Messing with Mozart workshop

Today, improvisation is usually associated more with jazz than with classical music. Being a musician in late 1700s century Europe, however, was much more like being a singer-songwriter today: you played what you created, some of it was written down, but much was spontaneously improvised and embellished.

Improvisation duels entertained emperors and well-placed musical embellishments “roused the passions” of listeners by awakening the essence of emotions with a mere few notes.

November 30-December 2, 2018, Birdfoot’s Artistic Director and violinist Jenna Sherry joins other internationally known performers, artists, and scholars for Improvisation: New Orleans’ Gift to the Modern World, a three-day exploration of improvisation across the arts

On Sunday, December 2, Ms. Sherry and 2018 Birdfoot artist and pianist Julia Hamos present “Messing with Mozart: The Surprising Art of Classical Improvisation and How to Do It” from 11AM–1PM at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.

Experience the surprising fun (and sometimes funny) art of classical music improvisation and in the process, discover how to listen to music through the ears of a composer or musician. In this hands-on workshop, Sherry and Hamos will lead participants through an exploration of the musical language, grammar, and structure that support the spontaneous creation of musical storytelling. This workshop is for everyone, musicians and non-musicians, connoisseurs and amateurs alike!

Additionally, Ms. Sherry will join jazz musician Courtney Bryan and visual/sound collaboration artist Zarouhie Abdalian in a multi-disciplinary exploration of the intersections of improvisation across their work and lives—Saturday, December 1 at 2 PM at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. This event is free and open to the public.

The conference also features wide-ranging presentations by Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters, NPR’s Kitchen Sister Davia Nelson, farmer/activist Ben Burkett, conceptual artist Mel Chin, Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of Free Play, Director Chris Kaminstein, Goat in the Road Productions, literary scholars Randy Fertel and Rob Wallace, Politico’s cartoonist Matt Wuerker, Music Inside Out’s Gwen Thompkins, and more.

Discounted student tickets are available for many of the events and workshops.

Presented by the Fertel Foundation, in partnership with the New Orleans Jazz Museum, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, The New Quorum