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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm new to the forums, and am very excited to finally be apart of a community of fellow sax lovers (won't kill the pun, I promise).

I guess there are two parts to this forum: one is, I would like to know if anyone specifically knows about Florida A&M's Jazz Program. I know Cannonball Adderley graduated, so it can't be bad, but how good is it? Secondly, please post what you feel are some of the best colleges for studying jazz around the US.

If this thread belongs in a different subsection, please let me know too. I just didn't see a better place. After all, it sort of is a survey... sort of.

Thanks!
 

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Well, formal jazz education was in its infancy when Cannonball went to Florida A&M (1944-48) and I'm pretty sure FAMU wasn't among the early pioneers of that field. Cannon got his degree in music education. He did play in and lead the FAMU Collegeians (dance band). He was also principal clarinet of the FAMU symphonic band. I'm not sure he actually received any formal jazz instruction at FAMU. He probably got more jazz instruction from local players like Cleanhead Vinson.

I don't know much about their program today, but I've heard good things about Florida State which is also in Tallahassee.
 

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Well, as a resident of Tallahassee, I know of a number of ripping sax players from FAMU. I actually don't even know who teaches sax over there since I only studied with Patrick Meighan and Bill Kennedy at FSU in town. I think FSU's jazz program perhaps unfairly steals a lot of attention from FAMU because of the star power of Marcus Roberts and all the Marsalis connections that come from his political sway. While FAMU doesn't have the budget to pay for the kind of star power faculty seen at FSU, I have been very impressed by the FAMU players I've heard. If you are thinking about coming here, definitely check out both schools. In terms of music, you couldn't go wrong with either one.
 

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IMO, most schools, expecially larger ones seem to have a pretty nice jazz program. Some moreso than others, but with any of them you should be able to develop your skills into something you can use!
 

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Don't overlook William Patterson College in N. New Jersey.
David Murray sent his son there, and thinks very highly of them.
 

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VCU -- Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

A lot of a student's development depends on his/her desire and hunger to learn, study, pursue, question, experiment. Certainly there are great jazz musicians that have come out of no-name programs.
 

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hgiles said:
A lot of a student's development depends on his/her desire and hunger to learn, study, pursue, question, experiment. Certainly there are great jazz musicians that have come out of no-name programs.

Bingo! My point exactly!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the responses... and especially for that insight Agent27.

I'm actually looking for a more experimental jazz program. Right now, I'm at the University of Rhode Island for pharmacy but also jazz, and I'm sort of caught up in the traditionalist method of their teaching of jazz (i.e. nearly all the combos are standards or bebop based). When I get out of pharmacy school, I'd like to study at a school more receptive to more contemporary jazz... like perhaps, Berklee? Are there other more "modern" jazz programs around?
 

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Ah, in that case, avoid Tallahassee. Parker and Cannonball clones allowed only. Actually, in that case, your best bet may be to avoid using college as a way to get your jazz education. Most university programs use the Bebop era as their foundation.
 

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matty said:
Michigan State = Wes Anderson. Amazing player, beautiful human being, outstanding teacher
Wess had a stroke in July that he's still recovering from. I don't know how long it will be until he starts teaching or performing again.
 

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vivace1 said:
Ah, in that case, avoid Tallahassee. Parker and Cannonball clones allowed only. Actually, in that case, your best bet may be to avoid using college as a way to get your jazz education. Most university programs use the Bebop era as their foundation.
To be fair, bebop is the foundation for everything that came after. All schools teach it to some degree(as well they should). It's just that some schools spend less time on bebop and emphasize the modern stuff more (or at least have a reputation for doing that).
 

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Agent27 said:
Wess had a stroke in July that he's still recovering from. I don't know how long it will be until he starts teaching or performing again.

Last I heard he's recovering wonderfully and will be back teaching next semester. (A former student of mine is a freshman there this year)
 

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That's right, you're down in Bloomington aren't you. I ended up going to Ball State. Since Mac left there are mysteriously less people playing in the jazz program but Buselli is great, it'll come back I think. Obviously not like WMU or IU but less cutthroat..
 

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I'm a little late, but I thought I might as well plug WVU if you're looking for experimental stuff. Our professor, Paul Scea (sax and flute), is a free jazz player and really phenomenal.
 
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