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Brainstorming vocal jazz, a New Approach 

As a composer and conductor, I always wondered why jazz choirs and/or jazz vocal groups all around the world are focused on two main paths: a ‘do-wop’ resemblance with some (predictable) use of close harmony voicings and Manhattan-Transfer-like virtuosic solos on one side, and the preeminence of pop tunes covers, beatboxing and vocal effects (human and console-added) on the other. But, what if we could just try to embody all the features of contemporary jazz writing and contemporary choral writing in one single compositional attitude? During my Master studies at Rotterdam, I’ve found that this is really possible, but you need to be aware of what you’ve got (as a composer, arranger or conductor), what’s around you, and how you could offer your contribution toFOREWORD:evolve vocal jazz music.


The subject of this workshop is to introduce to choral conductors and singers alike a new approach to compose, arrange and perform contemporary vocal jazz music: during the workshop we’ll explore in a first-hand adventure through the contemporary uses of jazz in a vocal group/choral context, ranging from open improvisation to close harmony.

Miguel A. Santaella born in Caracas, Venezuela, 1971. Husband and father of two. He received classes on Composition and Choral Conducting with renowned composers and conductors on three continents. Also, he studied BM on for four years, having as teachers Ricardo Teruel, IUDEMComposition at Miguel Ástor and Blas Emilio Aterhortúa, among others. He’s attending the Master in Music, Jazz Composition, at the Rotterdam Conservatory (CODARTS), with Paul van Brugge.

He won the Caracas City Award for Music on Vocal, Large Symphonic and Short Symphonic several times, and many other relevant compositions and arrangements awards in Venezuela. As a Conductor he obtained several local accolades and a Bronze Diploma on Vocal Jazz with Sies Seis at Vokal.Total 2007. Some works of his choral catalogue are now being published by Edition Ferrimontana, his chamber music catalogue is available through Cayambis Music Press, and soon some of his orchestral and jazz compositions will be published by Donemus.

Miguel was member of the Venezuelan Society for Contemporary Music, served as a Coordinator of Musical Activities at the School Of Architecture of the Central University of Venezuela and also wasVicepresident of the Central American & Caribbean Federation for Choral Music from 2012 until he moved to Europe in September 2014.


Bio en CAT

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