While on tour each year, Dmitri Matheny visits colleges, high schools and community centers to present MELODIC MASTERY jazz improvisation workshops for aspiring musicians of all ages.
Based on the teachings of his mentor, jazz legend Art Farmer, Matheny advocates a lyrical, melodic approach to jazz which stands in stark contrast to the chord scale and pattern-based methods currently in vogue.
"Your solo is an opportunity to express something entirely new and profoundly personal," Matheny says. "Create your own melody. Tell your own story. Sing your own song! This is no time for plugging in recycled, memorized material."
In each workshop Matheny explores the mental processes that take place while playing a jazz solo and the skills required for true improvisation.
In part three, Matheny discusses the importance of developing your own personal sound and style of playing, and offers some practical advice to keep in mind on your journey.
Matheny is an honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the Berklee College of Music, Boston. First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into "one of the jazz world's most talented horn players" (SF Chronicle), touring internationally, performing with many of the leading names in jazz, and releasing ten critically acclaimed CDs.
Dmitri has presented education programs at the following institutions:
UNIVERSITIES, COLLEGES & CONSERVATORIES
Berklee College of Music | Boston MA
Cabrillo College | Aptos CA
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) | Valencia CA
City College of San Francisco | San Francisco CA
College of San Mateo Jazz Festival | San Mateo CA
Columbia Basin College | Pasco WA
Dartmouth College | Hanover NH
Eastern Oregon University | La Grande OR
Harvard University | Cambridge MA
Hillsdale College | Hillsdale MI
Interlochen Arts Academy | Interlochen MI
Lower Columbia College | Longview WA
Loyola University | New Orleans LA
Northern Arizona University | Flagstaff AZ
Peninsula College | Port Angeles WA
Portland State University | Portland OR
Rotterdam Conservatory | Rotterdam Netherlands
San Francisco State University | San Francisco CA
Southern Oregon University | Ashland OR
South Mountain Community College | Phoenix AZ
Tacoma Community College | Tacoma WA
University of Arizona | Tucson AZ
University of California | Berkeley CA
University of California | Davis CA
University of California | Monterey Bay CA
University of California | San Francisco CA
University of California | Santa Barbara CA
University of California | Santa Cruz CA
University of California | Los Angeles CA
Western Michigan University | Kalamazoo MI
Western Oregon University | Monmouth OR
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, CONTESTS & CAMPS
Alan Jones Academy of Music | Portland OR
American Music Program | Portland OR
Community Music School | San Francisco CA
Great Basin Jazz Camp | Ontario OR
International Association for Jazz Education | Manhattan KS
Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington | Mesa AZ
Jazz in Arizona | Phoenix AZ
Jazzschool | Berkeley CA
Medler Studios | Portland OR
Musical Instrument Museum | Phoenix AZ
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences | Santa Monica CA
San Francisco Symphony Adventures In Music | San Francisco CA
SFJAZZ | San Francisco CA
Siskiyou Music Project | Ashland OR
Stanford Jazz Workshop | Stanford CA
Telluride Jazz Celebration | Telluride CO
Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony | Snowmass CO
Tucson Jazz Institute | Tucson AZ
Young Musicians Program | Berkeley CA
Young Sounds of Arizona | Phoenix AZ
Auburn High School | Auburn WA
Ballard High School | Seattle WA
Battle Ground High School | Battle Ground WA
Berkley High School | Berkley MI
Brookstone School | Columbus GA
Cholla High School | Tucson AZ
Cranbrook Schools | Bloomfield Hills MI
Dearborn High School | Dearborn MI
Dow High School | Midland MI
East High School | Denver CO
Escanaba High School | Escanaba MI
Ilwaco High School | Ilwaco WA
King Edward's School | Witley England
Liberty High School | Peoria AZ
Lincoln High School | Portland OR
Linden High School | Linden MI
Los Gatos Union High School | Los Gatos CA
Miami High School | Miami AZ
Midland High School | Midland MIM
Newport High School | Bellevue WA
Northland Preparatory Academy | Flagstaff AZ
Nueva School | Hillsborough CA
Rio Rico High School | Rio Rico AZ
San Carlos High School | San Carlos AZ
Seattle Christian Schools | Seattle WA
South Medford High School | Medford OR
Traverse City West High School | Traverse City MI
University High School | San Francisco CA
University Prep | Seattle WA
JUNIOR HIGH, MIDDLE & ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Chinook Middle School | Bellevue WA
Four Peaks School | Fountain Hills AZ
Lincoln Savage Middle School | Grants Pass OR
San Francisco Unified School District (500+ visits) | San Francisco CA
Yours was truly one of the all-time best clinics here. You really reached those kids. Thanks again.
—Keith Oxman, Director of Jazz Studies, East High School | Denver CO
Your workshop knocked me out. I love that you talk so enthusiastically about tone, warmth and heart. So cool that you do so with your relationship with Art as the platform. Wonderful.
—John Clayton, Legendary Bassist, Bandleader & Educator | Los Angeles CA
Dmitri Matheny's Melodic Mastery workshop was overwhelmingly well-received by students of all skill levels. He presented the material in ways that challenged students to commit to the music and develop as creative improvisers. Dmitri is a first-rate teaching artist and any student of jazz or music in general would benefit from his workshops.
—Christopher Finet, Director of Jazz Studies, Northern Arizona University | Flagstaff AZ
Thank you for participating as a lecturer in the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Your presentation received an overwhelmingly positive response. The students were very enlightened by the information you shared.
—Daniel Seeff, Director of Special Projects, Thelonious Monk Institute | Washington DC
When assembling the faculty to teach at Stanford Jazz Workshop, we try to achieve a balance between two types of musicians: those who are inspirational performing artists with good communication skills, and those who are highly skilled teachers who play jazz well. Dmitri Matheny is one of those rare individuals who excels both on the bandstand and in the classroom.
—Jim Nadel, Director, Stanford Jazz Workshop | Stanford CA
As a performer, composer and educator, Dmitri's talents are at the highest level, and the energy and passion that he brings to the art form of jazz are truly impressive. His skill of relating to audiences of all ages allow him to successfully perform and teach in diverse settings and circumstances. I enthusiastically support and endorse him in his current and future projects.
—Ruth A. Felt, President, San Francisco Performances | San Francisco CA
Like many working musicians, Dmitri spends much of his year on the road. However, with the success of his tours and recordings, he has taken care to remain involved in our local community. He organizes concerts for families and in the schools, hosts visiting artists, commissions and premieres new works, teaches, and provides employment and consulting to dozens of local musicians. He is a model artist with a respect for tradition, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an extraordinary commitment to the community. I urge you to support him in his important work.
—Randall KIine, Executive Director, SFJAZZ | San Francisco CA
My long term, first hand association with Dmitri as a performer and clinician equips me to address his qualifications. We have jointly participated in projects that have drawn on his stand out experience in performance and in educational contexts. These include my outright invitations for him to perform at such venues as the Telluride, Colorado Jazz Festival, the Stanford Summer Jazz Series, and jazz recordings. Moreover, he has been a guest clinician in jazz education courses I teach and at a recent IAJE Conference. Likewise, we have been involved with program segments of SFJAZZ and the National Jazz Service Organization. Dmitri is an impressive individual whose expertise in music education and dedication to artistic mastery are pertinent to any academic challenge. Beyond his rich profile of repute, Dmitri is a person of high integrity and humanism; he is simply a pleasure and inspiration to experience.
—Dr. Herb Wong, International Association for Jazz Education | Manhattan KS