YJED MasterClass signups are open!



What is a YJED MasterClass?

  • While we cannot rehearse or perform as a group right now (see link for details), it is important to continue YJED's educational mission to help develop top high school jazz musicians from 20+ high schools in DuPage County and surrounding areas.

  • The YJED MasterClass program is structured to provide online clinics by top jazz performers, educators, and clinicians on specific topics of interest to these high school jazz musicians.

  • The online clinics will be scheduled for an hour, including a talk by a Jazz Master, followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.

Who is eligible to attend an online YJED MasterClass?

  • All 2019-20 members of YJED (whether still in high school or graduated) - Mr. Blazek will email you at the email you used last year.

  • Prospective members of YJED who would be eligible to audition for the 2020-21 season. If you live in or near DuPage County (close enough to attend weekly rehearsals in Wheaton), perform in your high school jazz band program, and are able to play high-level jazz ensemble music.

  • High school jazz band directors with students who would be eligible geographically to be a member of YJED.  [As part of our continued support of local high school jazz band programs, we want to provide you the opportunity to impart some YJED Jazz Master wisdom that you think your students may benefit from!]

  • Other jazz music students and instructors at selected institutions. If you are in this category, you have been given an access code to sign up for the YJED MasterClass

How to sign up for a YJED MasterClass

  1. If you were a 2019-2020 YJED Member, jump to Step 6 (and be sure to use the email address that Mr. Blazek uses to send you email).

  2. If you have already registered with YJED from this page (either as a high school jazz musician interested in YJED or as a high school jazz band director), jump to Step 6

  3. If you have been given an access code, jump to Step 6 (and be sure to use the access code you were given)

  4. If you are a high school jazz band director and have not already registered with YJED, click this link to confirm your eligibility and register, then jump to step 6.

  5. If you are a high school jazz musician and have not already registered with YJED, click this link to confirm your eligibility and register, then jump to step 6.

  6. Now that you are at Step 6, click the link(s) below to sign up for any YJED MasterClasses that are currently available for sign-up:

About our upcoming YJED Jazz Master clinician:

So, w​​ho leads within the band?  One good guess is the lead trumpet, but composers going back to Duke Ellington (who put clarinet below trombone lead on Mood Indigo) might put the lead voice almost anywhere!  So every chair in a jazz band should know how to lead, AND how to follow...because you never know what you will be asked to do!

Rob Parton (website link) is a trumpet player, band leader and educator  who will lead the April 19 YJED MasterClass with a discussion on "Follow the Leader". As a master jazz educator, he will also take questions about considering college jazz programs.

As an educator, Rob has taught at multiple universities in the Chicago area, followed by his current role at University of North Texas as Chair of Jazz Studies, Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet, and director of the 2 O'Clock Band.  As a bandleader, he has led the Rob Parton Jazztech Big Band for over 30 years (and 8 CD releases).  And as a performer, although he has performed with major symphonies, Broadway shows, and on over 1000 national commercials, he is perhaps best known as a jazz big band lead trumpet player.

About our previous YJED Jazz Master clinicians:

​​Adam Larson (website link) is a saxophonist, composer, and author who  led the March 22 YJED MasterClass with a discussion on "Developing your Jazz Vocabulary"

Adam was well equipped to speak on this topic, as one of the two jazz etude books he has authored is titled " Conversation Starters: 180 pieces of Jazz Vocabulary".  He is also an active composer, recently commissioned by the ILMEA to compose the All-State 2020 composition.  After a number of years performing on the NY Jazz scene, he is now on faculty at UMKC in Kansas City

Eric Hochberg (website link) is a Chicago-based performer and recording artist with 40 years of mastery on the upright and electric bass who was our February 22 clinician speaking on "Writing Effective Bass Lines for the non-bassist".

With over 1000 recording sessions under his belt, and having performed with jazz greats including Pat Metheny, Cannonball Adderley, and Kurt Elling, Eric speaks both as a composer and bassist about how to create bass lines and not only work, but can elevate a piece of music. 


And even if you are not writing (yet!), he gave insights of how a bass player powers the rhythmic and harmonic  structure of a large band or small group

Alan Baylock (website link) is a jazz composer and leader of the renown "One O'clock Lab Band" at the University of North Texas who was our January 18 clinician speaking on "Getting started writing music for your big band or combo".


Prior to leading the Grammy nominated "One O'clock", he served as chief arranger for the USAF "Airmen of Note" for 20 years.  He has written for a "who's who" of jazz and pop artists.  He graduated from UNT in 1994, where his student writing was featured on their CDs .

Mike Smith (website link) is a Chicago-based recording artist, professor,  who was our December 7 clinician.


After playing in the Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich big bands, Mike spent 13 years playing lead alto and music contracting for Frank Sinatra.  Subsequently, he has also played with many jazz greats including Clark Terry, Nat Adderley, and Art Farmer.


He has recorded 8 CDs under his own name, and is a professor at Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt College. 

Wycliffe Gordon (website link) is a recording artist, composer, arranger, and educator who was our November 2 clinician.


Recognized multiple times by Downbeat Magazine (Best Trombone) and the Jazz Journalists Association (Trombonist of the Year), he was an integral member of Wynton Marsalis's  septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.


He has recorded 21 CDs under his own name, and performed with jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, David Sanborn, and many others.

Wycliffe was a Guest Artist on our YJED 2007 album

The YJED MasterClass series is supported in part by a grant from the JCS Arts, Health, and Education Fund of the DuPage Foundation

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