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Jazz Legend Gary Burton Partners with Berkleemusic.com to Teach Jazz Improvisation Online

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Gary Burton New Online Course “Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation" launches on January 9th, 2012

Boston, MA: Berkleemusic.com, the online school of Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, is unveiling an exclusive new online course with jazz legend, Grammy-award winning artist, and Berklee alum, Gary Burton. “Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation" provides an unprecedented opportunity for musicians from across the world to learn the techniques and mental process that takes place in improvising directly from one of the greatest living jazz improvisers, who is also know as an inspiring educator.

“We're going to explore three areas of importance for improvising throughout this course," says Gary Burton. “One is technical information: how improvisers deal with harmony, melodic construction, and execution in ways that are different from playing written music. Two is learning how to analyze and understand compositions from the point of view of the improviser in order to play meaningful solos. And three is learning how the mental processes function in improvising, again different from performing written music, and key to being an effective improviser."

“Gary Burton is the founder of this unique jazz improvisation curriculum," says Debbie Cavalier, Dean of Continuing Education for Berkleemusic. “For decades, aspiring jazz musicians from all over the world studied improvisation with Gary at Berklee. We're thrilled to have been able to codify his approach in this online course, not only as the course author, but the instructor as well. This really is an unprecedented opportunity for aspiring jazz musicians."

“Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation" begins with an overview of the mental processes that take place in improvisation and goes on to provide an explanation and understanding of harmony and melodic construction that is unique to improvising as compared to the performance of written music. The course explores different types and styles of compositions from the perspective of the improviser, and takes an in-depth look at how music learning experiences contribute to the instinctive skills that the improviser puts to use when taking a solo. Throughout the course, students will review compositions from the standard repertoire by established composers such as Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, along with more contemporary composers such as Chick Corea, Michael Gibbs, Carla Bley, and Steve Swallow. By the end of this course, students will have a full understanding of the musical and mental processes that are unique to improvisation, presented by one of the living legends in the jazz world.

In addition to “Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation," Berkleemusic has also launched Jazz Arranging for the winter term. These courses contribute to a rich offering of online jazz courses from Berkleemusic, covering areas such as guitar, piano, bass, arranging, vocals, and more.


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