Grammy Winners Pay Visit to St. Francis

By Bob Bertke, Middle School and High School MusicFullSizeRender (2)

On Monday afternoon, St. Francis music students were treated to an amazing experience! Three-time Grammy winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin, from The Dave Matthews Band, and five-time Grammy winning percussionist Roy “FutureMan” Wooten, from Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, performed and taught a class on improvisation to the High School music students and Middle School Jazz Band. They started off with an improvised piece that was jaw-droppingly amazing, and then went into the hows and whys of what they did. Their class centered on Jeff’s “Big Five” fundamentals:

  • Listening
  • Tone and Dynamics
  • Rhythm and Time
  • Articulation
  • Harmony

Coffin and FutureMan went into detailed explanations for each of these, which included examples from a variety of topics such as Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, Socrates, and even Dr. Seuss. The two legendary artists displayed not only incredible playing but true mastery of education. Coffin and FutureMan provided an experience that our students will never forget.

“Going to see a Grammy Award-winning drummer like FutureMan has always been a dream of mine as a young drummer. I learned so much about feeling the music and how I need to ‘think not do.’ Overall, it was amazing.”
Parker Smith, 7th grade

Check out The Courier-Journal coverage of this event here.