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HSO Education program

The Harlem Swing Orchestra (HSO) musicians have a second life outside of performing, and that is teaching. They decided to share their knowledge and passion for jazz music by creating the "HSO Education program".

These are "Educational Sessions" for schools and any group of people passionate about music: Choirs, amateur orchestras, etc...

They cover multiple domains: Musical, Historical, Instrumental, Interpretation ... but with the same priorities: Seriousness Yes, but also joyful, friendly and especially interactive, the listeners are called to participate.

The duration of the sessions is variable to be adapted to the audience and the desired format.

Any questions? Please contact us!
... and in the meantime, "Keep on Swinging".

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The Piano, from ragtime to swing

by Fabien Mille

It is at the beginning of the 20th century that Ragtime is "invented" by black American musicians, and it is a few years later that Swing arrives, one of the most important signatures of Jazz.

But by the way, what is swing? ... and how do you make a piece of music swing? Are there different kinds of swing?

All these questions and many more will be addressed in this "HSO Education" session.

Presentation: Fabien Mille, HSO pianist and piano teacher.

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The Double Bass in Jazz

by André Wentzo

Great French expert on Duke Ellington, for whom he wrote a reference "Dictionnaire Amoureux", André Wentzo talks in this session about his love for double bass and the importance of this instrument in jazz orchestras.

His talk is illustrated by a multitude of musical examples from the Jazz "Jungle" of 1927 played with a bow, to the Jazz swing of today played pizzicato...

Presentation: André Wentzo, HSO double bass player, author of "Dictionaire amoureux de Duke Ellington", accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano) and Laurent Chofflet (Drum).


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Brass instruments in
the world of Jazz
by Yvan Lemaire

The Trumpet has been the star instrument of many jazz bands since the beginning (King Oliver and Louis Armstrong), until today, through Miles Davis.

It is very often accompanied by a trombone to add a little smoothness and a Sousaphone when the music is played in the New Orleans style.

The presentation of these 3 instruments, the evolution of the styles and the technical challenges will be presented by Yvan, multi-instrumentalist, 1st prize of Tuba from the conservatory of Grenoble and 1st prize of Trombone from the conservatory of Chambéry.

Presentation: Yvan Lemaire HSO trombonist will be accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano) and Laurent Chofflet (Drums).

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Conferences on Duke Ellington, an essential jazz genius
par André Wentzo

Duke Ellington, the greatest jazz genius?

This is in any case the opinion of André Wentzo, a leading French specialist on Duke and author of the book "Duke Ellington, the greatest jazz composer and bandleader", which is the first French primer on the master.

For years he has been traveling to give lectures on Duke Ellington and as part of the HSO-Education program he proposes the following 5 lectures: 1: Duke Ellington and France, 2: The Suites, 3: Sacred music, 4: Duke Ellington and the female singers, 5: The Jazz Jungle

Présentation: Charles-André Wentzo contrebassiste du HSO.

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1900-2021, a story of Jazz in music
by André Wentzo

To make a summary of the Jazz History in music, it is rather a question of days, but with the help and the wishes of our audience we are going to skip some steps between the Ragtime of 1900 and the Jazz of today.

We'll talk about jazz styles (Ragtime, Stride, Swing, Bop, Cool, etc...) and the geniuses who have been behind these styles (Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, etc...).


Presentation: André Wentzo, double bass player and narrator of the HSO, author of "Dictionaire in love with Duke Ellington", accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano), Laurent Chofflet (Drums) and Ivan Baldet (Saxophone).

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In progress ...

Drums: An instrument invented by the Jazzmen.
by Laurent Chofflet


Presentation: Laurent Chofflet, drummer of the HSO alone or accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano) and André Wentzo (double bass).

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In progress ...

A history of Piano Jazz

from Scott Joplin to today

by Fabien Mille

In 1900, Jazz music for piano is called Ragtime, and it is not yet improvised but edited on score. The master of Ragtime is Scott Joplin.

Two decades later, the improvisation is everywhere and has replaced the scores.
A multitude of different styles were introduced: Blues, Stride, Boogie Woogie, Swing, Bop, Block chords etc...
These styles of piano will be exposed during this session, with the technical challenges of each and the masters that have invented them.

Presentation: Fabien Mille, pianist of the HSO and piano teacher, solo or accompanied by Laurent Chofflet (Drums) and Ivan Baldet (Double bass).

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In progress ...

Duke Ellington,
Indisputable genius of Jazz

by André Wentzo

Duke Ellington, the jazz's greatest genius?
This is in any case the opinion of André Wentzo, great French specialist of Duke and author of the book "Dictionaire amoureux de Duke Ellington".

His life, his work and the influence he had on jazz music and on jazzmen will be addressed through the masterpieces composed and played by Duke and his orchestra from 1927 to 1974.

Presentation: André Wentzo, HSO double bass player and narrator, accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano), Laurent Chofflet (Drums) and Ivan Baldet (Saxophone).

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In progress ...

Saxophones and Clarinet,

the other jazz stars

by Jean Baptiste Perez

Presentation: Jean Baptiste Perez, saxophonist and clarinetist of HSO , accompanied by Fabien Mille (Piano), Ivan Baldet (Double bass) and Laurent Chofflet (Drums).

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In progress ...

Mutes and Drums, the recipes of "Jungle" Jazz
by Pierre Fournier & Laurent Chofflet

The use of mutes for trumpet and trombone started around 1920 and invaded the world of Jazz and Classical music.

But, why do we use a mute and what sound do we get depending on the type of mute used? These are two of the topics that will be discussed in this HSO Education session..

Presentation Pierre Fournier HSO trumpeter and arranger, accompanied by Fabien Mille (piano), André Wentzo (Double bass) and Chofflet (Drums).

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