LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The smooth sounds of jazz coming from the University of Louisville School of Music mean the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops are now underway.
For 52 years the workshops have drawn hundreds of people from all over the world. But there could be a major change coming soon.
Jazz icon Jamey Aebersold said anyone can improvise on an instrument. It's the method he's used to teach jazz for more than five decades. But, he may be getting ready to play his last note.
"The freedom to play on your instrument, what you hear in your head is what we're aiming for," Aebersold said.
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At his renowned summer workshops Aebersold combines the nation's leading jazz educators, drawing students from all over the world, like Shane Herbert from New Zealand.
"I come and be with, hang with the cats as they say," Herbert said.
Ariane Morin from Switzerland.
"It's a way for me to go back to the root of jazz because it's coming from your country," Morin said.
And Noel Brown from Australia.
"It's been the best thing I've done in my life, I know it sounds over the top doesn't it, but it's true," Brown said.
They've all got the chops and jam in combos. You can hear a little scat and boys that can blow through the halls of UofL's School of Music.
With Aebersold everyone gets a solo - an unusual approach.
"Jamey really studied what it was that the student needed," Herbert said.
It's what's made him famous. But after 52 years of success, this cool character may split.
"Somebody told me I'm getting older," Aebersold said.
Aebersold can only hold a note for so long. Though it's possible he'll just decide to take five. But before he goes he's clearing up one thing - jazz hands don't have a thing to do with jazz music.
"Jazz hands. Jazz hands. Okay so if you're playing the clarinet how are you going to that without hands? So no jazz hands," he said.
The Carnegie Center for Art and History is featuring an exhibit starting Dec. 8 that will take a look back at Jamey Aebersold's legacy as a jazz musician.