Pianist Robert Glasper brings his brand of acoustic jazz roots to Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Versatile pianist and composer Robert Glasper and his band, the Robert Glasper Trio, showcases his forthcoming album “Covered” Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. in the final concert of the 2014-15 Lawrence University Jazz Series.

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Robert Glasper previews his forthcoming album “Covered” May 1 in the final 2014-15 Jazz Series concert.

Tickets for the Lawrence Memorial Chapel concert, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors and $18-20 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

In “Covered,” Glasper returns to his acoustic jazz roots while continuing to explore the hip-hop and R&B sound that earned him two Grammy Awards for his albums “Black Radio” and “Black Radio 2.

The album, which is scheduled for official release June 16, was recorded live in front of an intimate gathering of invited guests in Capitol Records’ historic Studio A. The first single from the album, “Reckoner,” a cover of the Radiohead song, was made available to all streaming services and digital retailers on April 22.

“Robert Glasper is unmistakable for his gospel-infused sound,” said Lawrence associate professor of music Mark Urness, bassist with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet. “He has amazingly collaborated with the top artists in jazz and R&B and is one of the busiest pianists and composers today.

“His two Grammy Awards are testament to the universal appeal of his lyrical, soulful style,” Urness added. “Whether it is complex original jazz compositions, or covers of Radiohead, the Glasper Trio always delivers lyrical melodies, compelling harmonies and a joyous groove.”

The New York Times locates Glasper’s signature eclectic, referential style at the “junction of coolheaded logic and digressive caprice.” The new album features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Musiq Soulchild, John Legend and Bilal alongside jazz standards like “Stella by Starlight” and works by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell.

Joining Glasper onstage will be bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid, with whom Glasper recorded his first two Blue Notes releases, “Canvas” (2005) and “In My Element” (2007). He cites Archer and Reid as two of his favorite musicians and the perfect collaborators for an album blending old and new sounds. NPR lauded the trio as “a shape-shifting, communicative unit” able to showcase Glasper’s “supple, flowing lines…sostenuto melodies…moody harmonies.”

In addition to working on “Covered,” Glasper composed and recorded the score for “Miles Ahead,” Don Cheadle’s upcoming film about Miles Davis. He also has been combing through Davis’ Columbia Records vaults and will create a remix album based on the legendary trumpeter’s recordings, rehearsals and outtakes.

He was recently named a Steinway Artist, joining the roster of world-class musicians who perform exclusively on Steinway pianos.

Glasper’s concert is a rescheduled appearance from an originally schedule performance for January 30 that had to be cancelled due to a film project conflict.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Stepping Up: Professor Skran delivers student-raised funds to Sierra Leone Ebola victims

After delivering an invited talk at Oxford University on the causes and consequences of the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic on April 20, Lawrence University political scientist Claudena Skran took a trip to ground zero of the disease — Sierra Leone.

Skran’s visit to the West African nation that has suffered nearly 3,900 deaths since the outbreak began last spring, was as much as goodwill ambassador as it was as scholar on refugees and humanitarian aid.KidsGive-Poster_newsblog

At the top of Skran’s itinerary was presenting a donation for more than $5,000 to the Calaba Town Community Aid Organization to assist children orphaned as a result of Ebola. The money was raised earlier this year through the collective efforts of numerous Lawrence student organizations on behalf of KidsGive, an organization founded by Skran to educate U.S. students about African life and cultures. It promotes informed giving effort while providing Sierra Leone children with opportunities to learn and become the country’s next generation of leaders.

In total, students raised more than $6,000, some of which was donated to other schools and programs in Sierra Leone.

“I’m so proud of the way Lawrence students responded to the Eblola outbreak,” said Skran, professor of government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science. “While others just stepped away, our students stepped up and reached out to those in need.

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Professor of Government Claudena Skran

“What really makes this effort special in my view is the way in which it was accomplished,” Skran added. “We have a campus that is known for individual achievement and for distinction by smaller groups, especially in music and athletics, but we had more than 30 different student organizations working together, showing true collaboration on this effort. This is a such a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when groups of students unite in action for a common cause.”

In February, student members of the KidsGive on-campus board — Liz Barthels, Anna Bolgrien, Kobe Lewin, Kara Vance and Wesley Varughese — organized a “Help Ebola Orphans” campaign. Reaching out to campus organization with which they were connected, the board members asked each group to set a goal of raising $100, a sum that would enable a student in Sierra Leone to attend school, have food and water and be able to participate in any scholarship opportunities while in school. Organizers also reached out to faculty members and the athletic department in the hope of getting some of Lawrence’s varsity teams involved.

The response, according to Varughese, KidsGive president, far exceeded expectations.

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KidsGive President Wesley Varughese

“Most board members thought we would only get one or two thousand dollars and we would have to push just to get that amount,” said Varughese, a junior from La Villa, Ill., who was elected president of LUCC in January. “In the first week alone, we collected more than $3,000.”

The student organizations groups raised funds through a variety of methods. Members of the Wriston Art Collective created art pieces and sold them through an art bazaar. Some of the bartenders in the Viking Room donated all of their tips to the cause. A sorority held a bake sale in the library. One board member reached out back home, resulting in a $400 donation from the Greendale Community Church. Several of the coaches in the athletic department promised to match whatever their teams raised, helping the swim team, fencing team and track team finish as the top three groups, respectively, that raised the most money.

“I’m so proud of the way Lawrence students responded to the Eblola outbreak. While others just stepped away, our students stepped up and reached out to those in need.”
— Professor Claudena Skran

“We’ve been talking at LUCC about what can we do to provide for collaborative efforts and I think it just took one student organization to take the initiative and show that cooperation is really possible with just a few people,” said Varughese.

As other students saw how passionate the KidsGive members were in reaching out to all facets of the Lawrence community, Varughese said that inspired them to come together.

“I got the feeling the student organizations were like, ‘If they took their time to reach out and do all this, why don’t we do it together,’” said Varughese. “In the end it became a really good collaborative effort.”

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Government Professor Claudena Skran delivered the address “Setting the Stage for Ebola: War, Peace and Refugee Policy” at Oxford University’s Rhodes House on April 20.

Skran’s latest trip to Sierra Leone — she has visited the country nearly 20 times since joining the faculty in 1990 — came just two days after delivering the address “Setting the Stage for Ebola: War, Peace and Refugee Policy” at Oxford University’s Rhodes House.

In her address, Skran, a 1983 Rhodes Scholar herself, discussed why Ebola in West Africa spread so far, so fast and why more attention needs to be given to health care before epidemics break out, especially in post-conflict countries such as Sierra Leone. Both the country’s 10-year civil war (1991-2001) and the post-conflict peace-building contributed to the creation of a weak and vulnerable health system in the country.

Skran first visit to Sierra Leone after the civil war was in 2005 as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. She has taken dozens of students with her over the years to Sierra Leone to assist with her on-going refugee research and provide students with their own hands-on research projects.

She serves as a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post last December about the impact of Ebola on the medical profession in Sierra Leone and is in the process of writing a book about the Ebola epidemic.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Students Earn Top Honors in State Music Competitions

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Cameron Pieper ’15

Lawrence University student musicians captured top honors in a pair of recent state music competitions.

Pianists Cameron Pieper and Elizabeth Vaughan earned first- and second-place honors, respectively, in the Wisconsin National Federation of Music Club competition, which is conducted via submitted audio recording.

Pieper, a senior from Fond du Lac, received a first-place prize of $1,000. His winning recording included Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in G major Book 1,” Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata op. 110 in A-flat Major I, Moderato cantabile molto espressivo” Chopin’s “Scherzo no. 1 in B minor op. 20,” Rzewski’s “Piano Piece no. 4,” and Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Etude no. 10 in F minor.”

As the state champion, he will represent Wisconsin in the National Federation of Music Club national competition later this spring. It was the second-winning performance this year for Pieper, who was awarded first place honors last month in the Schubert Club’s Carlson Student Scholarship Competition in St. Paul, Minn.

Vaughan, a senior from Highland Park, Ill., received $750 for her runner-up recording.

The competition is part of the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs’ mission to promote music and dance through arts advocacy, student festivals, competitions and scholarships.

Pieper and Vaughan both study in the piano studio of Professor Catherine Kautsky.

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Erec VonSeggern ’17

Erec VonSeggern, a sophomore from Idyllwild, Calif., won the Wisconsin State Flute Festival held in Madison. He was awarded a first-place prize of $350. It was the third straight year a Lawrence student has won the state flute festival competition.

For his 15-minute finals performance, VonSeggern played Georges Hüe’s “Fantaisie Pour Flûte et Piano, ” “Night Music for Solo Flute, 1. Night Music I”  by Vanraj Bhatia and Otar Gordeli’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 8.”

Senior Heather Jost, a senior from Pewaukee, also qualified for the finals and earned third-place honors.

The Wisconsin Flute Festival is a one-day educational event for flute players and flute enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

VonSeggern and Jost are students in the flute studio of Assistant Professor Erin Lesser.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Former U.S. Ambassador David Mulford ’59 Discusses Challenges, Promises of a Global Economy

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David Mulford ’59

Former U.S. Ambassador to India and Lawrence University graduate David Mulford returns to his alma mater to share his insights on the global economy and offer a first-hand reflection on the United States’ role in international finance.

Mulford presents “Packing for India: A Life of Action in Global Finance and Diplomacy,” an address based on his 2014 book of the same name, Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public. Copies of his book will be available for purchase.

From a perspective that includes New York boardrooms, the Treasury Department and the emergence of India as a world economic power, Mulford will discuss the underpinnings, vulnerabilities and promise of a global economy as well as reflect on some of the key world events that occurred during his lengthy tenure in public service.

Mulford spent five years (2004-2009) as U.S Ambassador to India, a period in which U.S.-India relations underwent a dramatic shift and the two countries began working more closely together on a wide range of issues.

Mulford-Book-Cover_newsblogPrior to his ambassadorship appointment, Mulford was chairman international and a member of the executive board of London-based Credit Suisse. He rejoined Credit Suisse as vice chairman international after returning from India. From 1984-1992, Mulford served as U.S. Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs. He was the Treasury Department’s senior international economic policy official under Secretaries Donald Regan, James Baker and Nicholas Brady.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lawrence in 1959, Mulford earned a master’s degree in political science from Boston University and a Ph.D. from Oxford University.

Lawrence recognized Mulford with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1984. A football and track standout as an undergraduate, Mulford also was inducted into Lawrence’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Welcomes Participants in the 2015 Fox Cities Book Festival

Lawrence University will host an artist, a poet, two photographers and an alumna author in conjunction with the 8th annual Fox Cities Book Festival April 20-26. All events are free and open to the public.

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Crystal Chan ’02

Crystal Chan, a 2002 Lawrence graduate, is one of this year’s festival’s featured authors. On the heels of her critically acclaimed 2014 debut novel “Bird,” Chan presents “Beyond Being ‘Unique’: a Mixed-Race Author in a Monoracial World” Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m. in the Appleton Public Library.

Lawrence, one of the sponsors of the book festival, will host a meet-and-greet with Chan Friday, April 24 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Milwaukee-Downer room of the Seeley G. Mudd Library.

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Martin Brief’s “Amazon God.”

Beth Zinsli, director and curator of Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center Galleries, will lead a tour of Martin Brief’s art exhibition “Amazon God,” Wednesday, April 22 at 1 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center. The exhibit explores the difficulty of describing God using language. Brief, known for his focus on language, almost to the point of obsessiveness, creates artworks that dig deep into the meaning of words until he has reached the very limits of expression.

Brief was the recipient of a 2013 Howard Fellowship and a 2014 MacDowell Colony Fellowship. The “Amazon God” exhibition runs until May 3.

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Cynthia Marie Hoffman

Madison-based poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman reads selections from her 2014 book “Paper Doll Fetus,” Thursday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center. The work, which explores pregnancy and childbirth, was praised by the Library Journal as “sometimes dark, sometimes tender, always surprisingly imaginative.”

Hoffman also is the author of “Sightseer,” which won the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook “Her Human Costume.”

Photographers Travis Dewitz and Kevin Miyazaki discuss their recent projects in a talk on art photography Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center Cinema.

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Travis Dewitz

Dewitz’s book “Blaze Orange: Whitetail Deer Hunting in Wisconsin” explores Wisconsin heritage through the sport of deer hunting. Jeff Davis, editor of Whitetails Unlimited Magazine, says Dewitz “presents the deer hunt in a way that is unvarnished and yet poetic, graceful and subtle.” Describing his work as “conceptual, emotive and expressive,” Dewitz has provided photography for publications ranging from National Geographic and Trains Magazine to Vogue Italia and Child Model Magazine.

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Kevin Miyazaka

Miyazaki’s 2014 book, “Perimeter: a Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan,” reflects on the importance of freshwater in the communities surrounding it. The work came from Miyazaki’s 1,800-mile drive around Lake Michigan. It was commissioned by Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art.

His photography has appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Midwest Living and The New York Times Magazine, among others.

Bird-book_newsblogChan’s “Bird” tells the story of 12-year-old Jewel and her family’s struggle with loss, secrets, silence and racial identity. Chan drew on her own experience growing up mixed-race in Wisconsin, which she describes as both rich and daunting. “Bird” has been published in nine countries and was recently announced as a finalist in the Society of Midland Authors’ 2014 best books by Midwest authors, children’s fiction competition.

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Monica Rico

Monica Rico, associate professor of history at Lawrence, presents “British Aristocrats & the American Frontier” Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Menasha’s Elisha D. Smith Public Library as part of the book festival.

Rico is the author of 2013’s “Nature’s Noblemen: Transatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth-century American West,” which examines how the 19th century American West was mythologized as the place for men to assert their masculinity. Rico explores how this mythology played out in a transatlantic context.

Also as part of the book festival, the Lawrence University Students Poets Invitational will be held Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Copper Rock Coffee Company. As part of the Wisconsin Fellowship Poets Series, the event will conclude with an open mic and the public is invited to participate.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Jazz Series welcomes pianist, composer Jon Cowherd for April 17 concert

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Jon Cowherd and his band — percussionist Brian Blade, guitarist Steve Cardenas and bassist Tony Scherr — perform in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, 17.

Pianist, composer, arranger and producer Jon Cowherd and his band The Mercy Project showcase music from his album “Mercy” in a Lawrence University Jazz Series concert Friday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors and $18-20 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Released in 2013, “Mercy” is Cowherd’s first album released under his own name. Completely fan-funded, “Mercy” showcases Cowherd’s distinctive compositional style.

“Jon Cowherd is one of the most expressive and sensible jazz piano artist I have ever heard,” said Jose Encarnacion, instructor of jazz studies at Lawrence. “His beautiful melodies, profound harmonies and lyricism will easily connect you with his musical stories. I love his Mercy Project and am looking forward for his next musical production. This should be a concert that the Lawrence community can’t miss.”

Cowherd is best known for his participation in the Fellowship Band, which he co-founded with celebrated percussionist Brian Blade. The two met as students at Loyola University in New Orleans, where Cowherd studied French horn with jazz great Ellis Marsalis. Since its inception in 1998, the Fellowship Band has toured widely and garnered critical acclaim for its stylistic synergy of jazz, blues, gospel and folk.

A much sought-after collaborator, Cowherd has worked with such notable artists as Cassandra Wilson, Lizz Wright, Kellylee Evans, Roseanne Cash and Iggy Pop, all of whom he cites as influences on “Mercy.”

Joining Cowherd on stage will be Blade, guitarist Steve Cardenas and bassist Tony Scherr.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Photographic retrospective by Lawrence art professors Shimon and Lindemann offers intimate look at life in Wisconsin

The photography of Lawrence University faculty members and creative partners John Shimon and Julie Lindemann is currently featured in a retrospective of their work at the Wisconsin Museum of Art (MOWA) in West Bend.

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Jeri with her 1956 Pink Cadillac, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 2013.

The exhibition, “There’s a Place: A Three Decade Survey of Photographs by J. Shimon and J. Lindemann,” will be presented through June 7.

The largest exhibition of their work to date and their first retrospective, it highlights the artistic duo’s long-standing interest in blending contemporary and historic photographic techniques to tell meaningful stories about ordinary people in their native Wisconsin.

Blending old and new photography techniques, Shimon and Lindemann have created a compelling, at times melancholy, body of work that stands as a record of their time. Although rooted in Wisconsin, Shimon’s and Lindemann’s images are neither regional nor documentary but deeply personal, reflecting slow, thoughtful meditations on relationships that reveal the human experience.

“A retrospective of Shimon and Lindemann’s work was an obvious choice for the Museum of Wisconsin Art,” said Laurie Winters, MOWA Executive Director and CEO. “Their work is original and thought provoking. Long before regionalism was hip or the word ‘place-making’ had become fashionable in the art world, Shimon and Lindemann had quietly been making photographs of the people and places they cared about in and around their hometown of Manitowoc.”

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Angela with Kit (Blue Velvet Prom Dress), Reedsville, WI, 1997.

Associate Professors of Art, Shimon and Lindemann joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000. They were recognized with Lawrence’s faculty Excellence in Creative Activity Award 2012 and were named 2014 Wisconsin “Artists of the Year” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Their photographs are featured in numerous museums including MOWA, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Rising stars, musical legends fill Lawrence’s 2015-16 Artist and Jazz Series

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Lawrence Brownlee Photo by Derek Blanks

Internationally acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee and trumpeter extraordinaire Ambrose Akinmusire headline an exceptional eight-concert line-up on Lawrence University’s 2015-16 Artist and Jazz Series.

Subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz series are now on sale. Subscribers may choose from either series or a “Favorite 4” package, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 16. For more information, contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or boxoffice@lawrence.edu. All concerts are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Boasting a voice as powerful as it is agile, Brownlee has established himself as one of the most sought-after tenors in the world performing the bel canto repertoire. He closes the four-concert Artist Series with an April 16 performance in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Since making his professional stage debut in 2002 as Almaviva in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” Brownlee has gone on to star regularly opposite many of contemporary opera’s leading ladies, Renee Fleming among them.

With a voice that has been described as “honey,” Brownlee enjoys a relationship with many prominent conductors and symphony orchestras and has been featured in nearly every major theater in the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, Madrid’s Teatro Real and the Vienna State Opera.

Brownlee will sing the title role in the world premiere of Daniel Schnyder’s “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird,” for Opera Philadelphia in June.

The Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet plays the Memorial Chapel Friday, Feb. 19, the third of four Jazz Series concerts.

One of jazz’s most exciting new artists, Akinmusire began his professional career while still in high school. Inspired by legendary saxophonists Joe Henderson and Steve Coleman, he studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, touring India and Vietnam in 2005 with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

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Trumpter Ambrose Akinmuisire

He won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition in 2007 and released his debut CD, “Prelude…to Cora,” the following year.

Named best trumpet player in the 2012 and 2014 DownBeat International Critics Poll, Akinmusire has released two albums on the Blue Note label, “When the Heart Emerges Glistening” in 2011, which earned Akinmusire France’s Grand Prix l’Academie du Jazz, and 2014’s “the imagined savior is far easier to paint.”

Joining Lawrence on the Artist Series will be Eighth Blackbird, Oct. 2, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Feb. 6, 2016 and pianist Jeremy Denk, April 8, 2016.

Eighth Blackbird, the Chicago-based, Grammy Award-winning sextet combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. Through provocative and mind-changing performances of master classical composers, Eighth Blackbird debunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few.

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Chicago’s Eighth Blackbird

The groups discography includes six critically acclaimed recordings with Cedille Records, three of which earned Grammy Awards: “strange imaginary animals” in 2008 for best chamber music performance; “Lonely Motel: Music from Slide” in 2011 for best small ensemble performance; and “Meanwhile” in 2012 for best small ensemble performance and contemporary classical composition.

Pine, who will be accompanied by pianist Matthew Hagle, has been hailed for her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and the infectious joy she brings to her performances. She has played as guest soloist with many of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie and has performed with musicians as diverse as Placido Domingo and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

Known for her interpretations of great classical works, Pine became the youngest person — age 17 — and first American to win a gold medal at the prestigious J.S. Bach International Competition in Leipzig, Germany. She has recorded 25 albums and her most recent CD, 2013’s “Violin Lullabies,” debuted at number one on the Billboard classical chart.

Denk, a 2013 recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, has forged a reputation as an unusual and compelling artist thanks to his broad and thought-provoking repertoire. He received critical acclaim for his 2013 recording of Bach’s iconic “Goldberg Variations,” which Denk himself described as “maniacal, in the best way” and as “the biggest jazz riff ever written.”

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Cyrille Aimée

A frequent recitalist at concert halls in New York, Washington, Boston and throughout the United States, Denk also performs regularly with many of the nation’s major orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. His virtuosity has been recognized with the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year Award.

Joining Akinmusire on the Jazz Series will be singer Cyrille Aimée, Nov. 6; Rufus Reid’s Quartet with the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble Nov. 7 and the Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet May 13.

Aimée will open the Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend, newly renamed in honor and memory of its founder and Lawrence’s Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music, who passed away in August, 2014.

Raised in the French village of Samois sur Seine, Aimée’s culturally rich background has provided her with the driving force of Dominican rhythm and the incredible swing of the French Gypsies.

Inspired by the musical legacy of renowned guitarist Django Reinhardt, Aimée has established herself as one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation as the winner of both the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival’s Vocal Competition and the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. Her 2014 major label debut, “It’s a Good Day,” showcases Aimée’s incredible range of musical styles, eras, continents and moods.

Reid, a Grammy Award-nominated bass player whose performances span five decades, closes Fred Sturm Jazz Weekend with a Saturday night concert, featuring Lawrence’s own jazz ensemble under the direction of Jose Encarnacion.

The author of “The Evolving Bassist,” the definitive bible for every jazz bassist and the industry standard since 1974, Reid has lent this signature sound to the music of a veritable “Who’s Who” of jazz icons, including Thad Jones, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Jack DeJohnette and Nancy Wilson, among others.

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Kurt Rosenwinkel

As a leader or co-leader, Reid has recorded more than 20 albums, including 2014’s “Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project,” which was inspired by the legendary sculptor and civil rights activist. He’ll be joined on stage by tenor saxophonist Tia Fuller, pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca.

Guitartist Kurt Rosenwinkel closes the jazz series with his New Quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Allan Mednard.

Rosenwinkel dropped out of Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 1990 to pursue a professional music career. He soon established himself as one of the East Coast’s most respected jazz guitarists. His floating lyricism, luminous tone and an ultramodern harmonic language has helped him redefine the instrument, leading AllAbout Jazz to call him “perhaps his generation’s most influential guitarist, spawning almost as many imitators as Pat Metheny.”

Since his debut album in 1996, “East Coast Love Affair,” Rosenwinkel has released a dozen more discs, including 2014’s “With Ojm: Our Secret World,” a collaboration with Portugal’s big band Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Hilary Haskell ’12 Recognized with State Teaching Award

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Hilary Haskell ’12

Lawrence University graduate Hilary Haskell, an English Language Learner (ELL) teacher at Appleton North High School, was honored April 12 in Madison with an award from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Haskell received WACTE’s Early Career Educator Award during ceremonies at the Concourse Hotel.

The award honors an outstanding educator within the first three years of his/her professional career. It recognized teachers for having a positive impact on their schools or communities, their innovation in designing learning experiences and their advocacy for students.  Haskell was one of 42 teachers state-wide honored by WACTE.

Haskell graduated from Lawrence in 2012 with a student-designed major in international comparative education. Certified to teach Spanish, ELL and bilingual, she joined the faculty at Appleton North in the fall of 2013.

She was selected for the award by faculty of Lawrence’s college and conservatory teacher education program. Each institution that belongs to WACTE is invited to select a recipient for the award.

Associate Professor of Education and Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education Stewart Purkey, said “teachers in general, and especially talented young educators such as Hilary, deserve all the recognition, celebration and thanks we can offer.

“Lawrence and Lawrence’s teacher education program are honored to be able to recognize Hilary with this award,” Purkey added.

Appleton North Principal James Huggins described Haskell as “a very bright star in the North Community.” He also cited her for a “sincere and genuine desire to make a difference in and advocate for those she serves in our ELL population.”

David Pynenberg, associate principal at North and Haskell’s direct supervisor, hailed her for “a tremendous job breathing new life into the (ELL) program.

“What I love about Hilary is her passion for learning,” said Pynenberg. “She works very hard to serve her students’ needs and has done an exceptional job differentiating her instruction.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

All the world’s a stage: International Cabaret celebrates world culture

Cabaret-Japanese-Dancers_newsblogNearly 100 Lawrence University students representing more than 20 countries will provide a cross-cultural trip around the world in a pair of weekend shows for the college’s 39th annual International Cabaret.

With the theme “All the World’s a Stage,” students will showcase their native culture in performances Saturday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 12 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. A free reception in the Warch Campus Center will follow Sunday’s performance.

Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for students/children (under age four are free), are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or online at www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/box_office/tickets. The box office will be open one hour prior to Sunday’s performance.

This year’s Cabaret features singing and dancing performances as well as two fashion shows with students modeling traditional clothing from their native countries. For the first time, Cabaret will include Duo Acro Balance, a performance that incorporates circus arts to illustrate the complex relationship with oneself.  It features stylistic movements that showcase the blending of the artists’ training in traditional Mongolian contortion with modern Western theatrical movement.

Cabaret-Dancer_newsblog2This year’s  scheduled entertainment includes:

a Vietnamese dance originating from the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The dance’s name translates to “Calling for the Rain,” and was used to communicate with God during a drought.

  an Indian classical song from Northern India. Hindustani music dates back nearly 3,000 years.

Viva Santa Cruz Dance, a dance from East Bolivia. Called Taquirari, this dance is typically performed for Carnival.

a Korean history dance, an example of the dancing history of popular Korean culture, dating back to the 14th century.

a traditional Hawaiian song and dance.

a Japanese dance

a Russian song

  a Chinese dance

A traditional Bengali song from Bangladesh.

  a Ghanian Denkyem dance.

fashion shows featuring clothing from Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.