We sat down to speak with Dr. Aaron Lington and Chris Motter on jazz and jazz improvisation.  Dr. Lington shares how technology has changed the way people play and learn to play jazz. There is a lot students can do with technology today he shares.  Mother shares how he uses technology to transcribe the music on his computer and learn to play tracks.

How and when do they improvise well-known jazz standards? It is a 3-stage process explains Dr. Lington. It starts with mimicking, followed by assimilation and finally innovate on that track. Not every jazz musician gets to that third stage of innovation he points out. Louis Armstrong was an innovator as was Duke Ellington among others he adds.

Dr.Lington and Motter then do a show and tell of jazz improvisation. They play a few well-known jazz standards like Billy Strayhorn’s Take The A Train followed by their version of improvisation.

Dr. Lington plays the baritone saxophone and Motter plays jazz guitar. Dr. Lington is a musician, teacher and composer, who teaches at San Jose State University. He is also a member of the Grammy winning band Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Motter graduated from San Jose University in music.

April is #jazzappreciation month.

This interview was sponsored by Zoho Corp and aired on TV in the US.

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Dr. Aaron Lington and Chris Motter play their version of Bags’ Groove, a well-known jazz tune by Milt Jackson. Dr. Lington shares how they have funkified their version and explains how they improvised this well-known jazz number.

Dr. Lington is an educator, composer and arranger, who teaches at San Jose State University. Motter is a musician and guitarist, who got his master’s in music from San Jose State.

This interview was sponsored by Zoho Corp.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.



San Jose Jazz

San Jose Jazz

San Jose Jazz Summerfest celebrates its 26th year from August 7-9, 2015. The 3 day celebration will see over 100 performances spread across 12 stages in downtown San Jose. There is something for every one from jazz to blues to salsa to soul to zydeco music.

The opening night features San Francisco Bay Area’s Con Brio and Chicago’s JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound in the main stage.

Here are some of the guests featured in this year’s jazz festival: Eddie PalmieriOran Etkin, Javon Jackson, Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz and Donald Harrison,  Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band; Dave Haskell Group,  Jamie Dubberly & Orquesta Dharma, Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia, Bombay Jazz and others.

The festival always features local musicians and high school bands. Sylvia Cuenca New York QuartetNatalie Cressman, Aaron LingtonLe Boeuf BrothersSan Jose Jazz High School All Stars and San Jose Jazz Summer Camp Combo are some of the musicians from the bay area. You can catch most of them in the Silicon Valley stage during the festival.

Brazil’s award winning 20-piece jazz band Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz will play at this year’s festival. The band is also playing at New  York’s Lincoln Center.

Trumpeter Etienne Charles will have his world premiere of “San Jose Suite.”  The piece explores stories, rituals, native chants, rhythms, and other cultural elements of 3 different San Jose’s – in Trinidad, Costa Rica and California.

For tickets  and information about San Jose Jazz Summerfest visit their website.

Video: Dr. Aaron Lington on Music, Jazz and Grammy Winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Dr. Aaron Lington is baritone saxophonist, composer/arranger and jazz professor at San Jose State University (SJSU). He is also involved with the San Jose Jazz and is the director of the San Jose High School All Stars band. And he is also a member of San Francisco bay area’s Grammy winning group Pacific Mambo Orchestra and performs with them around the San Francisco bay area on a regular basis.

We sat down to talk with Dr. Lington to find out how he developed an interest in music and majored in it and went to do a PhD in it. He has been teaching at SJSU for over 10 years, and finds time from his busy schedule to arrange and compose music and play music with local bands in the bay area.