This year marks the centennial of one of the seminal figures of jazz, Stan Kenton (1911-1979). Kenton, born in Wichita, Kansas, and raised in Los Angeles, was an adventurous innovator in 20th-century music. A prodigious pianist, composer, and arranger, Kenton was above all a fearless and ingenious bandleader who created, along with a team of composers, arrangers and musicians, an enduring body of work that enthusiastically ignored stylistic boundaries, fusing jazz and classical genres and other elements along the way.
The Concert Big Band Last year the Concert Big Band of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam enjoyed great success with West Side Story. At the North Sea Jazz Festival the group played Gil Evans’ Miles Ahead and Porgy and Bess with soloist Ruud Breuls. In December 2010 and July 2011 the Concert Big Band again performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Bimhuis. There they played music by Pat Metheny in a fantastic program with unorthodox pieces and instrumental fireworks, and Martijn van Iterson as soloist. The Concert Big Band with soloist Cor Bakker has also devoted a program to music by Clare Fischer.