Giacomo Gates Vocalese Masterclass

Join us on Saturday, May 19 for the Giacomo Gates Vocalese Masterclass!

Learn the special art of Vocalese, a style of singing in which the performer put words to jazz tunes and previously improvised instrumental solos. Participants should bring a musical chart, or lead sheet and be prepared to perform a tune that they know well—and get ready to take it to the next level. Giacomo Gates Vocalese Masterclass is excellent for singers of all levels and great for instrumentalists too!
Price: In-Person: $85 in advance or $100 at the door, $49 streaming online (with limited teacher interaction)
Date: Saturday, May 19
Time: 1-5pm
Location: Michiko Studios (149 W 46th Street)


About Giacomo Gates

Giacomo Gates does more than sing “a bunch of songs.” He is truly an entertainer, for all ages and styles, as audiences enjoy the music, the interaction on the bandstand between him and his musicians, the spontaneity, the humor, the stories about the music and composers, along with their relation to everyday life. People are smiling, having a good time, while thoroughly enjoying the music. What usually lacks in most of today’s performances is obviously present … fun!
-Description & History of Vocalese

-Instrumentally Singing / Singing Instrumentally
-Breathing / Phrasing
-Telling Stories Through Lyrics and Performance
-Vocal Care
-Demonstration and Interaction with the Rhythm Section
-Improvisation (Scat-Singing and Re-Phrasing of a Melody)
-Picking the Best Keys and Tempos

The criteria for defining jazz singing will probably be argued for the rest of time. But no matter which side of the argument one may be on, there can be no doubt that Giacomo Gates is an authentic jazz vocalist. Heavily steeped in the traditions of the original vocal improvisers from Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald through their modern counterparts Betty Carter and Leon Thomas, Giacomo’s own approach draws most heavily from the bebop-rooted masters like Jon Hendricks, Babs Gonzales, King Pleasure and most of all, Eddie Jefferson. Like his influences, Gates has forged his own unique path.

Like his mentors, Gates would translate great instrumental solos into Vocalese, including the works of Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Gene Ammons, Charlie Rouse and many others, also penning lyrics to classic jazz compositions. In citing his influences, Giacomo states “Some of my favorite singers are Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Lester Young. They were singing through the horn. If that isn’t singing, I don’t know what is!”

Giacomo has performed with such notables as Jon Hendricks, Lou Donaldson, Freddie Hubbard, Don Friedman, Billy Mitchell, James Spaulding, Eddie Bert, Earl May, Sheila Jordan, Richie Cole, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Hilton Ruiz, and more. His primary focus has been leading his own groups, which has taken him all over the U.S. and other parts of the world. Playing major clubs, major festivals and at countless universities and jazz societies, Giacomo’s enormous appeal and popularity are obvious from the many repeat engagements he has had at these venues. He’s also performed and taught in Europe, Russia and Australia.

Gates has eight heavily acclaimed CDs, all charting in the Top 20, with two #1 recordings, for six and four weeks! The most recent release in April 2017, “What Time is it?” on Savant Records (his 4th on Savant), garnering rave reviews and receiving heavy airplay and reaching number 8 on the national jazz radio charts.