August 19, 2014

New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies & Contemporary Improvisation Departments Present Nearly 100 Free Performances for 2014-2015 Season
Plus Residencies with World-Renowned Performers, September 2, 2014 — May 19, 2015

 

Highlights include: The Music of John Zorn: A 35-Year Retrospective

Order of the Virtues a re-interpretation of Hildegarde Von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum

The Music of Ken Schaphorst and John Medeski

Workshops/masterclasses with Lake Street Dive, Jason Moran/Vijay Iyer, Evan Parker, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck and the Claudia Quintet

In the Mix – 72 one-hour concerts by exceptional student ensembles

 

New England Conservatory’s internationally renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation Departments announce nearly 100 free concerts and masterclasses for the 2014-2015 season. Highlights include the Music of John Zorn: A 35-Year Retrospective including a pre-concert Q & A with Zorn who will receive an honorary degree; The Music of Ken Schaphorst and John Medeski; Order of the Virtues, a re-interpretation of Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century drama Ordo Virtutum; a World Barn Dance; concerts featuring the Music of Dave Holland and The Music of George Russell led by Ben Schwendener, a leading authority on Russell’s music; masterclasses/ workshops by The Claudia Quintet led by John Hollenbeck who’s teaching at NEC in the fall of 2014, Lake Street Dive (in photo above), Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer, and Evan Parker; and In the Mix, 72 one-hour concerts featuring exceptional student ensembles from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments. All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, click here or call 617-585-1122.

FALL 2014
Concerts at 8 p.m. except where noted. In the Mix events take place at 7, 8 and 9 p.m., each with a different ensemble.

Tuesday, September 2 Opening Night                        
Brown Hall 7:30 pm     
Join NEC's groundbreaking Contemporary Improvisation Department in kicking off the academic year with a concert featuring CI faculty and teaching fellows, including Hankus Netsky (Chair), Eden MacAdam-Somer (Assistant Chair), Ran Blake (Chair Emeritus), Mal Barsamian, Cristi Catt, Linda Chase, Anthony Coleman, Dominique Eade, Nima Janmohammadi, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Carla Kihlstedt, Jerry Leake, Amir Milstein, Joe Morris, Nedelka Prescod, Ted Reichman, Peter Row, Bert Seager, and David Zoffer.

Saturday, September 6                
Brown Hall 6 pm     
Fiddle Workshop open to all instruments and voices, any age, any level. Participants will learn a tune, put together an arrangement, and open up the dance with the band!!
7pm Bring your friends and come celebrate autumn with a community Barn Dance in beautiful Brown Hall, with live music by the Contemporary Improvisation department’s American Roots, World Music, and Jewish Music Ensembles. All dances will be taught - no partners or dance experience necessary! Admission is free and open to all. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Monday, September 8
Pierce Hall, 1 p.m.    
Songwriting Workshop with Lake Street Dive. After meeting while students at NEC in the early 2000s, Lake Street Dive has catapulted to stardom, appearing on the Colbert Report and drawing large audiences. NPR notes that they blend “jazz, folk, and pop in dangerously charming fashion."  In this workshop, the band – vocalist Rachael Price, trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney and drummer Mike Calabrese – returns to NEC to share its songwriting expertise with students.

Tuesday, September 9            
Pierce Hall 7 – 8:30 p.m.    
Old-time Fiddle Workshop with Bruce Molsky. Internationally renowned old-time multi-instrumentalist and folk singer Bruce Molsky comes to NEC to share his vast knowledge of fiddle tunes and techniques from America's Appalachian region. All instruments and voices are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device as music will be taught by ear.

Thursday, September 18    
3 – 5 p.m. Pierce Hall  
Workshop with Evan Parker. A pioneer of free improvisation, Evan Parker is considered to be one of the most influential saxophonists in the Post-Coltrane era. Since the late 1960s he has remained a dynamic and innovative voice who has expanded the range of his instrument and the expressive possibilities of improvised music.

Tuesday, September 23        
6:30 – 8 p.m.Brown Hall
Masterclass: John Hollenbeck and Claudia Quintet. Widely acclaimed as a composer, conceptualist, drummer and percussionist, Hollenbeck brings his fresh, eclectic, forward-thinking and vibrant musical ideas to NEC in this masterclass with his Claudia Quintet.

Tuesday, September 30            
4 p.m Williams Hall
Masterclass with Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran
 
Monday, October 6                              
3 p.m. Pierce Hall
Fred Hersch Masterclass. Jazz pianist, composer and NEC faculty member/alum Fred Hersch will present a masterclass for NEC students.  Hersch’s most recent CD Floating, a studio recording with his trio, is earning rave reviews.

Thursday, October 9
8 pm Brown Hall
The Music of Dave Holland. Visiting artist-in-residence legendary bassist/composer Holland will lead NEC students in a performance of his music

Thursday, October 16
8 pm Jordan Hall
The Music of George Russell. NEC Jazz Orchestra conducted by Ben Schwendener.
NEC faculty member Schwendener will lead the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a program featuring excerpts from several of George Russell’s most ambitious works: “Listen to the Silence,” “Vertical Form,” and “The African Game.” The concert will include two of Russell’s best-known compositions, “All About Rosie” and “Ezzthetic,” as well as “La Folia,” a piece co-composed by Schwendener and Russell. Russell taught at NEC for some 35 years and for many of those, students in the NEC Jazz Orchestra worked with Russell to prepare an end-of-semester concert of his music. Through coachings and
rehearsals, they were exposed to Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept and his Vertical Form approach to composition, which demanded a high level of alertness and intuition from soloing players.

Wednesday, October 22    
8pm Jordan Hall
Marriage of Music and Dance Festival Opening Concert. This performance kicks off NEC’s Marriage of Music and Dance Festival, honoring the life and work of Julia Sutton. Tonight’s concert features dance and instrumental performances illustrating links between the two, over various time periods, social classes, and geographic locations. Performances by the Renaissonics, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Ellie Grace, NEC’s Ragtime Band, and pianist Jacqueline Schwab.

Thursday, October 23                    
7:30pm Brown Hall
Renaissance and Folk Dance. Come join the Renaissonics, Eden MacAdam-Somer, Jacqueline Schwab, and a host of talented dancers and instructors for an evening of historic dancing and fun. You will see demonstrations of period dances, then learn them yourselves. All are welcome, and no dance experience is necessary!

Friday, October 24                     
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall
Alumni Jam Session, “All About Rosie.” As a part of NEC’s Alumni Weekend, current NEC students and alums will pay tribute to George Russell with an open reading of his masterpiece, “All About Rosie.” A jam session will follow.
         
Tuesday, November 4                    
3 p.m. Pierce Hall
Fred Hersch Masterclass    

Tuesday, November 4        
The Music of John Zorn: A 35-year Retrospective
Jordan Hall
7 p.m.    Pre-Concert Q & A with John Zorn  
8 p.m.    Concert
Curated by John Zorn and Anthony Coleman, the concert, sponsored by NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation Department, will include NEC’s faculty, students and ensembles.  Repertoire will be drawn from a wide variety of Zorn projects including Masada, Naked City, string trios, recent chamber compositions, madrigals, as well as his iconic game pieces.  During the concert, NEC president Tony Woodcock with present Zorn with an Honorary Degree.    

November 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, December 1, 3, 8, 9                                    
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall
In the Mix

Monday, November 24    
8 pm Brown Hall
Jazz Composers Ensemble. Jorrit Dijkstra coaches performances by NEC jazz students of their own compositions.

Tuesday, December 2    
8 pm Brown Hall
Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra. The Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra is devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students. Coached by pianist/composer and NEC jazz faculty member Frank Carlberg, the ensemble gives its composers the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band,as well as have their works heard.

Thursday, December 4    
8 pm Jordan Hall
Music of Bob Nieske and Jimmy Giuffre            
NEC faculty member Bob Nieske will lead the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a program featuring Nieske’s music alongside music composed by longtime NEC faculty member Jimmy Giuffre. Featured Giuffre compositions will include “Dragonfly,” “The Sad Truth” and his most well-known composition, “Four Brothers,” made famous by Woody Herman’s recording with Stan Getz. Nieske will direct the ensemble in several of his own pieces, including “The Half of It,” “Flatline,” “Heart,” “For Jimmy…,” “Simplifying Simple Flying,” and “Broken Lotus, a Concerto Grosso.”

Friday, December 12                        
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall
NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra. Founded in 2008 by NEC Jazz Studies Department chair Ken Schaphorst, the NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra is the only community jazz orchestra of its kind in the Boston area, open by audition to all musicians high school age or younger. The ensemble strives to give young musicians opportunities to learn and perform together in an environment of high expectations and standards. 

SPRING 2015

Concerts at 8 p.m. except where noted. In the Mix events take place at 7, 8 and 9 p.m., each with a different ensemble.

Monday, January 26
8 pm Jordan Hall
Faculty Spotlight Concert. NEC’s celebrated Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation faculty showcase their music.     
 
Tuesday, February 17    
8 pm Jordan Hall
Order of the Virtues                      
Contemporary Improvisation students, faculty, and special guests present a concert of struggle and redemption in true Third Stream style, through a re-interpretation of Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century drama Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues). Drawing on the original score and text, as well as works by Duke Ellington, the Carter Family, and from Sufi zikr and folk traditions from around the world, we tell the story of Anima, lost soul of all humanity, who struggles on the brink of damnation as she is courted by the Devil. In her greatest hour of need, she calls out to the Virtues, who sail in and bind the Devil hand and foot. Recognized as the earliest extant liturgical morality play, the Ordo Virtutum was originally written for and performed by a chorus of 16 women, all members of the cloister established by Hildegard near Bingen on the Rhine. Its emotional imagery is vibrant and timeless, connecting poignantly with modern existence and our own battles between good and evil, expressed tonight through the powerful story of the Virtues.
   
Thursday, February 26    
8 pm Jordan Hall
The Music of Ken Schaphorst and John Medeski. The NEC Jazz Orchestra conducted by Ken Schaphorst performs music by Schaphorst and keyboardist and NEC alum John Medeski.

March 24, 25, 26, March 30, April 1, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21        
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall
In the Mix                            

Tuesday, March 31
8 pm Jordan Hall
Honors Jazz / Wild Card. Each year, an audition committee selects a few exceptional students to represent NEC in the Honors Jazz and Wild Card ensembles.

Thursday, April 2        
8 pm Brown Hall
Jazz, The Next Generation. Freshman and sophomore jazz studies majors are featured in these student-organized ensembles.

Thursday, April 9        
8 pm Brown Hall
Jazz Composers Ensemble. Ken Schaphorst coaches performances by NEC jazz students of their own compositions.

Thursday, April 16        
8 pm Jordan Hall
The Music of Gil Evans and Duke Ellington. Ken Schaphorst conducts the NEC Jazz Orchestra

Tuesday, April 28        
8 pm Jordan Hall
Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra.The Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra is devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students. Coached by pianist/composer and NEC jazz faculty member Frank Carlberg, the ensemble gives its composers the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band, as well as have their works heard.

Tuesday, May 19           
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall
NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra. Founded in 2008 by NEC Jazz Studies Department chair Ken Schaphorst, the NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra is the only community jazz orchestra of its kind in the Boston area, open by audition to all musicians high school age or younger. The ensemble strives to give young musicians opportunities to learn and perform together in an environment of high expectations and standards.

ABOUT NEC JAZZ STUDIES AND CONTEMPORARY IMPROVISATION

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.”  The program currently has 98 students; 54 undergraduate and 44 graduate students from 14 countries.
    
Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd).  Now in its 42nd year, the program trains composer/performer/ improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices.  It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness.  Under Blake's inspired guidance for its first twenty-six years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current chair Hankus Netsky and assistant chair Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O'Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. “A thriving hub of musical exploration,” (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program currently has 53 undergrad and graduate students from 16 countries.

Contact: Ann Braithwaite
Braithwaite & Katz
781-259-9600
ann@bkmusicpr.com


SOMETIMES IT'S TO YOUR ADVANTAGE FOR PEOPLE TO THINK YOU'RE CRAZY. THELONIOUS MONK