Life as a jazz chromatic dulcimist

We've got all the notes and we're not afraid to use them.

Life as a jazz chromatic dulcimist

Postby jazzyzebra » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:48 pm

I'm a jazz dulcimer player based in Las Vegas, (I play a custom-built four-string chromatic tuned to D-G-B-E, built by the greatest builders on the planet, FolkCraft, and studied jazz performance and theory at UNT School of Jazz and the American School of Modern Music, a Berklee-funded jazz conservatory in Paris. As luck would have it, I've been able to transfer 17 years of jazz studies from guitar over to chromatic dulcimer after my connective tissue disorder, EDS, forced me to make the switch) and am really starting to carve my niche here in Vegas, playing solo gigs, where I play rubato iterations of my chord-melody arrangements of jazz standards, and "a tempo" arrangements in which I "self-accompany" by employing walking basslines and guide tone "shell" 3rd and 7th voicings using the Charleston rhythmic motif as my "rhythm section," while simultaneously soloing/improvising. For those of you who have been told that jazz cannot be done on dulcimer, IT CAN BE! Stephen Siefert and myself are proof! I also re-tune to Db-Ab-db-db and play Hindustani Classical ragas against a tampura drone between setlists (I've been studying with my uncle, My father is from India)

I'll try and post some footage if I can find anyone. I'll be finished constructing my jazz dulcimer lesson page (all content will be free, opened to anyone and everyone!) and will post the link when it's done. I also just started a jazz dulcimer lesson Youtiube channel today!
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Re: Life as a jazz chromatic dulcimist

Postby Sam E. » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:28 pm

That sounds really cool. I'm looking forward to hearing some of your music.

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Re: Life as a jazz chromatic dulcimist

Postby Titus2woman » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:56 pm

Yes, please! I'd love to enjoy your artistry!!!
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Re: Life as a jazz chromatic dulcimist

Postby fiddlingbear » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:29 pm


I'm interested in your comments, both concerning jazz and Hindustani classical music. I've been studying Indian Classical music in the Maihar Guarana for 7 years and I'd like to know what Raags you've been playing on the dulcimer. Although I am studying Sarod, I've often mused that a sitar has more than passing similarities to a mountain dulcimer.

Are you using a chromatic dulcimer for this? Do you have any recordings of examples? BTW, my teacher only teaches pure classical music: no Bollywood or popular themes.

Thank you so much, and best wishes,

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