VIC FIRTH PRESENTS
In this series of videos, Vic Firth Artist and Educator STEVE HOUGHTON will discuss rhythm section concepts within the big band setting. Designed for the jazz educator and student alike, Steve will cover many of the standard jazz styles (such as swing, shuffle, rock, ballads and Latin) and will detail the roles of each of the rhythm section players within those styles.
Throughout these videos, Steve – with the help of the Foxborough High School Jazz Ensemble – will demonstrate common problems that exist in the typical jazz ensemble setting and will show you real world solutions that can help your band vastly improve its sound, clarity and groove!
About the Project and Demonstration Ensemble:
During the 2011 Massachusetts Music Educators Association Conference, Steve Houghton was given the opportunity to work with one of the most successful jazz programs in the country: the Foxborough High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Stephen C. Massey. Houghton was immediately impressed by the band's ability to perform in all of the various styles, and particularly with the rhythm section players' depth of understanding of each of their roles within the big band setting.
Through this successful clinic, geared towards solving common problems in the middle and high school jazz ensemble, a seed for bringing the information to a wider audience was formed. Rather than use professional musicians, Steve thought it best to show how fantastic a high school ensemble can sound if they understand the fundamentals of jazz – and this ensemble indeed had a firm grasp on all of the concepts that he wanted to demonstrate on video for vicfirth.com!
Of course, any ensemble is only as good as its director – and the Foxborough High School Jazz Ensemble has one of the top jazz educators in the nation. Under Steve Massey's instruction, this ensemble has established itself as one of the premiere high school jazz bands in the United States. The group has performed at a number of International Music Festivals and has consistently received Gold medals and first place awards. The band has qualified for the finals of the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center 13 times since 1997 and has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland.
Mr. Massey has been the chairman of the music department in the Foxboro (MA) Public Schools for the past 30 years, where he supervises an extensive music curriculum for grades 1-12. As a teacher and conductor, Mr. Massey teaches Concert Band, Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, two Jazz Choirs, and courses in Music Theory, and Modern American Music. He has won numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from The Massachusetts Unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators and is an in-demand clinician and adjudicator around the world.
Vic Firth Artist: Steve Houghton
Internationally renowned jazz drummer, percussionist, clinician, author, and educator, Steve Houghton initially received acclaim at age twenty as the drummer with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd. Since then he has shared stage and studio with luminaries Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, Clay Jenkins, Shelly Berg, Dave Samuels, Toots Thielemans, Christian McBride, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Les Hooper, Bob Florence, Lyle Mays, Bob Sheppard, Billy Childs, Bobby Hutcherson, Pat LaBarbara, Bill Cunliffe, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Allee, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown, Lou Fischer, Stefan Karlsson, Karrin Allyson, Dianne Reeves, Rosemary Clooney and Maureen McGovern.
As a band leader Houghton’s discography includes: The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited (TNC), a recent release of John Williams’ charts for big band and quintet, the Steve Houghton Quintet Live @ the Senator (Jazz Compass), Windsong (SHPERC Records), Remembrances (Warner Bros.), and Steve Houghton Signature (Mesa-Bluemoon). In total Houghton attributes more than one hundred recordings to his credit as a participating artist. As a classical percussionist, Houghton has performed with the Boston, and Philadelphia Pops orchestras, U.S. Army Band, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He frequently appears as a soloist with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the world.
As an author, Houghton’s publications boast more than thirty educational books, videos and DVDs including: Drumset 101, Kid's Drumset Course- books 1 & 2, Essential Styles- books 1 & 2 , The Ultimate Drumset Chart Reading Anthology (Alfred), Play and Teach Percussion (GIA), and The Drumset Soloist (WB), and his latest project, Rhythm Section Workshop for Jazz Directors (Alfred) is a DVD-book series that addresses the entire rhythm section.
Houghton is currently Professor of Percussion and Jazz at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In addition to his academic duties, he presents yearly clinics and master classes to students around the world; most recently China, New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan. Houghton is the Immediate Past- President of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) and endorses Yamaha drums and percussion, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Remo world percussion products and drumheads.
Visit Steve online at http://www.houghtonmusic.com