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Icons of Jazz

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course offers some technical insight and an overarching look at the historical contexts of the main jazz innovators. We hope this course will enable deeper appreciation of familiar players, as well as introducing some new names and also some analysis of their work. An examination of all the manifold styles of jazz improvisation from 1900 to the present day, including the acknowledged greats and some obscure surprises...

Course Details

Content of Course

1. The roots of jazz – field hollers, ragtime, Scottish reels, the blues, military marches

Featuring the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Scott Joplin, W. C. Handy, N. Y. City Band, Mamie Smith. Also some Fergus McCreadie to illustrate how far things have come since then.

2. New Orleans, Storyville

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Sidney Bechet, et al.

3. Kansas City

Featuring Lester Young, Count Basie, Benny Moten.

4. Chicago

Featuring Eddie Condon, Pee Wee Russell, Bud Freeman.

5. Austin

Featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Adrian Rollini, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti, J. and T. Dorsey.

6. New York

Featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins.

7. Europe

Featuring Django Reinhardt, Jan Garbarek, John McLaughlin, John Surman, Ken Colyer.

8. Blues and Gospel

Featuring B.B. King, Sam Chatmon, Peter Green, Tam White, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

9. The Present Day

Featuring Fergus McCreadie, Paul Harrison, Brian Kellock, Tommy Smith.

10. Requests

Featuring an assortment of artists who have not yet been covered, and including class members' requests.

Teaching method(s)

Teaching will be by lecture and seminar with participation encouraged. CD / vocal and instrumental aids .and examples performed live. General reading between classes is encouraged.

Learning outcomes

Outcomes for the student will be increased listening, appreciation and enjoyment of the main innovators from the world of jazz.


Core Readings

There will be reference material in the form of links to Youtube performances and background hand-outs of players' histories and biographies.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.