Experience the core concepts of rhythmic feel (dance), the aural tradition (listening), and the oral tradition (singing), and learn how they serve as the foundations of cultural approach to teaching jazz improvisation. The blues and rhythm changes (songs based on the chord changes to “I Got Rhythm”) form the basis for learning and teaching the jazz language through singing bass lines and call-and-response. Creative approaches to teaching jazz improvisation, as well as the importance of transcribing and careful listening as it relates to jazz improvisation, are thoroughly explored.

Instructor: Ronald Carter

Ronald_CarterRonald Carter the former director of the world-renowned Northern Illinois University (NIU) Jazz Ensembleand former Director of Jazz Studies is continuing to educate students in jazz education and performance on university, high school and performing arts schools and campuses across the country, South America and Canada. 

As an educator, Carter has presented workshops as guest conductor, artist, clinician, or adjudicator at Michigan State University, Georgia State University, Western Illinois University, University of Northern Colorado, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, Northern Illinois University, Hampton University, Loyola University, Coe College, Augustana College, Vander Cook College of Music, and Georgia State College, and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. He has performed, conducted and presented clinics at regional, national, and international conferences, and directed all-state jazz bands in Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, Missouri, Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Kentucky, Vermont, Arizona, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Washington. Carter has been asked to direct the Honors Jazz bands for the state of Georgia and Massachusetts for 2017.

Carter who worked 18 years in the East St. Louis School District as the former director of the Lincoln Senior High School Jazz Band, also performed professionally in the St. Louis metropolitan area as a freelance musician on saxophone, clarinet, flute, and as a vocalist. He co-directed the group Infiniti and performed with the legendary George Hudson Orchestra. Carter has also performed professionally with Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, The Jimmy Dorsey Band, Wallace Roney, The Temptations, The Dells, Oliver Lake, Hamiett Bluiett, Leon Thomas, Art Davis, Fareed Haque, Joseph Bowie, Frank Mantooth, Terell Stafford, Orbert Davis, Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, and many others.

An abbreviated list of his honors and awards includes Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Educators Hall of Fame, The Woody Herman Music Award (Birch Creek Music Center), The 1991 Milken National Distinguished Educator Award, Southern Illinois University Excellence in Teaching Award, and the St. Louis American Newspaper’s Excellence in Teaching Award and Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees Professorship.

Carter’s current projects includes International Consultant for the Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York; former Lead Artist for the Jazz At Lincoln Center Band Director’s Academy; Co-Author for Alfred Publications “Swingin’ On The Bars”, and co-author of GIA Music Publications “Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz – Book I & II as well as a contributing author to the Beginning Jazz Ensemble Textbook.

Carter is currently an artist for Conn-Selmer Inc. and D’Addario Woodwinds –(Rico Reeds)


VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288