Born: August 31, 1976 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Jazz artist and trumpeter Gregory Rivkin is definitely on his way to becoming one of the most tasteful, creative and distinctive instrumental improvisers.
Russian-born Israeli, Gregory Rivkin was introduced to jazz when a family member “hipped” him to recordings by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, and John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie.
Today, stepping into the phase of artistic maturity, Rivkin’s playing reflects not only academic knowledge of musical traditions but also broader influences from modern jazz. He maintains a fresh open-minded approach towards the creative process of performance and improvisation.
His unique talent, sense of swing, compositional skills, and virtuosity present a genuine portrait of the ideal jazz musician. From the moment he plays his first note, this capacity can be heard and noticed. The International Trumpet Guild Journal notes Rivkin’s “extremely flawless technique” and describes his improvisational style as “lyrical, nicely flowing and hard-swinging melodic lines very reminiscent of Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw.” After hearing Mr. Rivkin play, jazz legend Lou Donaldson compared Gregory’s creativity and facility to the musical quality of his fellow trumpeter, jazz icon Clifford Brown. On his way to international acclaim as a performer and educator, Rivkin has appeared not only on the stage of prestigious U.S. venues such as Carnegie Hall, Blue Note, and The Hollywood Bowl but also at music festivals and master classes in Europe and the Middle East. Gregory won several national and international competitions in both jazz and classical disciplines. His selected sideman credentials include working with Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Ray Charles Memorial Band, Mingus Big-Band, Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson and collaborations with veterans of such caliber as: Don Braden, Harvie S, Ralph La-Lama, Vic Juris, Onage Allan-Gumbs, to name only a few.
For more information visit Gregory Rivkin’s website: www.gershonmusic.com
Awards:Please,see web-site: www.gershonmusic.com, click on "info"
...Lyrical , nicely -flowing and hard swinging lines in true-bop fashion, very reminiscent of Freddy Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw. -International Trumpet Guild Journal
...Gregory Rivkin sounds like the trumpeter, who use to work in my band-Clifford Brown… -Lou Donaldson, Saxophonist, Jazz Legend ...Gregory Rivkin is an outstandingly talented musician…a virtuoso trumpet player… -Vera Stern, President America-Israel Cultural Foundation
...Mr. Rivkin is a musical genius and has an exceptional knowledge of both classical and jazz traditions ...An extraordinary trumpet-player… -Paul Mercer Ellington, Leader and Conductor Duke Ellington Orchestra
...Unusually warm timbre and graceful performance of most challenging passages.
...The talking sound of Gregory Rivkin's trumpet carries away the spirits of each audience member up to their private innermost spheres. -Lora Berezovsky, Forum, New York
… With his persuasive sound and economical improvisatory style, trumpeter Gregory Rivkin tells a story with chords played in imaginative ways and lines that unfold surprisingly. -Zan Stewart, Newark Star Ledger
South Orange, NJ
COLLEGE APPOINTMENTS 2005-2006 Adjunct Instructor Jazz/Music Appreciation, Instrumental Ensembles and Trumpet Essex County College, Newark, NJ/West Caldwell, NJ OTHER TEACHING EMPLOYMENT 2006-Present Faculty Member, Resident Artist O.S.P.A.C. Jazz Workshop, West Orange, NJ 2005-Present Faculty Member/Trumpet Instructor Newark School of the Arts, Newark, NJ Certification: The state of New Jersey Standard License (pending) The State of New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility(Music) The State of New Jersey Provisional Certificate
GREGORY RIVKIN MASTER CLASS OUTLINE SUBJECT: An acclamation of modern trumpeter in art of jazz and jazz improvisation. PART ONE The importance of classical academic fundamentals: training and knowledge of standard academic repertoire, written for trumpet. How a trumpeter, who decided to pursue a career of a jazz musician, can use academic training and classical standards for his/her advantages? The advantage of correct habits, acquired in early phase of training: Breathing technique Embouchure position Correct and comfortable posture in standing or sitting position Perfecting above mentioned factors when warming up All of these correct habits, acquired in early phase of musical development, are % 100 guarantees to the psychological confidence, when the instrumentalist is working on the technical output of the musical information (articulation, finger technique and coordination, embouchure flexibility). WHAT KIND OF BENEFIT A JAZZ TRUMPETER CAN GET FROM USING CLASSICAL WARM UP ROUTINES -perfected ear training -improved awareness of harmony, leading tones, intervals, chord progressions (from theoretical perspective) -re-enforcing the progress of development as an instrumentalist - The awareness of the importance of the rhythm (steady pulse). SHOWING EXAMPLES BY WARMING UP USING: Schlossberg’s Method Arban’s Method Clarke’s Method Various Etudes by Brandt, Charlier, Wurm, Smith… Concentrate on: Rhythmic, intervallic and harmonic analyzes Melodic Structures (motives, sequences) Connection with Jazz: Jazz Composition, Improvisation is outgrown of European Classical Music, Folk Genres of European and African Continents. What unique about jazz is that this art-form invites every culture and every musical heritage in. It is very important to be musically open-minded and grasp as much musical information as you can. PART TWO Brief overview of Phases of development of JAZZ: New Orleans era Swing Era Modern Jazz History of Jazz Trumpet Discussing the tradition of jazz trumpet from two directions: 1. From New Orleans Era to Now 2. Backwards: From Now to the Roots The second one is based on a possibility that young generation will have a better connection if they would be exposed to the art of contemporary jazz artists, who keep relatively contemporary dressing code and produce music with a contemporary sound quality, using modern technology. JAZZ ARTICULATION Attack, Tonguing, Slurring, Doodle-Tonguing An Approach to articulation when playing in a big-band An approach to articulation, when playing in small groups, solo, etc. IMPROVISATION -Awareness of MELODIC CONCEPT (rhythmic sequence, applying notes on the rhythmic sequence following the rule of voice leading; proper or tasteful choice of notes creates intricate melody) -NOT “PLAYING CHANGES”, but “PLAYING MELODIC STRUCTURES OVER CHORD PROGRESSIONS” -Improvisation through Composition and Composition through Improvisation (develop structured solo) -Musicality (emotions, intellect, spirit) PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT Euphoric or Honeymoon Stage (everything seems so clear and easy) Rejection Stage (culture shock, lots of unfamiliar recordings, too many artists pursuing same goal, hierarchy) Regression Stage (awareness that you need to work too hard or feeling incompetent in your “field” or not good enough about your artistry, anger and negative emotions) Integration Stage (dealing with new musical information. The goal is to understand that learning something new will not wash away all the information that you already know. Be open minded and positive) Acceptance Stage(understanding that the way to the mastery is a lifetime process; starting accepting the responsibilities, basically, making everything you can to progress and finally— getting on the track of control of the instrument and musical information; creating a style and developing as an artist) TRUMPET TALK Choosing a mouthpiece: Rim (contour, size) Cup (shapes, sise) Back-bore (shape, size) Every mouthpiece has its own pitch Choosing a Trumpet Importance of tight valve section, checking trumpet for leaks, compression, valve alignment Lead pipe variety Bell options How to match a mouthpiece to the trumpet (gap: finding personal amount of resistance needed to produce the sound of music with confidence).An acknowledgement to Claudio Roditi and Hal Oringer 2007 Copyright by Gregory Rivkin