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Re: Jazz for Dummies (Directors)
I would say less reading and more listening. You might check out the Ken Burns Jazz series for history and an intro to the styles. Chops documenting the Essentially Ellington festival would also be excellent to watch. If you really arenít familiar yourself you might check out the Jamie Aebersold books. Maiden voyage would be a good book for you to play around with.
To be honest I grew up with jazz bands I was in from JH on, so I canít imagine just being thrown into it. Itís like anything though, right notes, balance, blend, and style matter. Listen, listen, listen.
Russell Schmidt was our clinician for ATSSB State jazz last year and has some cool resources on his valley jazz cooperative website. Might be worth checking them out!