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Jazz String
                                            Descriptions of Jazz String Publications
         Click the link above to view the score and listen to midi samples of the works that follow)

    These jazz charts sound best when used with a live rhythm section (piano, amplified bass, guitar, and
    drums). Each selection is shipped with a CD synthesized version of the full arrangement and a rhythm
    section track for rehearsal, and or, performance purposes. Although these charts were written for the
    Washington Jazz String Project (click here for a link), a chamber jazz string group of 4-4-2-2 and rhythm
    section, they will work for string quartet plus rhythm section or larger string orchestras. There is plenty of
    space for improvisation with chord changes in the first violin part. A written solo is always included for the
    novice jazz improviser. Except as noted, all parts remain in first position.  
    Grade 2

  • Folk Song Blues-offers the opportunity to feature one or more of your beginning soloists.  Ideal for
    elementary school or high school and middle school recruiting concerts, this selection uses tunes that
    are familiar to young students but are set in a "bluesy fashion."  It is a great place to begin improvisation
    study as everyone can use the D blues scale.   
  • Scalin' the Blues-is an effective piece for introducing young string players to jazz improvisation and
    learning how to swing.  It will also reinforce the traditional teaching of low 2nd finger for F natural.  There
    are two written-out solos, but encourage students to learn the D Blues scale and create their own.

    Grade 3
  • Life’s A Mystery-  is an original standard 32 bar tune in a happy-go-lucky light swing tempo. It’s sure to
    set your audience’s toes a tapping.
  • Nanni Nanni Boo Boo Bossa Nova - uses that familiar tune we hear children using on the playground.  
    It has a catchy Latin flavor and is playable by younger groups.
  • Tre Blue- is a light jazz waltz with 12 bar blues changes.  
  • Praise & Swing- is a gospel swing tune with “Show Me The Way to Go Home” chord changes.  It opens
    with a hymn and then goes into “back-beat” gospel swing.  Tambourine and hand clapping replace the
    drum set.  This is great for audience participation.
  • Lil Darlin- is the Neal Hefti classic that was introduced by the Basie Band on the E-MC2 album.  This is
    not only a great ballad but also one of the best teaching tools for getting students to “lay back” and swing.
  • When The Saints Go Marchin' In- begins with a traditional New Orleans funeral chorale and transforms
    to a true Dixieland style street parade complete with three part heterophony in the final chorus.

    Grade 4  
  • The Sum of All Love-uses chord changes from Like Someone in Love.  This is another "must learn"
    tune for all
   jazz musicians.  
  • Bye Bye Blackbird- is a jazz standard recorded by many jazz musicians.  The introduction is quoted from
    the Miles Davis Quintet recording.
  • Beboppin' Strings is a swinging original tune that has traditional Be-bop chord changes.  This will
    challenge your players to get into the real swing feel.  As usual, there is plenty of space for improvisation.
  • Sunny Side of the Street is a major standard in the repertoire and a must-learn tune for all jazz
  • Don’t Blame Me is another Great American Songbook jazz classic that is set in a bossa nova style for
    the first 16 bars and then goes to swing at the bridge, returning to the bossa nova for the last 8.
  • Funky Fiddle Dance is based on a ostinato in the style of Chameleon. Improvisation may be limited to
    knowledge of the C Major and C Blues scale. This is perfect for adding variety to your concert, helping
    students to improvise in a genre that they will find exciting, and getting the audience up and out in the
  • Spain is the jazz standard by Chick Corea.  This is a work-out for your jazz bassist. A modulation to D
    Major for the improvisation section will allow even the novice improviser to enjoy the opportunity to
    explore this samba style jazz classic.
  • Birdland-Joe Zawinul's compositon fo the 1970's" Weather Report," and popularized by Manhattan
    Transfer, will showcase your rhythm section.  The original lines have been transcribed and will be easily
   recognizable by your audiences.  This is a crowd favorite.

    Grade 5  

  • Four Brothers- is Jimmy Giufree's composition arranged for strings from the Woody Herman library of
    the early fifties.  The ensemble has close voicings that imitate the four saxes used in the original.  Try
    this at a real up tempo to challenge your strongest players.
  • My Rockin' Strad- is in a rock style with an Eric Clapton-type feel.  Optional octave figures are written in
    First Violin that are typical of those type figures found in traditional scoring of strings in rock oriented
  • Spring Rain- uses chord changes from one of the most well known jazz standards, Autumn Leaves.  
    This is a "must learn" tune for all jazz musicians.  
  • Macereo Hoedown-has a Salsa/Caribbean flavor that will challenge your electric bass player and
    transport your audience to the Islands.  The chord changes allow for improvisation that may be limited to
    just the D and G major scales.


    Other Jazz String Compositions (available from and local music dealers)

    Blues For Dee is an Alfred-Highland Etling Publication for young jazz string ensembles w/optional rhythm
    section.  This is a great tune to launch your jazz improvisation studies as the D blues scale may be used
    exclusively with young improvisers.  A rhythm section track is only available from We
    will send you a free midi sample by return email.
    A Child Is Born- from the Thad Jones Mel Lewis big band -Kendor publcations
    Recorda Me- by Joe Henderson- available from Alfred-Belwin
    Latino Violino-an easy original starter tune with space for everyone to improvise-Wingert-Jones


Link to Jazz Strings Listening an Viewing Page
Link to Jazz Strings Listening an Viewing Page