2022 Spring Newsletter: Jazzin' AfterSchool "Bass Walk and Talk" MasterClass with Corcoran Holt

by Heidi Martin, Education Coordinator


In partnership with Sitar Arts Center, DC Jazz Festival Education’s Jazzin’ AfterSchool program provides weekly instrument training and jazz history sessions for Sitar music students year-round. At the end of each semester, students enrolled in the course are joined by upwards of 80 other Sitar music students for a lively masterclass session focusing exclusively on jazz performance, history, and appreciation.

As part of the spring program, DCJF presented the Jazzin’ AfterSchool MasterClass “Bass Walk and Talk” with Corcoran Holt at the Theatre at Sitar Arts Center on Wednesday, April 6th.

World-renowned bassist, educator and mentor Corcoran Holt served as the instructor for the MasterClass where he demonstrated the roles and responsibilities of the bass on the bandstand throughout various genres of music. He played the compositions of elders such as Night In Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie, So What by Miles Davis and Bolivia by Cedar Walton, as well as contemporary music. He spoke on how the evolution of the bassline began from its representation in music first in the instrument of tuba, then the upright and electric bass. He explained how on each of these instruments bass was providing the root, the harmony and later in It’s evolution, the bassline was providing the melody of the tune. He played solo and also provided audio of full band versions. Students were then able to perform with Holt before performing as a unit under Holt’s direction.


“I really thought it was an amazing master class! Thanks so much for your efforts and as always, we deeply value the ongoing partnership with DCJF,” said Ayanna Blue, Director of Community Arts Education at Sitar Arts Center After attending the “Bass Walk and Talk” with Corcoran Holt.”


This Jazzin’ AfterSchool MasterClass is part of the 2022 DC Jazz Festival Education Program, and made possible by a major grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: with additional funding from the Galena-Yorktown Foundation, The John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation, Venable Foundation, and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation.

Learn more about our other education programs by visiting dcjazzfest.org/education.