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A Master Class in Improvisation and Effortless Playing with Kenny Werner, Part 2: Effortless Play through Diligent Practicing

Jazz pianist Kenny Werner has been recording music since the age of eleven, and has performed with luminaries like Archie Shepp, Joe Lovano, Ron Carter, Charlie Hadde, Randy Brecker as well as Toots Thielemans, with whom Werner has been playing since 1995. His approach to jazz is resolutely non-traditional, being based instead on his own inner sense of what sounds right at the time. His 1996 book “Effortless Mastery,” which articulates his approach to musical and mental preparation, has become a classic among jazz musicians, and has even won disciples from beyond music (such as business leaders and sports figures) who have successfully applied Werner’s principles to their own disciplines.

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Recorded on April 29, 2005, renowned jazz pianist and writer on the process of improvisation Kenny Werner hold a master class in improvisation and effortless playing for a small audience at New York University. In this segment, he demonstrates some mental techniques and practice methods that musicians can use to achieve effortless creativity, and further explains how musicians can use the mindset that Werner terms “the space” to enhance their musical abilities. The session concludes with an excerpt from a performance by Werner and his trio.

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