September 11, 2019
Harmonizing Passion and Education: A Conversation with Jazz Maestro Jason Ferrell
Delve into the world of jazz with Jason Ferrell, a distinguished educational representative based in Columbus, Ohio. With a life steeped in music and an unwavering passion for jazz, Jason shares his journey, influences, and insights into the art of jazz education.
Jason’s Musical Beginnings
Born and raised in Columbus, Jason’s musical journey began with the echoes of his brother’s trumpet during their childhood. “I grew up here and have lived here my whole life! My brother played trumpet, and I would always try and play his instrument when he brought it home,” Jason recalls. His path in music was further shaped by his experiences in the Junior High band at New Albany, under the guidance of Jerry Cheeseman, and his time as a soloist in The Ohio State Marching Band. Completing his degree in Music Education at Capital University, Jason played lead in the Big Band, honing his skills under Dr. Lou Fischer.
Jazz: A Lifelong Love Affair
When asked about his draw to jazz, Jason reminisces about the captivating performances of Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinson, and Bill Chase with the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus. “These were monumental to me wanting to continue to perform and play jazz,” he says. These experiences, alongside the music of legends like John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra, fueled his love for the genre.
Musical Influences and Mentors
“Maynard Ferguson was a major influence in the style that I love,” Jason shares. His musical journey was also significantly influenced by his parents’ support, providing him with resources to grow musically and spiritually. Mentors like Jim Stokes, Professor of Trumpet at Appalachian State, encouraged versatility and excellence in music, shaping Jason’s approach to embracing various styles.
Jason’s Instrumental Choices
A firm believer in consistency, Jason has played the same Bach Stradivarius trumpet since 1988. “I am not really a gearhead… I play what works; this seems to do it for me!” he explains. He emphasizes the importance of well-maintained classroom jazz instruments for student success, advising on selecting instruments and mouthpieces for many organizations.
Educating the Next Generation
Jason’s approach to introducing jazz to students is innovative and interactive. “I really like to start my students with lots of listening,” he says, advocating the use of technology like Spotify and YouTube for enhanced listening experiences. His teaching methods include call and response, group teaching, and emphasizing the importance of ensemble dynamics, starting from the lead trumpet player down.
Jason Ferrell’s story is a testament to the power of passion and dedication in the world of music education. His journey from a curious kid in Columbus to a respected jazz educator and performer exemplifies the transformative power of music. At Music & Arts, we celebrate Jason’s contribution to the world of jazz and music education, inspiring the next generation of musicians to find their rhythm in the vast world of music.
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from the world of Music & Arts!