My leisurely morning reading of the New York Sunday Times - the only day of the week we get the paper version - became extra exciting when I came upon Nate Chinen's "Jazz Apprentices Still Find Their Masters", and realized that I had iPad paintings of the masters, Steve Coleman, and of the apprentices (difficult to say when the apprentice become a master) Vijay Iyer and Ambrose Akinmusire mentioned in the article. I quote the paragraphs tha mention Mr. Coleman and Five Elements, whom I saw perform at the Garden Stage, at last year's Monterey Jazz Festival.
Italics added by me.
"But it’s no coincidence that Mr. Akinmusire has also served a tour of duty with the visionary alto saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman, an important mentor to more than one generation of adventurous improvisers. Mr. Coleman has long cultivated young musicians as sidemen, notably in his working band, Five Elements. In recent years he has also led a series of Monday-night workshops at the Jazz Gallery in Manhattan.
Mr. Coleman’s influence on the current jazz landscape also extends through many of his former collaborators, who are now mentors too. The trumpeter Ralph Alessi presides over the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, which upholds a collectivist model of instruction. Along similar lines, the pianist Vijay Iyer recently became director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada.
“There’s a lot about music, especially improvisational music, that you learn in the course of performance and nowhere else,” Mr. Iyer said recently, reflecting on his own experience with Mr. Coleman and some older lions of the avant-garde, like Roscoe Mitchell and Wadada Leo Smith."
Vijay Iyer autographed this iPad painting during an after party at Arcata mayor Alex Stillman's home. The performance took place at Humboldt State University's Fulkerson Hall. It is one of my first iPadJAZZart pieces.
At the Healdsburg Jazz festival this year, I painted Vijay Iyer together with Roy Haynes during an inteveiw of Roy Haynes. Vijay Iyer was attentive and kind to Haynes, and asked insightful questions, but Haynes looked as if he'd rather be behind the drums! Later, at the very end of the festival, I ran into Iyer standing in lobby of the Hotel Healdsburg during a sweet jam session. He was tired after the performance in the hot sun at the vineyard earlier in the day, but he sat down at the piano and many thought this informal time was the best part of the whole festival.
After having seen Ambrose play and having met him personally during an afterparty at our home, I feel warmly connected to him. I am looking forward to seeing him all over the upcoming 55 Montery Jazz Festival in September this year, where he is the resident artist. This image is an iPad painting I made during a workshop at Humboldt State University the morning after the concert, sponsored by the Redwood Jazz Alliace. Ambrose, was very generous with his time and responsive to the music students in the audience.
I too have apprenticed myself to masters for creating jazz art, both consiously and witout really realizing it. My lifelong practice of live figure drawing has given me confidence in capturing images of people quickly. My masters are Mr.Gephart at Greengates School in Mexico City, Carl Riise at Konstfack in Stockholm and today Joyce Jonté and Steven VanderMeer at StewArt Studios in Arcata. I love Romare Bearden's jazz collages. He is a great inspiration. When I create my iPadJAZZart pieces I work in many layers, and build them in a collage like fashion. As I have started teaching iPad painting I hope I inspire apprentices of my own.