http://www.invitationtohelsinki.fi/wp-content/themes/ith

Davey Yarborough

Davey Yarborough Director of Jazz Program, Duke Ellington School of the Arts Native Washingtonian Davey Yarborough's commitment to music began in the third grade with the coveted silver clarinet of his best friend. "I went home and told my dad I wanted a silver clarinet," says Yarborough. "I knew right then I wanted to be a musician." Largely self-taught until college, he developed his ear, teaching himself through experimenting with different instruments and listening to his parents diverse record collection.

A performer, bandleader, composer and arranger, and educator, Yarborough's award-winning career includes work with such jazz greats as Sir Roland Hanna, Keter Betts, Billy Eckstine, Buck Hill, Shirley Horn, Lena Horne and Joe Williams, and Wynton Marsalis. Playing at clubs and concert halls, Yarborough has also performed at major jazz festivals including the East Coast Jazz Festival and the Blues/Jazz festival of San Remo, Italy. The creator and director of the jazz orchestra "The New Washingtonians" and director of the jazz program at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Washington, DC, Yarborough is a tireless champion for aspiring young performers. A recipient of the 1998 Mayor's Arts Award in Washington, D.C., for Excellence in Dedication to the Arts-he and his wife, Esther Williams, recently launched the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, a mentoring program for children who know at an early age they want to be artists. "This is my dream. We give them free lessons and career guidance. I had no early formal training, my parents weren't part of the music world. I understand the importance of this access."

Yarborough has traveled extensively throughout the world with his Jazz Orchestra, and looks forward to exploring the culture of Finland. "Usually, when I'm abroad cultural engagement comes through the kids when they're performing and getting them to interact with their peers. I'd like to see how Finnish youth are brought into the arts, and look at the educational process for ideas on how to enhance what we're doing here, and creating exposure for our work here."

Entries

Future Forward – Davey Yarborough

In Helsinki, Davey Yarborough found himself opened to a “whole culture with emphasis on education and the facilitation of education.” Says Yarborough, “In Finland, music education is facilitated, all the way from elementary school to college. Here the mandate of having instrumental music programs in the elementary level and secondary level was relaxed quite a few years ago. We’ve been trying to recover ever since.” Seeing what he calls ‘an example of what the possibilities are when things are right,” Yarborough, despite budget cuts, finds himself newly inspired as a driving force for the move back toward that kind of level of music accessibility for all students. (more…)

Read more

Journal of Davey Yarborough

This last day is my opportunity to see whatever I choose. After  breakfast I am met by Susanna and guided through the shopping district where I pick up a few Finnish gifts to share with family. I collected brochures from some of the designer shops to share for future shopping as well. We walked to the  Rock Church (a landmark and beautiful structure carved through stone and adorned with copper ceiling and trim). A young lady was playing the french horn quite informally. The sound was most pleasing although the audience was quite modest.  I took my 1st tram ride (reminding me of my younger days in DC) to the Museum of modern Art where we saw an exhibit of works dedicated to several religions complete with background music and filmed discussions of the works. (more…)

Read more

Journal of Davey Yarborough

This morning I sat in on two doctoral candidate auditions The audition panel consisted of  faculty members , The principal of the University, A national music treasure and  the current head of jazz studies. Following the performance, the candidates discussed their desired dissertation projects and ambitions. After the candidates were dismissed, the panel discussed each audition at length. In the end both candidates were accepted. (more…)

Read more

Journal of Davey Yarborough

At 9:30 am Mikko met me at the hotel and we took a scenic walk to the Historic Torni hotel that overlooks Helsinki with a breathtaking view over the water where you can see where the cruise ships dock and most of the historic landmarks. It’s gorgeous in the spring, I hear that it is even prettier weather breaks and the foliage greens. We had a delicious breakfast of croissants, fruit, salmon juices, a strawberry smoothie and coffee. We then stopped at one of the buildings designed by the famous artist Alvar Aalto.  I took a picture of a famous door handle of his design. (more…)

Read more

Journal of Davey Yarborough

I visited the Sibelius Academy and toured the jazz, folk and education departments with  Jari Perkiomaki. I met Jyrki Tenni (head of education program) who also teaches piano accompaniment for jazz and popular music. I had lunch at the town hall with the Deputy Mayor and Janne Murto (principal of the Pop and Jazz Conservatory) after having coffee on the Helsinki downtown waterfront  restaurant ship. (more…)

Read more

Journal of Davey Yarborough

I was met at the Helsinki airport by my host for the week ”Jari“ and taken to the beautiful Haven hotel where I was checked in and freshened up. At five pm I am to experience the 1st of my traditional events at a private sauna . From there I’ll go back to the hotel for a relaxing evening. The hotel Haven is a luxury facility with the comforts of home and more. I am truly spoiled (more…)

Read more

Host

Jari Perkiömaki Dean, Head of Jazz studies, Sibelius Academy Jari Perkiömaki

The mission of the Sibelius Academy's Jazz Department is to provide the highest level of jazz education in Finland at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.

Mr Yarborough's programme will consist of visiting the department, observing the collective teaching and meeting the faculty teachers. Mr Yarborough will be invited to different concert and jam sessions with the teachers and students of the jazz and music education programmes. In addition, the programme will include familiarisation with the two other jazz degree programmes in Helsinki: one at the Helsinki Pop and Jazz Conservatory and the Jazz and Pop programme at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.