Upcoming Events

10:00 am Ellington Study Group LA – from ... @ Vitellos
Ellington Study Group LA – from ... @ Vitellos
Jun 24 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Ellington Study Group LA - from "Ko Ko" to KC. @ Vitellos | Los Angeles | California | United States
Join us on Friday, June 24th th, at 10 am at Vitello’s for another installment of the Ellington Study Group LA.  Class TBD….here’s info from the one last March: On the 25th we will start[...]

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The Ellington Study Group is led by composer and pianist Scott Healy, and is open to all music professionals.

The group is for professional composers, arrangers and performers from the Los Angeles area, and will feature hands-on study of classic scores and recordings—not just of Ellington's, but  of many influential jazz composers and bandleaders from Bennie Moten and Gil Evans to Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman.

Many thanks to the Academy of Scoring Arts for helping to make these events possible!

Classes are held at Vitello's E-Spot Lounge in Studio City, CA,  from 10am - noon. The $12 fee includes breakfast and unlimited coffee.


Classes, Past and Future

  • 6/24/2016
    Class material TBD! Last class was “Ko-Ko” and “Moten Swing”, we talked about form, voicing, and particularly orchestrating for a smaller horn section. Good stuff!
  • 3/25/16: From “Ko Ko” to KC
    On March 25th we will start an in-depth analysis of the iconic “Ko Ko” by Duke Ellington, using as a reference an excellent transcription by David Baker. This is another great Ellington piece from 1940 that looks both to the past and to the future, with great soloists, and featuring […]
  • Agenda for 12/18/15: Cootie, Gil and Russell..
    Listening to the classic “Concerto for Cootie” I’m hearing so many cool devices and trademark Duke sounds. I think we’re going to delve into that a little – maybe look at a few things from “Dimenuendo and Crescendo in Blue”, maybe not…I have a feeling […]
  • October Surprise: “St. Louis Blues” at 10/23 Class
    I was looking around for scores on the interwebs and happened upon artistshare.com, which among other great artists, features the recent Gil Evans project of composer and arranger Ryan Truesdale. At the August class we listened to Gil’s “St. Louis Blues” from Old Wine, New […]
  • August 6th, 2015 ESG at Vitello’s: Duke, Gil and More.
    A great turnout to the reboot of the ESG! On August 6th we had about 45 composers, arrangers and other interested parties really getting into “Dim and Cresc in Blue” by Ellington. We also checked out Gil Evans’ “St. Louis Blues” from his recording Old Wine, New […]

Works Studied (including pre-2015 classes)

  • “Concerto for Cootie”
    This iconic piece from 1940 features Cootie Williams on trumpet, and has some of the hippest stuff Ellington ever wrote. We took apart a great transcription by David Baker (can’t publish musical examples due to copyright law.)
  • Gil Evans: “St. Louis Blues”
    Composer Ryan Truesdell did a fantastic transcription of this classic Gil chart, which features Cannonball Adderley on alto. This is some hip st*t–great changes, voicings, groove, just the right space for the soloist. Gil is the master of […]
  • Blues for Pablo
    We talked about Gil Evans’ iconic “Blues for Pablo” which, among other things, has some great examples of gestural orchestration, or orchestration that is purposeful, and perhaps even melodic. I used some of the same materials […]
  • Bennie Moten: “Moten Swing”
    Click for PDF’s of class handouts: Moten Swing Shout Moten Swing-SH-reduction Parallel Motion Ex’s
  • Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue
    Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” has some great riffs, innovative orchestration, and advanced harmony, especially considering he wrote it in the mid 1930’s. He didn’t know he was breaking the rules […]

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