cambridge at Rhinocorn Studio.