Masterclass year 2009

In 2001, 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. These experiences shaped their artistic paths and helped define the future of music in St. Louis.


Mark Turner è noto per un sound che richiama quello di Warne Marsh, arricchito da elementi che richiamano anche lo stile di John Coltrane. Turner cited both Marsh and Coltrane as influences and was able to integrate elements of their styles into his music. Its range extends to the highest high register. His improvisations span several octaves and exhibit remarkable harmonic and rhythmic complexity. His compositions often use repeated patterns, odd times and intervallic jumps, creating a rich and compelling soundscape. Turner is recognized for his ability to explore new musical territories, combining tradition and innovation to create a unique and engaging language.


Reggie Hamilton is a renowned bassist with a career spanning across several musical genres. Known for his virtuosity and versatility, Hamilton has collaborated with a wide range of internationally renowned artists. His distinctive style and rhythmic precision have helped shape the sound of numerous successful albums. Hamilton has demonstrated exceptional mastery of the electric bass in both live and studio performances. His experience includes collaborations with legendary and up-and-coming artists, testifying to his reputation in the music industry. With a magnetic stage presence and innate talent, Reggie Hamilton continues to be a prominent figure in the music world, leaving an indelible imprint wherever he performs.


Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, born April 24, 1963, is a world-renowned Cuban drummer and percussionist. A collaborator with Latin jazz pianists of the caliber of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdés, Eddie Palmieri and Hilario Durán, he has left an indelible imprint on the musical landscape. His mastery of combining traditional Cuban rhythms with jazz influences has won praise from critics and fans worldwide. With his impeccable technique and infectious passion, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández continues to inspire and transform the music world.


Doug Aldrich is a renowned American heavy metal guitarist, known for his technical skill and distinctive style. He has made his mark in several internationally renowned music groups, including Whitesnake, Dio, Lion, Bad Moon Rising, Hurricane, House of Lords, Burning Rain, Revolution Saints and The Dead Daisies. Aldrich has established his reputation through his partnership with Jackson Guitars, for which he has been an endorser for many years. He masterfully used models such as Super Strat Dinky and Soloist, as well as a custom built model from Seymour Duncan. Thanks to his mastery of the guitar and charismatic stage presence, Doug Aldrich continues to be a leading figure in the heavy metal music scene.


At only 9 years old, Stef Burns founded his first band, called “The Yellow Brick Road.” During high school, he played in the band “Legend,” performing covers of iconic 1970s bands such as Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montrose, Led Zeppelin and many others. The keyboardist on this lineup was David K. Mathews, who would go on to play with the likes of Tower of Power, Boz Skaggs, Etta James, and Santana.

Later, with “New Legend03,” Burns began to explore jazz and fusion, offering original songs as well as covers of Jeff Beck, Return to Forever, George Duke, Herbie Hancock and other artists from the 1970s fusion scene. This lineup also included keyboardist John Seppala, with whom he would collaborate on the album “Swamp Tea.”


Darryl Jones, a Chicago native, joined Miles Davis’ legendary group in 1983, contributing to the recordings of iconic albums such as “Decoy” and “You’re Under Arrest.” In subsequent years, he collaborated with a number of prominent artists, including Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Steps Ahead, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Cher, Eric Clapton, Sting, and Joan Armatrading. Since 1992, Jones has been the Rolling Stones’ bassist, joining the group after Bill Wyman left. Although he is recognized as a collaborator rather than an official member, he has contributed significantly to the band’s sound. Jones plays a Lakland bass specially designed for him, giving his sound a unique and recognizable touch.


Thomas Lang, born in Vienna, began his adventure with drums at the age of five. After years of studying at a music school and private lessons, he also took up classical music at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. In 1985, after leaving the conservatory, Lang embarked on a professional career in the European pop and jazz scene. As a session man, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes, Peter Gabriel, Asia, Nik Kershaw, Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson and many others. His versatility has led him to work with well-known names in a variety of musical genres, demonstrating his mastery of the drums and his ability to adapt to different musical situations.


Guthrie Govan is best known for his work with bands such as Asia (2001-2006), The Aristocrats, GPS and The Fellowship. In 2006 he released his debut solo album, “Erotic Cakes.” He is a regular contributor to the British magazine Guitar Techniques and was awarded “Guitarist of the Year” by Guitarist Magazine, confirming his status as a guitar virtuoso and one of the most talented musicians of his generation. His technical skill and creativity make him an iconic figure in the guitar world, appreciated by both fellow musicians and enthusiasts around the world.


John Hidalgo auditioned and was hired by the Batacumbele Band in 1980. In 1981, he traveled with the band to Cuba, where he met a musician named Jose Luis Quintana, aka Changuito. Together they created a rhythmic style that began a new era in Latin music. In 1985, Hidalgo was performing with Eddie Palmieri at the Village Gate in New York City when Dizzy Gillespie walked in and heard him play. Gillespie was so impressed with Hidalgo that he told him that someday in the future they should meet and play together. In 1988 Hidalgo joined Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra.


Larry Grenadier began playing electric bass at age 10, forming a rock band with older brothers Steve and Phil called The Juveniles. Listening to early jazz records, he took up the double bass, appreciating musicians such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Paul Chambers, Richard Davis, and Percy Heath. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Grenadier stressed the importance of following the methods of these great musicians to develop a personal voice. She admires Scott LaFaro’s role with Bill Evans in the trio, assimilating his great rhythmic and harmonic support. Later, Gary Peacock in Keith Jarrett’s trio significantly influenced his style.


Nancy King (born June 15, 1940) is a jazz singer from Portland, Oregon. Known for her majestic scat and extended vocal range, King has performed on world tours and recordings, collaborating with artists such as Jon Hendricks, Vince Guaraldi, Ralph Towner, Dave Friesen and others. King began playing in 1959 with other music students at the University of Oregon. After moving to San Francisco in 1960, her skillful scat singing landed her many gigs with various bebop artists. In 2004, King recorded his live album “Live at Jazz Standard” with pianist Fred Hersch.


Jeff Ballard moved to San Francisco in 1986 and two years later joined Ray Charles’ orchestra, traveling the world on long tours of eight months a year. After three years, he settled in New York where he collaborated with the best jazz musicians of his generation, including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Avishai Cohen, Guillermo Klein, Larry Grenadier, and Ben Allison. In 1999 he began playing with pianist Chick Corea, being part of the Origin sextet for six years and recording an album with the London Symphony Orchestra. He also played in the New Korea Trio, accompanied by double bassist Avishai Cohen.


Gary Novak, born in 1969, is an in-demand U.S. drummer who has collaborated with numerous artists, including George Benson, Maynard Ferguson, Chick Corea Elektric Band, Brandon Fields, Lee Ritenour, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, David Sanborn, Anita Baker, Andrew WK, Bob Berg, Allan Holdsworth, Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Eros Ramazzotti, Tiziano Ferro, Cesare Cremonini, Jimmy Haslip, Alanis Morissette, David Crosby, Larry Carlton, and Travis Carlton. His versatility and eclecticism make him an appreciated musician in a wide range of musical genres and styles.


Phil Markowitz, a 40-year veteran of the international jazz scene, is dedicated to realizing the full potential of improvisational music within the jazz context. He performs original compositions, ranging from the sharp cut of chromaticism to the more lyrical post-romantic ballads. Inventive, virtuosic and accessible, Markowitz presents a future-oriented vision for contemporary music. His recordings as a leader include “Perpetuity” on Dottime Records, “Catalysis” on Sunnyside Records, “Taxi Ride” (featuring an incredible reunion with his lifelong friend, Toots Thielemans), “In the Woods,” “Sno Peas,” with Eddie Gomez and Al Foster, and “Restless Dreams” (with vibraphonist Joe Locke).


In 1975, Gregg Bissonette became the drummer of the “Warren Mott High School Jazz” band and, the following year, founded another band, “Grand Circus Park,” with his brother Matt, playing covers of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Aerosmith and the Eagles. Bissonette went on to develop a prolifically eclectic career, collaborating with a wide range of artists and bands, including David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr, Carlos Santana, Toto, and many others. His exceptional skill and versatility have made him one of the most sought-after drummers in the music business, helping to define the sound of numerous successful albums and tours.


Born in New York City on September 3, 1967, Peter Bernstein began playing piano at the age of eight but switched to guitar at 13, learning the instrument primarily by ear. He studied jazz at Rutgers University with Ted Dunbar and Kenny Barron. Since then, Bernstein has developed a renowned career as a jazz guitarist, collaborating with internationally renowned artists and recording a number of critically acclaimed albums. His mastery of the instrument, impeccable taste and deep understanding of the jazz language make him a prominent figure in the contemporary music scene.


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.


Tommy Emmanuel is considered one of the best guitarists in the world, renowned for his extraordinary fingerpicking technique and his ability to create rhythms on the body of the guitar, while also demonstrating considerable talent as a percussionist. Hailed as Best Acoustic Guitarist in 2008 and 2010 by Guitar Player magazine, Emmanuel has collaborated with a wide range of internationally renowned artists, including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin, John Denver, and Dodi Battaglia. His long and illustrious career is marked by breathtaking performances and an unwavering commitment to taking the acoustic guitar to the highest levels of virtuosity and creativity.


Adriano Mazzoletti was a prominent figure in the Italian cultural scene, known for his fundamental contribution to the dissemination and promotion of jazz music in the country. As a journalist, writer, radio host and record producer, he has played a crucial role in bringing the art of jazz to the ears and hearts of the Italian public. Through his passion and dedication, Mazzoletti has helped grow appreciation for this unique and engaging art form, influencing generations of fans and musicians. His legacy remains a pillar in the history of Italian music and continues to inspire jazz lovers across the country.