Watermelon Man, Someday My Prince

Our next jam is September 3rd, over Labor Day weekend. It's hard to guess the turnout. Many people will be vacationing, but then again a lot of students are back in town. If you're a musician and considering coming you should know we haven't had many jammers lately and you'll likely be able to sit in quite a bit. We still have the same great bands and educational 1st set format.

The band this week is Paul Dietrich - trumpet, Paul Muench - keys. Joey Banks - drums, and Lucas Koehler - bass. They are all skilled musicians and excellent educators. Joey and Lucas are especially adept at funk so it works out that one of the featured tunes is Herbie Hancock's, "Watermelon Man." This is a fun and easy tune that hasn't been featured at the jam since 2011! I recommend looking at the write-up from that time because it includes detailed notes from Sun Prairie's esteemed band director Steve Sveum. I also found this interesting article about how many times this popular song has been covered. Herbie recorded several versions himself - we'll do the original version. Here's Herbie talking about composing it and then performing in both the original and revised style.


" Someday My Prince Will Come" is the other featured tune and is from Disney's 1937 movie, Snow White. More advanced musicians will enjoy playing over these changes and in 3/4 time. Here is Miles doing his famous version:






October 2017 Huegel Elementary Bebops Jazz Scat

Rhonda Chalone and Laurie Lang will work together to share some great vocal improvising with the students at Huegel. More to come.



Jefferson Middle School Strings Jazz it Up

Laurie will be working with Ms. Carol Jenkins and her amazing 6-8 graders at Jefferson Middle School November 2017. More to come! 


August 20 jam

Hi all,

The jam returns on Sunday, August 20 with a distinguished house band featuring Paul Dietrich (trumpet), Dave Stoler (piano), Ben Ferris (bass), and Keith Lienert (drums). I look forward to hearing this combination of players. Paul and Dave are very versatile players, Ben knows how to groove, and I've always thought Keith is a particularly musical drummer. Expect good stuff from them.

The band will back jammers on two tunes, one universally known and one (in my experience, at least) woefully underperformed. First we'll play Gershwin's classic "Summertime," a bluesy number from "Porgy and Bess." Everyone has played this song, with notable performances from Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. The lead sheet is in Real Book I. The second featured tune, Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark," is very pretty (and pretty difficult for some of us to play). You can find the lead sheet in Real Book I. I know this one from Blakey's "Caravan" album and Sonny Criss's "This is Criss."

We look forward seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the next jam on the 20th. See you there!