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Jazz

Edo Righini Vice-Principal; Director of Jazz & Popular Music, AEMA, Composing for Film and Young Talents
Bram Strijbis Programme Co-ordinator, Study Adviser
David de Marez Oyens Ensemble Programme Coordinator
Edwin Paarlberg Theory & Educational Subjects Coordinator 
Anna-Maria Nitschke Senior Producer 
Maartje Meijer Junior Jazz College Coordinator

With a highly select population of four hundred students hailing from more than fifty different countries, the Jazz Department offers one of the most inspiring, effective and focused music programmes in Europe. We provide a contemporary didactical approach to jazz music, embracing all the principal musical movements of our time. 
 
We believe that jazz music is an attitude to listen to one another, being supportive and take unexpected routes along the musical discourse. For this reason, we provide an inclusive learning environment that fosters individual artistic inquiry and excellent musical skills, empowering students to reach their full potential as instrumentalists, composers and bandleaders. 

Our international teaching staff includes some of the leading forces in the European jazz music scene, guaranteeing a global, up-to-date and inspirational view on education. 

Our artists in residence programme regularly welcomes some of the worlds most respected contemporary jazz artists. Because of the broad outreach of our department our students can benefit from an active exchange programme with some of the world’s most renowned institutions for higher education in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and other major European capitals.  

The Jazz Department collaborates with a wide variety of venues and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad, offering our students the exposure needed to start and expand their musical career. 
 
We continuously update our curriculum and technology to reflect the multiplicity of influences in today's music, teaching our students to be explorative and be their best at what they are doing.  

‘Jazz is the art of managing the probable, to organize and control the universe of alternatives. The art of improvisation enables musicians to engage in a continual dialogue with one another, with a participative, non-judgmental and democratic attitude. Especially now that we face a future of known and unknowns, it is our ultimate commitment to help students learning this unique art form which works as a means of understanding how individuals and groups must work to interplay with each other and produce something tuneful and meaningful.’
Edo Righini, Vice-Principal / Head of Jazz & Popular Music

Artists in Residence, Projects and Collaborations

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam has developed an outstanding Artist-in-Residence programme consisting of a pool of international musicians who share and enrich the vision of the Jazz Department. Every student will study and interact with internationally acclaimed guests like Terell Stafford, John Clayton, Peter Bernstein, and Alex Sipiagin, in a week filled with clinics, workshops, masterclasses and private lessons. This week will be concluded with a concert given by the Artist in Residence together with the students. Additionally, there are projects, masterclasses, concerts, competitions and collaboartions with other institutes throughout the academic year.

More about artists in residence, projecten and collaborations

'This is the place to come. It’s a wonderful approach, it’s a wonderful collection of great artists who can help you achieve your goals and help you find your direction.'
John Clayton, Artist in Residence, Double bassist, Professor, Arranger and Composer

International Collaborations

The Cva Jazz Department maintains student exchange programmes with Manhattan School of Music, New York; New England Conservatory, Boston; Frost School of Music, University of Miami; ​University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles; The New School of Jazz, New York; Temple University Philadelphia, en Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo.

There are also many exchange possibilities with prominent European institutes.

The sound of our students and faculty 

We believe that sound and images speak louder than words. Click here to get an impression of what our students and faculty sound like. 

'I'm Ashley Kahn, jazz author, music historian and instructor, and often a guest speaker at the jazz program at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. I'd like to share a few words about this incredible program that Edo Righini has pulled together with a knowledgeable and hip support staff, which includes the faculty that's there in Amsterdam as well as the guest musicians who come through to share their stories and insights. 

One of the things that truly stands out for me is the deep focus the program gives to the idea of individual voice, helping each student—no matter what stage they are in their development to figure out who they are, what their musical identity is, and what it is they should be doing with this music they are studying and will take on into the future. The “why” of musical expression as a career, not just the “how.”  

Jazz is this strange and very special balance of tradition and innovation—a reverence for what has come before as well as where it's going. It lives and dies on this idea of individual voice, of knowing who you are and what your story is. “Tell your story!” Art Blakey used to shout at the various Messengers as they were soloing. Jazz is alsomusic that has this built-in feeling of freedom, always opening itself up to new ideas, new languages, new influences, even as it builds on a foundation of the past. Not every music is like this and not every music program understands this—and not every jazz program pursues this idea as a priority. The jazz program at Conservatorium van Amsterdam understands all of this. 

That’s why I find the program very exciting, because this means that students whom I get to speak to and the community that's being built coming out of Amsterdam Conservatorium is going have a very important role in deciding where this music goes in the years ahead. I am extremely grateful to be invited to be part of that, to witness and participate and speak with and listen to all of you over there as we bring the music forward.”'

Ashley Kahn, Regular guest lecturer, Author, Music historian and Instructor 

 

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Study Guide

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