Ran Blake to Teach The Music of Ornette Coleman at NEC

MacArthur Award winning pianist/composer/educator Ran Blake will focus his annual week-long summer survey course on the music of iconic improviser Ornette Coleman August 13th through 19th at Boston’s New England Conservatory (NEC). Blake, who like Coleman studied at the legendary School of Jazz at Music Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts in the late 1950’s, has been on faculty at NEC for the past 35 years, serving as Chair of the groundbreaking Third Stream/Contemporary Improvisation Department since 1973. This course, which explores one musical figure in depth for three hours per day, goes back several years and spurred critically acclaimed Blake recordings like 1997’s Unmarked Van: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn (Soul Note) and 2000’s Horace Silver homage, Horace is Blue: A Silver Noir (hatOLOGY).

August 13 19 (five meetings)
WThFMT: 5:30 8:30 p.m.

Ornette Coleman’s musical vision has long been a shaping force in the jazz world (rivaling that of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker), yet he remains as controversial a figure today as he was 40 years ago. We will explore Coleman’s musical personality by listening to selected recordings spanning his career and by hearing personal anecdotes from Ran Blake, rather than by analyzing specific improvisations or compositions. In tracing Coleman’s progress from his roots to his New York City debut, his electronic experiments in the 1970’s, and his present-day legacy, we will gain an appreciation of this often-misunderstood genius of 20th century improvised music. This course is open to anyone with a general musical background.

In-person registration begins Tuesday, May 28th. NEC Summer School Director Margaret Ulmer can be reached at (617) 585-1126.

More information on Ran Blake is available at ranblake.com

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Blake/Coleman
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