Tag: Performing Arts Series

2013-14 Lawrence University Performing Arts Series Filled with Music Legends, Rising Stars

Jazz guitar icon Pat Metheny and his Unity Group and the adventurous classical vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire are among the celebrated musicians slated to perform on Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Performing Arts Series.

Pat Metheny

Season subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz Series or a “Favorite 4” package are now available, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 18. For more information, contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. All concerts are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

“A wonderfully diverse line-up of stellar musicians makes next year’s Artist and Jazz Series concerts the place to be for lovers of great music,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “I look forward to seeing lots of familiar as well as new faces there.”

The St. Louis Brass Quintet, one of America’s oldest such ensembles, kicks off the four-concert Artist Series Oct. 11. Praised by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for creating an “atmosphere that emanates from the stage,” the group has performed more than 2,500 engagements during its nearly 50-year history. The quintet includes founding member, St. Louis native and trombonist Melvyn Jernigan as well as top musicians from throughout the country.

Internationally acclaimed violinist Rachel Lee performs Feb. 8, 2014. Lee has showcased her prodigious skill worldwide since performing at the United Nations at age nine. A Harvard University graduate, Lee is noted for her compelling stage presence and commitment to a wide-ranging repertoire. She has enjoyed solo engagements with the National Symphony, the Aspen Sinfonia at the Aspen Music Festival and repeat performances with the Seoul Philharmonic. Most recently she has made orchestral debuts with the Chicago, St. Louis, Houston and Seattle Symphony orchestras.

Rachel Lee

One of the country’s most sought-after young pianists, Orion Weiss takes the stage April 11, 2014. Weiss has toured the United States, China, Israel and throughout Europe. Since graduating from Juilliard School in 2004, he has been named a “pianist to watch” by the Los Angeles Times and hailed as an “effortlessly brilliant performer” by the Arizona Republic. In 2010, the Classical Recording Foundation Named Weiss its “Young Artist of the Year.”

A week after Weiss, the vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire, along with Spektral Quartet visits April 18, 2014. Featuring some of the country’s most talented vocalists, Seraphic Fire performs a diverse repertoire of choral works, ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works. The 11-member ensemble received two Grammy nominations in 2012 for their recordings of Brahms’ “A German Requiem,” which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Classical charts and a Christmas album that entered the top 10 on iTunes’ Classical chart on the day of its release.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to welcome Seraphic Fire to Lawrence,” said Stephen Sieck, co-director of choral studies at Lawrence. “The fact they were nominated for Grammys for two different projects in 2012 speaks to the level of excellence they bring. They combine the clear brightness of the best Early Music groups with the warmth and precise phrasing of the best European radio choirs.”

The Chicago-based, all-male Spektral Quartet blurs the lines between old and new music, pairing Beethoven and Mozart with Phillip Glass and Elliott Carter. Their innovative programs have become favorites of both classical music enthusiasts and new music aficionados.

Seraphic Fire

Lawrence’s 33rd annual Jazz Celebration Weekend opens the four-concert Jazz Series Nov. 8-9 with concerts by the Kate McGarry Quartet and the Yellowjackets, respectively.

Named DownBeat Magazine’s “Rising Star Vocalist” five times (2007, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12), the “astute and sensitive” McGarry also earned a 2009 Grammy Award nomination for best jazz vocalist. Drawing upon everything from her cultural Irish tunes to musical theatre to pop favorites, her discography includes five critically acclaimed albums, including “Girl Talk,” a tribute to her favorite jazz women vocalists, which was named one of the top jazz CDs of 2012 by Downbeat.

The Yellowjackets, a smooth jazz and jazz fusion group, has been a jazz world mainstay since their formation in 1977. The four-member group, among the longest tenured groups in jazz history, has effortlessly evolved with the times, earning two Grammy Awards along the way. From their first self-titled album in 1981 through 2011’s 11-track CD “Timeline,” the Yellowjackets’ discography numbers 25 releases.

On March 15, 2014, Lawrence welcomes Pat Metheny and his Unity Group. Winner of an astonishing 20 Grammy Awards in 12 different categories, Metheny’s musicianship is legendary. A nonpareil guitarist as well as accomplished composer, his impressive body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras and even ballet pieces. Metheny previously performed at Lawrence in 1984.

He’ll be joined on stage by his powerhouse Unity Group that features four all-star musicians in their own right: saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Ben Williams and pianist Giulio Carmassi.

“Pat is one of the most original guitarists and composers on the planet,” said Jose Encarnacion, an instructor in Lawrence’s Jazz Studies department. “His music, which combines elements of folk, contemporary, progressive jazz and fusion, is always fresh and powerful.”

Kenny Garrett

The Kenny Garrett Quintet closes the jazz series May 2, 2014. In a stellar career spanning more than three decades, Garrett has established himself as the pre-eminent alto saxophonists of his generation. After launching his career with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, he has gone on to perform with many of the giants of the genre, including Art Blakey, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, among others. The latest of his 19 albums as leader, 2012’s all-original “Seeds from the Underground,” earned two Grammy Award nominations. Garrett’s work often incorporates world music influences as reflected in his 2006, multi-award nominated disc “Beyond the Wall,” which interweaves his interests in Asian music with jazz.

This will be Garrett’s second appearance on the Lawrence Jazz Series, having previously performed in Feb. 2000.

“Kenny Garrett is one of my heroes and biggest inspiration,” said Encarnacion, a fellow saxophonist. “He is one of the most important alto saxophone players in the history of jazz. His voice is unique and in perfect alignment with the universe.”

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 2013 and 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 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

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.

So Percussion Brings Eclectic Blend of Music to Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel

The highly acclaimed Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion performs Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel as part of Lawrence University’s 2011-12 Artist Series.

Tickets, at $20-22 for adults, $17-19 for seniors and $15-17 for students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

So Percussion members (l. to r.) Adam Sliwinski, Eric Beach, Jason Treuting and Josh Quillen.

Formed at the Yale School of Music in 1999, the group has been hailed as an “experimental powerhouse” by The Village Voice. Described as “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine  and “brilliant” by the New York Times, So Percussion is known for their innovative, original music as well as its collaborations some of today’s most exciting composers, among them Baltimore “electro-freak” Dan Deacon, electronic collage duo Matmos and Academy Award-nominated film composer Martin Bresnick.

“There are only a handful of professional contemporary percussion groups that are making a name for themselves and moving this genre of music forward,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music at Lawrence and director of the conservatory’s percussion studio.  “So Percussion is in this elite group. They have great skill not only on a variety of percussion instruments, but in how they program the repertoire in their concerts. They are truly an exciting ensemble to watch and hear.”

So Percussion — Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting — has performed their eclectic blend of unusual music throughout the United States, including the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as on tours to Australia, Russia, the Ukraine and throughout Europe.

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, 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.