LA PLUME — Area musicians of all ages came together July 25 through 29 on the campus of Keystone College for the eighth annual Jazz Institute, presented in partnership with the Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance.
Aidan Jordan, an Abington Heights junior said this was his fourth year attending the week-long educational event and he believes it helped him gain confidence and become a better musician. In addition to the opportunity to learn from professionals, he said the experience gives students a chance to learn from each other.
“It’s just a lot of fun to collaborate and bring something different,” the pianist said. “Everybody has something different about them that kind of helps the music blend together.”
Johnny Tumavitch, an Abington Heights senior who also attended for the fourth year, agreed, adding he enjoys playing music with the other students, not just from Abington Heights, but from all over. The guitarist said two things he hopes to take away from the workshop and apply to his future musical endeavors are how to better improvise and how to work with a group.
“I mainly play by myself and practice very individually, and playing with other people really teaches you teamwork,” he said. “And that’s an experience not many people have, when the musicians usually just practice at their house, reading their music and studying it, but they don’t really get to hear other people play it.
“Hearing is half the learning of music – not just reading it.”
Lackawanna Trail eighth grade student Lee Hoffman, a baritone saxophone player, attended his second year at the institute. He touched on this aspect of teamwork among the musicians as well.
“I learned how to listen to other people around me and cooperate just by looking and learning how to play cooperatively,” he said.
The students will have the opportunity to put all they learned into practice in front of a live audience at the Scranton Jazz Festival, scheduled for Aug. 5 through 7 at the historic Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in downtown Scranton. The group will perform at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Tickets and more information about the festival can be obtained by calling 570-575-5282 or online at scrantonjazzfestival.org.
The Jazz Institute faculty is comprised of well-known jazz musicians from throughout the region, including Marko Marcinko, artistic director, drums and piano; Dave Jumper, brass; Tom Hamilton, saxophone; Tony Marino, bass; Bill Washer, guitar, and Dave Mirarchi, assistant instructor.