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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chick Corea: Part 1 -- Excitement

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 A Week With Chick Corea: Part 1 -- Excitement
A Week With Chick Corea: Part 1 Chick’s first ever 5-day Master Workshop with John Patitucci (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums) held at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, MA from August 27 - 31, 2012

Excitement 

A random facebook friend of mine (Joe Goldberger) sent me a message in December 2011 about a Chick Corea workshop he saw advertised in JazzTimes. He knew how much I looked up to Chick and thought I’d like to know about the workshop opportunity. I’m forever grateful to Joe for thinking of me and letting me know since I otherwise may have never known about this potential once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the first time that Chick has ever offered a workshop to the general public. 

Now you have to understand that Chick’s music has been a huge influence on me since high school as a musician -- first as a listener, and then as a learner and active imitator playing by ear, improvising, and transcribing, and finally as a composer and bandleader of my own original jazz fusion band. I own over 100 of Chick’s albums and well over 20 of his various live performance and instructional videos. I even set up a Facebook page tribute "I Want To Be Chick Corea". See mikeprigodich.com for more info about me and my own original music heavily influenced and inspired by Chick. 

People tell me they recognize Chick's influence in my music while at the same time retaining my own unique voice. That's because, try as I might, I will never be Chick Corea and I can truly only be me. But that's a good thing and it turns out that is exactly what Chick's workshop was going to be all about, as you'll soon find out if you keep reading further in this series of blog posts. 


It took me awhile to appreciate Chick’s music when I first heard it, but his music slowly grew on me to the point where I would look forward to and immediately purchase any new album or video he released. It used to be that it would take several listens for me to go from first hating the new album to loving it and having each new album become my new favorite album. But over the last decade or more, I’ve gotten to the point where I immediately enjoy every new album I encounter on first listen. I guess for me, Chick’s music has been an acquired taste, but now it is something I truly appreciate and try to emulate, at least in spirit. In fact, I think he's probably the most prolific composer of the last 50+ years, perhaps comparable only to Mozart in terms of creative output, except that Mozart had a more limited range of styles, whereas Chick seems to have no limits in genre for his musical expression. 


 More about Chick if you’re not familiar with what an amazing musician Chick Corea is, watch this short video to the right Chick Corea: Documentary of Legendary Jazz Great, Pianist and Composer (part 1) to get some idea of who he is: Chick Corea: Documentary of Legendary Jazz Great, Pianist and Composer (part 1) 



Chick Corea: Documentary of Legendary Jazz Great, Pianist and Composer (part 2) 

Chick Corea: Documentary of Legendary Jazz Great, Pianist and Composer (part 2) 












From chickcorea.com : Who is Chick Corea? An NEA Jazz Master, 16-time Grammy winner, prolific composer and undisputed keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after four decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering. From straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children’s songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is awe-inspiring.” 

NOTE: See this great article from my facebook musician friend and fellow Chick Corea fanatic Tom Alexander: “What Makes Chick Tick”

NOTE: I love this description of Chick Corea by rock guitar virtuoso Steve Vai: "At one point, Chick went to the piano to do an improvised intro for the piece. Never in my life have I ever seen a man so divinely inspired on an instrument. When he finished, the rest of us could hardly play, feeling that we were benevolently granted the musical stimulation of what the history of man has evolved into in it's most refined and profound melodious awareness. We just looked at each other like idiots." -- from vai.com


Back to my story about the workshop Here’s the article in JazzTimes that Joe Goldberger saw and forwarded to me:   

12/23/11 
Chick Corea to Offer 5-Day Master Workshop Massachusetts event open to intermediate to advanced instrumentalists By Jeff Tamarkin 

Chick Corea will give a five-day master workshop next summer in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. The workshop is for intermediate to advanced instrumentalists and will include performances by Corea and his guests, master classes, jam sessions and more. The workshop will take place August 27-31, at the Cranwell Resort in Lenox, Mass. Jeff Tamarkin 


         Chick Corea at the Blue Note, 11-11 

For more information or to register, call 800-234-6479 (after Jan. 2) or send an email to:david@guitarworkshop.com. 


Signing up I told my wife Karen about it and she immediately said I should go. I called up David Smolover at National Guitar Workshop in December before the official registration period began the following January, and he graciously let me register in advance. David also told me over the phone that Chick would be performing at Tanglewood with Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet the night before the workshop began and he expected many of the workshop attendees to arrive a day early in order to attend that concert. 

The cost was pretty steep though -- nearly $5,000 including room and board in addition to the cost of air travel, ground transportation, the Tanglewood concert, and additional lodging costs before and after the workshop. I wasn’t sure we could afford it, but my wife offered to pick up a second job to bring in some extra income to help pay for the cost of the workshop! She’s a keeper! I had to make an initial down payment of 50% of the total cost when I first registered in order to reserve my spot, and then pay the remaining 50% by May 1st of 2012. I made sure I made my payments on time and booked all of my reservations early because there was no way I wanted to risk missing out on this chance of a lifetime. I received receipts from NGW confirming my registration and payments and was assured that they would be in communication with more details as we drew closer to the date of the workshop. I was psyched and eager to go. 

Here are more details they eventually published about the workshop on the National Guitar Workshop site: http://www.guitarworkshop.com/artist-corea.php 

Chick Corea Music Workshop with John Patitucci - Bass Antonio Sanchez - Drums August 27-31, 2012 

The National Music Workshop proudly presents Chick Corea in his first-ever week-long residency to share his music and insights into jazz performance, improvisation and composition with intermediate to advanced jazz musicians on all instruments. 

Chick will be joined by renowned bassist John Patitucci and drum guru Antonio Sanchez for a week of musical explorations into the world of the music of Chick Corea. Students will experience: 

One-on-one master classes with Chick Corea and the trio

Detailed analysis of Chick Corea compositions, hand selected by Chick for this workshop

Insight into Chick Corea’s approach to improvisation and jazz performance Musical interaction with Chick, John and Antonio 

Two intimate concert performances by the Chick Corea trio 

The opportunity to perform and record a piece written by Chick Corea exclusively for the participants of the program with Chick Corea, John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez performing and leading the group 

Student Jam Sessions 

Open mic performance opportunities 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a week of musical immersion with Jazz Master Chick Corea and his trio of John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez. 

This incredible five-day event is held at the elegant Cranwell Resort, Spa, & Golf Club located in picturesque Lenox, Massachusetts. Minutes from the Tanglewood Music Center, the resort features luxurious accommodations, gourmet meals and an attentive staff that will pamper you at every turn. This location is a perfect place to bring a spouse or friend and turn this wonderful week into something that you’ll be glad you shared. Space is limited! 

Rates: 

Participant on site $4950 Includes: four nights, Monday -Thursday, in a guest room or villa at the resort, all workshop classes, clinics, and performances, and all meals. 

Participant off site $3750 Includes: all workshop classes, clinics, and performances. Meals may be purchased as desired from venue.

Non Participant on site $1950 Spouse, Parent, or Partner. Includes accommodations with participant, all meals, and a $500 spa credit. 

For full details, or to register by phone, please call 800-234-6479 or Outside of U.S. 860-567-3736 NGW discounts scholarships and/or credits cannot be applied to Master Artist Series events. Spouses are welcome: Please see special non-participant rate. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by Parent or Guardian. Parent or Guardian not enrolled in Master Artist Workshop must enroll as non-participant. Office Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM EST Monday through Friday. Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be in writing. 91 or more days before event: $500 cancellation Fee 90 days or less before event: No Refund Eventually, Chick’s organization sent out some information on the workshop via Chick’s e-mail list: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e2d6e58d6f00e744b32c2d3da&id=e84fdd99f2&e=ac37511829 

 Spend 5 Days with Chick in the Ultimate Master Workshop Spend five days studying with Jazz Master Chick Corea, renowned bassist John Patitucci and drum guru Antonio Sanchez in the beautiful Berkshires. This exclusive event is open to all intermediate and advanced jazz instrumentalists. August 27 - 31, 2012 

Lenox, MA Space is limited and expected to sell out, so register early! Book Your Spot Now Contact: National Guitar Workshop PO Box 222 Lakeside, CT 06758 (800) 234-6479 Your immersive week will include: One-on-one master classes with Chick Corea and the trio Detailed analysis of Chick Corea compositions, hand-selected by Chick for this workshop Insight into Chick Corea's approach to improvisation and jazz performance Musical interaction with Chick, John and Antonio Two intimate concert performances by Chick, John and Antonio Jam sessions The opportunity to perform and record a piece written by Chick exclusively for the participants of the program with Chick Corea, John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez Keyboard virtuoso Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering. Learn more at ChickCorea.com. For more information or to register: Call (800) 234-6479 Book Your Spot Now Presented by National Guitar Workshop Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club is a premier all-season resort snuggled in the heart of the Berkshires region in Western Massachusetts. Here you'll enjoy one of the largest spas in the Northeast, luxury accommodations, fine dining, outstanding amenities and exceptional service. For more information about the Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, please visit their website. http://www.cranwell.com No idea if anyone entered and won this sweepstakes from Yamaha where the lucky winner was sent all expenses paid (including travel) to Chick’s workshop: http://www.yamaha.com/chickcoreapromo/