At 11:00 a.m. in the Lawrence Chapel on Sunday, November 11, 100 years after the moment the World War I guns fell silent on the western front, students and faculty from the Lawrence Jazz Department will perform Armistice 1918, a multimedia piece composed and arranged by jazz pianist and Lawrence faculty member Bill Carrothers. The event is free and open to the public, no tickets are needed.
Armistice 1918 begins with a musical and visual representation of the period immediately before the war, the second section revolves around the separation of loved ones and the extraordinary events of Christmas 1914. The third part is a portrait of life at the front in a series of improvisations and popular songs from the time, and finally the silence of Armistice day, interrupted only by the sound of church bells bringing the news of peace. In Armistice 1918, Bill Carrothers attempts to bring together his two passions; history and music. His goal with this project was to tell a story of the Great War through music; of the process from the relative innocence of 1914 to the wasteland of November 11, 1918. Heavily influenced by the poets of the war and specifically of infantry officer 2nd lieutenant Wilfred Owen, with his gritty realism and and the poignant contrasts between idealism and reality Carrothers brings together his inventive harmonies and passion for history to create an experience unlike any other.
Carrothers will be joined by fellow Lawrence faculty members Jose Encarnacion, saxophone; Matt Turner, cello; Mark Urness, bass; and Dane Richeson, drums; as well as by guest vocalist Peg Carrothers and guest percussionist Jay Epstein. The performance will be accompanied by a slideshow of photographs and poems from the First World War and will also feature a choir made up of Lawrence University Conservatory students, as well as narration by Jerald Podair, Professor of History at Lawrence.
Bill Carrothers has been a professional pianist for 35 years and has been teaching at Lawrence since 2011. He has played many venues throughout the U.S. and Europe including the The Village Vanguard, Birdland, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. In October of 2000, Mr. Carrothers headlined the prestigious Rising Star Tour throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He has been a leader on twenty-six recordings, all of which have received critical acclaim, and has played with some of the greatest names in jazz including: Scott Colley, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Freddie Hubbard, Dave King, Dewey Redman, Bill Stewart, and Toots Thielemans.