Ari Poutiainen – Jazz, Solos & Stories

Divided in 2 parts, we’re going to talk about:


  • Jazz, Solos & Stories: Storytelling is a metaphore that is often used when jazz improvisation is discussed. People say that good jazz improvisers can tell stories in their soloistic expression. Although the metaphore is in common use it still can happen that it is seldom taught in jazz classes. This workshop focuses on storytelling and playing jazz solos. It is targeted to players who already are familiar with jazz improvisation and who have at least an intermediate playing technique. We play solos and we make stories on easy jazz standards, for example. We will also play as a string ensemble, if possible.
  • Music Variables on improvisation: This workshops introduces an easy and practical approach to small and medium size ensemble improvisation. The approach employs a carefully constructed list of fundamental musical variables. This list is applied in designing improvised performances. The list and its applications have been tested in various bowed strings courses and professional performances around the world. In the workshop all aspects of the approach will be studied, demonstrated and put in practice together, by the participants.



Composer, violinist and researcher Ari Poutiainen (PhD) works as an associate professor of music education at the University of Helsinki and teaches string improvisation at the Sibelius Academy. He is the
author of “Stringprovisation – A Fingering Strategy for Jazz Violin Improvisation”,  a jazz strings publication that has gained outstanding reviews in “The Strad”, “Strings” and “Fiddler Magazine”,
for example. Poutianen’s other academic contributions include publications on music education, improvisation and creativity. He also leads and conducts various ensembles and productions. In addition, he regularly performs jazz and gives jazz strings masterclasses in Europe. He appears on approximately 50 albums.


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