Jazz Combo

Jazz Improvisation & Performance
Spring Semester 2018
Course #:  MUSI 1116, section 10 (one credit)
Instructor: Earl MacDonald, Professor and Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz Studies Office: MUSB 207   Telephone: 486-0670

“Combo #4” (also known as “C.A.L.F.”), will meet with the instructor on Thursdays 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the basement jazz room. The ensemble will rehearse once more each week, on their own.

Braden Frandino – trumpet
Rachel Kozak – cello
Finesha Henry – piano
Giana Dinatale – string bass
Hadley Lloyd – drums, percussion

Under the guidance and direction of their instructor, students will work together to develop proficiency in the art & craft of jazz improvisation and small group jazz ensemble playing.  We will concentrate on rhythmic feel, harmonic and melodic language, phrasing and style.

Progressive jazz musicians, whether students or professionals, examine the past, write and play in the present, and aim for the future. In keeping with this philosophy, we will prepare and perform a combination of original music and standard jazz repertoire.

C.A.L.F.’s unique instrumentation (cello, trumpet, piano, bass and percussion) allows us to escape the predictability, established parameters and creative confines found in the more typical jazz instrumentations. Genre boundaries will be challenged as influences will extend beyond straight-ahead jazz to include folk music from a variety of cultures, free improvisation, contemporary classical music, pop music and other sources. Unconventional notation practices and compositional techniques are embraced by this daringly experimental and creative ensemble.

Scheduled Performance Dates:

  • Jazz Showcase Concert – Feb. 22, 2018.  8PM, von der Mehden Recital Hall
  • Combo Concert – March 29, 2018.  8PM, von der Mehden Recital Hall
  • [UConn Music Spectrum Concert – April 28. 4 PM, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts]

Your grade will be based upon:

  • completion & execution of assignments
  • demonstrated effort and progress in personal practice, open rehearsals and performances.
  • attendance: ensemble members are expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts, except in the case of illness or with the prior consent of the instructor.  If you must be absent, your arranging for a substitute is expected.  If possible, please notify Prof. MacDonald in advance.  Unexcused absences and repeated tardiness will result in a lowered grade.
  • successful, well-prepared and thoughtfully presented performances.

*The course content, schedule and grading scheme are subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.

University-wide policies (from the University Senate, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of the Provost, and Community Standards) pertaining to absences from final exams, class attendance, credit hours, students with disabilities, discrimination, harassment and related interpersonal violence, and the student code, may be accessed at: http://provost.uconn.edu/syllabi-references.

Some useful telephone numbers:



Nature Boy

Calypso Blues

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Quaternary Triangulation

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