Aebersold, Jamey [Wilton Jameson ]
- Gary W. Kennedy
- and Barry Kernfeld
(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.
In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In 1967 he began producing a series of method books on jazz theory, jazz standards, and jazz styles, as well as volumes devoted to individual players or individual pieces, with lead sheets based on meticulous transcriptions from recordings; these were linked to a similar series of play-along recordings, allowing students to practice by playing to accompaniments recorded by distinguished jazz musicians. This series, A New Approach to Jazz Improvisation, has been enormously influential, especially in American music education circles; by the year 2000 it numbered 87 volumes.