Mentoring & Education

All four members of Black Diamond are active educators in the city of Chicago, and together we provide young musicians around the country with invaluable lessons in music, professionalism, culture, and connectivity. When working with students of any age, we strive to open their minds to an experience and material that will expand their skillset and raise their awareness of extra-musical topics.

 
 Guest lecturing Professor Gregory Youtz's Intro to Ethnomusicology class at Pacific Lutheran University in March, 2018. Much of our material is influenced and informed by music from around the world. During our lecture we discussed  paying proper homage vs. cultural appropriation, elements of native Amazonian, Buddhist, and Indian artist practices, and the connection of world musics through improvisation. 

Guest lecturing Professor Gregory Youtz's Intro to Ethnomusicology class at Pacific Lutheran University in March, 2018. Much of our material is influenced and informed by music from around the world. During our lecture we discussed  paying proper homage vs. cultural appropriation, elements of native Amazonian, Buddhist, and Indian artist practices, and the connection of world musics through improvisation. 

 
"This is a group that not only performs beautifully, they also present a wonderful workshop, inviting questions, answering thoughtfully, and responding uniquely to a given audience. I would recommend Black Diamond most highly to my colleagues in colleges and universities, as the perfect group to showcase aspects of jazz, world music, and richly creative musical composition and improvisation."

-Gregory Youtz, Professor of Music Composition and Instructor of world music courses, Pacific Lutheran University.

 
 Neil and Matt working with jazz ensemble members at Whitworth Universty in Spokane, WA. 

Neil and Matt working with jazz ensemble members at Whitworth Universty in Spokane, WA. 

During our workshops at Whitworth University, we covered a range of topics including: ensemble blend, clear communication/marking of the song form, motivic development, and the importance of knowing the personnel on the recording in discussion. 

 Teaching material by ear to jazz students at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Teaching material by ear to jazz students at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Feature 3

Our time spent at Slippery Rock University centered around the magical (and lesser known) Charlie Parker recording of Cherokee from 1942. Artie and Hunter performed the solo along with the recording, and then through analysis of selected motifs and concepts, demonstrated the invaluable and infinite process of transcription. 

This specific recording illuminates a particularly fascinating transitional period in Parker's development of his improvisational voice, capturing his shift between diatonic/riff-based swing era language and the chromatic and unpredictable approach that would eventually be called bebop. 


Individual members' education and experience

Artie Black - Saxophone instructor at Neuqua Valley High School, visiting lecturer at Wheaton College, and woodwind director for Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Youth Ensemble. For more information, visit http://artieblack.com/about

Hunter Diamond - Multiple woodwinds instructor at Flatts and Sharpe Chicago. For full teaching and education history, visit http://www.hunterdiamond.com/bio/

Matt Ulery -International teaching artist/composer and professor of composition at Loyola University. For more about Matt's performance and teaching schedule, visit https://www.mattulery.com/

Neil Hemphill - Chicago drumset/percussion educator.