Spring 2014 Newsletter
Hello everyone, and Happy Spring!The sun has finally warmed up, the flowers and buds are starting to come out, and the birds are singing a little bit louder. So that must mean we will all be getting allergies soon...
I hope not! But I do have to say that it sure is great to be able to venture out of the house without a huge
overcoat, gloves, a hat and snow boots! At least here in NY.
But enough about the weather.
I've got some big news to share, and a bunch of great stuff coming up out on the road, and in the studio, so let's get to it.
School Is In SessionJust last week ArtistWorks, the premier online music website, officially opened The School of Jazz Guitar with Chuck Loeb
It is a very exciting moment for me.
I love teaching, and for years I have wanted to find a way to do it on a regular basis, but with my touring and recording schedule, it has been tough to schedule, except for a clinic or master class from time to time.
Then recently, my buddy & Fourplay band mate Nathan East, introduced me to ArtistWorks. And with their amazing online campus, and groundbreaking Video Exchange concept, I have finally found the perfect format to finally teach and share my love for jazz guitar.
I am honored and proud to be joining the ranks of a host of wonderful teachers already on the site: Nathan, John Patitucci, Martin Taylor, Paul Gilbert, Howard Levy, Jason Vieaux, Billy Cobham, and Andreas Oberg to name just a few.
The Jazz Guitar School offers a curriculum of literally hundreds of video lessons, which I recorded at the state-of-the-art ArtistWorks studio in Napa California, and ranges from basic beginner level technique and concepts, all the way to very advanced jazz harmony, theory, and improv, AND everything in between.The lessons are organized into 'bite sized' videos on each topic, which the students can access any time they want - one of the ingenious aspects of the ArtistWorks method. Instead of wading through a ninety minute instructional DVD, fast-forwarding & rewinding, they can access exactly what they need, easily and quickly, on their own schedule, wherever they are in the world!
There are all kinds of materials available too: charts, tab, play-along tracks with a killer band, performance videos, including several with Nathan and John on +Music, a metronome, a theory data base, and interactive forums with the other students, and the teachers.... it is, simply put, everything a student needs to take their playing to the next level all in one place.
But the best thing about it is the Video Exchange. It is the key element to how I will interact with the students, so I want to explain exactly how that works.
As a student goes through the curriculum and works on various subjects, when they want to show me what they're working on, or have a question or a comment, they simply grab their smartphone, tablet or laptop and record themselves playing and discussing their ideas, and with the very simple and streamlined ArtistWorks software, they upload the video to the site.
Then each week I will record my responses to each of the students with my thoughts, answers, comments and playing to that topic.
These exchanges are then posted on the site for all the students to see, and actually become part of the ever expanding curriculum!
I guess the best analogy is that we are all in a virtual jazz guitar classroom, and when one student raises their hand to ask a question, the whole class hears it, and then the whole class hears the response. With the amazing aspect that the students can be anywhere in the world and they can access the classroom anytime they want! It is just an amazing way to share this thing I love so much, jazz guitar.
So to anyone out there who has an interest in playing jazz guitar, whether they are weekend warriors, hobbyists, or working jazz guitarists that want to expand their horizons - I urge you to take a tour of the site, check out the free lessons that are available, and sign up so we can go on a journey to jazz guitar together.
Here is the link to check it out:
In The Studio & On The RoadAfter logging a whole bunch of frequent flyer miles on tour in 2013, this year started out with a very welcome period of over two months without a visit to the airport!
It gave me time to prepare the jazz guitar school, get into production on several cool recording projects, and also to just simply have a nice chunk of 'down time' with family and friends.
One of the recordings I am very proud and excited about is something called "Bop" which I am co-producing with keyboard wizard Jeff Lorber.
It is a project that grew out of a show I have been involved with for the last five years, at the great Berks Jazz Fest, called 'Berks Bop'.
We have organized a night each year with a bunch of great musicians, known to the public as 'smooth' or 'contemporary' artists, and give them a chance to show off their chops as 'straight ahead' players. We play a bunch of the coolest tunes from the Be Bop era by the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, plus some standard songs that those artists favored.
So this winter we went into the studio with Brian Bromberg, Harvey Mason, Rick Braun, Everette Harp, Rick Braun, Eric Marienthal, Till Brönner and cut some killer tracks.
But what makes this CD even more special is that we will be donating 100% of the profits to a very worthy cause: The PKDCure, to find a cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease.
For those of you that may not know, Jeff and his family suffer from PKD, which is genetic condition that attacks the kidneys, often with severe and sometimes life threatening consequences, and in many cases, including Jeff's, necessitates a kidney transplant, which in his case, he was lucky to receive from his wife Mink.
The CD will be released later this year, and I will update it in my next newsletter and on FaceBook and Twitter.
Another project very near completionOver the last year I have been touring with with Jazz, Funk & Soul, a group featuring Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber & myself with a killer rhythm section. We have been having such a good time doing these shows, we decided to make a CD!
Right now we are putting the finishing touches on it and I must say I think it is a solid winner.
It will be out in June and starting earlier this month, touring has begun again, and will go all the way through the end of the year and into 2015.
Look for it on Shanachie Entertainment and check our individual websites, FaceBook pages, and twitter for updates on the tour. Hopefully we'll see you at a live show soon.
For a complete list of upcoming shows click here:
Chuck Loeb Tour Dates
Fourplay, Family, Foreign FlingsI will be heading to Japan at the end of May not only to play with my own band featuring Peter Erskine, Janek Gwidzala, and Matt King, at The Nagoya Blue Note May 26, and at The Cotton Club in Tokyo May 28 thru 31 - but I will also be making a special guest appearance with the wonderful Keiko Matsui at concerts in Osaka and Tokyo along with another very special guest, Kirk Whalum.
Also, as you may have noticed, there has been a conspicuous absence of Fourplay news in this email.... the reason for that is that the band has been on a six month hiatus after a very busy 2013 together. But that is all going to change ASAP!
In June we re-band and hit the road together again for a bunch of domestic dates. Then we head to Korea, Japan and other foreign shores in August and September, and then we will begin production on a very special new CD: The 25th Anniversary project! So there's no moss growing on us! Please look for the release to be next year, and extensive touring too.
On the home front, Carmen's CD "Toda Una Vida" has been racking up some amazing reviews, and you can see them all at her newly updated web site carmencuesta.com. Check out the reviews and music and pass it on... It's a wonderful project that we are very proud of.
Lizzy is still in Los Angeles and working hard on her musical career out there, and writing and recording some beautiful new songs. And Christina continues as manager of one of the premiere restaurants in NYC and just finished the first stage of her training as a Sommelier!
And Annie & KitKat keep a smile on our faces!
So that is pretty much it for now. I wish all of you a wonderful Spring season and look forward to seeing you at shows, on The Jazz Guitar School, and of course on any and all social media platforms;-)
Wishing you all love, peace, happiness and sophisticated jazz harmony,
See Tour dates
May 27 Riverfront Jazz Festival
Nashville TN USA
May 28 One World Theater
Austin TX USA
Jazz, Funk, Soul - Everette Harp, Chuck Loeb & Jeff Lorber
Jun 03 Steel City Jazz Festival Birmingham AL
Birmingham AL USA
Jazz, Funk, Soul - Everette Harp, Chuck Loeb & Jeff Lorber
Jun 04 Capital Jazz Fest