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Pianist, Composer, Author and Educator (1946-2009)

Charlie Banacos Online Jazz Improvisation Lessons

Overview: The correspondence courses of Charlie Banacos continue to be taught via online lessons with Barbara Banacos and Garry Dial. These courses began their fruition in the late 1950's and 60's and continued to be taught and developed until Charlie's passing in December of 2009. They are preserved as Charlie was teaching them and are kept in his handwriting.

Charlie is the originator of the now classic exercises on such tunes as Autumn Leaves, Giant Steps, Anthropology (I Got Rhythm changes), Moment's Notice, Countdown, major and minor blues, etc. using chord tones, tensions, passing tones, approaches, tonal paralypsis, bitonal pendulums (double mambos), hemiola substratum elisions, modal sequences, 23rd chords, intervallics, pivots, facets, agogics, number permutation systems, voicings in clusters, fourths, fifths, reverse tensions, interconnecting scales, pentatonics, tetratonics, hexatonics, chord-on-chord, upper structure triads, pandiatonics, superimpositions, harps, overlaps, etc. and 9-Basic Rhythm Systems and Sprays for sight-reading, etc.

The courses are comprised of Charlie's original exercises for improvising musicians and composers. His many famed and ground-breaking courses are still available, such as 'Double Mambos', '23rd chords', 'Intervallics', 'Giant Steps', 'Chord on Chord', his original ear-training exercises as well as many others.

These lessons will help jazz, classical, or rock musicians who are interested in developing improvisational skills (on all instruments). If you are a former student from 1959 to the present or instrumentalist or singer, from any country, requesting information for the first time, please use the same address.
If you are interested in online jazz lessons, you can reach Barbara Banacos for more information at:

OR write:

Charlie Banacos
P.O. Box 91
Manchester, MA 01944

Biographical: If you are unfamiliar with Charlie, he was a pianist (performances with Roy Haynes, Teddy Kotick, Charlie Mariano, Harvie S., and Jerry Bergonzi), composer (World Premier of "Pelaghia" - Carnegie Recital Hall, 1984), author ("Tonal Paralypsis", etc.), and educator (since 1959) in both jazz and classical idioms. His students have performed or recorded with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, David Liebman, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Henderson, among others.

Some of his students and musical associates included Alain Caron, Mike Stern, Danilo Perez, Wayne Krantz, Jeff Berlin, Garry Dial, Gerard D'Angelo, Vic Juris, Daryl Rhodes, Michael Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Marilyn Crispell, John Novello, Leni Stern, Rachel Z, Gustavo Assis-Brasil, and Jeff Golub.

He was on the faculty of New England Conservatory of Music and the Monk Institute in Boston, Longy School of Music in Cambridge, and had served on the faculty of Berklee College of Music in Boston.

He had also served as adjunct faculty member for the following institutions:

"New School for Social Research", New York
"Empire College/SUNY", New York
"Williams College", Williamstown, MA USA
"University of Massachusetts", Amherst, MA USA
"Massachusetts Institute of Technology", Cambridge
"Harvard University", Cambridge

The exercises of Charlie Banacos are protected under U.S. And International Copyright Law.