Don Braden is a dedicated, experienced and passionate educator. His vast experience with jazz masters Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Roy Haynes, and many others has helped him develop a thorough understanding of all aspects of jazz. For over 20 years, he has served as Music Director the Litchfield Jazz Camp, and has been MD for the Texas Jazz & Blues Camp for 5 years.He is also part of the innovative New York Comes to Groningen program at the Prins Claus Conservatoire in Groningen, the Netherlands. For many years he worked as an instructor for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops and for William Paterson University, and he ran programs for NJPAC's Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens and Montclair State University. He recently completed a three-year appointment as Interim Conductor of the Harvard Monday Jazz Band, and currently runs the Harvard Jazz Combo Initiative.
(Braden in Cleveland during the 2004 Tri-C Jazz Fest)
Don Braden as Guest Artist -- With his extensive high-level Jazz experience, positive energy, excitement and musicality, Braden is an outstanding guest soloist for any kind of ensemble. He's great with young people and pros alike. He has over 15 big band charts at various levels available, as well as 4 pieces for full symphonic orchestra (with Jazz quartet.)
Braden has done master classes, residencies and guest soloist appearances at educational institutions all over the U.S. and Europe, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Spellman College, Morehouse University, Clark Atlanta University, University of Denver, University of Louisville, University of Southern Florida, Miami-Dade Community College, Portland State University, Duke University, the Rotterdam Conservatory, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the New School for Social Research, the Manhattan School of Music, Williams College, and others, plus a variety of high, middle and elementary schools.
Don Braden's charts include a number of solid college/pro level big band charts, as well as a host of medium and small ensemble arrangements, many of which can be heard on his CDs. He also has four original works (so far) for full symphonic orchestra with jazz ensemble, which includes a premiere of "Vox Populi Mundi" (co-compsed with Dutch bassist Joris Teepe) in the Netherlands in November 2006 for Queen Beatrix (Queen at the time, currently Princess).
Don Braden Jazz Seminars
Saxophone Master Class
This class focuses on the physical elements of jazz saxophone performance. Braden will demonstrate proper posture, good breathing techniques, sound production, pitch control, embouchure, and mouthpiece positioning. Discussion will also include elements specific to saxophones, including reeds, mouthpieces, ligatures, neckstraps, and general maintenance. Students' performances will be critiqued.
Don Braden Quartet Master Class
Members of the Don Braden Quartet will demonstrate various improvisational techniques and discuss band interaction, rehearsal and cueing. They will also demonstrate and comment on thei respective instruments.
Techniques of Improvisation: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
This series outlines the tools of jazz improvisation for various levels and includes rhythm (swing!), melody, chords and scales. Special emphasis is placed on developing piano skills, and basic piano voicings. Advanced students will learn to enhance their command of extended harmony, theme and variation, jazz phrasing and odd metric groupings
The Business of Music -- Where's the Money?
Successful strategies for earning your keep through music.
Personal Finance for Working Musicians
Topics include long term investing, insurance, tax management and suggestion for avoiding or eliminating debt.
Take Excellent Care: Health and Fitness for Jazz Musicians
Learn how to play your best for the long term by staying strong and healthy.
Priorities for Practice
Ideas for designing your daily practice routines for maximum effectiveness.
Practical Scale Practice
Practice scale most effectively for jazz by developing good habits.
Don can also provide workshops of various lengths on any of these topics: