Archiv 2017

The passion for jazz music in person: Richard Howell at our school!


What music do you listen to? Pop? Rock? Indie? Oldies? Techno?

On Tuesday 25th April, all students from the English AC attended a jazz-workshop, given by the musician Richard Howell from San Francisco. Starting his workshop with a solo on his tenor saxophone, he took us on a 90 minute journey through the evolution of jazz music.

To know the roots of Jazz we have to go about 500 years back in time to the African slaves in America who used worksongs to communicate with each other and welcomed one another by singing and dancing. After that he asked us the same question I’ve asked you in the beginning and no matter what style of music we chose or you would choose (unless its the European classic, but I guess that might be secondary at the moment) we learnt that it’s all influenced by one genre: jazz music, which itself was influenced by the already mentioned worksongs. Because those worksongs were so important, Richard Howell made up a scenario where we were playing the slaves being forced to leave their home.

Howell did some call and response experiments with us, before he went on to the history of jazz music in which jazz developed various styles like blues and funk. To every style he gave us an improvised example using his amazing voice or his saxophone and motivated us to join him.

Today jazz music is an internationally recognized style and played by everyone who likes to, best example: Richard Howell himself who gave us this workshop. He is a musician who writes music, produces other bands with his Label RCHowell Music and makes music with his own band too. He comes to schools in Germany and other countries to speak about what he loves, jazz music. Feel free to check him out on Spotify!

Once the workshop came to an end and we were free to ask questions, one student was so impressed by Howells voice, he even asked him if he could try to sing Bump n’ Grind by R. Kelly for all of us.

Dear Richard Howell, you told us in the beginning of your workshop: “it’s very important to stay connected“ and let me tell you this - you managed to be connected to all the students throughout the whole presentation! Many thanks to you, the US Embassy and our English teachers for making this workshop happen!


An Article by Meta Friedrich


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