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Bruce Katz Master Class Programs

History of Blues


This is a condensed version of the course I created and taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This is ideally done in two 90 minute classes, but I have done it in the past in a single class.


  • I explore the origins of the music from historical recordings of work songs/field hollers to acoustic Country Blues, Classic Blues (1920’s/30s), Boogie Woogie,  pre-war Chicago, “Jump Blues, Electric Chicago Blues. 


  • If possible I include the gospel origins of Soul Music and early soul as well.


  • Extensive use of audio recordings and video


  • If my band is present, we will illustrate these styles live and discuss what we are all doing.


Artists discussed: Alan Lomax recordings, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Blind Willie McTell,  Louis Jordan, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Spann, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, Ray Charles, Freddie King, BB King  and others as time permits.


"I really enjoyed their performance.  I enjoyed the music and learning a little bit about the history of blues.  I could tell they were all very passionate about their music and that was cool." -  Aidm, 7th grade

Playing Blues Music in a traditional ensemble


This is a clinic that I do with my band present and is primarily for aspiring Blues musicians. We perform as a group and individually. The students can have their instruments with them and participate if there is time, space, gear.  Otherwise we play and discuss what we are doing.


  • Discuss and illustrate the roles of guitar, drums, bass, keyboards in different styles of Blues - Acoustic Blues, Electric Blues, Swing Blues.  


  • Break up into instrumental groups if space and time permit

"I learned a lot about blues.  It was fun and entertaining and I like how interactive it was."- Meyon, 8th grade

Hammond Organ Master Class


This is a discussion, illustration and performance using a traditional B3 or a double manual digital “clone”.  


  • Drawbars, Expression Pedal, Leslie speeds all are discussed


  • Differences between piano and organ touch


  • Special organ techniques - glissandos, percussion, chorus  

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