Friday, July 31, 2015


PMAC would like to welcome Kendall Moore to our Faculty! Originally hailing from the Chicago area, Kendall attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and then Miami University to receive degrees in Jazz Study and Studio Jazz Writing, along with being a D.M.A Candidate in Jazz Performance. A recent transplant to the Seacoast Area, he's excited to be a part of such a vibrant arts community and PMAC is certainly excited to have him here!

Check out Kendall's music and read a little bit about him below:

Portsmouth Music & Arts Center: What is your teaching philosophy?

Kendall Moore: I believe that the most important mitigating factor in learning and using music is motivation. My duty as an educator is to meet students where they are with music that they love, and motivate them in any way I can by encouraging them to learn as much about music as possible and to experience as much music as they can through recordings and live performances.

PMAC: You recently moved to the Seacoast Area - Where are you coming from? What brings you here?

KM: I have just moved up from Miami, where I just finished coursework. I have visited the Seacoast several times, and I was excited about having the opportunity to play and write music in such a vibrant and progressive scene.

PMAC: When did you start playing? How did that lead you to where you are now?

KM: I started singing in choirs in church when I was 7, and I started playing trombone when I was 10 years old. I loved how making music made me feel, and over the years I gradually made practicing, listening, and seeing live music the most important thing in my life. It wasn't until I got to college that I found that I got just as good a feeling from playing music as I did from having others perform my music.

PMAC: Who was your favorite teacher and why? 

KM: My favorite teacher was my High School Jazz Band Director Anthony Svejda. He was one of the first teachers to constantly give me recordings and encouraged me to go to jam sessions and start taking improvisation lessons. He also gave me as many opportunities as he could in jazz ensembles and combos to bring music in and to arrange for the ensembles

PMAC: What is your favorite album right now? Of all time?

KM: That is a really tough question, but I think my favorite album right now is Butcher Brown's "All Purpose Music". My favorite albums of all time are toss up between Miles Davis/Gil Evans "Porgy and Bess" and The John Coltrane and Duke Ellington Album on Impulse Records.

PMAC: If you were a visual artist, what would your medium be?

KM: I think my medium would be film. I really love watching movies and I have always admired cinematography and the way you can tell a different kind of story by capturing different lighting and angles.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk Kendall!

To check out all that PMAC offers, head over to our website and register today!

Friday, July 03, 2015


Chris Klaxton has been teaching our Summer Jazz Workshop for two years - but teaching jazz all around for 15. Just last year he released a solo project, Starcode, but participates in many bands throughout the seacoast spanning genres from Jazz to Rock to Hip Hop.

We're lucky to have Chris teaching here at PMAC! We asked him a few questions about our Summer Jazz Workshop. Read what he has to say below:

PMAC: What are some of your favorite parts of teaching the Summer Jazz Workshop?

Chris Klaxton: I love getting to hang out with students from various backgrounds and experiences. No matter what instrument someone plays, how many years they have been playing, whether they are a veteran or new to jazz....our job is to make music and to get down to business quickly. It's a lot of fun isolating musical concepts and qualities that we all share, and using them to make music within an hour of meeting one another!

PMAC: What are the different advantages of participating in a week long, intensive summer camp as opposed to a semester long weekly class? 

CK: The amount of time spent with each other in a day really pays off. I am always amazed how quickly students get to know and appreciate each other. Spending so many hours together for 5 days in a row really keeps music on the mind. The kids don't have the opportunity for the music they've absorbed to get pushed out of their head by baseball, vacation, homework, or hanging out! We see them often enough and for long enough, it really sticks!

PMAC: What life skills can kids take away from participating in this summer camp?

CK: The most important thing I try to convey to the students, is that there is ALWAYS a way to make music...and make GOOD music. The obstacles one encounters when making music with others are usually due to, "MY tastes are...I LIKE....I DON'T USUALLY DO....I ALWAYS...."  If we learn to resign certain things, if we stop seeking in every experience our FAVORITE THINGS, then we allow the opportunity to balance with others. Shortly thereafter, one can stumble upon new favorites, new styles, new comfort zones, and new ways to relate to others...all because they gave up the "ME, ME, I, I" stuff. 
There is no better way to practice being in a family, being in a relationship, and getting out of one's own way, than by playing music. 

PMAC: What is different about Jazz than other genres that might be interesting to teens?

CK: "Jazz" is really an amalgamation of tastes and flavors pertinent to the generation that's playing it.

Jazz camp allows us to improvise, to create without NECESSITATING music on paper and without NEEDING classical instruction (of course it does help...)

Jazz camp allows students to access a rich American history, a rich cultural history, yet combine elements of what they learn with elements of their own day-to-day and their own tastes / preferences. 

PMAC: Why is Jazz important in your life?

CK: It has provided me a means to an end, the opportunity to study myself and the world around me, has afforded me years of practice of "playing well with others", has kept me out of a cubicle 9-5, and REALLY FUN!

Thanks so much, Chris! Our Summer Jazz Workshop starts on July 13. Don't miss their performance at Prescott Park on 7/17 at 5:30pm!