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Each year, an audition committee of professional musicians selects a few exceptional students ensembles to represent the NEC Honors Ensemble Program.

Tonight's concert features two NEC Honors Ensembles from NEC's jazz and Contemporary Improvisation programs.

Great on Paper

(Jazz Honors Ensemble)

Ted Reichman, faculty coach

Kevin Sun, saxophones, EWI
Isaac Wilson, keyboards
Simón Willson, double bass
Robin Baytas, drums

Carla Bley King Korn

Isaac Wilson Sincere

Kevin Sun Straight Face, The Wide One, Nomad

Simón Willson October 2013

Angelo Badalamenti arr. Kevin Sun Laura Palmer’s Theme from "Twin Peaks"

Founded on the principles of equality, freedom of speech, and reckless exploration, Great on Paper is an improvised, four-person party that goes into musical situations without an exit strategy. Featuring a typical jazz quartet configuration with a distinctly atypical bent towards the avant-garde and the folkloric, GOP taps into the jazz tradition without getting too ideological or self-conscious about it.

GOP performs mostly original music that is somehow both formally sophisticated yet, in moderate doses, pleasant to listen to. With numerous musical influences that range from Steve Coleman to Paul Bley to Stevie Wonder, GOP has no interest in disguising its catholic tastes, and the band’s co-mingling of diverse musical sensibilities allegedly lend it an air of refinement and worldliness. As one anonymous reviewer has said, “At their show in December, that new band GOP really put the ‘Status’ in ‘Status Quo!’” Call them what you will—a postmodernist mélange, abstract sound-fashioners, jazz charlatans—GOP takes no prisoners and doesn’t apologize when it steps on your feet; it just keeps on moving right along.

Choro BastardoChoro Bastardo

(Wild Card Honors Ensemble)

Amir Milstein, faculty coach

Ilya Portnov, harmonica
Ben Andrews, violin
Henrique Eisenmann, piano
Cristian Budu, pandero

Pixinguinha Vou Vivendo, Ignez

Jacob do Bandolim Santa Morena

Jelly Roll Morton Sidewalk Blues

Henrique Eisenmann Piangerito

Johann Sebastian Bach arr. Choro Bastardo Allemande from Partita in A Minor for Solo Flute, BWV 1013

Francisco Mignone Valsa de Esquina No. 5

Darius Milhaud arr. Choro Bastardo Copacabana from Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67

Sivua/Glorinha Gadelha Feira de Mangaio/Forro na Penha

Ernesto Nazareth Apanhei-te Cavaquinho

Choro is the traditional Brazilian instrumental music from the beginning of the 20th century. Choro Bastardo combines the traditional Choro style with each of the band members' different musical and cultural backgrounds to create a sonority that is different from the original, yet loyal to the playful spirit of that music. Using Baroque, early Jazz, and Contemporary Classical music as springboard, Choro Bastardo explores the different streams of music that can somehow share elements with the Choro tradition, recreating the atmosphere of cabarets and vaudeville in Rio de Janeiro. Mixing Jelly Roll Morton and Pixinguinha, Darius Milhaud and Ernesto Nazareth, John Cage and Jacob do Bandolim, Choro Bastardo represents a groundbreaking transformation in the realm of Contemporary Improvisation associated with neo-folklorist practices.

Date: April 1, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

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IF YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT JAZZ IS, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. LOUIS ARMSTRONG