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New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies And Contemporary Improvisation Departments Present Performances And Events For 150th Season

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New England Conservatory’s (NEC) internationally renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation (CI) Departments announce nearly 100 concerts for the celebratory 150th anniversary season. The 2017-2018 season continues to build on NEC’s rich legacy featuring 150 years of innovation showcasing the work of the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory as well as the pioneering CI department. The new season showcases diverse musical offerings from today’s most talented artists performed in NEC’s renowned concert halls, including three new state-of-the-art venues at the Student Life and Performance Center (SLPC).

Highlights include the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by alumnus Darcy James Argue as part of a concert honoring the legacy of Bob Brookmeyer; the premiere of alumnus and faculty member Anthony Coleman’s new work, “Streams,” a composition commissioned for NEC’s sesquicentennial; “Thelonious Monk at 100;” a residency featuring composer, performer, sound artist, improviser, and NEC alumna Matana Roberts; a celebration of the centennial of Dizzy Gillespie; and CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts featuring hour-long concerts by rising star NEC students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.

NEC is pleased to offer the following concerts, free and open to the public. For more information, visit necmusic.edu or call 617-585-1122.

FALL 2017

October 2017

Tuesday, October 3 – Anthony Coleman Faculty Recital
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Thursday, October 5 – Jason Moran Master Class
1 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Friday, October 6 – CI and Jazz Master Class with Burton Greene
10 a.m. Pierce Hall

Originally from Chicago, Burton Greene rose to popularity during the 1960s on New York's free jazz scene, gigging with well- known musicians including Marion Brown, Bill Dixon, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, Byard Lancaster, Sam Rivers, Patty Waters, Perry Robinson, Willem Breuker, and many others. He moved to Holland in 1969 and, in the late 1980s, began exploring the Klezmer tradition in his groups Klezmokum (along with Perry Robinson), Klez-thetics, and a more recent group called Klez-Edge with vocalist Marek Balata. Klez-Edge has a recent recording Ancestors, Mindreles, NaGila Monsters (2008) out on John Zorn's Tzadik label. A duet with Perry Robinson, also on the Tzadik label, Two Voices in the Desert was released in January 2009.

Tuesday, October 10 – Dave Holland Ensembles Master Class
1:30 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Thursday, October 12 – Dave Holland Master Class
1 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Thursday, October 12 – Music of Dave Holland Residency Concert
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall

Tuesday, October 17 – Lecture by Matana Roberts
Noon, Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Wednesday, October 18 – Concert with Matana Roberts and CI students
8 p.m. Brown Hall

NYC-based sound experimentalist, jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, improviser, Doris Duke Artist Award recipient and NEC alumna Matana Roberts is the composer of Coin Coin, a multichapter musical work-in-progress exploring themes of history, memory and ancestry. She has been a guest curator at the Stone and Artist in Residence at the Whitney Museum, among others.

Wednesday, October 18 – Thelonious Monk Panel Discussion
4 p.m. Williams Hall

Featuring Robin Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life of an American Original; pianist and NEC faculty member Ran Blake; NEC Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst.

Thursday, October 19 – Monk’s Dream: Thelonious Monk at 100
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

NEC will celebrate the 100th Birthday of jazz giant Thelonious Monk with a concert featuring the NEC Jazz Orchestra conducted by Ken Schaphorst with performers including Ran Blake, Frank Carlberg, Fred Hersch, Nedelka Prescod, Matana Roberts, and Dominique Eade.

Friday, October 20 – Matana Roberts Improvisation Master Class
10 a.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Friday, October 27 – Masterclass with Daniel Levin
10 a.m. Pierce Hall

Sunday, October 29 – Linda Chase: The City is Burning
4 p.m. Brown Hall

CI faculty member and NEC alumna Linda Chase presents her extraordinary and timely mixed media piece The City Is Burning, featuring CI faculty and students and special guests Stan Strickland and Professor Harvey Cox.

Monday, October 30 – Ken Schaphorst Faculty Concert
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

November 2017

Monday, November 13 – What Keeps a Man Alive: Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, and the Epic Theater
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

CI students and faculty explore the world of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill through performances of works from The Threepenny Opera and The Seven Deadly Sins, along with original pieces and traditional songs. Performers include the Anthony Coleman and CI Chamber Music Ensembles.

Tuesday, November 14 – NEC Gospel Ensemble and NEC Composers Ensemble
8 p.m. Brown Hall

This concert showcases two of NEC’s exceptional student ensembles. The NEC Gospel Ensemble, coached by Nedelka Prescod, explores contemporary gospel music as it is currently being created and performed. This ensemble works with repertoire composed within the last 20 years and highlights key composers and choir leaders. The NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble, coached by Jorrit Dijkstra, gives student composers the opportunity to develop their work for small jazz ensemble through rehearsal and performance.

Friday, November 17 – Gunther Schuller Memorial Concert
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Tuesday, November 21 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow in these three one-hour performances by CI student small ensembles. Tonight’s lineup features the Irish Music, Joe Morris, and Cobra ensembles.

Monday, November 27 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Tuesday, November 28 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Wednesday, November 29 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, November 30 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, November 30 – Jason Moran Master Class
1 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

December 2017

Sunday, December 3 – Linda Chase’s “Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry”
3 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry, a chamber composition by faculty member Linda Chase, features poet Jane Hirshfield reading her own poetry and her translations (with Mariko Aratani) of thousand-year-old Japanese poems by Izumi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi. The music was composed following Chase’s Japan Foundation residency that happened to coincide with the 3/11/11 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. Performers will include NEC faculty members flutist Linda J. Chase, pianist Hankus Netsky and students from New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation Department.

Monday, December 4 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Rooms

Tuesday, December 5 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Wednesday, December 6 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, December 7 – Manteca: Dizzy Gillespie and the Birth of Latin Jazz
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie’s centennial, with a particular emphasis on his contribution to the development of Latin Jazz, the NEC Jazz Orchestra will perform “Manteca,” “Tin Tin Deo” and “Cubano Be, Cubano Bop,” written by Gillespie and longtime NEC faculty member George Russell.

Monday, December 11 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Tuesday, December 12 – Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall

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.

Wednesday, December 13 – CI Salon Night
7 and 8 p.m. Pierce Hall

Tonight’s lineup features the Persian Music and Interdisciplinary Ensembles.

Wednesday, December 13 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, December 14 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall

Tonight’s lineup features the Turkish Music, CI Chamber, and Songwriters Workshop Ensembles.

SPRING 2018

January 2018

Monday, January 29 – Jazz and CI Faculty Spotlight
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

February 2018

Wednesday, February 21 – Film Noir: Cria Cuervos
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Co-producers Aaron Hartley and Ran Blake present their 13th Annual Film Noir project, featuring students and faculty of NEC's groundbreaking Contemporary Improvisation department. This year's performance explores Carlos Saura's film Cria Cuervos heightened by new music created by NEC musicians and special alumni guest artists percussionist Tupac Mantilla and vocalist Burcu Gulec.

Thursday, February 28 – Bob Brookmeyer Panel Discussion
4 p.m. Brown Hall

March 2018

Thursday, March 1 – Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

The NEC Jazz Orchestra will perform music by Bob Brookmeyer and six of Brookmeyer’s former NEC students, including the world premiere of a new composition commissioned for NEC’s 150th Anniversary by alumnus Darcy James Argue. Argue was a Doris Duke Artist Award recipient in 2015. Music by NEC alumni Ayn Inserto, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Ryan Truesdell and Nicholas Urie will also be featured. Saxophonist, low reed expert and NEC alumnus Brian Landrus will be featured playing Brookmeyer’s “Celebration Suite.” Brookmeyer taught composition at NEC between 1997 and 2007.

Tuesday, March 13 – Eden MacAdam-Somer Faculty Recital
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Monday, March 26 – Jazz and Wild Card Honors Ensemble Concert
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Each year, an audition committee selects a few exceptional students to represent NEC in the Honors Jazz and Wild Card ensembles.

April 2018

Wednesday, April 4 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, April 5 – NEC Gospel and NEC Composers Ensemble
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall

This concert showcases two of NEC’s exceptional student ensembles. The NEC Gospel Ensemble, coached by Nedelka Prescod, explores contemporary gospel music as it is currently being created and performed. This ensemble works with repertoire composed within the last 20 years and highlights key composers and choir leaders. The NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble, coached by Jorrit Dijkstra, gives student composers the opportunity to develop their work for small jazz ensemble through rehearsal and performance.

Monday, April 9 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow in these three one-hour performances by CI student small ensembles. Tonight’s lineup features the Middle Eastern, Ted Reichman, and R&B Ensembles.

Tuesday, April 10 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Wednesday, April 11 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, April 12 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Monday, April 16 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Tuesday, April 17 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow in these three one-hour performances by CI student small ensembles. Tonight’s lineup features the Tanya Kalmanovitch, American Roots, and CI Chamber Ensembles.

Wednesday, April 18 – CI Salon Night
7 and 8 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow in these two one-hour performances by CI student small ensembles. Tonight’s lineup features the Jewish Music and Contemporary Rock Ensembles.

Thursday, April 19 – The Seven Rays: Music of Jerry Bergonzi and Ken Schaphorst
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

This concert features the NEC Jazz Orchestra with saxophonist/composer Jerry Bergonzi in the performance of his composition “The Seven Rays,” a seven movement suite inspired by mystical associations with the number seven. Ken Schaphorst arranged the suite for the HfMT Big Band in Hamburg in 2016. This will be the first time the arrangement has been played in the United States. Bergonzi has taught at NEC for over twenty years, developing an international reputation as saxophonist, author, composer and educator.

Monday, April 23 – CI Salon Night
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Pierce Hall

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow in these three one-hour performances by CI student small ensembles. Tonight’s lineup features the Zaleski Non-Majors, Anthony Coleman, and Monk/Mingus Ensembles.

Tuesday, April 24 – Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

Wednesday, April 25 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Thursday, April 26 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Monday, April 30 – International Jazz Day
7:30 p.m. Brown Hall

UNESCO has designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. NEC joins the celebration with a performance featuring NEC faculty and students playing music embodying the ongoing dialogue between jazz and musical cultures from throughout the world.

May 2018

Tuesday, May 1 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

Wednesday, May 2 – World premiere of Streams by Anthony Coleman
7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

For its first 150 years one of NEC’s most important contributions to music education has been the school’s efforts to confront the convergence of various musical idioms and genres. These efforts only intensified in the late 1960s, when NEC president Gunther Schuller brought his “Third Stream” idea to the conservatory, creating a department (now called “Contemporary Improvisation”) with the specific mission of crafting a new approach to teaching music that could adapt as a new global approach to composition, performance, and improvisation took shape. This concert features the world premiere of “Streams,” a new composition commissioned for NEC’s 150th Anniversary. In this work CI alum, faculty member, and maverick composer Anthony Coleman bring the forces of today’s Contemporary Improvisation department (both students and faculty) together to explore and confront the problems and possibilities inherent in creating a global music for the 21st century.

Thursday, May 3 – Jazz Ensemble Concerts
7, 8 and 9 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with these one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.

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. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz. 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 101 students; 52 undergraduate and 49 graduate students from 18 countries.

Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation (CI) program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd). CI trains composers, performers, and 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 thirty-three years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current co-chairs Hankus Netsky and 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 more than 50 undergrad and graduate students from 14 countries.

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. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz. 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 101 students; 52 undergraduate and 49 graduate students from 18 countries.

Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation (CI) program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd). CI trains composers, performers, and 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 thirty-three years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current co-chairs Hankus Netsky and 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 more than 50 undergrad and graduate students from 14 countries.

This story appears courtesy of Braithwaite & Katz Communications.
Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

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