Masterclass year 2016

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.


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.


Justin Paterson is an academic lecturer, music producer and author. He is the Director of the Master’s Program in Advanced Music Technology at the London College of Music (University of West London). He has worked as a professional drummer, programmer and producer for 25 years. As an academic, his research is international in scope and he has recently developed a new music production format based on interactive playback. Justin is author of the Drum Programming Handbook and co-director of the Innovation in Music lecture series. Justin Paterson’s lectures on Drum Programming have been regularly hosted by the Audio Engineering Society Conventions in the U.S.A.


Sara McGuinness specializes in hands-on field research, performance and sound engineering, with a focus on Congolese and Cuban music. She has been a professional musician in the British salsa scene for more than 20 years and has been an integral part of the British Congolese music community since 2005, soon becoming the keyboardist of choice in the Congolese music scene. This has placed her in a unique position to join Latin and Congolese musicians in forming a band for her research project on the dynamics of interaction between the two types of music.


John Wooton is the director of the Department of Percussion at the Univeristy of Southern Mississipi. Born in Lafayette, LA, he plays vibraphone in the Southern Miss Jazz Quintet and leads the professional band “Kaiso!” playing steel pan. As a teacher and musician, John has been awarded 5 times by the PASIC Marching Percussion Forum. For 10 years he worked with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps of Rockford as a performer, instructor and arranger. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with several drum corps as a consultant.


It will deal with how musical elements learned in jazz theory can be explored through research and practice applied to improvisation. Scale modes, fixed-root modes, and voicings that can be derived from these scales will be discussed. Creativity and context as a source of inspiration will also be addressed.
Bio and more information about Scott Free:


Sheila Jordan has left an indelible imprint on the world of jazz music. In addition to his solo albums, he has recorded as a session man with many great artists. Jordan was a pioneer in the bebop and scat style of singing, accompanied only by a double bass. His music has received praise from many critics, especially for his extraordinary ability to improvise lyrics. Charlie Parker often introduced her as “the singer with the million-dollar ears,” acknowledging her unique talent and musical sensibility. Through her distinctive voice and innovative approach to music, Sheila Jordan remains an iconic figure in the jazz world, inspiring generations of musicians and fans around the world.


Leonard White III, better known as Lenny (born Dec. 19, 1949, in New York City), is an extremely talented American drummer, recipient of three Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy. White is known for his virtuosity in jazz and fusion, and he has left an indelible mark on the history of music.
Among his most famous collaborations are those with Miles Davis on the album “Bitches Brew,” Chick Corea in the group Return to Forever, Jaco Pastorius on the album of the same name, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Mike Stern and many others.
His technical skill, musical sensitivity, and versatility have made him one of the most respected drummers in the jazz and fusion scene. His contributions to albums and performances with world-renowned artists have solidified his reputation as one of the great drum masters.