Jazz Piano Workshop- February 5, 2022
at Inver Hills Community College
2022 Jazz Piano Workshop
This FREE workshop is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to explore jazz piano, meet peers with similar interests, and learn from renowned jazz pianists from the Twin Cities! Designed for middle and high school students that can read music and have a minimum of 1 year of piano experience, students will work on playing jazz piano in small groups with clinicians. Students with no jazz experience whatsoever to students with advanced jazz experience are encouraged to attend, and will be placed in groups based on ability.
Registration Questions: Please consider all questions thoughtfully before answering them honestly in order to have the best experience possible. We will be grouping our students differently than previous years in order to optimize student learning, and our registration questions have changed based on extensive discussion with our jazz clinician experts!
Presented by Schubert Club and Minnesota Jazz Education (Formerly The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education)
2022 Clinicians: Mary Louise Knutson, Dale Alexander, Kavyesh Kaviraj, & Doug Rohde
Mary Louise Knutson, Minneapolis-based jazz pianist and composer, has been called “one of the most exciting and innovative artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time.” Her warm, inviting tone, broad range of emotional expression, and distinctive compositions have brought her much recognition on the national music scene. Knutson has been performing and touring with her group, the Mary Louise Knutson Trio, since the early 90’s and from 2010-2018 she toured with former Tonight Show bandleader-trumpeter Doc Severinsen and his big band (featuring two-time Grammy Award winner tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts). Off-tour, she can be heard in the Twin Cities with her trio at clubs, festivals, concert halls, and private events; also with vocalists Connie Evingson, Debbie Duncan, or Patty Peterson; and with a variety of instrumental groups including the JazzMN Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has performed with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves, Kevin Mahogany, Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Nicholas Payton, Slide Hampton, and many more. Knutson’s debut jazz trio CD, Call Me When You Get There, charted in JazzWeek’s Top 50, earning her the award for Top New Jazz Instrumentalist and her latest jazz trio CD, In the Bubble, made JazzWeek’s Top 10 and stayed in the Top 50 for 19 consecutive weeks. In 2005, she was a Finalist in the Kennedy Center’s Women in Jazz International Pianist Competition and in 2006, Knutson was a Minnesota Music Awards nominee for both Jazz Artist of the Year and Pianist of the Year.
Kavyesh Kaviraj is a pianist, composer and arranger from India. Although primarily a jazz pianist, he is known for his versatility as a musician; thanks to his experience in different musical climates he is closely involved with settings of many different genres and styles.
Kavyesh was introduced to music at a very young age; born into a musical family, he started playing the piano at the age of 2, and has since been garnering experience towards an expansive international career. Thanks to his family’s rich musical ancestry, Kavyesh has been fortunate to be educated in both Western classical and contemporary music, but also in Indian Classical music, including both Carnatic and Hindustani styles. He often attributes this wide span of musical taste and experience to his education and cultural involvement within his childhood. Born to Indian parents in Oman, he began his fledgling musical career in the small town of Sohar, from where he moved to India to further his musical development and education, and subsequently pursued a professional music education in the United States. He has garnered attention and acclaim from the various musical environments he has been a part of, including Indian, Middle-Eastern and American shores.
Kavyesh graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2018, with a Bachelor of Music (B.M) degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Music. In 2019, Kavyesh received a full tuition grant to pursue a Masters’ degree at Berklee College’s Global Jazz Institute, where he was under the eminent tutelage of several jazz masters including Danilo Perez, Kenny Werner, JoAnne Brackeen among many others. He graduated in 2020 with a Master of Music (M.M) degree in Contemporary Performance.
Kavyesh is a member of the jazz quintet Mississippi, set to release their second album in 2021. He has performed with national and international artists from many different genres, including Roosevelt Collier, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory, Yolande Bruce, Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Nooky Jones, Kevin Washington Quintet, Jamecia Bennett, Maryam Yusafzadeh, Desdamona, Toki Wright and several others. Recently Kavyesh’s project KAYE Music, where he is the leader and composer, has gathered attention in the Twin Cities. KAYE Music will release a 4- track EP in 2021.
Kavyesh is also a passionate music educator, with experience as a private instructor and experience as an educator in music academies and public schools alike, and enjoys leading jazz workshops and teaching music classes for children and youth. His compositions and arrangements for various ensembles and configurations have been featured on radio, TV and collaborative exhibitions.
Dale Alexander is a keyboardist, drummer, songwriter, music director, studio and touring musician who grew up in Minneapolis. Dale’s first band was a trio with Prince and Andre Cymone. By the time he graduated from high school, he had already performed with the nationally known soul group, the Temptations. He recorded with Prince right before he signed his solo contract, and toured with Prince on the Sign ‘O the Times World Tour as the drummer for the opening act, Madhouse. By the age of 24, Dale Alexander had studied with prominent musicians such as Marvin Dahlgren and Dr. Reginald Buckner of the University School of Music. He was recognized by the University of Wisconsin with a National Jazz Education Award for his outstanding individual performance as a percussionist.
In the ensuing years, Dale has appeared with virtually every well-known jazz artist in the States. After conquering the drums, he turned his sights toward the piano studying with Manfredo Fest. Dale wrote a song for Robbie Krieger of The Doors, and later performed on multiple recording projects with him, touring as their drummer and also when personnel changed, as the pianist. In the early 90s, he was Musical Director for Andiamo’s, a world class jazz club in Aspen and stayed there until he moved to the Los Angeles area. He also worked as one of the Musical Directors for the Christmas performance of “American Idol on Tour.”
Dale recently slow downed from his busy schedule to return home to Minneapolis Minnesota to re-unite with some of the old Prince alumni members including Mint Condition, Alexander O’Neil; Morris Day; Cynthia Johnson; Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. Being home has offered him the opportunity to meet with the next generation of performing artists like No Room for Squares and Katia Cardenas, and while playing with local veterans of the scene, including The Peterson Family, Capri Big Band, as well as Mac Santiago, Pete Engblom and Lila Ammons.
Doug Rohde teaches piano and improvisation at Center For Performing Arts in south Minneapolis. He is mostly self-taught but has been fortunate to have some great teachers, notably saxophonist and improv method guru Jerry Bergonzi, and Music At 10,000 Lakes artistic director Liz Wolff. In addition to being a lifelong freelance musician, Doug has served as music director for Collide Theatrical Dance Company and Interact Center For the Visual and Performing Arts. He is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, where he led the development of their Popular Styles exam program, and is an active member of the Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs.