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Manhattan School of Music Jazz Band to Perform Works by John Handy October 17

SOURCE: Published:
MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC presents the
Manhattan School Of Music Concert Jazz Band
Justin DiCioccio, conductor
Ben Bierman, narrator

Featuring a night of FREE innovative and rare performances of works by composer George Handy, with special guest narrator Ben Bierman.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at 7:30 pm
In the School's John C. Borden Auditorium

On Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at 7:30pm, the Manhattan School of Music's Concert Jazz Band will host a FREE concert of works by the highly experimental and obscure composer and arranger, George Handy. The program features a world premiere performance of “The Bloos" (1946), along with one of the best known and important of Handy's compositions, “Dalvatore Sally" (1945), and “By George! (Handy Of Course)" (1955).

Special guest Dr. Benjamin Bierman, composer and trumpet player, will be the narrator for the entire concert, accompanying the Concert Jazz Band. Dr. Bierman, who wrote the recently nominated dissertation “The Music of George Handy", will provide insightful information on the composer, the period the pieces were written in, as well as the composer's influences and inspirations. With a narrative accompaniment, the audience will be able to connect to the performance in greater depth, and walk away with a real feeling of who George Handy was.

“The Bloos" (1946) is a piece for jazz big band plus strings and woodwinds. Written at the peak of Handy's compositional creativity, it is his most important work, and his last major piece for full big band. Having only been recorded in 1946, this is the first time the piece will ever be performed in front of a live audience.

“Dalvatore Sally" (1945), unlike “The Bloos," is one of the most popular George Handy works. As an exploratory work, Handy touches techniques from classical pieces, something not very common in big band writing of the time. Dissonant chords and the constant shifting of tempos channel the inspiration of the piece, which surrounds the story of a city girl and her relationship with her environment.

“By George! (Handy of Course)" (1955), is a follow-up composition to his 1954 hit “Handyland U.S.A." Recorded in Webster Hall in New York City by a ten-piece band, the piece reaches an experimental side with shifting time signatures and a heavily layered, polyphonic texture. After a high-profile two-week engagement at a top New York City nightclub, the piece slipped off the radar. Oct. 17 marks the first time the piece will be performed since the engagement in 1955.


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