This lesson series will provide a unique, inside look at the workings of a jazz trio and quartet. In each of the project’s 12 episodes, you will be treated to an inspiring performance of an original tune or standard, followed by a discussion from each individual player on what they were thinking and hearing during that tune.

As you listen to each performer’s unique perspective, you’ll learn how they interpret the style and arrangement of the music, interact, build solos & support the other soloists, shape the tune, and contribute to the overall energy level and transparency of the tune. As is often the case, hearing the insights of the other musicians can help shape our approach just as much (or more) than focusing on the view from our ‘chair’ in the ensemble!

If you love the music from this project, be sure to purchase a CD or download to YOUR MUSIC LIBRARY!

Available NOW at BANDCAMP.com


Steve Houghton, Drums

Internationally renowned jazz drummer, percussionist, clinician, author, and educator, Steve Houghton initially received acclaim at age twenty as the drummer with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd. Since then he has shared stage and studio with luminaries Freddie Hubbard, Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Dave Stryker, Clay Jenkins, Shelly Berg, Jared Gold, Lyle Mays, Bob Sheppard, Billy Childs, Bobby Hutcherson, Pat LaBarbara, Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Cunliffe, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Allee, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown, Karrin Allyson, Dianne Reeves, among others.

As a band leader Houghton’s discography includes: The AHA! Quintet – Freespace, The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited , a recent release of John Williams’ charts for big band and quintet, Live @ The Senator – Steve Houghton Quintet, Windsong, Remembrances, and Steve Houghton Signature. In total Houghton attributes more than one hundred recordings to his credit as a participating artist. As a classical percussionist, Houghton has performed with the Boston, and Philadelphia Pops orchestras, U.S. Army Band, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He frequently appears as a soloist with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the world.

As an author, Houghton’s publications boast more than thirty educational books, videos and DVDs including: Drumset 101, Kid’s Drumset Course– books 1 & 2, Essential Styles- books 1 & 2 , The Ultimate Drumset Chart Reading Anthology (Alfred), Play and Teach Percussion (GIA), and The Drumset Soloist (WB), and his latest project, Rhythm Section Workshop for Jazz Directors (Alfred) is a DVD-book series that addresses the entire rhythm section. He has recently created two new educational series for the Vic Firth website, entitled Rhythm Section 101, and The Jazz Trio – An Inside View.

Houghton presents yearly clinics and master classes to students around the world; most recently Germany, England, China, New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan. Houghton is a Past- President of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) a founding member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and endorses, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Yamaha drums and percussion and Remo world percussion products and drumheads.

Visit Steve online at http://www.houghtonmusic.com

Rusty Burge, Vibes

Rusty Burge joined the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music faculty in 1992 as a member of Percussion Group Cincinnati, with whom he has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Recent performances include the Japan World Drum Festival, Chinese International Music Festival, Taipei International Percussion Convention, the Ravinia Festival, Merkin Hall in New York City and the International Percussion Convention. He has recorded with the Group for the Mode, Centaur, Einstein and Ars Moderno labels. The Group has also made concerto appearances with more than twenty different symphony orchestras. He was formerly principal percussionist with the West Virginia Symphony and plays extra with the Cincinnati Symphony and Opera. He received his undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music and a masters degree from CCM. Professor Burge teaches percussion, jazz vibraphone and directs the CCM Steel band. He is an active jazz vibraphonist who has recorded for Summit, J Curve Records, Human Records and Telarc. Recent jazz performances with Ted Nash, Rich Perry, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, Rufus Reid, Steve Allee, Roland Vazquez and Michael Spiro, His latest recording (2015) is Faraway with Steve Allee.

Visit Rusty online at http://www.rustyburge.com

Steve Allee, Piano

Pianist, composer and arranger Steve Allee is a veteran of more than 35 years on the music scene, working principally in jazz, writing and performing for syndicated radio programs, network television and motion pictures, and as a music educator.

All of his career facets have blended into a distinct musical style that has a very strong visual, almost cinematic flavor because of his skill in capturing or reinforcing important moods or visual elements that inspire his projects.

Steve has released six CDs as a leader, the two most recent being his trio recordings, Dragonfly (June 2008) and Colors (April 2007) are artful collaborations with bassist Bill Moring and drummer Tim Horner. Saxophonists Rich Perry and Rob Dixon appear on select tracks. In his liner notes for Dragonfly, jazz journalist Ken Franckling noted that “From start to finish,Dragonfly makes it clear that this is a band in which each of the players finds their interaction to be exhilarating…. this trio is all about making the most of the journey – as the best jazz should.”

Visit Steve online at http://www.steveallee.com

Jeremy Allen, Bass

Bassist Jeremy Allen has served on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2006. He has performed in the United States and abroad with such jazz luminaries as Fred Hersch, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Tim Hagans, Eric Alexander, Jerry Bergonzi, Rich Perry and George Garzone.

Allen has been invited to perform at the Terni (Italy) Jazz Festival, the Bonn Beethovenfest, the International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in New York City and in Toronto, the inaugural Jazz Educator’s Network Convention in St. Louis, the Iowa City Jazz Festival and at the United Nations headquarters.

He has presented master classes and papers at the University of Illinois Urbana—Champaign, Idaho State University, the University of Rhode Island, the Leeds (U.K.) Jazz Conference and at high schools throughout Massachusetts, Virginia and Indiana.

As a recording artist, Allen can be heard on releases by Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler, the Luke Gillespie Trio, the Steve Allee Quintet, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Sara Caswell, the x-tet, the Dave Lisik Jazz Orchestra, the afrojazz ensemble Sankofa, the quartet Chelsea Square and many others. He has recorded for labels Artists House Music and Cadence Records and recently founded his own label, Watercourse Records, for the release of his own music and that of the ensembles with which he is involved.

At the Jacobs School, Allen teaches private lessons to jazz bass majors, directs one of the school’s four jazz big bands, coaches jazz combos of various sizes and operates the program’s Rhythm Section Master Class along with colleagues Steve Houghton, Luke Gillespie, Corey Christiansen and Michael Spiro.

Visit Jeremy online at http://www.jeremyallen.org



For nearly 60 years, we at the Vic Firth Company have focused on developing and manufacturing what has become the world’s most popular drumsticks, mallets, alternative implements, and accessories… with the best durability, feel, and sound options, across the widest variety of genres and styles.

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