On Thursday March 24th 2022 at 6:30pm the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts will present a course called “The Beginnings of Jazz”. Taught by Winnipeg Jazz pianist Eris St. Goddard, this course will explore the emergence of  jazz from the 1800s through to the be-bop style of the 1950s.

Eric St. Godard is relatively new to the Winnipeg music scene. A recent graduate of Brandon University’s School of music, studying under jazz piano great Michael Cain, Godard is establishing himself on the Winnipeg musical landscape.

The course “The Beginnings of Jazz” will start with music coming out of the 1800s and the slave trade, and end at 1959. “To get a good scope of this music it was really important for me to go way back…I call it the pre-history, so that starts at about 1800…during the slave trade. You just sort of see it over time evolve into something that’s really intricate and interesting,” says Godard.

What makes this course really special is that you do not need to be a musician to enjoy this class. As St. Godard states, “You don’t have to play an instrument, if you have a really keen interest in music history, in jazz history, or you just want to learn something new. This is a really great opportunity to come out, have a good time and just learn something new.”

All the various styles of jazz that were prevalent in this period of 1800 through to 1959 will be discussed. Ragtime, Dixieland, the swing and big band era, as well as a little bit of be-bop.

Preeminent performers and composers will be spotlighted, such as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. St. Godard will demonstrate at the piano and use a mixture of recordings, and YouTube videos to demonstrate the different styles and feel of the various kind of jazz.

Beginnings of Jazz” costs just 25 dollars to attend, and the course will be offered both in person and virtually. Starting at 6:30pm on Thursday, March 24th and running till 8:30pm, this is a great opportunity to learn about jazz. You can sit at home, put your feet up and learn something new from someone who really knows the subject matter. What could be better!