Cassa Jazz

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Cassa Jazz 5 days: July 15 - 19, 2019

Performance Friday 7 pm

St. Vladimir's Cultural Centre, 404 Meredith Road NE

9:00 am - 3:30 pm daily

See the registration form and the fee summary 
for further information.

This five-day program will combine elements of jazz that apply specifically to the role of the piano/keyboard to jazz, including comping and soloing. Ages 13 to adult.

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Clinicians for 2019

Derek Stoll, Director

Derek Stoll obtained a bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Calgary. He has composed works for concert band, jazz band, small ensembles and solo instruments, and has been commissioned by the Canadian Brass and the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. He studied jazz and brass performance at the Banff Centre. He has performed with numerous groups in the Calgary area including the Bob Day Quartet, Terrain, Prime Time Big Band, Verismo, Masacote and Caravan. He currently teaches jazz theory at the University of Calgary, and jazz piano at Mount Royal University. 

Notably, in March 2012, Derek Stoll premiered his own composition for trumpet and piano, "Hare Piece," with Jens Lindemann at the trumpet conference in Washington, DC, USA.

Mr. Stoll has worked with Cassa for many years and looks forward to teaching students about jazz and composition.

Michelle Gregoire


Program Information

This program will combine elements of jazz that apply specifically to the role of the piano/keyboard to jazz, including comping and soloing.

Comping is the rhythmic chording that is provided by the pianist, and requires knowledge of rhythmic aspects of style, as well as a thorough knowledge of harmony and chord voicing. It is the 'supportive' side of piano playing!

Soloing Often perceived as the most daunting aspect of jazz — improvisation — will be discussed, demonstrated and analyzed. Once considered a mandatory skill for all keyboardists (Baroque, Classical periods), 'improv' has over the past 100 years been left pretty much to the jazz musicians. Participants in this program will play with exercises including 'conversations,’ 'melodic embellishment,’ and 'broken chord' studies. 


Recorded works of the master pianists (Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, etc.) will be studied. Elements such as style, developing a solo, playing 'outside' are best understood by listening to a master. 

Participants will spend part of the program in a trio setting. That is, playing along with a drummer and bass player. Classes will also include theory, harmony, style and melodic development. Classes will be lead by Derek Stoll, a Calgary jazz player and teacher, and also by guest speakers. 


A minimum of grade 6 RCM/CC or equivalent is preferred.

Comments from Previous Jazz Keyboard Participants

“(There was) lots of hands-on experience and review of music theory was kept to essentials only.”

“I really liked working on a standard as well as creating.”

"I liked how we were taught what people were interested in learning and how in-depth each subject was, making sure that everyone understood before moving on to the next topic."

"It pushed me outside my box in terms of playing and ability. There were great handouts with notes to look back on after the program. There were great teachers with good playing examples, encouraging ideas and patience"

"Before starting I was afraid I would not understand anything. It was quite the opposite, as the program had an easy to follow format that helped me to be comfortable and be very proud of my very first jazz composition… Generally speaking it was a great experience for me to attend this program.”

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Performance images courtesy of Josh Boak

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