ROCHESTER, NY – The award-winning Eastman Jazz Ensemble will give Rochester audiences a special preview of its upcoming invitational concert performance at the 2001 Midwest Clinic in Chicago at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 1, in Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.). The concert, "Looking Forward: New Music for Jazz Ensemble," showcases works by Eastman student writers, Grammy-nominated alumna Maria Schneider, and Jazz Ensemble Director Fred Sturm. It is free and open to the public.
The Jazz Ensemble is the only university jazz group invited to perform at the prestigious international band and orchestra conference held each December in Chicago. (Last year, the Eastman Wind Ensemble performed for thousands at the same conference.) The group’s performance will be Friday, December 21, in the Chicago Hilton Grand Ballroom.
The concert includes four premieres of original compositions by current Eastman jazz writing majors. McCoy Tyner’s The Man From Tanganyika, arranged by graduate student Jamey Simmons (recipient of the 2001 Down Beat magazine Student Music Award for "Best Jazz Arrangement") will be featured – with Simmons conducting. A unique collaborative work, co-composed by Sturm, Larry Darling, and Eastman jazz students Ted Poor, Ryan Ferreira, and Ike Sturm will explore electro-acoustic elements as the Jazz Ensemble performs to pre-assembled digital samples and computer tracks in Worlds Apart.
Renowned composer/bandleader Maria Schneider, a 1985 Eastman graduate, has offered Tork’s Café, a funky contemporary composition, for the occasion. Four new compositions and arrangements by Sturm, a 1984 graduate of the Eastman jazz program and a faculty member since 1991, also will be showcased.
The Jazz Ensemble will perform two works of historical significance as well: The Gil Evans arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s The Duke, recorded by Miles Davis on the 1957 Miles Ahead on Columbia Records, will feature second year master’s student Eli Asher on trumpet. The 75th anniversary of the recording of Jelly Roll Morton’s Blackbottom Stomp, recorded in Chicago in 1926, will be celebrated with authentic transcriptions of the original solos by Morton’s Red Hot Peppers.
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