Alaadeen Jazz Master/Apprentice Program

The Alaadeen Jazz Master/Apprentice Program selects and supports the development of performing jazz artists who work as Apprentices with jazz Masters named by the Alaadeen Enterprises, Inc. Board. 

The teams establish a learning agreement that will guide their work together with activities scheduled throughout the year, based on the
Alaadeen Method of Instruction™.

This methodology builds upon the oral tradition of jazz instruction with bandstand experience while incorporating the academic rigors of music education as well as one-on-one instruction.

The CENTRAL COMPONENT of the Alaadeen Jazz Master/Apprentice Program is the development of master and apprentice pairings between jazz master and student. The 2013 Program sponsored Donivan Bailey and Dennis Winslett as Masters.  In 2014 and 2015 we continued to focus on planned educational initiatives to address the need for more constructive and focused fostering of the oral tradition of jazz education along with the significance of bandstand learning. Plans for 2016 will select and support the development of seven performing jazz artists who work as Apprentices with seven jazz Masters named by the Alaadeen Enterprises, Inc. Board. Plans for 2017 involve support of 14 Master/Apprentice teams.

A copy of Alaadeen's method book; The Rest Of The Story, Jazz Improvization and History will serve as essential reading for Master/Apprentice pairs. This book incorporates the Alaadeen Method of Instruction™  and divulges his secrets of improvisation.
In the future, our current Apprentices will become Masters and select Apprentices to pass on the secrets of this music as Alaadeen learned them; at the sides of the first generation of jazz musicians. This is the ideal "turnkey business."

The IMPACT of our Program is significant as the soldiers of jazz are a dying generation with the history of the music embedded in their lives and culture. There are untold stories and the music is not being passed on by the formal education system.  It is also equally important that the music grow and not become stagnant, living on the past and not progressing. Yet it was always clear to Alaadeen that the promising young and talented artists are the ones to take the music into the future but they need to know the history to do this.

Johnson's Grill at 18th & Vine in Kansas City. Alaadeen is standing on the right. Luqman Hamza is standing next to him. Seated from left to right is Jay McShann, Betty Ann Bryant and Al Duncan. 1953.
|||Alaadeen Enterprises, Inc.|
Alaadeen with students in
Washington DC.

  2014-2015 AMAP
  Apprentice: Donovan Marshall
  Master: Matt Kane

   New York drummer, composer, educator, Matt Kane talks about Alaadeen's methodology:…"the musician's sound is a direct result of how that person lives and sees life.  That's a major factor left out of jazz education and Alaadeen's methodology is perhaps the only one I've read that considers the spiritual/cultural importance of jazz."

Master Matt Kane talks about his   apprentice...
  "Donovan Marshall is doing very good.  He such a good kid and his intentions    are very pure.  He's coming from church playing and jazz is a natural extension.  I didn't know it but Donovan doesn't even own a set of drums, he plays the ones at church.  His dream is to go to Juilliard, and we've got a lot of work to do this summer, so I bought him a set of drums so that when he gets called for a gig, he will have a full instrument.  More important even, is that he has drums at home to practice on.  His mother said it would be ok, so I'm going to give him the drums this Saturday.  I'm very excited."

2014-2015 AMAP
Apprentice: Jarred Stangohr
Master: Donivan Bailey

Kansas City drummer, composer, educator  Donivan Bailey says: "As an educator, Alaadeen bridged the gap for me between playing music and sharing the life of music. ...whenever he began to speak about the history of this music and began to tell stories about what brought us, as musicians, to the place where we are  now, I listened, because that was my opportunity to receive information that academia could not give me."
  Jarred Stangohr has been studying with Donivan Bailey for nearly 4 years. He is a   sophomore at the University of Kansas studying business. He played drums all through high school and is a member of a popular rock band in Kansas City. He now studies quite a bit of jazz and is currently working on mastering the concept of comping patterns between snare drum and bass drum while ride cymbal maintains time.


st, composer, producer, and educator Bobby Watson has this to say about Alaadeen; "He really was a player from Kansas City. He was an authority on the R&B jazz style. He came from that tradition of improvisation of getting hot, where there weren't any chord changes and they just had the melody and they'd get hot on it. So he carried that forward. He was the go-to-guy whenever we had a question or a dispute on the music."
     Alaadeen  was a second generation of Jazz musicians, growing up immersed in the Kansas City jazz community, honing his craft at the sides of some of the giants of Jazz, without the influence of formal institutions. He picked up a lot of experience living and playing in such cities as New York, Chicago, Denver, Houston, San Antonio and St. Louis and had opportunities to work in a countless number of settings including stints with Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Jay McShann, The Glen Miller ghost band under the direction of Tex Beneke, Della Reese, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, T-Bone Walker, Claude “Fiddler” Williams and with R&B stars, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Four Tops and Sam Cooke.
     Born in Kansas City, on July 24, 1934, he studied formally at R.T. Coles High School under the tutelage of Leo H. Davis, a well respected music instructor reported to have taught Charlie Parker. “The way he taught improvisation was to sing the melody in my ear when I soloed so I’d always keep the melody in mind.”  He studied at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music (studying flute since the educators did not think of the saxophone as a legitimate instrument), St. Mary’s University (where he studied oboe) and DePaul University
      In 1950 Alaadeen was playing the baritone sax at Kansas City's Orchid Room at 12th & Vine. His college of higher learning was the streets and he was learning improvisation on the bandstand. Alaadeen recalled playing with Miles Davis
when he was a teenager;
"One time on the bandstand Miles was playing this Blues tune. We played the head down, and he started taking his solo, and I started hearing this stuff. He was playing some beautiful stuff on the trumpet...killin' it. I was trying to figure out what is this stuff, what is he playing. I start fooling around in the background, trying to learn the tune, fingering the keys. Evidently, I was making too much noise because he turned around and said, 'Don't do that boy.' I didn't have enough sense to stop. The next time he turned around, he didn’t say anything…just hit me in the jaw."
     In an effort to acknowledge Alaadeen for making a significant impact in the history, development and performance of Jazz, the American Jazz Museum presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. 

    In 2000, Congresswoman Karen McCarthy recognized Alaadeen in the United States House of Representatives for the contributions he has made to his community's understanding of its heritage and in 2002, Alaadeen was issued a Proclamation from the Office of the Governor, State of Missouri while being honored at an official dinner at the Governor's Mansion.

Cancer claimed Ahmad Alaadeen's life on August 15, 2010 at the age of 76. 
The Orchid Room, 12th & Vine, Kansas City, Missouri. 1950