Steve and his Sextet had a wonderful night with everyone in November and they will be back in the spring for another appearance at the Woodruff Arts Center's Jazz at the High series. Stay tuned for more information!High Museum
Tuesday evenings, January 14, 2014 - March 4, 2014.
After living in Atlanta for 14 years, I will finally be teaching here in town thanks to Peggy Still Johnson, the newly installed director of the Callanwolde Center for the Arts. Peggy has had deep success in music education here in Atlanta and I appreciate her offer to make Callanwolde home to my educational endeavors going forward. Beginning in January I will offer two classes:
For two decades I directed the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Georgia and part of my greatest enjoyment in the classrooms at UGA came from introducing non-improvising musicians to the joys of improvisation. Any student was welcome in those classes, with knowledge of major scales being the only request. I say "request" and not "pre-requisite" because I often allowed students into the class who were not quite to the entry level of proficiency theory-wise simply based on their deep desire to learn how to "make their own music."
Over almost 4 decades of teaching I have developed a method (and perhaps more importantly learned to create an environment) that is supportive, safe and enjoyable for all who partake, and that demystifies improvisation with easily accessible techniques that consistently open the doors of creativity.
It has been clear to me so often that musicians who can improvise will play music for the rest of their lives, and offering these classes fulfills a long-time goal to make my method of instruction available here in Atlanta. So many of us played music in our formative years then stopped after high school or college and put the instrument away. These classes provide a way to make music again in a fun, creative and supportive environment. If you never had the chance to learn to improvise or want to take your skills to the next level, this is a perfect opportunity to jump in and have fun.
My Callanwolde classes will be open to players of all instruments (as were my UGA courses) and vocalists, songwriters and drummers are welcome through learning these skills on the piano. There have been countless drummers, percussionists and singers come though my classes that, though initially hesitant to approach the piano, found the instrument to be the magic doorway to arranging, composing for all types of media, writing and producing their own songs and accompanying themselves both 'live' and in the studio.
If these courses prove to be popular they will continue and be expanded at Callanwolde in the future so please tell you friends, family and co-workers about them. I look forward to seeing you in January at Callanwolde!
Although it may seem unlikely, so much can happen in the course of three weeks. Having returned from my fifth year directing the Jazz Study Abroad, I have now come to expect the new found focus and energetic practicing, the wonder of discovering a new world of ancient history and contemporary culture, and the flood of creative output that results from walking in a world that is literally bigger than the one you left on campus. Thanks to the insight of Milton Masciadri (world-renowned bass soloist and Director of International Programs for the Hodgson School of Music), our program is based at the Vivaldi Conservatory in Alessandria, Italy. I have yet to meet an American who knows this lovely town nestled between the rice fields and the gentle hills of the Piemonte Region. As a result, our students are given a truly new experience, living and studying among Italians, hour by hour gaining experience that opens their eyes and ears to new sights and sounds, away from the routine of their busy lives on campus.
The Jazz Study Abroad is a small, hands-on program designed specifically to meet the needs of each individual student and is open to players of any instrument. Areas of concentrated study include improvisation, jazz/pop performance skills, film scoring, songwriting, desktop production using Apple’s Logic X, and music business topics including publishing, A&R, marketing, management, record label operations and entrepreneurship/success principles. I have been fortunate to work in this very competitive industry for decades and I use that background to help each student move forward quickly in accordance with their own goals, drawing on my record label and composing experience gained from working for media outlets such as National Geographic, Discovery, CBS, Columbia Pictures, the Super Bowl, and many others. Our Maymester Program delivers the deeply rich cultural environment of Italy plus three weeks of private lessons, master classes and tailored study, providing the student a unique opportunity to deeply focus on their creative and career goals, allowing them to jumpstart their entry into the music and entertainment industries.
The dates for the May 2014 Program will be posted here as soon as they are available. In the meantime, if you have any questions please get in touch through the link here : firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information visit me on Facebook at: Steve Dancz Jazz Study Abroad in Italy.
Steve Dancz began his professional career at the age of fifteen and by his twenty-first birthday was performing extensively in Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan, The People's Republic of China, Africa and South America. From the beginning of his career, he has worked on both the creative and business sides of the entertainment industry. His international career began as a musical director for Royal Viking Line, a position that included performance, arranging, conducting, managing personnel and consulting work on creative and management issues.
As a performer, Steve is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has performed and/or recorded with many notable artists (including The Chieftains, Eddie Harris, Martin Taylor, Joe Lovano, Kevin Mahogany, Bill Cosby, Dizzy Gillespie, Rufus Reid, John Patitucci and Clark Terry) and has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), the Vienne Jazz Festival (France), The Brussels Conservatory of Music (Belgium), Tocar la Vida (Argentina), and the first World Festival of Sacred Music (India) at the request of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
Dancz worked as a record producer and A&R director during the early years he was based in Los Angeles. He produced and performed on sessions in LA and London, promoted his artist roster to Radio France in Paris and coordinated record label operations with EMI, the company's European distributor. As A&R Director, Dancz handled selection and coordination of new material, developed a stable of in-house writers and producers and negotiated publishing deals for new album releases. He then turned his attention to film and TV scoring, providing original music for many film studios and broadcast media outlets including Columbia Pictures, CBS, HBO, Paramount Pictures, TBS, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Discovery Networks, PBS, NPR and the Super Bowl. He has composed and conducted orchestral scores for television ("Designing Women") and motion pictures ("Grim Prairie Tales" starring James Earl Jones), and has composed for multiple national campaigns for JWT and Chiat\Day LA.
As a result of a competitive audition, Steve was chosen to study film scoring with master composer Earl Hagen (“Andy of Mayberry,” “I Spy,” “Mod Squad”). Dancz has since composed and produced numerous original scores for National Geographic Films, many of which have aired as Specials and internationally as part of the National Geographic "Explorer" television series. His work with The Geographic resulted in the PBS Special “Inside Mecca," a project nominated by the Society for Emmy consideration for its original score. A variety of projects including “The Raising of the Hunley," "The Filmmakers," "Africa's Dinosaur Giants" and "Great White Deep Trouble" are available on DVD from the National Geographic Society. Dancz scored the BBC film "Superswarms" for broadcast on the Discovery Channel and his score and on-screen performance for "SACRED SITES OF THE DALAI LAMAS" is currently being viewed around the world. Dancz speaks regularly at colleges and universities in conjunction with screenings of the film, discussing his pilgrimage to Tibet, the filmmaking and post-production process, and the art and craft of film scoring. His most visible commission was creating the original score for the film “Tribute to the Declaration of Independence,” seen worldwide by a record-setting 165 million viewers as part of the Super Bowl XLV broadcast.
Mr. Dancz spent two decades as director of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Georgia's Hodgson School of Music. As a result of his experience in the music and entertainment industry Dancz co-founded UGA’s interdisciplinary Music Business Program with the Terry College of Business. He later joined SAE as Director of their Atlanta campus before returning to his work full-time as a composer, performer, conductor and producer. Dancz developed and currently directs the Hodgson School of Music's Jazz Study Abroad Program, an individualized course of study for the contemporary musician based in Alessandria, Italy and is teaching privately through the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
More information available upon request.
The Soundtrack on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sacred-sites-dalai-lamas-music/id434907105
A remarkable film by Michael Wiese visiting the sacred sites of the Dalai Lamas in Tibet, a pilgrimage with translator and author Glenn Mullin. This fascinating journey accompanies veteran composer Steve Dancz as he explores the caves where the early Buddhist masters meditated, enters the monasteries where the Dalai Lamas and others taught, and – at an altitude of over 16,000 feet – looks down into the famous oracle lake of Lhamo Lhatso where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions.
Clips from the feature documentary film - The Sacred Sites of the Dalai Lamas - set against a track from Steve Dancz’s music score/sound track album.
On this fascinating journey you will explore the caves where the early Buddhist masters achieved enlightenment, enter the monasteries where the early Dalai Lamas and the founders of Buddhism meditated and taught, and — at an altitude of over 17,000 feet — look into the remarkable Oracle Lake where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions.