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Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz

Designed for jazz fans, the Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz course is an interactive and engaging guide to the icons and innovators.

Through multimedia lectures, listening, demonstration, and discussion, you’ll learn from JAZZ.FM91’s jazz experts and gain a basic understanding of jazz music.

You’ll discover the most important musicians in jazz, listen to classic recordings by jazz legends, learn about jazz’s illustrious history and develop the skills to become a better listener. You’ll interact with a live jazz group as they perform and answer your questions.

Taking place at JAZZ.FM91 in Liberty Village, this 6-session course meets for two hours each week. JAZZ.FM91 donors are offered discounted course fees.

The course will be taught by Jonathon Resney, a musician, educator, and jazz historian who joined the JAZZ.FM91 team in 2015 to teach our Jazz Appreciation curriculum.

“Our listening audience is a hybrid of jazz connoisseurs and jazz newcomers who share one special thing in common, a love of JAZZ.FM91.Whether or not you’re well versed on the genre, Jazz 101: The Beginners Guide to Jazz has something for everyone. Our goal is to make listening more compelling by offering this series of lectures,” said Ross Porter, CEO and President, JAZZ.FM91.

The course will take place at JAZZ.FM91, in March and April of 2017.

For more information or to receive notification when new course dates are announced, please contact David Wall at 416-595-0404 x260 or

Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz
Dates: Tuesdays, March 21, 28, April 4, 18, 25, **Thursday April 20
Time:  7-9 pm
Location: JAZZ.FM91, 4 Pardee Avenue, Unit 100.
Instructor: Jonathon Resney
Price: Public: $125.00/Donors: $112.50/Perpetual donors: $85.00

Learning Objectives:
- learn who are the most important musicians in jazz and why
- learn about basic structure and properties of jazz music; instruments, styles
- understand details about the history and development jazz
- gain a greater understanding of how musicians improvise and swing
- develop skills to become a better listener; what to listen for
- learn how to build a library of classic recordings, including the five most important Canadian recordings

Week 1 – The 10 Most Important jazz musicians and why
After an overview of the course, we’ll look at the 10 most important jazz musicians and why they are significant. We’ll listen to classic recordings and discuss what makes these musicians unique and innovative.

Week 2 – What to Listen For When You Listen to Jazz
This week we’ll dig a little deeper into the music by dissecting select recordings and discussing what makes jazz intriguing. We’ll also discuss the instruments of the rhythm section and how they lay the foundation for the music.

Week 3 – Telling A Story – The Jazz Vocalists

We put singers in the spotlight and demonstrate how they interpret songs in unique and diverse ways. We’ll explore the vocal repertoire and discuss how vocalists put the swing in jazz.

Week 4 – Jazz Mechanics – How Does Jazz Work?
This week we’ll get “under the hood” and focus on the key elements that come together to make a great performance. We’ll investigate the blues form and informs the music. And we’ll explore more instruments used in jazz, including a few unusual instruments.

Week 5 – Jazz In Canada - The Five Most Important Records

Canadian jazz musicians have gained great artistic and commercial success both at home and abroad. We’ll give you some background on the development of jazz in Canada and highlight the five most important Canadian jazz records.

Week 6 – Live Performance / Summary
Our final week will feature a live performance by some of Toronto’s finest musicians. We’ll demonstrate many of the concepts that have been discussed during the course. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and make requests.

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