Bloomington Boogies Education
The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival is dedicated to educating young people about the piano.
- Offering free tickets to schools, so students/families could attend ticketed concerts. The festival has offered tickets to Fairview and Templeton Elementary Schools and Tri-North Middle School.
- Presenting free concerts in schools. Beginning in 2015, artists have performed in schools. In 2015, Marcia Ball, Bob Seeley, and Carl Sonny Leyland performed at Fairview for 360 students and 30 adults. In 2016, Bob Seeley, Bill Sims, Jr., and Ricky Nye performed for 550 students, faculty, staff, and visitors at Templeton Elementary. In 2017, Bob Seeley, Bill Sims, Jr., and Mitch Woods played at Fairview while Rob Rio, Josh Paxton, and Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne performed at Templeton. In 2018 and 2019, hundreds of students saw concerts at Fairview, Templeton, and Tri-North.
- Offering free piano workshops and Master Classes. In 2016, Ricky Nye presented a workshop at Templeton; in 2017 Bill Sims, Jr. presented a workshop at Fairview and Josh Paxton presented at Templeton; and In 2018 and 2019, free workshops took place at Fairview, Templeton, and Tri-North. Also in 2019, Judy Carmichael presented a free Master Class on Stride Piano at the Monroe County History Center.
View videos and photos from the 2015 concert at Fairview and photos and videos from the first festival
View photos and videos from the 2016 concert at Templeton and photos and videos from the second festival
2019 Piano Workshops and Master Class
In 2019, Bloomington Boogies presented a free MASTER CLASS ON STRIDE PIANO. Judy Carmichael, one of the foremost interpreters of stride and swing piano, gave a Master Class, co-sponsored by the Monroe County History Center and with support from the Bloomington Arts Commission, for intermediate and advanced pianists and observers interested in America’s first popular music, ragtime, and how it evolved into the early jazz piano style known as “stride” and how both influenced the jazz that followed.
View exercises and an arrangement from Judy Carmichael's book, You Can Play Stride Piano. The book comes with a CD with practice and performance tempos. The book is available at https://www.judycarmichael.com/new-products/you-can-play-stride-piano-book.
In 2019, Bloomington Boogies also offered three free PIANO WORKSHOPS on Aug. 12:
- A free WORKSHOP ON ELEMENTS OF BLUES AND BOOGIE WOOGIE. Monday, Aug. 12, 4 p.m., Templeton Elementary School, 1400 S. Brenda Ave., Bloomington, IN, Room L17. Stephanie Trick, an expert on stride and classic jazz styles with a firm command of boogie woogie, ragtime, and blues, covered boogie woogie as played by Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis. The workshop focused on some boogie woogie left-hand patterns and gave participants a chance to try their hand at improvising in the dynamically rhythmic and swinging style of boogie woogie. Ite also covered the basic form of the blues and gave participants ideas on how to use this versatile and timeless form as a vehicle for improvisation and telling one's story.
- Participants were advised to prepare for the workshop and to listen to Albert Ammons' "Boogie Woogie Stomp": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNbc0YO5hKg and Pete Johnson's "Death Ray Boogie," and to learn some left-hand patterns or right-hand riffs by ear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEKsF2NWQUI; and to check out Meade Lux Lewis' "Honky Tonk Train Blues," and to learn left-hand patterns or right-hand riffs by ear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne_U25ryLjc.
- A free WORKSHOP ON IMPROVISATION - How Does Improvisation Work? Monday, Aug. 12, 3:15 p.m., Tri-North Middle School, 1000 W. 17th St., Bloomington, IN, Auditorium. Paolo Alderighi, one of Italy’s foremost jazz pianists and husband of Stephanie Trick, taught the fundamentals of improvising on the piano. This workshop provided basic tools for approaching improvisation within the jazz and blues idioms. For participants who have some experience with improvisation, the workshop offered ideas to improve their ability to work out and construct interesting solos; for musicians coming from a classical background and those who have not yet had the opportunity to explore improvisation, the workshop provided the initial groundwork necessary to practice this fascinating skill. Open to all ages and skill levels; no preparation required to attend.
- A free WORKSHOP ON BLUES BASICS - LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS - Songs in Parallel Thirds and Sixths. Monday, Aug. 12, 4 p.m., Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th St., Bloomington. Dr. Keith McCutchen, an associate professor of music in the School of Humanities and the Performing Arts at Kentucky State University, used two songs - Jimmy Yancey’s “Jimmy’s Stuff” and Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk” - to explore the basics of blues structure, the sound and fundamentals of the triad bass, and the use of parallel thirds and sixths and melody/harmony in the right hand. The use of riffs and bass variations was also explored.
- Participants were advised to look at the following in preparation for the workshop: Jimmy Yancey's "Jimmy's Stuff": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPU1Spmms0 and Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk”: https://youtu.be/rrKpffh8TY8.