Giacomo Gates

Jazz Vocal Instructor

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Giacomo Gates

This is not ‘voice lessons’....although technique is discussed.

The class begins by listening to different singers who are innovators and made important contributions to Jazz vocals, and quickly discussing what you hear. Approx ten minutes. 

We warm up your voice with specific exercises that will stretch your range and strengthen your ears (hearing pitches and intervals)…also, very important…finding your own voice.

Find out your range and what keys to sing in.

Sing songs from the Great American Songbook (standards) …Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, etc… and if you have the interest and ability, perhaps Miles, Monk, Ellington and build a repertoire. 

IMPORTANT - You will learn lyric interpretation, where to properly breath and phrase, appropriate tempos, and repertoire…how to work with a rhythm section and how to lead a band and make a set list…how to work with a band ‘on the fly.’  Making and/or hearing spontaneous intros, endings, arrangements, improvisation, scatting, ‘time feel’, stage presence...and more.

Giacomo Gates - Short Bio

The criteria for defining jazz singing will probably be argued for the rest of time.  No matter which side of the argument one may be on, there can be no doubt that Giacomo Gates is an authentic jazz singer. 

 Gates is one of the best old-school male jazz singers working today. One who’s as influenced by instrumentalists as he is other vocalists, and brings the bebop, scat and vocalese with adventure, innovation, and miles of finesse.

“Mr. Gates is a solid example of a performer who is doing something that no one else does.  He evokes an age (that I would hope is not so terribly bygone) when musicians were entertainers and entertainers were musicians, and a sense of humor was as important as a sense of rhythm.” 

 Will Friedwald    

Known for his interaction with live audiences, through witty patter and informative introductions, every performance becomes a lesson in jazz history.  Giacomo's sheer joy, exuberance, wit and unlimited creativity make him one of Jazz's most compelling artists.

He has performed in major US clubs, festivals, and at countless universities and Jazz societies, along with performing and teaching in Canada, Europe, Russia and Australia.

Giacomo’s enormous appeal and popularity are obvious from the many repeat engagements at these venues.

Gates has nine heavily acclaimed CD’s, all charting in the Top 20 with two #1 recordings, for six and twelve weeks.   He has been a featured guest on several other recordings, including rewriting the narration on a big band Jazz version of Peter & The Wolf.

“Gates is simply unique.”

L.A. Jazz Scene

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays   12 - 5pm


Fall 2024
MUSC 405 - 38
Music Lessons for Non-Majors

MUSC 406 - 38
Music Lessons/Music Majors