New School Teaching
Around 1990-1991, my close friend Keith Copeland (who was drummer in my Quartet) was teaching a rhythm class in the Jazz department of the New School in New York City, and began to have a few class sessions for which he asked me to substitute because he was scheduled to be away on the road (in Europe and Japan). I had never been interested in teaching, but I found that filling in for Keith in these classes was surprisingly enjoyable. The department was excellent, with fellow faculty members such as Billy Harper, Jim Hall, Reggie Workman, Joe Chambers, Armen Donelian, Buster Williams, Dave Liebman, JoAnne Brackeen, Andrew Cyrille, Cecil McBee, Gary Dial, Jamey Haddad, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Owens, George Garzone, Cecil Bridgewater, Junior Mance...the list goes on and on(!). And the students, who came from all over the world, were talented and enthusiastic. I began to think about different ways to teach rhythmic concepts I had been working on and, in 1992, when Keith decided to move to Germany and the department, led by Martin Mueller, invited me to take over the rhythm class, I eagerly accepted.
I have taught at the New School since then, and it has been a great pleasure. I currently lead the rhythm curriculum, teaching several classes in "Advanced Rhythmic Analysis," and also teach individual guitar students. I also offer an Advanced Rhythm Ensemble at least one semester per year for students who have been through my classes and want more help and feedback in applying the concepts we covered. Other sections of the Advanced Rhythmic Analysis class have been taught by Jimmy Cobb (in the *old* days!), drummer John Riley, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, and talented alto saxophonist (and former student) Arun Luthra, who currently teaches them; Chico Hamilton teaches a basic rhythm class as well. Among the guests I have brought in to work with my classes have been Miguel Zenon, Billy Harper, Tim Berne, Vijay Iyer, David Gilmore, Jason Lindner, Ronan Guilfoyle, and Royal Hartigan. Even when I have to miss a class because of a gig out of town, the subs I have been fortunate enough to get have been amazing (example: when I was in Italy for a week in Spring 2006, Ari Hoenig, Dafnis Prieto, and Ralph Alessi each took some of my classes). I have had a remarkably international student body, with students from England, Korea, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Germany, France, Portugal, Brazil, Israel, Ireland, Switzerland, Wales, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Turkey, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Cuba, Iceland, Armenia, Chile, Croatia, Mexico, Thailand, Ukraine, Greece, Canada, and the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii). Many of my former students have already gone on to do impressive things (for example, former students have played with bands such as Roy Haynes, Kenny Garrett, Elvin Jones, Pat Metheny, Cecil Taylor, Wynton Marsalis, Richard Bona, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charlie Haden, Charlie Hunter, Anthony Braxton, Jimmy Smith, Eliane Elias, Lonnie Plaxico ... the list goes on!), and I look forward to hearing of their continued progress. Here is but a small sampling of the students who have been in my classes (many excellent players are not included here! —these are just a small subset, and I need to update this list):
I highly recommend the jazz program at the New School. I intend to do more recording and performing with some of my former students, and I recommend you keep an ear open for all of them — they are some talented musicians! for more about the New School Jazz program click here.Clinics, Workshops, and Instruction
I have taught clinics at the 2007 and 2001 International Association of Jazz Educators Convention, Berkelee College of Music, workshops funded by Meet the Composer, MPTF clinics in Denver, and workshops around the USA with Glenn Wilson. I have written an instructional article in the Masters Series in GUITAR PLAYER, and am currently writing a book on jazz improvisation.
While my main teaching focus is the New School University Jazz Program (very worth your checking out, if you haven't!), I do give a limited number of private lessons, some in person in the New York area, and some by mail to folks who live elsewhere. I do give some jazz guitar lessons, but am perhaps most widely known for my specialty in advanced rhythmic concepts and practices, and end up teaching rhythmically-oriented material to some outstanding professional musicians on all instruments.
I also periodically do workshops in other parts of the world, which have recently included Veneto Jazz (Italy, 2005, 2006., 2007, and 2008), Jazz Nights Langnau (Switzerland, 2003), Jazz Outreach (Austria, 2003), and workshops with John Riley's Trio (Udine and Vercelli Italy, 2006). I led a jazz workshop in Incheon, South Korea in 2007 (featuring Billy Harper, Jason Lindner, Ari Hoenig, and Gregory Jones), and again in 2008 (featuring John Ellis, Kevin Hayes, Ari Hoenig, Gregory Jones, and Yeahwon Shin). In 2008, I also did clinics in Kazakhstan, Copenhagen and Barcelona and, in 2009, have clinics scheduled in Israel, India, and in several states in the USA.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested in lessons, or in my doing a clinic. I especially enjoy performing original material with my group in combination with doing educational workshops.