Guest Artist Presentations

Interactive Workshops

Game Symphony Workshop

A fun and dynamic group improvisation workshop designed for jazz, concert, and chamber ensembles. Through games and activities, musicians experience creative practices and generate original music. Activities include musical adaptations of improv theater games, Soundpainting, graphic scores and more. This workshop can include a student performance.
GSW Website

Non-Intimidating Intro to Jazz Improvisation

Extensive theoretical knowledge isn’t a prerequisite for jumping into jazz improvisation. This session helps students build a solid foundation through playing by ear, rhythm, riffs, call and response, and thematic variations. This workshop features material from my book The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony on CMA Press.
Example learning activities

Creativity Through Limitation

Confronting a blank canvas can feel overwhelming and paralyzing. To get the creative juices flowing, artists across many disciplines use self-imposed limitations to generate new ideas. This workshop features non-idiomatic improvisation prompts from my Amazon bestselling book Creativity Triggers for Musicians.

Saxophone Masterclass

Topics can include:

  • Sound models (audio/video playlist)
  • Tone fundamentals: visualization, breath, embouchure, mouthpiece pitch, voicing, body position, equipment
  • Mindfulness in practice and performance
  • Extended techniques
  • Just intonation with drones
  • Ensemble playing

Presentations

Addicted to the Present Tense

Musical practice doesn’t have to be a tedious slog—working toward mastery can be an intrinsically rewarding experience. We can shape an effective and fulfilling practice by tapping into peak psychological states and internal drive. The presentation presents actionable strategies drawn from research on peak performance, psychology, meditation, and motivation.
Video

Where Jazz Theory Got it Wrong

Mainstream jazz education has transformed songbook standards into bizarre jumbles of church modes by applying chord/scale theory to all jazz repertoire. Before the modal revolution in the late 1950s, jazz was based on the language of tonal harmony. Understanding and internalizing diatonic harmony, chord function, chromaticism, and voice-leading is more appropriate and effective for playing jazz from the New Orleans, swing, and the bebop eras. This session features material from my book The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony.
Related blog article

Performance

In Motion Quartet

Seattle-based quartet that features lyrical, harmonically rich, and interactive modern jazz.
Video

Radiant Fields

A lush experimental meditation for solo saxophone and electronic effects.
Video

Guest Artist

Performance with student jazz ensemble, can include big band arrangements of my original music

Invisible Sounds with Ingrid Jensen

A tribute to the great trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler.
Album
Video from NPR’s Jazz Night in America

Contact me at steve@stevetres.com for more information, fees, and availability.

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