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Jazz improvisation topic of monthly library speaker series


A quartet of NDSU musicians is scheduled to teach jazz enthusiasts the tricks and techniques behind improvising music on stage.

“Improv 101: Jazz Performance and Lecture with Bill Law and Friends” is set for Wednesday, March 12, at 4 p.m. in NDSU’s Main Library Weber Reading room. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Bill Law, assistant director for the Division of Performing Arts, will lead the lecture, which will be interspersed with jazz performances. He will play bass and be joined on saxophone by Matthew Patnode, associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies, on keyboard by Cydney Berlinger, a junior from Fargo majoring in music, and on drumset by Sigurd Johnson, director of athletic bands and associate professor of percussion studies.

The quartet will demonstrate and explain the different styles of jazz and how musicians improvise collectively. Law said the audience will be provided with lead sheets, which are the “roadmap” used by a jazz combo. The program will allow for audience questions.

“Our goal is to take the mystery out of jazz for an audience with a variety of experience levels with jazz,” Law said. “In the end, we want the music to do the talking.”

Law hosts “The Law of Jazz” on Prairie Public Radio on Saturdays at 8 p.m.

He has been an adjunct member of the NDSU faculty since 1999, teaching applied bass and jazz studies. He has been an active jazz and pop bassist for more than 35 years playing with many top touring musicians including jazz artists Bob Mintzer, Tom “Bones” Malone, Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Debbie Duncan, Connie Evingson, Peter Erskine, Mike Clark and Marvin Stamm, and pop artists such as Gary US Bonds, the Diamonds, Lou Christy, Tennessee Ernie Ford, the Shirelles, the Chiffons and Leslie Gore.

The presentation is part of a monthly speaker series offered by the NDSU Libraries.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 06, 2014
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