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José James – “Leading Your Band”

José James talks about bringing a song to your band and leading them through a live performance or recording session. He walks through his 2018 Newport Jazz performance of Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” as an example.

EDUCATOR RESOURCES

SUBJECT: José James talks about bringing a song to your band and leading them through a live performance or recording session. He walks through his 2018 Newport Jazz performance of Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” as an example. The video is broken into three sections: 1) Dream It; 2) Feel It; 3) Tell It.

Age/Skill-Level Recommendation: Intended for intermediate to advanced level music students, ages 14 and up.

Topics Discussed: Bandleading, Songwriting, Collaboration, Performing Live, Studio Performance, How to be in a Band, Covering Songs

Recommended Use: We recommend this video be used to teach students who have experience playing an instrument and have shown interest in starting a band, improving their role as a bandleader, or performing with others. José breaks down what it means to lead a band both on stage and in the studio.

Discussion Questions

Before the Video

  • What does the word “bandleader” mean to you?

After the Video

  • What qualities make for an effective bandleader?
  • What does José mean when he says, “put in the work”? And why is that important?
  • Why is it important to be able to share your “vision” as a bandleader?
  • What “tips” or “ticks” do you learn from José about how to become a better bandleader?

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Suggested Sessions

"My Process"
"Saint James"
Live Wax with Christian McBride

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