The room was full and about 25 musicians appeared "on stage" at IMW on May 28

The session started with Sally de Broux singing, Andrew Rohn on piano and Laurie Lang on bass violin. We played a few songs, set up some examples of the type "Single Line Groove" session we were calling people to.

We had at least 30 musicians in the house and ~25 of them participated in the music creating. Some of the musicians who made music and wrote down their names are Susan H., Alma, Susan B., Bruce, Laurie R., Betsy, Alicia, Isaac, Bob, Rosemary, Allen, Macy, Laurel, Sharon, Don, and Patrick. 

The pieces created were mostly very good and creative. Each person brought a unique and interesting piece to the evening.

The room filled up with people and spilled out on the porch and the mood was right for lots of GREAT energy and life-giving music.

The session ended with a beautiful singing circle of ~12 singers then caped off by Isaac on guitar, leading off all the instrumentalists in a playful Beatles-like groove involving 3 pianists (sharing one piano), bass, 3 saxes, coronet and flute.

Beautiful Music was made and what a GREAT turn out!!!


Friday,Start your Memorial Day weekend with some song making! Join us for the Fun!

Sally de Broux and Laurie Lang will lead this session. We look forward to building some songs with YOU! This can be a lot of FUN for everyone!  Washington Hotel Coffee Room, Lakeside Street 6- 8pm. Come and bring your friends and family!

May 28th - Single Line Groove and Song Building

ON Friday!    May 28th from 6-8pm – the theme will be:

 Single Line Groove and Song Building

So these are the "rules" for this "game" of Improv Workshop: 

  1. We will begin by creating "songs" from scratch.
  2. Each player will only play a single line. (so pianists and guitarists who normally might comp and have the ability to play harmony will limit themselves to one note at a time like voice,  horns or winds)
  3. Person #1 starts by laying down a foundational line approximately 4- 8 bars long
  4. Person #2 adds something to support/compliment that line
  5. Person #3 can add something to support or compliment person #1 or create a counter line
  6. Depending on how many people you have there could be more added in here
  7. The person added in gets to solo over the top of the song/groove
  8. When everyone is tired of that song...we start over!

This song building can be lots of fun! So come ready to create, listen, compliment and work together.

More questions contact Laurie.

in the coming weeks:
June 11th Friday, 6-8pm – Space – Minimalistic approach 

June 25th Friday, 6-8pm – Original Music only!

First Workshop went very well!

We had a beautiful evening. The setting was so great for music making. 

If you've not been to Washington Hotel Coffee Room you really need to check it out.

  • Hardwood floors so the look and sound is natural
  • The coffee is fair trade and delicious  
  • you can get a beer or glass of wine
  • yummy salads and sandwiches with mostly local produce
  • new piano that sounds very nice
  • view of the bay of Lake Monona with the city in the background
Sally de Broux

John Becker, Sally de Broux and Laurie Lang (me) played some tunes and we could hear one another very well this made the musical interplay very easy. The audience was very kind and listened attentively. After about 30 minutes we invited some of the musicians in the room to join us. We had Willie on bass and Susan on alto sax join John at the piano, also Bruce played piano with Sally and Laurie, there were a few other combinations and the feeling in the room was good. Everyone left feeling they had a good and memorable musical experience. So I feel it was successful for the first round of IMW.


John Becker will be at the piano, Sally de Broux will be singing and Laurie will be on the bass to get things going! We’ll start off with a 5/4 version on “Over the Rainbow” a 6/8 version of Skylark and some playing around with the “feel” on a few others. Then we’ll be ready to try a few of this songs again with other players or move on to some interesting takes of Summertime, All Blues and Bye Bye Blackbird.

The food and drink at Washington Hotel Coffee Room is really good! This will be a GREAT home and hang for jazz lovers! Beer and Wine for those that would like something a little more relaxing!

Piano was delivered this morning and is in tune!

Hope to see ya all later!


Improv Workshops begin... Friday, May 14th!

John Becker
John Becker

IMW (Improvisational Music Workshop) will meet twice a month on Fridays from 6-8pm at the Washington Hotel Coffee Room  located on Lakeside Street in Madison.  

  • All people, all ages are invited to attend, observe, cheer us on, eat the good fresh food and drink.
  • Experienced improvisational musicians are encouraged to come with instruments and be prepared to join in to the music making.  
  • Each week will have a different emphasis and it will be published here with some detail.  Microphones, a PA and a nice new Kawai piano (from Farleys) will be provided.

May 14th Friday, 6-8pm - We'll kick off the first IMW  session with an exploration called "Change the Feel." All songs will be played with either a varied meter, experimenting with the "feel" or messing with some kind of polyrhythmic/hemiola ideas in soloing and comping.   

In the coming weeks:
May 28th Friday, 6-8pm - Single Line Groove and Song Building
June 11th Friday, 6-8pm - Space - Minimalistic approach 

June 25th Friday, 6-8pm - Original Music only!

What IMW IS and What it is NOT 

  • A house band will kick off the session with several songs, then others will be invited to join the music making.
  • This is NOT a jam session but a musical workshop.
  • IMW will encourage playing music together, listening and responding to what is happening. 
  • This workshop is NOT a gig.
  • IMW is a safe space for good music to begin and evolve
  • It is a place to nurture musical relationships in the community.
Laurie Lang
Laurie Lang

Future ideas for each weeks focus: (please add your ideas in the comments) 

  • Music of Alec Wilder
  • Music of Mary Lou Williams - any compositions or standards recorded by Mary Lou Williams
  • Single line Improv. - Create patterns, grooves and explore improvisation (without any chordal comping from keys or guitars)
  • Playing with Dynamics - each song must have at least 4 dramatic dynamic changes
  • Original music only - bring charts and be ready to play and lead your composition
  • Love songs - creative arrangements of well-known love songs, come with clear charts for others to join in
  • Big Band Chart reading and improv. - we'll mix it up and all instruments and vocals are welcome to read a part you would normally not play