Feature/Interview

Global Music Foundation 2020 (courses in Tuscany/London, April/August)

Global Music Foundation 2020 offers jazz intensive music courses and festivals in Tuscany and London. Its director, Stephen Keogh explains more:

We’re starting off this new year with the launch of a new website and our fresh programme of courses and events for the first half of 2020, with more in the pipeline. We are offering three unique events which all provide the full experience of a jazz intensive course, holistic and inclusive in its approach, which runs in parallel with a jazz festival, bringing together a first rate line-up of performing artists/tutors and students, and creating a single learning community.

Certaldo In Tuscany. Publicity photo

7 – 11 April in Tuscany, Italy, with tenor saxophone legand Jerry Bergonzi and the Bruce Barth Trio, along with two other distinguished saxophonists: Nick Hempton from New York and Stefano Riggi from Genova and with bassist Mark Hodgson and drummer Stephen Keogh. This is likely to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for any saxophone student. Jerry is not only recognized as one of the greatest saxophonists in the world, but he is equally as famous as an educator and has been a professor at New England Conservatory for many years. Bruce Barth is one of the worlds finest jazz pianists and composers, and teaches at Temple University Philadelphia, and Columbia University, New York. He is much appreciated by his students for his great generousity of spirit and inspirational way of teaching. The other members of the GMF faculty are all superb artists of a similar standing and deeply devoted to music.

16 – 19 April in London, we have a four-day long run of world-class concerts by night and an impressive array of workshops and classes by day. During these days Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, will be home to some of the UK’s and New York’s most important international artists including saxophone giant Don Braden, Downbeat poll winner singer/pianist Champian Fulton, and bass virtuoso Joris Teepe. The festival also features some of Britiain’s great and established musicians and upcoming stars including guitar legend Jim Mullen, creative bassist/compser Arnie Somogyi, as well as up-and-coming jazz artists like award-winning young pianist Will Barry, terrific bassist Roz “D” MacDonald, sensational vocalist Nel Begley.

Scott Hamilton and Sandro Gibellini. Publicity photo

20 – 25 August in Tuscany with the great Scott Hamilton in a quartet co-led by Champian Fulton. Once again the mornings are dedicated to group workshops to improve general musicianship followed by instrumental and vocal classes. After lunch there are masterclasses and Q&A’s with Scott and the band, so much enjoyed by attendees last year, and then the festival which runs every evening offering pre-dinner apertivos with live jazz, main concerts, and after hours jam sessions all in the stunning setting of medieval Certaldo in Tuscany.

Our aim is to deliver jazz intensive courses and performances to the highest standard, and we cater for all ranges of adult musicians: amateur, keen music students, music returnees and professionals. Our courses are student-friendly, with the emphasis on quality teaching in a upbeat atmosphere. The chosen tutors are all proven on the world jazz scene, and are, by turns, great performing artists and dedicated tutors skilled in communication. The overall emphasis is on giving all the students an experience to savour and remember.

Street gig audience, Certaldo. Publicity photo

In the words of Gerry Curtis, a student from New York who attended the GMF Barcelona ’19 Jazz Workshop and Festival last August: “The courses are all about music, and what music means, and music is about feeling,rhythm… it’s a wonderful programme”.

In the world we live in now, music, and the wonderful joy and unity that it has to offer, is more valuable and important than ever.

LINK: More information on Global Music Foundation courses and events

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