June 5 & Mon., June 6
Hear what happens when jazz and improvisation meet the orchestra as eight composers have their works read by ACO.
The first-ever Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings, presented with The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, features readings of new works by eight composers chosen from participants in the JCOI Intensive, a five-day series of workshops and concerts that brought together more than 30 jazz composers on the Columbia campus in June 2010 to explore writing for the orchestra. The selected composers are: Harris Eisenstadt, Mark Helias, Erica Lindsay, Nicole Mitchell, Rufus Reid, Jacob Sacks, Marianne Trudel, Adam Jenkins. Following the JCOI Intensive, these composers worked with mentor composers and conductors over the past year, to develop and score the works that will be presented during the Readings. JCOI is a new development aiming to provide resources for both jazz and classical music by promoting the emergence of composers trained in both jazz and new orchestral techniques.
Music Director George Manahan will conduct; mentor composers are Derek Bermel, ACO’s Creative Advisor, George Lewis, and Anthony Davis. The conductors, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO serve as liaisons and provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the Reading sessions.
Composers, conductors, and orchestra members will be blogging about their Readings experience on NewMusicBox and SoundAdvice, and Jeremy Robins, filmmaker, will be on hand to record a video diary of the Readings.
In conjunction with the readings ACO is offering a Professional Development Workshop to composers in the community. The session takes place on June 4 from 10am-2:30pm and will cover topics ranging from copyright and contract negotiations to fundraising and score engraving. Space is limited to 20 people and requires a 15 dollar registration fee. Click here to register for the seminar.
One of only a handful of jazz drummers who is equally well known as a composer,
Harris Eisenstadt is a versatile and prolific musician.
AllAboutJazz.com has called him “one of the new generation’s leading composers”
and the Village Voice said, “He’s perpetually building new ensembles to suit the
variety of music he hears in his head – that’s what composers do.” Harris’s
resume includes studies with luminaries of jazz and West African drumming, and
performances in genres ranging from film and theater, to poetry, dance, new
music and opera. He has earned commissions from organizations such as Meet the
Composer and the American Composers Forum, and in the past decade has appeared
on more than 35 recordings.
Mark Helias: Stochasm
American double bassist and composer,
Mark Helias, is a leader in the world of creative
improvised music as well as an innovator of extended techniques for his instrument.
A graduate of Yale School of Music, he is trained as both an orchestral musician and a jazz
improviser. Mark is a prolific composer and has written the music for the 11 albums he’s released since 1984. He has worked with some of the greatest names in jazz, including Anthony Braxton, Ed Blackwell, Dewey Redman, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Marilyn Crispell and Julius Hemphill. Mark teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, and SIM (School for Improvised Music) and is committed to broadening the scope of musical education.
A native of Wyoming,
Adam Jenkins’ unique compositional style has been influenced by his interests in such diverse fields as molecular biology and a fascination with the cultures of Japan and China. A self-taught composer, saxophonist and flutist, Adam has been inspired by the many styles he has performed, ranging from avant-garde jazz to Afro-Haitian pop, as well as Japanese classical and folk music. Adam’s own high-energy ensemble, The Ganbare Spirits (Ganbare is Japanese for “go for it!”), plays a vibrant blend of modern big band jazz with Afro-Cuban and Japanese accents. Adam has recorded with the Sonic Liberation Front and his own Jenkins/Brown Quintet.
Tenor saxophonist and composer
Erica Lindsay studied at the Berklee College of Music and in Europe with pianist Mal Waldron. Erica launched her international career when she moved to New York and began touring with Melba Liston & Co., while also performing with such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Al Grey, Mary Lou Williams and others. After leaving Liston’s group, Erica continued to work in New York and also pursued academic interests, earning a degree from New York University. Featured in Sally Placksin’s book “American Women in Jazz,” Eric currently performs with her own quartet, Sumi Tonooka, the Jeff Siegel Quartet, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Baikida Carroll Quintet and others. Erica resides in Rosendale, New York and teaches at Bard College.
Nicole Margaret Mitchell:
Stealing Freedom in Broad Daylight
Chicago Reader has called Nicole Margaret Mitchell “a compelling improviser of wit, determination, positivity, and tremendous talent.” Mitchell’s compositions reach across sound worlds, integrating new ideas with the legacy of jazz, gospel, pop and African percussion. With her ensembles, as a featured flutist, and as a music educator, Nicole has been featured at art venues and festivals throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Mitchell was the first woman president of Chicago’s groundbreaking Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and helped to co-found the AACM’s first all-woman ensemble, Samana. As a composer, performer and educator, Nicole continues in the exciting directions in music that AACM has charted for decades. She’s currently is a Visiting Lecturer at University of Illinois: Chicago, where she directs the UIC Jazz Ensemble, and teaches jazz history. She also teaches jazz at ChiArts, Chicago’s first public high school for the arts.
Nicole’s first full orchestra work is Stealing Freedom in Broad Daylight. Nicole discusses the work, “While composing the piece I reflected on images of Harriet Tubman journeying…of Tubman’s pounding African heart, the dark night sky and its wisdom, the wondrous miracle of freedom, the torture of circumstance, the gentleness of the field, the evil in humanity that menaced her journey to liberate others—these images are woven into the work’s sound fabric.”.
Rufus Reid is a forty-five year veteran jazz bassist with over
350 recordings in his discography. He has provided the pulse for groups featuring such members of the jazz pantheon as Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Dorham, Nancy Wilson and many more. Recently, Rufus has been extremely active as a composer for small and large ensembles. The United States Air Force Band of the West has recorded Rufus’ Come Out and Play and has commissioned him to compose a work for their concert band. Ever active in the recording studio, Hues of a Different Blue is the Rufus Reid Trio’s newest album.
The strong individual voice of Michigan-born pianist
Jacob Sacks has been heard in a variety of jazz settings, from the Mingus Big Band to the Paul Motian Septet. A 1995 Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Jacob was a finalist in the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Sacks has toured Europe, the U.S. and Canada with such musicians as Clark Terry, Joe Maneri, Charles Gayle, Eddie Henderson, Christian McBride, Chris Potter and many others. Currently, Jacob partners with vocalist Yoon Sun Choi and is a co-leader with bassist Eivind Opsvik of the quartet Two Miles a Day. Jacob currently resides in Brooklyn where he is working on several recording projects and teaching in his private practice.lue is the Rufus Reid Trio’s newest album.
Marianne Trudel is a multi-talented jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. As a performer she pursues an active career in a variety of settings, from solo to large ensemble, in Canada, the U.S. and France. Marianne has shared the stage with such pop and jazz luminaries as Charles Aznavour, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Dresser, Chucho Valdes and many others. Trudel earned a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at the Université de Montréal and a Bachelor in Jazz Performance from McGill University. She is also the recipient of the Prix Étoiles Galaxie de Radio-Canada (Montreal Jazz Festival 2007). Marianne has composed and arranged music for Radio-Canada, the ensemble OktoEcho, the Henry Mancini Institute, the McGill Jazz Orchestra and numerous short films. the Rufus Reid Trio’s newest album.
George Manahan, conductor
George Manahan currently the Music Director of New York City Opera, has had an unusually wide-ranging career, embracing everything from opera to the concert stage, the traditional to the contemporary. His most recent appearance with ACO was in February 2009 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Mr. Manahan led a concert of world premieres, which included the much-praised multimedia works
BREAKDOWN! by Margaret Brouwer and Kasumi, Rand Steiger’s Cryosphere, and Fang Man’s
Resurrection. In 2006, he workshopped and led performances of music by emerging composers Anna Clyne, Fang Man, Robert Gates, and Paul Richards during ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings. In addition to his work with ACO, in fall 2010, he furthered his commitment to working with young musicians by joining the Manhattan School of Music faculty as Director of Orchestral Studies.
Tickets & Info
Miller Theatre is located at 116th Street and Broadway.
The readings are free and open to the public. No ticket is required, but reservations are recommended. (See sidebar for links to make a reservation online.)