Songs of the Session

In an effort to recreate and honor a tradition that was begun back in 1957, when Frank Hamilton would teach the same song to different levels of players, we proudly present The Songs of The Session.

Each session two songs are chosen, one from the songbook and one from the general repertoire. All classes are encouraged to learn these tunes and apply the skills they are working on at their individual levels.

April – June 2018

"St. Louis Blues"

The songs this session were chosen by our deputy director, Rashida Phillips. Rashida joins the school from her position as Director of Education and Youth Initiatives at the Chicago Humanities Festival. She hails from St. Louis, and is an accomplished jazz vocalist. It is no surprise she picked "St. Louis Blues" on page 115 of the songbook. Written by W.C.Handy, it has been recorded by many artists including Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Billie Holiday, Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, John Fahey, Stevie Wonder, and Etta James. As always we invite you come up with your own version.

Chart for "St. Louis Blues"


"Rise Up"

Rashida also chose our non-book song this session: "Rise Up" performed and written by Andra Day aka Cassandra Batie, was released in August 2015. This song has been covered on many talent shows around the planet including American Idol, Britain's Got Talent, The Voice, and X factor. It uses that familiar 1 5 6 4 chord progression however Day's vocal pyrotechnics take it to new heights. You may recognize the tune as it was used at many rallies during Hilary Clinton's historic campaign for president.

Chart for "Rise Up"