Great artists give free concerts at New England Conservatory—simply because they teach here.

Jazz vocalist and pianist Vanessa Morris will perform a selection of original compositions, jazz standards, and spirituals from the African-American folklore tradition.

Morris’s repertoire is as eclectic as are her influences. Her duo with Scott Sandvik started as an in-depth study of African-American folklore, branching from a class that Sandvik taught at NEC. Their improvisations were based on ear transcriptions of field-recorded a cappella black folk singing that included “surge” style hymns, spirituals, hollers, and blues. Their CD Lead Me to the Rock earned acclaim for its “consummate skill—Scott Sandvik is an outstanding guitar player and Vanessa Morris is a stunning singer—and deep commitment … great beauty” (Musical Traditions Magazine). Since then, the duo has widened their repertoire, but their approach is the same: in-depth study of whatever style of music or composer has struck their fancy. Recently this list includes the music of Carla Bley, Harry Nilsson, Nina Simone, and Jack Bruce.

On this concert Morris performs with Sandvik, as well as bassist Jon Dreyer, drummer Miki Matsukialto, and NEC alumni: saxophonist James Merenda '91, leader of the jazz septet The Masked Marvels; trumpeter Tom Duprey '88 M.M., who performs in TickleJuice with Merenda as well as freelancing widely; and guitarist David Hawthorne '89 M.M., '91 M.M.

Date: May 30, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Brown Hall


Are you an NEC faculty member or student who is giving a school concert? Submit your artist and repertoire information now!

NEC's FREE concerts do not require a ticket, unless stated in concert listing.
Unreserved seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open 30 minutes prior to the concert's start time.


WHY DO I LIKE THESE THINGS? ARE MY EARS ON WRONG? CHARLES IVES