String Meets Swing
Welcome My name is Stan Seale. As a jazz educator and performer, I have created the String Meets Swing program at the request of many friends and colleagues in the string world who miss having the opportunity to experience being part of the jazz environment either in school, in professional life or as a hobbyist. Strings in general, and the violin in particular, have been a part of the American music scene since colonial days, and for a large part of the early jazz age, from the 1890's to about 1935, the violin was a prominent feature in jazz ensembles and vaudeville pit orchestras. Also, in the imaginative back-up arrangements written for jazz artists such as Billie Holliday, Charlie Parker, Diana Washington, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and many others, strings have been an important part of the artistic whole. Therefore, I think it is fair to conclude, that strings and jazz are not as far apart from one another within the musical sphere as some might imagine. The composer Maurice Ravel once stated that Jazz is America's classical music, and I for one would welcome the addition of more string participation in this interesting and creative musical experiment. Today, most jazz performers and teachers are wind or rhythm section people. Unfortunately there are few string teachers that are experienced in jazz so it is difficult for a string student to have access to meaningful jazz education...That's the reason for this project. The selection of the material, the style and formatting of the performances on the CD and in the included printed music have been carefully designed to give the aspiring Jazz Violinist an entre' into the protocols of a jazz performance and some knowledge of some of the important artists, their styles and work. As in most worthwhile endeavors, attention to detail, dedication, perspiration and an example to follow are very important. Although this "first step" into the art, theory and craft of jazz won't make you a consummate expert, we do hope that it will give you a good track to run on. Most jazz musicians have mastered the important bebop heads available in the "Real Fake Books" and have transcribed solos and practiced favorite "licks" in all 12 keys from the jazz masters. We, the creators of String Meets Swing sincerely hope that our humble endeavor will find a place in the music pedagogy, and be a pleasant and educational experience for all who utilize it.