Dec 2017

Best class I took at Columbia. Learned so much about Jazz and picked up a new passion. Professor Washburne should have a gold nugget.

Jan 2012

Washburne is one of the best professors that I have had while in college. He is excited about the material that he is teaching and it clearly shows during his lectures.The class lectures are extremely diverse and he covers many different musicians from the earliest origins in blues and ragtime to modern day jazz musicians. He is extremely accessible during class and tries to learn all of his students' names. Additionally, he is very lax in terms of grading and gives plenty of extra credit opportunities! I highly recommend taking this class music major or not. He makes the class easily understandable to those who do not have musical background.

Dec 2011

Professor Washburne is the man. Such a cool dude. Least stressful class I've taken so far. So relaxing to listen to music for homework. If you are interested in Jazz at all, take it. Professor Washburne has very interesting stories about his life as a professional musician and his travels and also teaches the standard jazz narrative well. Very doable for nonmusicians. Copious amounts of extra credit. If you do the extra credit and make an effort on the concert reports, it's an easy A.

May 2008

This was the most worthless, horrible class I have ever taken. Professor Lewis consistently turned up 10 minutes late to class, screwed around with the AV equipment for another 5, consistently kept us in class for 10-20 minutes late, and spent the entire time talking about himself. I learned nothing, and the class was a complete bore--despite the fact that I love jazz, grew up listening to it, and wanted to get a new perspective on teh subject. If you take a class with him, don't bother going to the actual lectures--just do the reading, write about them in your assigments (cite everything!), and you'll do fine. Easy grader, but overall the most worthless course I've taken. This man should be fired.

Jul 2005

Far be it from me to disparage this man. He's an exciting lecturer, who cares deeply about the music. Being in a class with him is a joy, as he is a showman when it comes to lecturing. He is able to present the information, but he has fun with it as everyone in the class does too. All the previous reviews say this. I feel it's true, so moving on... The warning I will give is this: the man does not care at all about the students. He really does not care about you at all. If you go to his office hours, he will answer emails while you are talking to him. In person, he is as cold as he is warm in his lectures. Not mean, not nasty. Just cold. Does this mean he's a bad person, or that you should not take his classes? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The classes remain some of the best classes at Columbia. However, I just need to add this little warning for anyone going into class, that there is a distinction to be made between him in class and him in person.

May 2005

I don't hate Washburne, but feel that all these raves are a bit misleading. I took the class because it sounded interesting. It had its moments, but I found that if you don't have a deep passion for jazz, you might find yourself annoyed with Washburne's somewhat arrogant enthusiasm. He's one of those professors that has developed a cult following, which, if you're not part of it, gets to you after a while. If you like the guy, I guess, you can get past his habit of repeating everything about 4 times and the way he self promotes his band in class. I ended up sneaking out of lectures half the time, and paying for it on the exams. Others seemed to have a better experience than I did, but I'd recommend sitting in a few lectures before registering, because he's not for everyone.

May 2005

If you want to remember your academic experience fondly, then all you need to do is take a class with Professor Washburne. He is the kind of teacher who normally exists only in fantasy. He is brilliant, sweet, hilarious, passionate, and, maybe best of all, extremely interested in his students. Whether you are a jazz fanatic or novice, you will leave his class with both a strong interest in and understanding of the music.

May 2004

I was expecting this course to be a purely musicological course on jazz but I was very happy to learn some social history as well. As everyone else has said, Washburne is really funny and thorough at the same time. He brings in a variety of different perspectives on jazz and is very responsive to students' input (remarkable in a lecture of 200 people!) You get to listen to examples of what he's talking about in class, and he stops the music frequently to explain the importance of what you just heard. You do not need a musical background to do well in this class, and you certainly don't need to be a music major, although it helps to have taken Music Hum. I would recommend this class highly.

May 2004

Thus far, the best class I have taken at Columbia/Barnard. Everyone should take this class. Prof Washburne is funny, laid back, sincere, an extremely talented, rare professor. I think what I liked most about him was how sincere he was to us, and how much he loved the material. The class was 150+, but he made it feel like we were just all hanging out. His lecture style was never aloof or boring, but as though he was sharing what he loved with a few friends. He is an extremely talented musician, as well (has his own band, used to play for Tito Puente). Even if you don't like music, or jazz (or don't think you do), take it anyway.

Apr 2003

Washburne is an engaging and entertaining lecturer. If you know nothing about jazz, this class will introduce and educate you about its history, its major figures, and its evolution. If you know something about jazz, this class will be an enormously easy 'A' and you will learn things here and there that you didn't know. The listening material is fantastic and the grading is done by competent and intelligent TAs. I highly recommend this course.

Apr 2003

Not like he needs any more praise, and naturally anything described as great is bound to build expectations and disappoint, I nevertheless feel the need to shower praise where it's due. This course is amazing. I have been heartbreakingly disappointed with nearly every one of my classes at Columbia over the past 3 years, even to the point where I left school. This class makes me glad I came back. The professor is engaging and passionate and provocative and the subject matter is really genuinely interesting. But I can still imagine a professor making jazz boring. Prof. Washburne excites students about jazz and music in general, and even incorporates larger issues such as art/music's role in society, racism, social/political context, and gender issues beautifully. He is truly a fabulous professor. Not to mention the TA's, who are accessible, funny, informative, and fair. This course is wholly fulfilling - the subject matter, the professor/TA's, the books, the concerts, everything. Kids aren't skipping his late-afternoon springtime classes - doesn't that say something? Can Columbia please hire profs based on their teaching ability as *well* as their accomplishments outside of the classroom? Instead of just the latter? Prof. Washburne does both; he is a figure in the jazz scene in the city as well. He is truly a great asset to Columbia. Don't miss this class!

Nov 2002

This review is intended for advanced music majors, so I don't mean to offend everyone else who loves Washburne. He is one of the most popular professors at Columbia, and he has a sort of cult following among music majors who don't know much about jazz but do realize that it's some of the best music out there. And he's okay as far as teaching a basic introductory survey of jazz to people who know nothing about it. But for someone who already knows a lot about music, his classes (I've taken several) are very elementary. If you've even heard of Eric Dolphy, then V2016 will be WAY too easy for you and you'll get frustrated with Washburne's factual errors. If you're a music major who just wants an easy A, then this is fine if you can sit through it.

May 2002

If you don't take this class before you graduate they should strip away your ivy. Washburne is unbelievable. His lecturing is so engaging that i would often find myself checking the time and wishing i had double period washburne. Additionally, the music that we listened to was amazing (some might say orgasmic). I never loved jazz before this class, but I am now addictted to the genre (i just bought 5 jazz CDs and can't tear myself away from the jazz pieces that are posted for the class). You will leave this course with a comprehensive understanding of the musical and cultural progression of jazz from its inception through today. TAKE THIS CLASS!! TAKE THIS CLASS!! TAKE THIS CLASS!! a funny and passionate teacher, great material, a ticket to explore the city and its music scene-this class has got it all. Put it this way, everyone that I spoke to was neary depressed when the last class ended. If you can't fit it into your schedule then stay another semester.