The Musicality of Birds with Nick Payne

Educator resources

Traditionally, music is studied from an anthropocentric point of view, which neglects the wealth of knowledge that can be learned from considering the role of the natural world in the creation of music. One of the most notable contemporary jazz composers to draw inspiration from the natural world is the Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal. This presentation explores several compositions by Hermeto that were directly inspired by birds and examines the musicality of birds through the lens of evolutionary biology and aesthetics, particularly by considering the ideas of Charles Darwin. By understanding the function of bird songs and how they have evolved, new insights can be gained that will offer a new way to appreciate Hermeto Pascoal’s music.


Plus a Q & A with the live audience.


A presentation from the Jazz Education Research and Practice Journal, a publication of the Jazz Education Network.



Nick Payne is an American jazz pianist, educator, arranger, and composer. A current PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas, Nick’s research encompasses musical interaction, African American studies, global traditions of improvisation, the music and culture of Brazil, and the intersection of biotic art with the jazz idiom.




This event begins in:

The event will begin streaming below then the timer above reaches 00:00:00.




charlotte lang

Swiss/Dutch saxophonist Charlotte Lang was born in 1996 in Basel and studied the bachelor and master program at the JAZZCAMPUS Basel under the guidance of Domenic Landolf and Daniel Blanc. She is currently studying the Master of Music in Global Jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston under the artistic direction of Danilo Pérez. In addition she is part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.


From 2015 to 2018, Charlotte she was a member of the Swiss National Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel. Since 2020, she became a member of the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Bundesjazzorchester Deutschland), under the direction of Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens. She also plays is the Austrian FJO (Frauen Jazz Orchester→Women Jazz Orchestra of Austria).


In 2021, Charlotte founded her own Quintet the „Charlotte Lang Group“, for what she is composing, arranging and booking. In the fall 2023, her first album will be recorded and hopefully released by a renowned label.


Charlotte plays in the “Swiss Jazz Orchestra” and the “Zurich Jazz Orchestra”, the two professional Big Bands of Switzerland.

Charlotte recently got the unique opportunity to write a monthly blog for the Swiss Jazz & Blues Magazine called JAZZTIME, to tell readers about her time at abroad and specifically her time at Berklee. Her graduate program lasts only until the summer of 2023. She hopes to stay in the United States to enlarge her network and build her musical career.