“Bands Across the Sea” is committed to, and definitely succeeds in – nurturing students deep emotional joy in the moment-to-moment processes of music-making and listening (which are often difficult and challenging). Joy-in-learning is essential to learning music (and all other subjects) effectively. “Bands Across the Sea” protects and preserves the emotional dimensions of teaching, learning, and curriculum while also instilling deep knowledge of the doing, creating, and social-cultural history of jazz and related styles.
Prof. Dr. David J. Elliott, B. Mus., M. Mus., B. Ed., PhD. Director of Music Education at New York University
Download Dr. Elliott’s review of our thesis – BATS Curriculum (PDF Document) here.
The Jazzaar Festival, was an eye opening experience for me – I watched with delight as all the compositions took shape and how the confidence of the young players increased. You picked a superb team of players, you wrote some great music and with it all you both have so much to be proud of.
Dr. Ian Darrington of IAJE
The feature that makes Jazzaar Festival so interesting to both the musicians and the public, is the fact that new music is not only presented every year, it is presented every night. The music presented has always been first rate, original, and challenging. This concept is sorely missing in other festivals. I hope that many other works will be presented in the future.
Randy Brecker (USA)
It is no secret that culture, in nearly all of its aspects, is at a deplorably low level, worldwide. The only way to begin changing this situation is to replace the sick things with healthy ones, to replace instant gratification types of amusements with those which permit and, in fact demand, use of the individual’s intellectual and sensitivity-oriented faculties. In that case, “Jazz” is a wonder-medication. Jazzaar Festival Concerts Aarau is the place where it can be found.
Bob Freedman (USA)
The music was challenging. I especially enjoyed Michael Abene’s composition, which, at first, I thought, too difficult for the students but they really astounded me at the performance. The format of a Concerto for young classical and jazz musicians is especially exciting to me. Dave Taylor was respectfully brilliant. This format continued through Fritz’s composition ‘Spring-time’ adding the African elements of percussion and voices. Again the combination between the two worlds of jazz and classical became one. Jazzaar Festival is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and composition – A symbiosis of cultures and people!
Dr. Tommy Smith (Scotland)