Pianist Brian Haas, drummer Josh Raymer, and bassist/effects wizard/guitarist Reed Mathis occupy a rather unique place in the music world. To say that JFJO's music transcends boundaries is an understatement. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's bold, amorphous and visceral music is influenced just as much by post-rock and ambient electronica as traditional jazz standards, chamber music and free improvisation.
JFJO's music generates an all-encompasing sensory experience for the listener. Since 1994 JFJO's virtuosic instrumental interplay, uncanny ability to communicate musically and near-telepathic improvisation has won over fans and critics alike all over North America, Europe and South America. In April 2008 JFJO released their fourteenth album, 'Lil Tae Rides Again,' their fourth release with Brooklyn-based Hyena Records. Garnering rave reviews in SF Weekly, Absolute Sound, Downbeat, and more, the album marks a departure from the past, with a focus placed on orchestrating sonic tapestries based on minimalist melodies and sweeping tonal textures.
In 2004, JFJO released their first album with Hyena Records, Walking with Giants. 2005 saw the release of their second Hyena album, The Sameness of Difference, an album of 13 songs (all but one recorded in one day) produced by recording heavyweight and Hyena label head Joel Dorn. Unlike the all-originals Giants, more than half of Sameness's tunes are covers of songs by a remarkably eclectic set of composers (Bjork, Brian Wilson, Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Neil Young). This latest effort continues in the groups quest for constant change and exploration, once again re-imagining their creative horizons and blurring genres.
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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has developed a program of workshops and master classes for aspiring
professional musicians, music students and music lovers. Having played together in JFJO since 1994,
Brian Haas and Reed Mathis have shared over a decade of experience, training and insight in the music
business. Recent addition Josh Raymer grew up drumming in the Salvation Army, and has drummed a
variety of settings across the country. The trio has performed together numerous times including
shows at countless universities, at America's finest jazz clubs, and in seven foreign countries. Besides
being seasoned professional musicians and having played with the likes of John Scofield, Charlie Hunter
and Jon Fishman, the members of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey are all experienced instructors. For years,
all three musicians have given individual private lessons and together they have given master classes in
the United States and Brazil. Haas earned a degree in Music Composition from the University of Tulsa
while the others have gained their education largely on the road. The members of JFJO are personable,
friendly individuals who are adept at engaging audiences in stimulating discussion. JFJO's workshops
are like their music; they are a lively dialogue of ideas and conversations rather than a rigid lecture. The
goal of workshops is for participants to learn and grow, but to also have an enjoyable time. Workshops
are an opportunity for personal interaction between participants and members of JFJO, in which all can
share thoughts and ideas, on music and other subjects, in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Any
program of instruction can be tailored to meet specific needs and an individual master class could
contain components of all or some of the below programs. All master classes are concluded with a Q &
The Music Business
Surviving as an avant-garde music ensemble is no easy task. Taking an avant-garde jazz trio
from the bars of Tulsa, Oklahoma to some of the best jazz clubs and festivals in the world is even more
impressive. Listen to the members of JFJO discuss the perseverance, sacrifices and hard work necessary
to survive and thrive on the road. Hear stories and find out what it takes to "live the dream" and what it
feels like to play over 250 shows a year while touring and living almost full-time in a van. Learn JFJO's
secrets on how to stay mentally and physically healthy on the road.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has received enormous praise from music critics. Critics have lauded
the trio for being different, innovative and defying musical categories. Hear the members of JFJO
discuss how to find your own musical voice and make original art in a homogenous music business as
they also consider the sources of their creativity and artistic decisions as individual players and as an
ensemble. Possible topics of discussion include "Relaxing at Your Instrument: The Art of Saying
Something New," "Making a Standard Your Own," and "Playing as an Ensemble: The Art of Not Soloing."
Other topics that will be discussed are taking your improvisation to the next level, composing, and how
to develop self-discipline, good habits and personal goals for practicing your instrument.
For Music Lovers and Listeners
Workshops for non-musicians will explore the role of art and music in society, including art's
role in communication and social change as well as ideas of creativity. The members of JFJO will discuss
influential recordings and musicians that have inspired JFJO's musical direction and journey. JFJO will
also instruct workshop participants in how to become a better active listener. Subjects may include
how to listen into the music, what to listen for, listening between the notes, who to listen to, and how
to do it.
For more information, please contact Eric Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org