The start of the new half-term means it’s officially time to crack(er) out the jazzy Christmas tunes. I must admit I’ve been tempted to try and slip these into lessons back in September but I’ve managed to resist until now! We have 7 lessons coming up until Christmas so there’s plenty of time to get stuck into learning these great tunes.
My favourite book of jazzy Christmas tunes has to be Nikki Iles’s Jazz on a Winter’s Night Vol 1. I Saw Three Ships and In The Bleak Midwinter are my favourite – they’re not your usual jazzy Christmas fayre and they really appeal to my teenage students. I’d recommend this book for students at Grade 3 level and above. If you like this book then you should also look at Volume 2 of Jazz on a Winter’s Night that was published last year. Nikki has also arranged the same tunes from Volume 1 for violinists.
There’s a gorgeous version of Silent Night in A Jazzy Christmas. There’s also a 2nd volume of this book that I’ve just spotted so I’ve placed an order for that. I’ll let you know what it’s like when I’ve had a play through the pieces.
I also love Pam Wedgwood’s After Hours Jazz Christmas. Pam is well known for her compositions aimed at piano learners but this collection really comes into its own with quite challenging arrangements of everyone’s favourite tunes. It’s also very reasonably priced too.