The First Edition of The Alaska Real Book
"Jazz standards of the 49th State - implying the standards may be different here..."
Published with permission from the composers,
who retain all copyright and publishing rights.
The Alaskan Real Book is inspired by the originally underground and one hundred percent illegal The Real Book, a collection of a vast number of seminal American jazz compositions transcribed and illegally published by Berklee students in the 1970s.
Although illegal, the intention was never to break the law for breaking’s sake. The Berklee students wanted the tunes to be more readily available for learners like themselves, and so did their professors, many of whom were composers included in the inaugural tome.
We have in Alaska, unbeknownst to many, a host of talented, national class, if not world-class composers and musicians. In allowing AK REAL BOOK to publish these works, they are contributing to the effort of introducing new generations to jazz and making players aware of the wealth of material at their disposal composed by their Alaskan peers.
Accessibility is key. So is community. Community happens when players and listeners come together in a music-making context that either affirms the known and shared, or refreshes through new and surprising sounds. We hope this book will be used frequently, at jams, concerts, and in practice/teaching studios.
In collecting tunes, we started out contacting composers who have been featured at Spenard Jazz Fest in its 14 years in existence. Then we expanded to notable Alaskan musicians who have yet to appear at SJF. We are lucky (or unlucky depending on how you see it) to have digital publishing at our disposal, which means we can continually update the Real Book rather than wait to publish new editions. As more and more composers submit material, our Alaska Real Book will continue to grow. This is always just the beginning...
AK Real Book was made possible by a generous grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. Spenard Jazz Fest is grateful for ongoing support from Alaska State Council on the Arts, Atwood Foundation, and from our business, community, and music members and partners.