Mike Barden will present “Anatomy of a Jazz Session: What Makes the Magic?” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, at First United Methodist Church, 720 Demarest St., Waupaca.
Hosted by Winchester Academy, the program is free and open to the public.
Barden, along with a combo of local jazz musicians, will perform.
He will explain the language and vocabulary of jazz, from its most well-known rhythms to the structural elements of bass and drums, to the harmonic accompaniment of the chording instruments, to the free-wheeling and expressive melodies performed by the soloists.
Studying these elements one by one, then putting them back together again will help the listener understand and better appreciate what “makes the magic” of live jazz.
Barden is fluent in a variety of musical styles, including classical, pop, rock, blues, and jazz. He began his professional career at age 13 by playing piano for a wedding in his home town of Eagle River.
He earned his master’s degree in music composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and a diploma in audio engineering from the Audio Institute of America.
His endeavors have taken him into many different musical environments, playing piano as a soloist for hundreds of events and venues, playing in various groups, including the River Cities Jazz big band, the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, two groups with Monica, his wife–a jazz group called Uptown and a classic rock band called Downtown. He also plays keyboards and electric guitar in the Fox Valley rock band, Ask Your Mother.
From 1997 to 2008, Barden served as the music and worship director at Faith Community Church in Waupaca. He is also a recording engineer and owner of Muse Recording in Waupaca, which has recorded local artists and ensembles over the past 10 years.
The next free Winchester Academy program, scheduled for July 29, features Mike Link and Kate Crowley, a husband and wife team whose topic is “A Walk around Lake Superior.”