2017 Piano Intensive with Randy Porter
The Piano Intensive specializes in the art of piano performance and arranging. Two class periods are reserved for six advanced participants where we will explore all aspects of the piano including technique, vocabulary, style and the textures necessary to elevate your understanding and playing, especially with regard to a jazz trio format.
10:15-11:15: Master Class
11:30-12:30: Trio playing with professional bass and drums
Each pianist will have an opportunity to play, listen, discuss musical concepts, and grow in an intimate, supportive and focused environment. We will cover many topics, including: chord voicings, comping, solo piano playing, arranging, syncopation, swing feel, interactive/conversational trio playing, odd meters, phrasing, the Blues, Brazilian styles, Cuban styles, piano technique, ear training, and more. The goal is to play with more depth and musicality as the week progresses.
Note: If accepted into the Piano Intensive you may also audition/join either a Combo OR the Advanced Instrumental Program.
About the Audition
Pianists will be asked to play 2 contrasting songs that show their creativity, flexibility, and proficiency in playing jazz piano with bass and drums. Be prepared to play melody, solo, comp, and trade 4s or 8s, though you may be asked to stop before the song is over due to time constraints.
About Randy Porter
“. . . Porter’s superb technical facility allows him to weave tricky meters and clever cross-rhythms into a spirited, organic whole that emerges simply as beautiful music. “
– Lynn Darroch, The Oregonian
Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. Lynn Darroch of The Oregonian states, “Porter has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility…”
Randy Porter has performed with many jazz greats, including Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, and Benny Golson. He has also performed with the Charles McPherson Quartet throughout the US and in France, Italy, Greece, and China. The Charles McPherson Quartet has re-created the music from the classic recording Charlie Parker with Strings, performing with many orchestras nationwide. Porter has also toured with Diane Schuur and Bobby Caldwell, conducting the Jazz Orchestra for their “Sing in Swing” tour.
Randy Porter has toured Europe with bassist David Friesen and has performed on several recordings with Friesen. Friesen’s 2001 Trio CD, Name of a Woman, received 4 stars from Downbeat in June of 2002 and featured Porter as pianist and composer. Porter has also recorded, performed, and toured worldwide with singer Gino Vannelli; Porter’s pianistic contributions can be heard on Vannelli’s CD’s, Yonder Tree, Slow Love and Canto.
Musical highlights include performing at Kimball’s with Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center with Diane Schuur, Seattle’s Jazz Alley with New York Voices, Yoshi’s in San Francisco with Karrin Allyson and Rebecca Kilgore, The House of Blues in Chicago and BB King’s Blues Club in NYC with Gino Vannelli, the Monterey Jazz Festival with Madeline Eastman, the Chicago and Detroit Jazz Festivals with Charles McPherson.
Porter’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on his own recordings: Thirsty Soul, with John Wiitala on bass and Reinhardt Melz and Todd Strait on drums; Brio, also featuring John Wiitala and Reinhardt Melz; Modern Reflections with Nancy King on vocals, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Mel Brown on drums; and Eight Little Feet with Bob Magnusson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. Samples of Porter’s writing and playing can be found on Apple’s iLife jingles. Porter also composed the music for the 2009 documentary, Deep Green.
Porter has been a performer and educator at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival for many years where he has coached many young jazz musicians. He has also worked several years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West with singer Madeline Eastman. Porter teaches master classes and adjudicates student combos and bands at highschool and college jazz festivals. Currently, Porter teaches jazz piano at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.