Masterclass year 2002

Masterclass year 2002, the Saint Louis Music Center hosted a series of extraordinary Masterclasses taught by national and international artists, students had the honor of learning directly from the best in their field, honing their skills and gaining valuable perspectives. Masterclass year 2002 shaped their artistic path and helped define the future of music in St. Louis.


Robben Ford gained worldwide fame as a guitarist on Miles Davis’ 1986 tour, in which he combined the technical gimmicks of blues and jazz. Robben also played on the records and concerts of Jimmy Witherspoon, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell and with the Yellowjackets of which he was among the forming members.


Paul Motian and rose to prominence in the late 1950s with the pioneering trio of pianist Bill Evans, Motian has always worked in a wealth of different musical contexts and led many ensembles. He is one of the most influential musicians in the evolution of modern drumming, having made a further and remarkable contribution in the process of liberating drums from the conventional and traditional role of simply being part of the “rhythm section.”


Kim Plainfield taught private lessons and taught courses at the NYC Drummers Collective from 1979 until his passing. For much of that period, he served as faculty president. His dedication and expertise have left an indelible imprint on the local music community, inspiring generations of drummers. His passion for music and his commitment to teaching will remain an enduring legacy, continuing to influence and motivate drum enthusiasts around the world. Kim Plainfield will be remembered not only as an outstanding teacher, but also as a mentor and icon in the drumming world.


Enrico Pieranunzi, internationally renowned jazz virtuoso pianist and composer, lit up the Saint Louis Music Center with a memorable masterclass. In 2000, he shared his musical genius and deep knowledge with students hungry for inspiration. Through his smooth notes and nuanced harmonies, Pieranunzi conveyed not only the techniques of jazz, but also his passion and dedication to art. The meeting left an indelible imprint, fueling the fire of creativity and musical expression in the heart of St. Louis.


Dave Holland, inspired by Leroy Vinnegar’s vinyls (Leroy Walks! and Leroy Walks Again!!), bought both albums attracted by the image of the bassist with his instrument on the cover. Within a week, he exchanged his bass guitar for a double bass and began practicing with those records. In addition to Brown and Vinnegar, Holland was also fascinated by double bassists Charles Mingus and Jimmy Garrison. This change marked the beginning of an extraordinary musical career in which Holland became one of the most influential double bassists in contemporary jazz.


Scott Henderson was recruited as a guitarist for the Chick Corea Elektric Band along with Carlos Rios, but his tenure lasted only three months due to disagreements with Chick Corea over the keyboardist’s adherence to Scientology. Henderson was replaced by Frank Gambale. In 1984, he founded the fusion group Tribal Tech with Gary Willis on bass, Kirk Covington on drums and vocals, and Scott Kinsey on keyboards. This lineup became famous for their innovative fusion of jazz, rock and electronic elements, helping to define the sound of contemporary fusion.


Peter Erskine made his debut at age 18 with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, playing for 3 years. Then, for 4 years, he was a member of Weather Report, contributing to 5 albums, including a Grammy Award with “8:30.” He later collaborated with Mike Brecker, Mike Mainieri, Don Grolnick and Eddie Gomez of Steps Ahead. His musical versatility and mastery on the drums have made him a benchmark in the international jazz scene, helping to define the sound of legendary bands and earning him a reputation as an outstanding musician.


Paolo Fresu began his career recording for RAI under Bruno Tommaso while attending “Siena Jazz” seminars. A trumpet graduate from the “Giovanni da Palestrina” Conservatory of Cagliari in 1984 with maestro Enzo Morandini, he subsequently explored a wide range of musical genres, from jazz to ethnic music, world music, contemporary, light and ancient. Distinguished collaborations with artists such as Alice, Farafina, Trilok Gurtu, Michael Nyman, Negramaro, Evan Parker, Gunther Schuller, Stadio, Ornella Vanoni, and Peter Gabriel have enriched his artistic journey, confirming him as a leading figure in the Italian and international music scene.