All coming shows -- To Be Announced

More public performances will be coming.

Private parties and events can be booked.

In the U.S. call 718-986-5711

or email: WillieDavisPiano@yahoo.com 

The schedule for teaching piano is also open to more students 

- Beginners or Professionals.

Teaching

Blues-Classical-Church-jazz-Theory-New Orleans Style

LOCATION: 

MID CITY NEW ORLEANS

OR Home Visits.

Adults, Young Kids & Professionals

Lessons are accommodating to the student, -- To YOUR Schedule & Goals. ----(Experienced And Pleasant Here)

--------

For information and booking of private parties in the U.S.

call 718-986-5711

or

email WillieDavisPiano@yahoo.com

 

:  )

Wednesday
Aug062014

August 7 2014 Remembering the Barry Harris Workshop in NYC

During my decade living in  NYC (beginning in 2001) I would attend the Barry Harris Workshop on Tuesdays, held on the upper west side.  The 3 part workshop starts at 6pm with pianist gathered around the piano for 1 1/2 hours.  The next group is vocalist (on average about 30 of them) from 8 to 9:30 followed by instruments (about 25) at 10pm.

 

The 12 or so pianist, most with digital recorders trying to catch every slice of valuable insight from Dr. Harris, would be advanced players.  He would share his revelations on theory, and his thoughts  about the 6th diminished scale.

 

I always felt intimidated about sitting down at the piano to seek personal attention from this piano genius with cartoonish receding white hair.  At one of the weekly workshops, after he asked if there was anyone working on something they would like help with, I gathered courage and sat down and showed him how I had been playing "Look for the Silver Lining"  (1928).  In an extremely kind way he showed me lots of helpful things such as stretching out my left hand chords to 10ths.  But he also chose that song for the next section of the workshop for every vocalist to sing.  That alone has made me feel terrific for years.

 

But what I want to share is some of the best advice to singers I've heard.  Many of the vocalist were pros and some were beginners.  On occasion a fussy vocalist would request a key change 2 or 3 times and behave a bit 'diva-ish'.  Once when this was happening,  Dr. Harris, in a voice that seemed absent of patience, said:  "Just sing the song".  

 

It was plain and simple advice.  Just sing the song.  It was funny to me because of the tone he used.  A matter-of-fact, 'let's get on with it' tone.

 

Regardless of how it was meant or even how it was taken by the group, it has stuck with me.  On occasion I can  as nervous as anyone about singing.  Generally speaking, I'm confident about my piano playing because of  41 years experience.  But that confidence can waiver too, depending on who might be listening.  I sometimes have to say to myself "Quit worrying. Do your best, you've got plenty to say" (in music).  "Just play the song".

 

The link below is the same type class we had in NYC.  But this is at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.  During this video, speaking of learning these theories of his, Dr. Harris said: "What used to be just a chord becomes more of a scale type thing."  He is concerned with movement in music.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1siDXQ92Nw

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