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JSU Offers New Course for All Jazz Enthusiasts

By Ethan Hall
JSU News Bureau

8 December, 2004 — Jazz enthusiasts can now study their favorite music genre for college credit or simply for fun. Jacksonville State University instructor Kevin Mobbs will teach the new course, History of American Jazz, which includes the origins and development of jazz.  Registration is January 5 - 10 and the course begins January 10. It will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

The course is designed for everyone—not only musicians or people with a musical background. No previous knowledge of jazz is required, but students should have a strong interest in it. 
Mobbs said he will discuss how jazz has become such an important American tradition and how it has influenced modern culture. Learning to listen to jazz and identifying the basic elements that categorize music as jazz will also be covered.  Mobbs said the course will help students develop a true sense of jazz.
“Jazz is alive and may be experienced with all of our five senses,” said Mobbs. He hopes to demonstrate this by having students visit live venues, if time permits. He said he wants students to acquire a true sense of a jazz environment, including smells and tastes.

Jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis are on the list of listening references. Mobbs plans to take the learning experience a step further by  exploring the cultural elements that influenced these musicians. 

“In as many ways as possible, feasible, and appropriate, the students will create jazz,” said Mobbs. “Classroom activities will include writing blues lyrics, composing simple jazz melodies, working with chord progressions, and even experiencing improvisation personally.” 

To register for or audit the class, call the admissions office at 782-5268.

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