On September 10, 2015, Pepper welcomed world-renowned saxophonist David Liebman, the latest music legend to take part in our Jazz with Pepper master class series. Ever dedicated to the cause of music education, Liebman shared with those in attendance many insights into his playing style and musical philosophy.
He shared the ins and outs of his instrument as well as an in-depth look at his improvisational style. Pepper and our guests were treated to a rare night of insight into the mind of one of the most accomplished jazz musicians of our time.
While Liebman is known mostly for his music, he is just as passionate about jazz education. In 1989 he founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz, one of the leading jazz education institutions in the world, and continues as its artistic director to this day. Artist-in-residence at the Manhattan School of Music, Liebman spends much of his time and energy teaching the next generation of great jazz musicians. He has written a number of books aimed at educating musicians on topics ranging from soloing to transcribing to the blending of harmony and melody, making him one of the most prolific jazz educators in the world. His aim is to make jazz education accessible to anyone, regardless of their level of experience. It is clear from the many minds that have been touched by his writing that he accomplishes just that.
In any industry, it is rare for someone who has risen to such heights to be at the same time so open and accessible. However, Liebman has spent his entire life being just that. He spent a good deal of time during his class sharing the particulars of his own instrument for the benefit of those assembled. His sax, a Keilwerth signature soprano, was designed with his input to best reflect what he needed, and he did not hesitate to describe why each piece of gear he used was important and how it affected his playing. Anyone who hears him play will agree, it is hard to imagine anything sounding better than the music he makes with that soprano sax.
Truly, it was another night to remember in the Jazz With Pepper series. You can watch the entire evening here on our blog or on our YouTube channel. And if, like us, you cannot get enough of Dave Liebman, check out his autobiography, What It Is.