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Masterclass in big band arrangement:

The masterclasses conducted by José Pino cater to educational and cultural institutions wishing to explore music writing for full jazz ensembles. Designed with a didactic-pedagogical approach, the course aims to provide attendees with the necessary tools to craft a comprehensive big band arrangement from start to finish.


While participants should possess a basic understanding of music theory, prior experience with the big band format is not required. The course is hand-on, employing real-world materials to collectively establish criteria and deepen comprehension of arrangement construction. Culminating in a concert featuring original compositions and arrangements by José Pino, attendees will receive detailed explanations throughout the masterclass.

Under José Pino's guidance, aspiring arrangers have the chance to hone their skills, explore new musical territories, and nurture their passion for jazz within a collaborative and inspiring atmosphere.


The masterclass will explore the following topics:

  • Construction of the lead sheet

  • Sound ranges of the instruments

  • How to treat each section at a harmonic level

  • Traditional harmonic blends

  • Modern harmonic blends

  • How to handle voices in a tutti

  • Ideas on how to structure the form

  • Composition as part of the creative arrangement process

  • Notation strategies for the rhythm section

  • Use of Sibelius as support

  • Navigating through various styles, i.e., how to write in various genres


A concert by the institution's big band will top off the masterclass.


After the workshop, participants will have a comprehensive overview of constructing arrangements for big bands. They will also be equipped to write for:

  • saxophone quintets

  • trombone quartets

  • trumpet quartets

  • various brass formations


The masterclass will be held in any of the following languages:

  • English

  • Spanish

  • German

  • Italian

About the instructor

A seasoned music educator, José Pino has been teaching at conservatories and music colleges in Ecuador and Switzerland since 2004. With a rich background in arranging and composing for full jazz ensembles, exemplified by works like Trébol and Rojo (2022), José Pino brings a wealth of expertise to the table. The big band production 500 Miles High (2022), featuring the esteemed Brazilian guitarist Lula Galvão, showcases his mastery in this genre. 


The masterclass is conducted upon request from music schools, conservatories, universities, and festivals, and can be customised according to your requirements.

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