Duke Ellington - This class will focus on the life and music of pianist and big band leader Duke Ellington, one of the most influential composers in jazz history. Special attention will be given to the commercial popularity of swing music in the 1930s, as well as the increasingly classical music-influenced and ambitious nature of his later pieces. The humor of many of Ellington's compositions will also be mentioned.
Miles Davis - This presentation will be about trumpeter and jazz innovator Miles Davis, who helped clear the way for new jazz styles in each of the six decades of his musical career. From bebop to fusion to electronic music, the class will focus on the albums that shook up the jazz world. The intense celebrity lifestyle and artistically important moments of Miles' career will also be examined.
John Coltrane - In his short life, Coltrane transformed the tenor and soprano saxophones into something entirely new - and some tunes from "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins" were never the same again. From his composition of a piece in three keys at once to the simple chanting of "A Love Supreme," the development of avant-garde jazz will be explored, along with the softer side of his sound (which audiences often missed).