Peter Estabrook

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Jazz Teaching References

Santa Rosa Junior College Classroom Observation
Course: MUSC 9 (jazz appreciation)
Instructor: Peter Estabrook
Date: February 25, 2014
Location: Petaluma Campus
Observer: Bennett Friedman (Discipline Peer; Director of Jazz Studies)

(excerpts)...Peter has taken the time and some personal expense, to make this generic classroom more jazz fiendly by peruchasing and displaying posters of Jazz Artists....His speaking style is low-key and conversational. He displayed excellent rapport with the students; there was a lot of give and takee. He played some well-chosen musical examples and pointed out interesting features of the performances. Information from the text was projected on the screen as the music was playing. Peter highlighted the individual musicians who contirbuted to the band's unique sound....The student evaluations showed the class has a very high opinion of this instructor.....I am highly impressed with the work that Peter is doing, and thank him for his contributions to the Music Department.

Santa Rosa Junior College Classroom Observation
Course: MUSC 9 (jazz appreciation)
Instructor: Peter Estabrook
Date: December 9, 2010
Location: Petaluma Campus
Observer: Mark Anderman (Discipline Peer; future Music Department Head)

(excerpts)...Pete made effective use of the "smart" classroom technology analyze and dissect jazz recordings with Windows Media Player. It was clear that the students had been well trained in interactive listening this point in the semester, they had attained the vocabulary and listening skills necessary to engage in a serious discussion of jazz. The class had a relaxed, conversational atmosphere. Pete would frequently solicit student opinions and reactions to the music presented in order to achieve an open, honest, and effective dialog about the mechanics and aesthetics of the jazz tunes presented. Regarding written communication, Pete deserves commendation for his syllabus, which is quite thorough.

Student Comments:

"He presented a great deal of information in an easy to understand manner."

"The instruictor has demonstrated enthusiasm toward student dialogue in the class, along with detailed awareness of the subject matter."

"Peter was a fine musical mentor and gladly spends time teaching and learning with us."


Pete's ability to make Jazz interesting and accessible to the general student is an invaluable asset to both the SRJC Music Department and to the larger SRJC general education curriculum.

Mel Graves was the jazz department head at Sonoma State University for 36 years. He teaught improvisation, jazz arranging and composition, jazz theory, jazz ear training, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Graves had a Master of Music degree from San Diego State University. He was an active freelance musician and studio player in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am writing this letter or recommendation for Pete Estabrook. Pete has been on the staff of Sonoma State University since 1999. He started as the trumpet teacher and has since expanded his roll to include Jazz Improvisation 1, the Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, and most recently Jazz History. He performed admirably on my latest CD "Ear Shot". He has also had many inspired performances in the Faculty Jazz Series.

I have been most impressed by Pete's teaching methods. He is very organized and clear to the students on what he expects. I find that his students make great progress in their understanding of the theory behind the music and how to create a well-crafted solo over the material. I have heard nothing but positive comments from the students that have taken any of his classes. He is serious about the music and expects a lot, which are two qualities I admire. The students from his improvisation class are very well prepared when they reach Jazz Improvisation 2. He interacts with students well and has a very effective working relationship with musicians in his jazz ensemble. He consistently gets the most out of his musicians, which is all one can expect. He also knows the music inside and out and is an expert at passing that knowledge to his students. Students can sense his enthusiasm for the music and that "rubs off" in many positive ways. Pete never misses classes and he expects students to do the same.

I give Pete Estabrook my very highest recommendation. He would make a fabulous addition to any teaching staff.

Mel Graves

Periodic Evaluation of Temporary Instructional Faculty
Summary of Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness for Ensemble and Improvisation
Spring 2003

I have attended Pete Estabrook's jazz ensemble concerts the last several years. He presents great music and always gets the best out of his students. I admire his teaching techniques a lot. Student comments include: "very focused", "he is perfect", "great instructor", "patient and helpful", "communicates clearly", and "very knowledgeable".

Bennett Friedman is the jazz instructor at Santa Rosa Jr. College. He teaches improvisation, jazz history, jazz arranging, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Friedman has a Master of Music degree from San Francisco State University. He is an active freelance musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I have known Peter Estabrook since the 1980's when he was a student here at Santa Rosa Junior College. Peter was an outstanding student and showed potential for becoming an excellent musician. After graduation, Peter attended and graduated from Berklee College of Music, and completed his master's degree at Cal-Arts.

Since his return to Santa Rosa, Peter has established himself as one of the finest jazz educators in the county. He has been teaching courses in jazz improvisation and jazz appreciation at Santa Rosa Junior College, as well as teaching at Sonoma State University. I have observed his classes, and consider him an excellent instructor. I have had a number of his private trumpet students in performance classes and am greatly impressed by the positive changes I have heard in their playing. Peter keeps his own trumpet skills at a consistently high level, and performs often in local jazz venues. I am happy to give my highest recommendation to Peter Estabrook, and would welcome the opportunity to give more detailed information if someone chooses to contact me.

Bennett Friedman

Evaluation of Adjunct Faculty Member Peter Estabrook
Observation of Jazz Combos Ensemble, Music 35.9
April 19 and 21, 1999 3:45 to 5:15 pm
Observation by designated evaluator Bennett Friedman
17 students were present.

1. Clarity and Organization

Mr. Estabrook was in the final stages of preparing the combos for their two on-campus performances of the semester, Day Under the Oaks and the evening combo concert. He had selected the personnel for each combo from the group of students who signed up for the class. He made excellent choices: the members of each group were well-suited to each other musically. the repertoire chosen was interesting and appropriate for the combos. Mr. Estabrook's rehearsal procedure was logical and organized.

2. Enthusiasm

Observing Mr. Estabrook rehearse a group, one primarily notices his seriousness and deep caring about the music, I believe this comes from an inner enthusiasm that may be difficult to see immediately.

3. Communication Skills:

As mentioned above, Mr. Estabrook's communication style is low-key and serious. I believe that all the relevant and important matters in the class observed were communicated to and understood by the students.

4. Rapport and Interaction

Having observed Mr. Estabrook not only during the classes mentioned above, but also during a performance on campus, and a Jazz Festival in Berkley, it is clear that he has built an excellent rapport with the student musicians. They look to him for leadership and are very comfortable with him.

5. Subject Expertise

Since Mr. Estabrook was once a student of mine, I know first-hand of his strong foundation in music theory and performance. Since that time, he has become a professional caliber jazz performer and arranger.

Santa Rosa Junior College DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to confirm the fact that Peter Estabrook successfully taught a Jazz Ensemble (Big Band) during our recent Summer Session at Santa Rosa Junior College. Peter did a fine job and I would not hesitate to hire him again.


Bennett Friedman, Jazz Instructor
(Acting Chair during Summer Session 1996)

James Newton is a past Downbeat Poll winner for jazz flute. He has several albums to his credit, one of which won a Grammy. Mr. Newton currently is the head of the jazz program at U.C Irvine. He has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition from CSU Los Angeles. Additionally, He is a winner of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and has been commissioned several times to write orchestral works for orchestras in Europe. He a recognized authority on the music of Duke Ellington.


27400 MCBEAN PARKWAY VAI-ENCIA CAL[FORNIA 91355 8 0 5 2 5 5 1 0 5 0 8 0 5 2 5 4 8 3 5

To Whom It May Concern:

I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Pete Estabrook as a student in the Cal-Arts Masters of Music program for the past two years. During that time he has performed in my Jazz Ensembles each semester and has taken my Jazz History and Jazz Composition courses. Mr. Estabrook has excelled as a dedicated and committed student. He can play and teach with authority the breath of the jazz tradition (from King Oliver to Mingus and on).

Mr. Estabrook's disposition is one of total professionalism. I feel that I can wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Estabrook for the position being considered.

Thank you,

James Newton
Professor of Jazz Ensembles, History, Composition, and Flute

Albert "Tootie" Heath is a much sought after jazz recording artist and freelance performer. He has recorded with such artists as: Joe Henderson, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Bobby Timmons, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and MJQ (founded by his brothers Percy and Jimmy).

California Institute Of The Arts

Dear Members of the Evaluation Committee:

I would like to offer my highest recommendation that Peter Estabrook be duly and thoroughly considered for the position of instructor in your music department. I am currently an instructor at California Institute of the Arts (Jazz Department) where I teach private drum lessons as well as an advanced rhythm workshop which Peter has taken part in by my invitation. This ensemble has participated in an outreach/scholarship search program during spring of 1991 where Peter, along with the other members of the group, have performed on a weekly basis throughout Los Angeles in an extensive clinic/concert program. During this concert series, as well as in the context of my class mentioned above, Peter has performed and participated in an outstanding professional and consistent manner worthy of honorable recognition.

Although I have known Peter for only one year, I've grown to count on him as reliable, enthusiastic, and diligent. As of May, 1991, Peter will be awarded a MFA from Cal-Arts in jazz studies; and it is my understanding also that Peter currently holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts). Truly such a person with highly favorable qualifications from two such well-recognized schools would be an asset to your department as an instructor.

If you have any questions regarding Peter, or my extensive background in the area of jazz performance and teaching, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Richard Winslow is a student of Bill Adam, Arnold Jacobs, Armando Ghitallah, Roger Voisin, Adolph Herseth, William Vacchiano, as well as a past member of the Mancinni Orchestra, Paul Anka's band, the Cincinatti Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Chicago Civic Orchestra

You gave Cory (Dearborn) a firm foundation...keep up the good work.

Rick Winslow