Jazz Piano (55+)

The piano is a glorious instrument that has played both supporting and leading roles in the world of jazz. Its sound has evolved from the early days of boogie-woogie and ragtime to the chord-drenched stylings of Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau. Superstars have led the way, including boogie-woogie maestros such as Meade Lux Lewis and Pinetop Smith, big band virtuosos like Duke Ellington and Count Basie, stride masters such as Fats Waller and Willie “The Lion” Smith and jazz singer/pianists such as Nat King Cole and Nina Simone.

Our survey of jazz and “the most beautiful piece of furniture ever built” will also include today’s artists, among them Fred Hersch, Jessica Williams, Chick Corea and Diana Krall.

Note: Back by popular demand, from spring 2012.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

Currently not available for registration.

What will I learn?

  • Early piano: Ragtime, boogie-woogie and stride piano masters.
  • Big band piano: A special kind of playing mastered by Ellington, Basie, Hines, McShann and Kenton
  • The superstars of the instrument: Tatum, Waller, Garner, Hines, Brubeck, Williams, Shearing, Peterson, Jamal, Evans, and Monk
  • The great accompanists, including Teddy Wilson, Ellis Larkins, Paul Smith, Jimmy Rowles, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Ralph Sharon, and Tommy Flannagan
  • The singer/pianists including Nat Cole, Blossom Dearie, Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Nina Simone, Michael Feinstein, Bobby Short, Rose Murphy, and Harry Connick Jr.
  • Solo piano, latin piano, and blues piano.
  • Today’s piano stars including Herbie Hancock, Cyrus Chestnut, Jessica Williams, Marcus Roberts, Chick Corea, Fred Hersch, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes, Brad Meldau, Keith Jarrett, and John Stetch

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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