Jazz Guardians host professional development clinic
FORT McPHERSON, Ga. (Aug. 27, 2010)-Big Band Jazz expert Joe Gransden spent a day here leading a clinic on strategies that can be used in creating a professional Big Band sound. He worked with FORSCOM's Army Ground Forces Band's Jazz Guardians to demonstrate his teaching points. Soldier-musicians from Fort Benning and Fort Gordon also participated. (U.S. Army photo by Spec. Christopher Dyke)

FORT McPHERSON, Ga. (Aug. 27, 2010)-Always looking for ways to raise their professional skills ever higher, The Army Ground Forces Band's Jazz Guardians hosted "A Day with Joe Gransden" at the post theater here, Aug. 26.

An Atlanta-based performer and recording artist, Gransden is considered a leading international authority on Big Band Jazz music.

The clinic was attended by musicians from The Army Ground Forces Band as well as musicians from the Army's Fort Benning and Fort Gordon bands. Several of those visiting Soldiers sat in with the Jazz Guardians throughout the day, performing alongside the AGFB musicians.

Even a few local civilian musicians attended, which provided recruiting opportunities for the Army Band program.

Attendees at the day-long event left with a better understanding of strategies that can be used in creating a professional Big Band sound.

"Joe Gransden was able work with one of the best Jazz ensembles in the Army-ours," said Master Sgt. John Jacobs, the Jazz Guardians NCOIC. "After the Jazz Guardians played a couple of opening selections, Joe opened the clinic by saying he would have to be pretty nit-picky when working with our ensemble because of the high level of playing."

Gransden used his vast professional experiences and knowledge to make an immediate impact on the sound of the band.

"Throughout the day, Joe worked with the band, sharing with the audience members the techniques and processes he was using to improve the music quality," Jacobs said.

"The audience was very interactive and asked many questions that Joe gladly answered, often using stories of his own struggles-and some funny moments, too-from his professional career."

The Army Ground Forces Band is under the operational control of the Army's largest command, Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). As just one of only three Army bands with a national touring mission, it travels the nation, performing at local, regional and national events.

The band also conducts master classes and clinics for music students at high schools and colleges around the country.

The 64 Soldiers assigned to the AGFB have passed highly selective auditions and are among the finest musicians in the United States Army Band Program. The majority of the band's members have studied music at some of the finest universities and conservatories.

Page last updated Fri August 27th, 2010 at 17:34