Eric Darius, a Cannonball artist since 2006, was in Utah performing and presenting clinics at schools and music stores a couple of months ago. We of course took advantage of the opportunity to have him come to Cannonball and light up the stage while he was here!
You’ll be hard pressed to find any performer who radiates more energy than Eric. He also has an amazing ability to motivate and inspire students at clinics, which we witnessed firsthand at a local high school.
To teach the students about improvisation, he demonstrated by playing a blues solo to a recorded backup band. The first time through, he used just one note – that’s it! He showed how to use that one note to express yourself emphasizing tone, interpretation, rhythm, articulation, and dynamics. The audience couldn’t believe how much he could do with only one note.
For the next solo chorus, he added another note. Just two this time, again emphasizing how expressive you can be within those limits. Then he added one more note for the third chorus.
Finally, he played a solo using the entire blues scale. The way he built up to it highlighted how much goes into a good solo, and also how accessible improvising is to every student. It’s something everyone can learn – and it’s not as hard as we might make it!
Eric then performed with a student combo from the high school, taking turns with them soloing. By the end of the clinic, we could feel how excited and motivated all the students were to keep learning and progressing in their music.
The next day, Eric used a lot more than just one note in his solos on the Cannonball Stage at The Villa. He requested the popular song “Uptown Funk” to record with the Cannonball Band, which sounded like so much fun that we invited a live audience to the recording.
You can’t miss the passion and energy Eric puts into every note when he plays. We hope you enjoy this recording as much as we did!