IMW Features: The Band Wisdom of Professor Wildman


Joan Wildman will lead this session with the help of John Becker and Laurie Lang. Come together to hear the functions of making a band work, how to play together, how to make your voice heard while connecting with other musicians to create synergy.  What happens when you want to have a band or a music session and you don’t have a bass player or you don’t have a drummer or you don’t have a guitar and you wish you did. How do you take whatever instruments you have a make them groove, swing and/or even “pop” together? This session will involve some modeling, some instruction, some songs were everyone is playing together. It should be fun and exciting. 

As always, Washington Hotel Coffee Room is the great place to gather with friends and/or family at the end of a long week to see the view, relax, have a local wine or beer, eat fresh food and, of course, drink coffee.   

IMW is for EVERYONE musicians and music lovers. The vibe is inviting and extremely creative. A GREAT way to start your weekend!

6:30 - 8:30pm Friday, October 22 Washington Hotel Coffee Room 402 W. Lakeside Street, Madison - no cover but there is a place to donate to the cause of IMW (we need your help) Thanks!

Tunes for next jam, November 14

You can call just about any standard jazz tune and we'll play it, but if you're a newer improviser these are the suggested tunes to work up for the next jam:

1. Autumn Leaves - this was on the list last time but no one called it
2. Blue Monk (Bb blues)
3. So What - modal tune

We played "So What" last time but this time everyone should be prepared. It is based on only two scales, so at the least make sure you know those 2 scales very well. If you use a fakebook to learn tunes make sure it's in the correct key for your instrument or transpose as needed. Find a version on Youtube or somewhere and listen to it enough so you can hear and anticipate when the chords change.

Growing a jazz jam community

That was a lot of fun! Thanks to all who came out to the second Madison Jazz Jam session yesterday. We had another great crowd, some terrific musicians,  and double the number of students. Stoughton, West, and Middleton were among the high schools represented.

Just a reminder: this is an all ages, all talent level jam. At our first session musicians over fifty were well represented, and at this session we had younger people. Everyone is welcome, and everyone's music is valuable.

Our goal is to grow a diverse community of jazz fans and musicians that all feel comfortable. If you have never been to a jam session it may initially feel unfamiliar and difficult, but the more you do it the easier it becomes, the faster you improve, and the more friends you'll make. Often times having a friend or teacher jam with you really helps so bring them along. Just remember this is a friendly jam based on cooperation, not competition. We are all on the same journey and here to learn from each other.

A Study in Tone!?! Friday, October 8th - 6:30 - 8:30pm

Definition of:   Tone - any sound considered with reference to it's quality, pitch, strength or source.

Once again we will attempt to make music while we focus on tone. Come one come ALL!  Improv Music Workshop is for everyone, listeners and musicians. Washington Hotel Coffee Room (402 W Lakeside St. in Madison's south side) is the perfect setting for people to gather on an early Friday evening to take in good food, good drinks and good creative music making.


Rules for This week: Friday, October 8th:

Note: If any one was at the Mary Lou Williams celebration and concerts that featured Carmen Lundy, she embodied this ability to vary her tone. She sang one note and would take you so many places you thought you were at Disneyland.

1. Play any song you like, bring charts to share for others to play along.

2. Then:

  • Attempt to vary your tone.
  • Explore vibrato or tremolo
  • Make your sound bright or dark
  • notice the shape and length of each note
  • make your sound thick or thin
  • Use pedal points   
  • explore effects; natural or electronic
  • think about the difference of sound in masters you love-- what do they do to make their sound?
  • explore