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Titanes del Trombón - Official Press Release!

GRAMMY® Award-Winning

Doug Beavers

Releases New Full-Length Studio Album on May 26, 2015

Titanes del Trombón

Featuring Oscar Hernández, Dafnis Prieto, Luisito Quintero, 

Conrad Herwig, and Many Others!


For immediate release: 

New York, NY -- Monday, May 4, 2015 -- When Grammy® Award-winner Doug Beavers decided to honor his fellow trombone greats of the jazz and Latin idioms on his new full-length studio release, Titanes del Trombón -- a fan-funded recording on Artistshare® that will be released worldwide on May 26, 2015 -- he knew he couldn't work with just anyone: Beavers had to enlist the best-of-the-best, and the music had to be just right. 


For Beavers, Titanes del Trombón serves not only as a tribute to some of his own heroes, but as living proof that he’s poised to join them in the upper echelon of Latin jazz trombonists and composers. Titanes del Trombón signals a palpable maturation of Beavers as a singular performer, arranger and producer, which he developed working alongside Eddie Palmieri, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Don Omar, Sheila E., Pete Escovedo, Mingus Big Band, Ruben Blades, Paul Simon and countless others.


"Recognizing that trombonists such as J.J. Johnson, Barry Rogers and Slide Hampton were also stalwart arrangers and composers in their own right," Beavers says, "it was my goal to score totally new arrangements and compositions spotlighting the trombone on Titanes del Trombón, while also exhibiting my work as an orchestrator."

Conceived in 2010, with principal arranging and orchestration completed in September 2012, Titanes del Trombón features 14 tracks with more than half written or co-written by the artist himself; Beavers also produced the album. When it came time to cut the tunes in the studio over the past 12 months, Beavers brought in a battery of horn players -- including fellow trombonists Conrad Herwig, Luis Bonilla, Reynaldo Jorge and Rey David Alejandre -- plus several vocalists, orchestral instrumentalists and an ace rhythm section. 


"During the long journey of production," says Beavers, "I found myself in the lucky and humble position of being able to call on many important artists from New York that I’ve collaborated with during my years performing alongside Palmieri, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Mingus Big Band and the like. Before I knew it, I had an album with an all-star cast including Oscar Hernández, Dafnis Prieto, Luisito Quintero, Edsel Gomez, Eddie Montalvo, and many other top-tier players." A total of 37 musicians in all appear on the recording, which Beavers cut in studios from New York to Florida to California.  


Titanes del Trombón, notes Beavers, is "programmed to tell the story of a modern trombonist." The opening number, "Trombón Moderno," features a trombone cadenza once performed by the great Generoso "Tojo" Jimenez. The track showcases lead vocalist Frankie Vazquez and four trombonists -- Herwig, Bonilla, Jorge and Beavers all solo -- in tribute to the pioneer of Latin trombone. Pianist Hernández, bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Vince Cherico and a bank of horn men and percussionists flesh out the tune. Next up is "Esa Mujer," composed by Carlos Cascante, who also sings the lead. Beavers and Hernández both solo on this uptempo piece and bass trombonist Max Seigel can also be heard.


Track three is the first of three interludes, each variations on a theme called "Viaje," that appear on the recording, serving to remind us, as Beavers says, "that this is only a stop on the journey." The full, original composition "Viaje," written to commemorate the critically influential Barry Rogers, closes the project. The fourth track, "Tu No Sabes," is Beavers' homage to the iconic Eddie Palmieri, who first called upon the young trombonist to transcribe and arrange the complete repertoire from his seminal La Perfecta group of the ‘60s. Beavers went on to tour, record and perform for Palmieri's new La Perfecta II as lead trombonist and arranger, winning a Grammy® for his work on Palmieri's 2005 release Listen Here and inspiring Palmieri to comment, "For the efforts of Mr. Beavers, the new millennium finds me truly grateful." Written by Carlos Rosario and Beavers, "Tu No Sabes" features solos by Hernández, Beavers and the famed conguero Eddie Montalvo, whose credits include work with the Fania All Stars, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon and Johnny Pacheco, among others.


"Voy Manejando," composed and arranged by Beavers and inspired by Herwig and Wayne Wallace, another trombone great, highlights solos by Herwig, Beavers and Hernández. "Folhas Secas," a swaying, sensual samba composed by Guilherme de Brito and arranged by Beavers, was inspired by Brazilian trombonist Raul de Souza, the great Brazilian vocalist Elis Regina and legendary bassist Joe Santiago, with solos from Beavers and Edsel Gomez. It's followed by Beavers' subtly percussive "Empezando de Nuevo," with gorgeous, free-flowing acoustic guitar playing by Román Lajara, then "Enigma," a classic J.J. Johnson composition, arranged for Titanes del Trombón by Beavers. Inspired by both Johnson and Slide Hampton, the song features words by Hector Aponte (who sings the lead vocal) and Anna Rovira.


"Take it to the Ozone," composed by the legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, includes a performance by the MacArthur Fellowship Award-winning drummer Dafnis Prieto as well as solos from Zaccai Curtis, Thomas Marriott, Ivan Renta and Beavers. "Borandá" was composed by Eduardo de Lobo, spotlighting Oscar Hernández, percussionist Luisito Quintero and Beavers; its lead arranger is Ernesto "Papo" Lucca. Cascante again steps up to provide the lead vocal on this bold, dynamic track. Finally, Titanes del Trombón fades out with the last installment of "Viaje," which is simply filled with sweetness. (However, there is also a hidden six-minute DJ edit of "Trombón Moderno.")


Throughout the process, Beavers sought to find the perfect marriage of Latin melody and rhythm embedded within rich arrangements. "From an orchestration standpoint, my primary goal was not to feel inhibited in any way during the scoring process," he says. "As a result, the album runs the full gamut, featuring extended brass for rhythmically intense salsa selections and delicate string and harp scoring for two of my favorite compositions, 'Enigma' and 'Folhas Secas'."


Over the course of his distinguished career, Beavers has released three standout solo projects, most recently Two Shades of Nude (Origin Records, 2010), which was scored for a jazz nonet. Reviewing the album, JazzTimes noted Beavers' "exceptional work throughout," while All Music Guide praised the "rich horn charts and robust solos." Latin Beat, meanwhile, said about the trombonist, "A new star is emerging with trombone in his heart and Salsa Dura in his soul."


Always a strong advocate for music education, Beavers -- who studied music both in California and at the Manhattan School of Music -- has served as an adjunct professor, lecturer and advisor at prominent colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the globe. Now based in New York City, he has established the Harlem School of Urban Music and Recording Arts (, enabling Harlem and South Bronx students the opportunity to study urban jazz, salsa, hip-hop and rock, through music theory and modern audio production training. Beavers offers clinics and master classes at many institutions, including Fresno State University, Cal State East Bay, Los Medanos College, the California Jazz Conservatory (Berkeley, CA), the University of Washington and the Coalition School for Social Change (NYC). He is also a member of the music faculty at Cal State East Bay, as Professor of Jazz Trombone.


His many accomplishments have earned Doug Beavers a reputation as a first-call musician, arranger and educator, but he keeps his eyes focused on the present and future. "Titanes del Trombón represents my ideal artistic vision," Beavers says. One listen and it's easy to understand why. 




Teaching in Bogotá, 2014

Universidad Sergio Arboleda
Departamento de Investigaciones
Doug Beavers y Luisito Quintero
Artistas Invitados, June 2014

I had the distinct pleasure of returning to Bogotá, Colombia to teach at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda in June 2014.  Here's a blog of our experience together this year.

Tuesday, June 3rd

Big Band Rehearsal

Official classes from the 2014 visit began with Doug Beavers and the Universidad Sergio Arboleda (USA) music department began on Tuesday, June 2nd. This was a great opportunity to meet and greet students, both new and returning from the visitation in 2013.

The student big band was setup and rehearsals officially began with two pieces arranged by Doug Beavers, "Arrasando" and "Tell Me a Bedtime Story". Both pieces, "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" in particular, posed a challenge to student ensembles and it was important to begin rehearsing these pieces for their eventual performance early in the visitation.

The students' level of preparedness and performance of the pieces at the commencement of rehearsals was very impressive.

Doug Beavers with Universidad Sergio Arboleda music students, day 1

Wedesday, June 4th
Big Band Rehearsal
Afternoon masterclass 

Wednesday started with a rehearsal with a larger version of the USA big band. New pieces were introduced, including Beavers' original "Chacho" which appears on the Jun '14 release of Luisito Quintero's 3rd Element. The piece was specifically orchestrated for the USA big band.

Chacho proved to be a substantial challenge for the band, so a new piece were introduced, including a new rendering Beavers' arrangement of "You Know I Care" and the Marty Sheller arrangement of "Decídete". Chacho would be revisited later in the visitation with great success.

Wednesday June 4th was also the start of 4p Masterclasses at the Mauricio Cristancho campus. Mr. Beavers gave a masterclass of his arranging process, which encompassed his process from sketch to a formal score. The presentation was given using Sibelius 7 and Pro Tools software, projected on a large screen for the class to see. The technology in the presentation room was a big aid to the success of the presentation!

Arranging workshop with Mr. Beavers - Demonstrating his arranging process using Sibelius 7 and Avid Pro Tools


Thursday, June 5th

Big band Rehearsal
Afternoon Arranging Class "Connections"
Nelson Riddle "A Sleeping Bee"
"Jazz, Baby" example 
Titanes del Trombón Video

Thursday began once again with a thorough rehearsal on all of the repertoire to be performed. The students' practice and effort during the rehearsals became evident as their performance was continually improved.

For the 3p session, a more general class on arranging was presented to the USA students. The class began with a practical application of voicing and orchestration for big band. A transcription of master arranger Nelson Riddle was presented to demonstrate traditional voicings in a jazz big band setting.

The class continued with a presentation of Mr. Beavers first recording, Jazz, Baby!, which was a recording featuring an 18 piece jazz orchestra. Scores were presented on Sibelius 7 via the overhead projector. This rather successful presentation closed with a pre-screening of a documentary which featured the studio production of Mr. Beavers' upcoming release.
Doug Beavers Arranging workshop, day 2. Using a Nelson Riddle transcribed excerpt to demonstrate block voicing arranging technique


Friday, June 6th
Luisitio Quintero Arrival
Big Band Rehearsal (All Tunes)
4p Jam Session with Luisito Quintero

Friday brought with it the arrival of master percussionist Luisitio Quintero to participate in these USA sessions. After another lengthy rehearsal, Doug Beavers, Luisito Quintero and the all of the students of the USA music department engaged in a jam session/info session. Guests from outside of the University were invited to participate.
In the evening Mr. Suárez, Mr. Beavers, Mr. Quintero and USA students ventured to the Bogotá venue Cachao, where they were all invited to "sit-in" and perform among with outstanding Bogotá musicians.  A great time was had by all!


Camilo Suárez, Doug Beavers, Luisito Quintero and USA students and faculty at "Cachao", Bogotá


Saturday/Sunday, June 7th & 8th
Big Band Rehearsal
Rumba San Agustin

On Saturday, the bands regrouped for further rehearsal at Camilo Suarez' Siembra rehearsal studios. This time, emphasis was placed on the music that was to be performed with Mr. Quintero. This included an extensive rehearsal of the Oscar Hernandez original composition Rumba en San Agustín. It was generally agreed upon that all of the students were reaching new plateaus in their musicianship.

Monday, June 9th
Recording Session
Evening Masterclass with Luisito Quintero

A recording session was booked for June 9th to document the proceedings of the sessions. The students were ready to record, production plans were made, and everything was generally in place for a great recording. Unfortunately, the studio had a problem with one of its recording interfaces on this day and we were therefore unable to record on this date.

The 5p evening masterclass with Mr. Quintero fared much better, with a full crowd in attendance at the Mauricio Christancho location. Mr. Quintero's masterclass took on the format of general question and answer, and this proved to be very beneficial for all of the attendees as a wide base of questions were answered regarding percussion performance of the conga, timbal and bongó.

Luisito Quintero Afro-Latin Masterclass


Tuesday, Jun 10
Recording session II
Tu Loco Loco (no vocals)
Chacho (Rhythm section only)
You Know I Care
Evening masterclass II with Luisito Quintero

On Tuesday, USA Students, Mr. Suárez, Mr. Beavers and Mr. Quintero returned to a now fully-functional studio to record the repertoire.

The goal on this date was to augment the sessions recorded in the previous year with Mr. Beavers. To this end, nearly 3 new pieces were recorded on the June 10th session. The students were remarkable in this respect, having prepared to fullest for all of the sessions.

The ensemble was able to record Tu Loco Loco, You Know I Care and the rhythm section for Chacho. As material is still missing from the recorded repertoire, a follow up session is planned for the USA big band and Mr. Beavers in August 2014.


USA Big Band recording in the former RCA Bogotá recording studios

 The evening session on June 10 featured the final masterclass with Mr. Quintero and Mr. Beavers. Among the topics discussed at this particular masterclass were differing Afro Latin styles applied to the different percussion instruments, as well as applied recording techniques and microphone placement.

 Quintero/Beavers Masterclass and Jam Session 

Wednesday, June 11th 
Radio Interviews with Doug Beavers, Luisito Quintero
Final Band Rehearsal, Rumba San Agustín

The final day of activities for this year's sessions at Universidad Sergio Arboleda started with radio interviews with Mr. Suárez, Mr. Beavers and Mr. Quintero with famed radio personality Jaime Rodríguez at the 91.9 Javeriana Estéreo radio station. In two separate interviews, Mr. Beavers talked about his trajectory as musician rising through the ranks of Eddie Palmieri, Mingus Big Band and Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Mr. Quintero spoke about his newly released studio album 3rd Element and the new compositions contained therein.

 Doug Beavers, Luisito Quintero, Jaime Rodriguez & Camilo Suárez at Javeriana Estereo 91.9 Radio Studios 


Final Concert
The final presentation took place at 10p on this date, June 11th at the downtown Bogotá venue A Seís Manos (paste poster art). Through the well-prepared efforts of Mr. Suarez, audio-visual staff member Juan Manuel Gonzales the intricate sound requirements were handled with ease. As well, after two weeks of thorough preparation, rehearsals and recordings the students of the USA music department performed in top form through the following repertoire:

Wednesday, June 11th Program
Universidad Sergio Arboleda
A Seís Manos, Bogotá

Tell Me a Bedtime Story
Rumba San Agustin
Trio piece featuring Jorge Glem, Doug Beavers, Luisito Quintero
Tu Loco Loco


USA Big Band on performance night



The large measure of success of this year's program was built on the foundation of the June 2013 visitations and Mr. Suárez' expert organization and coordination among the students, visiting artists and venues. 
Having been the first of investigative series, the 2013 visitations established a theme of success with the students of Universidad Sergio Arboleda guided by visiting instructor Doug Beavers. The 2014 visitations only continued this theme. Students were inspired and prepared for all of the sessions. Scheduling was much smoother due to the of Mr. Suárez.  The end result was a more streamlined and efficient class schedule, thus increasing the students' learning.

Mr. Beavers established a challenging atmosphere of repertoire and work ethic with the USA Students in 2013. This ethic was carried over in 2014 and was only increased with the visit of Mr. Quintero. Mr. Quintero attracted many of his musical peers in and around Colombia, including Venezuela.

The end result of this year's investigative sessions was a higher-profile program supported by the visitation of world-class experienced artists  Also, a special kinship and desire to work with one another was established amongst the visiting artists and students.  The profile of Universidad Sergio Arboleda also rose via the many social medial posts on Facebook and Twitter on behalf of the artists and students. We hope to continue this trend and grow the investigative visitation program by equal measure next year.
To success!

Doug Beavers





The Learning Process: Personal Discoveries, Reflections & Philosphies


Whether it was a matter of fate or pure happenstance, my musical journey legitimately began on a drive away from home at the age of 21, on the way to the University of California, Davis.  The noted University had just awarded to me a full scholarship to attend and major in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Mathematics.  I had to that point completed three years of undergraduate coursework at a community college located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Medanos College.  I was required to run the full gamut of required lower-division coursework for engineering, including three full semesters of calculus, physics courses based on these calculus courses, and the standard required courses in the Liberal Arts areas.  

Copious amounts of hours were spent studying this material, most memorably studying for the physics finals that lasted eight hours on a Saturday.  All the while, I had continued to participate and study music both at the college and on a private basis with a noted jazz trombone teacher. 

Music to that point was my great escape from the constant studying and cognitive toll of the mathematics and physics courses.  My good friends were all music majors.  Little did I know that I was inevitably steering myself upon a career in music.

Musicianship & Development

Undergraduate Studies

Scholarship in hand and en route to UC Davis in my small blue Hyundai Excel, John Coltrane’s “Crescent” suddenly came on the radio and struck me like a ton of bricks.  I realized that I could not possibly be serious about life as an electrical engineer.  Music had consumed me in my studies, became a part of me.  I made the figurative and literal U-Turn right there on the Rio Vista Highway and pointed my vehicle right towards California State University, Hayward.

Cal State Hayward (CSUH) had a vaunted music program that I had always had a profound interest in.  They had a renown faculty and an energized student base.  The day after the big “U-Turn”, I was accepted directly into CSUH on the merits of my extensive mathematics and physics background.  I was accepted as a Music major and my scholarship as a student of music began.

It was a whole new world for me, being an official music major.  I was able to divert the thousands of hours I spent on mathematics on physics purely on my instrument and on learning the theories and constructions of Western Music theory.  Right off the bat, what engaged me and drew me into the pedagogy of my instructors was their enthusiasm about the concepts and me newfound freedom of being able to study music exclusively.

Dr. Frank LaRoccaThese instructors started off each lecture with tangible demonstrations of the concepts or small historical anecdotes to draw the student in.  For example, a great instructor I studied with for 7th semester music theory was Dr. Frank LaRocca at California State Hayward (now East Bay).  He came in one day with a story about Debussy and how musical classicists debunked his innovative sketches as “madness” and as “undisciplined”.  The lesson proceeded to show us the genius of his compositions for solo piano.

How is that one is able to recall this very specific lesson 16 years after its initial deliverance?  Core knowledge and enthusiasm about the subject at hand.  These two concepts are key to my own musical pedagogy.  I strongly believe that the instructor must not only have a requisite understanding about the content to be delivered to the student, but must also demonstrate further understanding, replete with historical and modern context.  Enthusiastically, Dr. LaRocca delivered the lesson on Debussy with a historical perspective.  He then demonstrated Debussy’s ingenious use of functional harmony and understatement in a modern setting as part of his own compositions.  This created an engaging and relevant musical lesson.  More importantly, it created a musical experience that was never to be forgotten by the learner.

I was fortunate enough during my undergraduate years of study to have similar lessons and lectures which were equally memorable.  Needless to say, educators and pedagogues of this level weren’t ubiquitous during these formative years.  More to the point, instructors who did not demonstrate a core knowledge and enthusiasm about the subject matter had their lessons promptly dismissed as less important and subsequently forgotten, whether consciously or unconsciously.  I decided that when I was to get to the level where I myself was an educator, I would always bring a core understanding and excitement to the table when delivering any lesson.  I still carry this very important lesson with me when delivering my current music teachings.

Graduate Studies

NEA Jazz Master Dave LiebmanGraduate school at the Manhattan School of Music in New York brought a similar dichotomy of its instructors and the lectures or lessons or they delivered.  One could even argue that it is more evident at the graduate level as it can more easily be determined which teachers are there genuinely to teach or to solely earn the wage that is attached to the teaching.  The teachers whose lessons are still a part of my musical identity are those teachers who cared deeply about pedagogy and were true advocates of their arts.  Greats like David Liebman and the amazing educator Garry Dial gave lessons and lectures that are still remembered to this day in verbatim.

How did these teachers do it?  By demonstrated core knowledge, enthusiasm and the time honored tradition of active and engaged instruction.  Mr. Dial disseminated the material, whether it was his own specific apparatus of learning pentatonic scales or understanding the concepts of bebop scales and the usage of passing or chord tones.  He had a deep understanding of the material and made a specific, individual system for learning the material.  This system of instruction had a profound influence on me and would influence my own concepts on delivering material to students.  Having an individual and unique system of teaching subject matter is invaluable to both student and instructor.  For the student, this system is able to penetrate the learning apparatus and burrow itself into long-term memory. For the instructor, it allows them to demonstrate an individual and unique system of delivering the material and allows them to develop their own specific voice and system of teaching, much like the jazz improvisor produces their own system for musical expression and delivery via improvisation.


Eddie PalmieriThe most important lessons I’ve received musically and pedagogically were the lessons that were taught via the time-honored tradition of apprenticeship.  My first early apprentice was the great afro-cuban pianist Eddie Palmieri.  There can be no stronger lesson taught then one under trial by fire, as it was every time I appeared on the stage with the noted (NEA Jazz) master.  I was periodically given looks of disgust and disbelief, looks of “why aren’t you playing this” or “why and the hell are you playing that”.  As a young, impressionable and ambitious 24 year trombonist, these experiences were scorched into my musical being and psyche.  I would go to the hotel after my performances with head held low, wondering just what I did wrong.  In the hotel room, it was hours of watching the ceiling in bed, wondering just what could I have done better during the previous show.

For the learner of music, there are no more impressionable music experiences than these.  The next time a particular musical situation arises in a concert, the student will immediately react in the way that is needed based on these experiences.  When I am on stage today, my responses to different musical situations are automatic based on those experiences.  These experiences place apprenticeship on a platform which, in my opinion, has no pedagogical equal. 

Professional Teaching

Inner City Schools

My first experiences teaching professionally en route to the development of my musical philosophy were in the inner city schools of New York (a vocation I would later return to).  Working in tandem with the Midori Foundation, the Coalition/Landmark school in Midtown Manhattan offered students an afterschool program to learn traditional music basics; theory, band ensemble and private lessons.

It was within this setting that I learned the value of customization of a lesson plan to tailor to the specific student whom I was teaching.  These kids had short attention spans and, in some cases, a learning disability which warranted an Individualized Education Plan.  I would tailor the lesson plans of my students for the day to their specific personalities, warranting marked results in their engagement and overall learning.  In the ensemble setting, I transcribed and customized a popular tune of that year, Outkast’s “I Like The Way You Move” so that the beginning-level instrumentalists could perform it.  They loved the effort and in turn showed greater engagement in their learning of the material.  The public performances were a rousing success, and were a lasting memory to me on just how effective customization of teaching for students can be.

Colleges and Universities

California State University, East BayTeaching in colleges in universities in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area offered yet another teaching experience that was highly influential.  I was brought on as an adjunct at the University of Washington, Los Medanos College (Pittsburg, CA) and California State University, Hayward to teach Popular Music in American History courses in a lecture format.

These courses warranted a great deal of preparation as I was now presenting material in lecture format to 30-40 college and university students.  As teachers at this level can readily attest to, a teacher must always be “on the ball” when disseminating material to students at this level.  They are easily distracted and constantly waiting for the teacher to issue wrong information - they want to prove that at this level they themselves have knowledge that they wish to impart on teacher, by way of proving them wrong. 

As with any lecture course, a healthy portion of prep before the lecture was always the most successful solution.  I also found that student engagement was at its highest levels when I utilized group teaching, online resources, social media, music and movie screenings.  Students could put a face or a tangible experience to the people and things connected to the material.  They yielded higher test scores and were more apt to remain enrolled in the class.

Development of Musical Philosophy

Real world musical experiences, customization of student lesson plans, development of high levels of student engagement, and the time-honored tradition of apprenticeship have all contributed to the development of my musical philosophy, which I present here in 4 parts:

1.  Real World Experiences Must be Propagated in the Classroom

The student must come into touch with real world musical simulations or actual experiences as soon as possible.  Thrusting the student into this environment will make them think objectively about creative solutions to the problem at hand and what is requisite to the musical moment.  This cultivates a system of meta-learning on the student’s behalf.

2. New Music Education for a New Time

New pedagogical methods reflecting today’s culture and technology must be implemented to keep the student engaged in the content.  More specifically, new technologies such as Web 2.0, social media, Youtube, etc. must all be implemented so that the student deems the content being presented as being relevant.

C24 Pro Tools Mixing Station at Harlem School of Urban Music3. Teaching Music of the Now

Students must be able to learn in an environment in which music that is relevant to them is being presented.  For example, hip-hop can be broken down in a study of musical form, harmony, and melody.  The student’s musical concept and expectation has instantly been improved by using this method of pedagogy.

4. Effective Pedagogical Concepts

Students must be actively engaged in order to readily assimilate material.  My specific method of teaching, which I prescribe to my current faculty at Harlem School of Urban Music, underlines the concepts of interacting/asking questions to teach musical lessons, learning by doing, “induced discovery” of concepts (which tend to be more readily retained), and strategic parings and groupings of students to encourage a specific outcome.

Full Circle: Designing and Founding the Harlem School of Music 

I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to found an inner-city program which utilizes all of these key pedagogical concepts.  In 2010, I began the Harlem School of Urban Music, a program which boasts a first-of-its-kind curriculum in the US by teaching two key concepts utilized in modern music making, production and songwriting, by way of music theory.

Students enter the program on Mondays learning traditional music theory utilizing modern Web 2.0 programs such as Auralia to strengthen ear training and core musical theory concepts including, notes, scales, chords, rhythms, and song form.  On Tuesdays, they are thrust into the studio where they learn song sequencing and production on modern music production stations.

The key to the program is that the student has to call upon their knowledge of music theory in order to sequence a song in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).  Conversely, these music production stations featuring the DAWs help internalize key musical theory concepts.

Anthony Lee improvises new rhymes @ HSUMTo emphasize the real world experience, I routinely bring in prominent world-class musicians residing in the NYC metro area to share their own musical experiences with the students.  These musicians also record in our modern Pro Tools studio with the students assisting, thus making the student and integral part of the production process and leaving the student with an unforgettable experience.


My experiences as a musician and as a pedagogue have benefitted tremendously in developing a signature style of teaching.  Beginning my teaching in the inner-city school, giving lectures college and university, and developing my own program with my specific curriculum implemented has readily demonstrated to me the effectiveness of my pedagogical strategy.  Additionally, I have been able to witness how effective my philosophy has been when wielded by faculty at the Harlem School, and how the faculty has naturally taken to this specific teaching style.

HSUM Faculty Victor Rodriguez instructs the Thursday Engineering/Production classThe end result is that students garner a great excitement about music in general and develop better retention when it comes to key musical concepts.  These key concepts are in turn passed onto future students and colleagues as they march onward down the path of our current musical legacy and create their own, well-informed brand of music.


July '12 News: EP "75" Tour and HSUM debut CD

Dear *|FNAME|*,

I’m here in sweltering New York getting packed for what promises to be a special tour celebrating the great Eddie Palmieri’s 75th birthday. For my West Coast friends in the Bay Area - please take some of this sun off our hands!

Trying to keep this one short - I’ve got a lot to do before that bird heads for Barcelona on Thursday! Many things going on: the aforementioned tour, Harlem School of Music’s debut CD “Directions 2012” which hits this September and I will FINALLY be headed into the studio next month to begin recording my next album! Very excited about that last one...more to come.

HSUM Debut CD, EP "75" European Tour w/Eddie Palmieri, Webstore Sale

Harlem School of Urban Music “Directions 2012” Debut CD

The students at the Harlem School of Music took this project to a whole new level this year. They programmed, arranged, recorded and mixed a brand new CD featuring original music! The CD will be entitled Directions 2012 and will be available via digital download and hardcopy in September.

This Fall, the school will be expanding to both afterschool and daytime formats, becoming a part of the official curriculum for the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem NY!



"EP 75" European Tour w/EDDIE PALMIERI

EddiePalmieriI’m thrilled to joining the great maestro of Afro-Latin music for his European Tour celebrating his 75th Birthday and a lifetime of performing this magical music. Here’s to you Eddie! And here are the dates:

July 20th -Auditori Palau de Congressos - Peniscola (Castello) Spain
July 21th - Poble Espanyol - Barcelona, Spain tickets
July 24th - New Morning - Paris, France tickets
July 26th - Muelle Alfonso XII - Cadiz, Spain
July 27th - Haus der Kulturen - Berlin, Germany tickets
July 28th - Plages du Mourillon - Toulon, France
July 29th - Outlet - Serravalle, Italy

Sheet Music Webstore - Featured Selectiondb9 Two Shades of Nude

Tell Me a Bedtime Story - as featured on Doug Beavers 9 “Two Shades of Nude” - rearranged for Big Band

Listen to the track

Sample the Score

Sale - $50 buy



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