The Jazzman

Jazz Without Borders



What Does Contemporary Big Band Sound Like?

Here are some examples of the finest and most challenging pieces being written for the modern jazz ensemble.

Along with a selection of swinging jazz and popular tunes all audiences will like, we will tackle the
exciting challenge of perfecting some of these cutting-edge pieces.

Be part of something special

Jazz is America’s native art form. St. Louis is a place of great importance in the history of jazz.
Come play with us as we explore new, cutting edge charts for big band and other types of ensembles.

Together, we will envision a contemporary big band focused on writers like Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, Steve Weist, and Gordon Goodwin, with a few originals thrown in for good measure. The music will be a great mix of hard swinging jazz, popular tunes that all audiences will recognize, and cutting-edge pieces that will be an exciting challenge to perfect.

The Plan

Prepare, Perform, Record!

You will work with a dedicated, passionate director, and knowledgable and experienced guest conductors and clinicians. Please see the bio at right.

We will put on a concert featuring a guest artist. I’ve tentatively reached out recently to people who are accomplished and well-known on the national jazz scene as potential guests. We'll know who will join us around the time of our first rehearsals.

We will professionally record the concert live so everyone has a nice digital album of themselves.

Who Can Participate/Instrumentation needed.

Membership is open to high school and middle school students currently in 7th through 12 grades and actively enrolled in school, public, private, or home-schooled. Just-graduated seniors are also welcome! Musicians will be coming from schools all over the St. Louis area and from those taking private lessons in many of the local music stores.

 Students should come highly focused and highly motivated, but eager to have a lot of fun in both the regular rehearsals and performances. As with all types of groups, it is hat the members make of it, and we hope you will bring your unique personality and spirit to the proceedings.

The plan is to field a full big band ensemble (4-5 trumpets, 4-5 trombones, 5 saxes, and rhythm section of guitar, piano, bass, and drums. If possible, it would be a great addition to have male a female vocalists as well.

If more people sign up than are needed for one ensemble, we will consider the option of fomring a second group!


The cost is still being dtermined, but it will be similar to the cost of a summer jazz camp or in-store series of lessons. You'll be getting weeks of preparation with knowledgable teachers and clinicians, a concert with a guest artist, and a professional recording of the performance.

No money will be collected, though, until our first rehearsal. Naturally, it is critically important that we’re sure we have everyone we need and it’s definitely a "Go." Once you sign up and commit to the eight weeks of Summer Jazz, then you pay the tuition fee.

How to Sign Up

Signups are ongoing. Just use the link below.

Remember: You do not need to pay now. Your tuition fee will not be collected until we are absolutely sure we have enough of the right players signed up to make a real go of it. When that happens, we can make payments our first face to face meeting. At that time, you may choose whether to pay with check, credti/debit card, or through PayPal.

Please accept this invitation to come be part of the start of something really special. I'm really excited about the prospect of working on some fun and special charts, and would be very excited to help in any way I can to create a unique and special music experience for the kids involved.

Rehearsals begin once the right number of people have signed up!

- Eddie Carr

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The Benefits of Playing Jazz

Jazz is special. It is at the roots of all modern and popular music. It explodes with energy, or soothes with its beauty. It gives you the chance to sound great as a group and learn to express your individuality in a solo. This experience will be something more than just being in a band. Studying music - especially jazz - makes you work hard, and reap big rewards. You’ll be studying great music, but you’ll be learning about yourself.

Preparation for Education and Career, Leadership in Creativity and Innovation

Above and beyond the fun of playing, this ensemble will have
three main goals:

  1.  Amazing Musical Experiences and Public Performances
  2.  Creativity And Innovation Leadership Education
  3.  Preparation For Education and Career

While we are preparing for an amazing concert, we’ll also stop to look at what playing jazz and what playing in a band teaches us for the rest of our lives. Businesses have expressed the need for more “enhanced skills” among their employees for the 21st century.* Among these are:

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Creativity/Innovation
Leadership Lifelong Learning/Self Direction
Oral Communications Professionalism/Work Ethic
Written Communications Ethics/Social Responsibility
Teamwork/Collaboration Information Technology Application

Creativity/Innovation, for example, is projected to “increase in importance” for future workforce entrants, according to more than 70 percent (73.6 percent) of employers.*

These are the things you experience when you play in a music ensemble. There is no better place to learn creativity and innovation than in a jazz ensemble as we learn to work together, listen to one another, balance, depend on the other players in the ensemble, and improvise solos.

*“Are They Really Ready To Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce,” a 2006 report by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management.


Each big band jazz ensemble requires the following instruments. We will form as many ensembles as the number of enrolled students allow.

5 Saxes (2 Alto, 2 Tenor, 1 Bari)
    4-5 Trumpets            Piano
    4-5 Trombones            Bass

Rehearsals, When and Where

The first rehearsal and family information meeting will be held as soon as soon as we have the requisite musians. Learn all about our exciting summer plans. Then your family and friends are invited to stay to see exactly our rehearsals go. Chances are that they will exceed everybody's expectations!

When: Once a week, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Which day to be determined after enrolllment
Where:   TBD after enrollment
Conductor: Eddie Carr, local jazz performer, composer, and long-time area music instructor.

For More Information

Call: Eddie Carr  at  310-883-3607 (cell)
Or write:

Meet Eddie Carr


Utrechtse Studenten Bigband

Snarky Puppy’s “Shofukan”


Competition in Hoofddorp

Steve Weist

New Cydonia

The Last Theme Song

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society


Brooklyn Babylon

Arturo Sandival/One O’Clock Lab Band

Funky Cha-Cha

Maria Schneider

Green Piece

Journey Home

Crescent Super Band

Tall and Lanky w/Jeff Coffin

St. Louis Blues 

Copyright 2017 Jazz Without Borders