Touring in Japan is always a treat (Japan is one the best countries for jazz, right up there with the USA and the European countries). Not only are the audiences very focused on the music and great listeners, but the whole country seems to reach out to you when you come for a tour.
My first gig in Europe was in 1964, at the Comblain-la-Tour Jazz Festival in Belgium, while I was a member of the Stan Getz group. The festival was started by an American GI, who had been sheltered by the villagers in this small town during World War II. In appreciation, he created a jazz festival, which brings in a ton of people each year. It is still going, after 50 years! In some ways, playing jazz in Europe is much the same as it has always been, but in other ways, things have changed.
From the founding of Berklee Music – the college’s music elearning division – to creating a class for over 39,000 students on Coursera.org, I’m a true believer in remote, online education. As a practitioner in online courses, it’s become a natural extension of my passion in teaching jazz improvisation How did I get here? Join me as I map the path I’ve been taking in this article.
As some of you may know, Chick Corea and I won another Grammy award earlier this month for our recording HOT HOUSE (our 6th as a collaboration). The category was Best Improvised Jazz Solo. There are five Grammy categories for jazz: Best Jazz Ensemble (we were also nominated in this category and the winner was our long-time friend and collaborator Pat Metheny), Best Large Ensemble (the winner was Arturo Sandoval for a CD on which I appeared as guest soloist), Best Jazz Vocal (won by Esperanza Spaulding, one of my students when I taught at Berklee), and Best Latin Jazz recording. This is my 7th Grammy win, spaced out over the past five decades — at least one Grammy each decade.