Tag: Mark Urness

Panamanian Pianist Danilo Pérez Closes Lawrence University 2011-12 Jazz Series

Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Danilo Pérez joins the Lawrence faculty jazz trio Friday, May 11 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel for the final concert of the 2011-2012 Jazz Series.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors, and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, or by calling 920-832-6749.

The Panama-born Pérez began playing piano at age three as a student of his father, Danilo Sr., and later studied classical music at the National Conservatory in Panama. After moving to the United States, he completed a degree in jazz composition at Boston’s  renowned Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Pérez began performing with jazz heavyweights Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. In the late 1980s, Pérez became the youngest member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. Today, in addition to his own trio, Pérez also performs as part of the Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet.

Danilo Pérez / Photo by Dragan Tasic

Pérez’ discography includes 15 albums, including 1998’s “Central Avenue” and 2010’s “Providencia,” both of which earned him Grammy Award nominations for best jazz album. He garnered two Grammy nominations for 2000’s “Motherland,” which was named that year’s best jazz album by the Boston Music Awards.  The New York Times praised his 1996 album “PanaMonk,” a tribute to both Thelonious Monk and his Panamanian heritage, as “a masterpiece of jazz synthesis.”

“Danilo’s music has the capacity to connect your soul with the unique sonorities of the universe in perfect harmony. It is just beautiful,” said José Encarnacion, instructor of jazz and improvisational music and jazz performance coordinator at Lawrence.

Encarnacion, a saxophonist, along with Dane Richeson, percussion and Mark Urness, bass will join Perez on stage as the Lawrence Faculty Trio.

Based in Boston, Pérez serves as artistic director of the Panama Jazz Festival, artistic advisor of the innovative Mellon Jazz Up Close series at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. Follow us on Facebook.

Turtle Island Quartet Homage to Jimi Hendrix Opens 2011-12 Artist Series Oct. 14

The classical/jazz fusion trendsetting Turtle Island Quartet celebrates the music of Jimi Hendrix Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The quartet opens Lawrence University’s 2011-12 Artist Series with their dynamic “Have You Ever Been…?” program.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton or by calling 920-832-6749.

Turtle Island Quartet: David Balakrishnan (violin), Jeremy Kittel, (viola), Mark Summer (cello) and Mads Tolling (violin)

Through their exploration of jazz, classical and world music styles, the Turtle Island Quartet has taken audiences on journeys through many musical genres, eras and places, including the American landscape, Latin America, Europe and India.

The two-time Grammy Award-winning quartet latest trip ventures into Electric Ladyland, tackling works by legendary guitarist, songwriter and performer Jimi Hendrix. “Have You Ever Been…?” also explores compositions reflective of, and inspired by, Hendrix’s music, including TIQ founder David Balakrishnan’s new composition “Tree of Life.”

“These are not simple transcriptions of rock tunes for string quartet,” said Mark Urness, associate professor of music who teaches string bass at Lawrence.  “Turtle Island re-imagines the music of Jimi Hendrix: adding to the excitement and energy of the original the beautiful acoustic sonorities and precise ensemble performance of great string chamber music. The result is so natural on string instruments, you wonder if it was the sound of a violin that Hendrix was after with his sustaining overdrive and whammy-bar glissandos.”

Released in 2010, “Have You Ever Been …?” was the brainchild of violinist Balakrishnan, who credits the inspiration for the disc to a pair of Hendrix concerts he attended as a teenager at the Los Angeles Forum in 1969 and ’70. Shortly thereafter, he began playing Hendrix tunes on his violin.

At his creative peak in the late 1960s, Hendrix redefined the potential of the guitar as well as the entire rock genre, creating a blueprint that still is challenging guitarists in particular and musicians of all stripes more than four decades later.

Led by Balakrishnan, TIQ, which includes co-founder cellist Mark Summer, violinist Mads Tolling and newcomer violist Jeremy Kittel, has taken Hendrix’s cue in the course of its 25-year history by reexamining and reconstructing conventional genres of music and seeking new permutations of style, technique and composition. That mission was exemplified in its Grammy-winning 2007 recording “A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane,” in which the quartet reinterpreted the music of one of jazz’s most pivotal figures by injecting it with their own signature rhythmic innovations and multicultural influences.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

The Role of Collaboration in Innovation Focus of Lawrence University Convocation

The importance of collaborations in innovation and problem solving will be the focus of a Lawrence University convocation.

Professor of Theatre Arts Tim Troy

Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama at Lawrence, presents “Unexpected Collaborators: The Geniuses Among Us” Tuesday, April 5 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Troy also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

Troy was selected for the 2010-11 convocation series as the second recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award. Chosen by President Jill Beck from nominations collected by the Committee on Public Occasions, recipients for the award are selected for the high quality of their professional work.

While innovation is often considered the result of brilliant people making major discoveries, closer examination reveals “the geniuses among us” work closely with colleagues to solve pressing problems and lead us into the future. Troy will examine some of the “rules” he’s learned for productive collaboration in his career working with playwrights, composers, actors, design teams and technicians.

His address will feature two poems: “The Geniuses Among Us,” by Marilyn Taylor and “Sometime During Eternity” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, which will be delivered with Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl, Professor of Music Dane Richeson and Associate Professor of Music Mark Urness.

A 1985 graduate of Lawrence, Troy first returned to his alma mater in 1989, serving as a lecturer in theatre and drama for three years. He went on to work with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Education Department and taught at Augustana College and the College of DuPage before returning to Lawrence a second time on a tenure-track appointment in 1997.

During his career, he has directed more than 100 plays, musicals and operas for both university and professional theatres and has written four plays, including 2010’s “Radio and Juliet.” He was a featured contributor to the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin” and directs Lawrence’s “Theatre of the Air” radio drama program. He was recognized with Lawrence’s Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2004.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence, Troy earned a master of fine arts degree in theatre arts/directing from the University of Iowa.