ROCHESTER, NY — It’s “tango time” — and a whole lot more — as the award-winning Eastman Jazz Ensemble honors the riveting music of Astor Piazzolla in a special concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 27, in Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.). The concert also features the great sounds of the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, led for the first time by its new director, Dave Rivello. The evening of outstanding jazz with two big bands is free and open to the public.
The Jazz Ensemble, directed by Fred Sturm, presents “Tango Nuevo: Hommage a’ Piazzolla” — an energetic program of eight works by Piazzolla, the impassioned Argentinian composer who created “tango nuevo” (new tango) by reinvigorating traditional tango with classical and jazz influences. The compositions, all arranged by Sturm, were commissioned by the Hessischer Rundfunk (German Public Radio for the State of Hessen) Big Band in Frankfurt, where Sturm recently was named principal guest conductor. (He also conducted the world premiere of the works at the Rheingau (Germany) Music Festival in August 2001.) The works featured in the concert were carefully selected from a body of nearly 3,000 compositions, spanning the final three decades of Piazzolla’s life. According to Sturm, they “showcase the unique compositional voice of Piazzolla — his formal and structural daring, adventurous rhythmic style, and unique melodic and harmonic vocabulary — in a single concert program.”
The concert opens with the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble presenting works chosen by Dave Rivello for his debut as director of the ensemble. These include pieces by Brookmeyer, Wright, Manson, and Eastman jazz student Stephen Guerra. The ensemble also will perform Harold Arlens’ classic Over the Rainbow, as arranged by Eastman alumna Maria Schneider.
Note: Interviews with Fred Sturm are available.