Briscoe Jazz Workshop

There's a new music series in town. It's called Briscoe Jazz Workshop and it's a performance and presentation series on different aspects or styles of jazz and other art music.

Sessions will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on scheduled third Thursdays of the month in the Briscoe ArtWing Music Room, in the old Briscoe Elementary School, 265 N. Main St. Visitors should use the Laurel Street entrance.

The Briscoe Jazz Workshop is an offshoot of hands-on jazz workshops for musicians held by David Scoggin for 10 weeks at a time during the past four winters at the Briscoe ArtWing Music Room.

The format of the workshops will include performances and some explanations about what the musicians are playing. There will be an opportunity for a casual question and answer time for those attending.

The schedule for the next few months is:

April 16: Opus 4 and the modal jazz revolution of 1959 and beyond. This workshop will feature Scoggin on piano and organ, Michael Vannice on saxophones, Jim Calhoun on bass and Theresa McCoy on drums. Vannice and Scoggin will talk about the history of modal jazz starting with Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," going into John Coltrane in the '60s, how modal jazz was absorbed into mainstream jazz and how it came to have a lot in common with late '60s rock and '70s funk.

Between tunes the musicians will take questions from the audience about anything they want to ask, including musical devices that the players used in their improvisations.

May 21: Jeff Pevar and the Briscoe House Band featuring Scoggin, J. Jorgensen and Teri Côte. Pevar will talk about his career, having played with Ray Charles, Donald Fagen, Dr. John, Jazz Is Dead and many others. Between tunes the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions about what was played. This workshop will give the Ashland music community a look at Pevar's jazzy side.

June: Midsummer's Dream performer's jam session with Pevar, the Rogue Suspects, Karen Lovely, Salsa Brava, Opus 4, Craig Wright and many more jamming together in the Music Room as an after party after the outdoor music festival shuts down.

The Briscoe ArtWing is a 5-year-old collective of 22 artists who rent a wing of the old Briscoe Elementary School from the Ashland School district. Their rental agreement includes rent payment plus obligations to teach arts in Ashland public schools and hold fundraisers such as Midsummer's Dream Art and Music Festival in June and the Holiday Market in December.

Cost for attending each monthly Briscoe Jazz Workshop is a $5 to $10 donation per event. Musicians and non-musicians are welcome to attend.

To join the Briscoe Jazz Workshop (at no charge) and receive monthly e-mail about presentations, send an e-mail to

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