CONWAY — Mike Sakash will be presenting his popular jazz history course, focused this year on the “The Art of the Jazz Trio” on Tuesdays, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in person at the Majestic Theatre in Conway as well as a real-time, interactive, online class through mountaintopmusic.org.
Classes will explore the influential jazz trios of Nat King Cole (June 22), Bud Powell (June 29), Oscar Peterson (July 6), Ahmad Jamal (July 13), Jimmy Giuffre (July 20), Bill Evans (July 27), Tony Williams Lifetime (Aug. 3) and Pat Metheny Bright Size Life (Aug. 24).
Each week the class will learn about the musical style of one of these groups, through guided listening, live demonstration, and lively discussion. No music experience is necessary to participate and learn about the inner workings of this summer’s lineup.
The jazz trio is just large enough to provide a wide palette of sounds but small enough to allow group interaction and spontaneity. The classic combination of piano, double bass and drums is traditionally quieter and more reflective than a larger ensemble, but there are plenty of exceptions who provide variety and surprise to the knowing listener.
Saxophonist Mike Sakash currently performs locally and with the 18-member Portland Jazz Orchestra, and teaches instrumental music at Fryeburg Academy and saxophone and clarinet at Mountain Top Music.
He holds a degree from the University of Massachusetts in Saxophone Performance, African-American Jazz Studies, and music education and a master’s degree in jazz studies and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music.
Before coming to the valley, he was an Associate Professor at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. He is currently Chairman of the award-winning Arts Department at Fryeburg Academy.
The cost is $85 per person for all eight classes. Each class will be recorded and available for registered participants to watch through the end of the week of the class, so attendees will never have to miss a class. Those choosing to attend in person will be required to wear masks and to sit socially distanced in the newly renovated 250-seat Majestic Theatre.
For more information and to register, go to mountaintopmusic.org or call (603) 447-4737.