Jamey Aebersold was born July 21, 1939, in New Albany, Indiana. He attended college at Indiana University and graduated in 1962 with a Masters Degree in Saxophone. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Indiana University in 1992. He also plays piano, bass and banjo.
In 1989, the International Association of Jazz Educators inducted Jamey into their Hall of Fame at the San Diego convention. With this award, Jamey joins other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and others.
Jamey is a internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation, and has developed a series of Play-A-Longs (book and cd sets (now numbering almost 130 volumes) as well as various other supplemental aids for the development of improvisational skills. The Aebersold book and recording sets allow a musician the opportunity to practice and improvise with well-known jazz personalities at home as well as in the classroom. The recordings employ some of the best jazz musicians in the world. This concept has been responsible for changing the practice habits of thousands of musicians around the world.
Jamey was one of the first to encourage small group classes which concentrate on jazz improvisation, and he is the director of the Summer Jazz Workshops which now have 40+ years on record. Jamey feels that improvisation is something all people can do—and his clinics and lectures concentrate on demonstrating how the creative and spontaneous nature of each person can be brought to light.
Jamey’s jazz quartet plays numerous school concerts throughout the year which show young people how exciting playing jazz can be and they also explain the benefits of making healthy choices in their daily lives. The quartet stresses not smoking and drinking.
These week-long Summer Jazz Workshops are having a profound effect on musical communities around the world. The Workshops have traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark and Canada. Every summer there are at least two week-long Workshops in the U.S. These camps employ many of the finest player/teachers in jazz and are open to any serious jazz student regardless of ability or age.
- Jamey’s advice for everyone on improvising
- Why Jamey started the play along tracks
- How the Summer Jazz Camps started
- The importance of listening
- How to deal with your ego when improvising
- How to learn the blues
- How to improve your jazz articulation
- Why knowing your scales and chords is crucial for improvising
- How to improve your timing
- How to approach transcribing
Check out the video interview below (and please share 😊)