Tag: Performing Arts

Renowned Performers, Rising Stars Featured in 2012-13 Artist and Jazz Series

Three-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara and a dynamic doubleheader weekend of award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling and the renowned Maria Schneider Orchestra are among the celebrated performers on the 2012-13 Lawrence University Performing Artist and Jazz Series.

Subscriptions for both series are on sale now and subscribers may choose from the Artist, Jazz, or “Favorite 4” concert packages, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 17, 2012. Contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749 or visit the Lawrence Performing Arts page for more information.

Kelli O'Hara

After starring runs in the Tony Award-winning revival of “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game” and “The Light in the Piazza,” O’Hara has established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies.

Hailed as Broadway’s “golden girl” by the New York Times, O’Hara brings her soulful soprano voice to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel March 9, 2013 as part of the four-concert Lawrence Artist Series.

Artist Series Opens Oct. 27

Cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley open the Artist Series Oct. 27 in an eclectic collaboration that crisscrosses classical and pop music genres, showcasing their talents as collaborators and soloists.  Their program will feature works by Bach and Gabrielli, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Stravinsky.

A pair of April 2013 concerts rounds out the Artist Series schedule. The Jupiter String Quartet, winners of both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, performs April 12, 2013 while the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, hailed as “arguably the best ensemble of its kind in the world” by the Manchester Evening News, takes the Memorial Chapel stage April 26, 2013.

Formed in 2001, Boston-based Jupiter added winners of the Young Concert Artists International auditions to its resume in 2005. One of America’ most dynamic young string quartets, Jupiter performed the entire cycle of Beethoven string quartets — all 16 — last summer for the Aspen Music Festival.

Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet — the first permanently established wind quintet in the Berlin Philharmonic’s long history of chamber music — has been dazzling audiences around the world since 1988 with an uncanny ability to unite five disparate sounds into a collective smoothness.

Redefining the sound of the classic wind quintet, the ensemble’s repertoire includes the full spectrum of the wind quintet literature as well as works for enlarged ensemble, among them the sextets of Janácek and Reinicke or the septets of Hindemith and Koechlin.

“The 100-year-old tradition of excellence continues with next year’s exceptional Artist Series line-up,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “It is amazing to think that we can experience, right in our own Memorial Chapel, the same performers who are playing to sold-out houses in New York, Los Angeles or Berlin just the week before. These are musical opportunities not to be missed.”

Jazz Celebration Weekend Kicks off Jazz Series

The Kurt Elling Quartet and the Maria Schneider Orchestra headline the Lawrence’s 32nd annual Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 2-3, respectively.

Kurt Elling

Elling, described as “the standout male vocalist of our time”‘ by the New York Times, performs with the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble. A nine-time Grammy Award nominee and 2009 Grammy winner for “Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman,” Elling has won the DownBeat Critics Poll Male Vocalist of the Year Award an astonishing 12 years (2000-2011) in a row. This will be Elling’s second appearance at Jazz Weekend, having previously performed in 2003.

An internationally renowned jazz composer and conductor, Schneider formed her 17-member orchestra in 1993. A weekly performer at Visiones in Greenwich Village early on, the orchestra has since become a staple at concert venues around the world, earning 2005’s “Large Jazz Ensemble of the Year”‘ award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Her orchestra’s albums “Concert in the Garden” and 2007’s “Sky Blue” earned Grammy Awards and were named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the Downbeat Critics Poll.

Maria Schneider

“I consider Maria Schneider the premier composer of music for the large jazz ensemble in the 21st century, and her Jazz Orchestra is among the finest big bands in the world today,” said Fred Sturm, director of jazz studies and improvisation music at Lawrence. “Her original works contain the most artistic renderings of melody, harmony, orchestration, and structure created by composers in all jazz-related genres over the past decade. Her scores and recordings have dramatically impacted the evolution of the jazz composition art form worldwide.”

The Bad Plus, a jazz trio born in 2000 that includes Wisconsin native Ethan Iverson on piano, brings its eclectic combination of avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences to the Memorial Chapel Feb. 1, 2013. The band has recorded versions of songs by diverse artists ranging from Nirvana, Blondie and Pink Floyd to Neil Young, David Bowie and Black Sabbath. According to a Rolling Stone review of a Bad Plus performance, the band is “about as badass as highbrow gets.”

Vocalist Gretchen Parlato closes the four-concert Jazz Series May 10, 2013. A Los Angeles native, Parlato won the 2003 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and two years later released her debut self-titled album to critical acclaim. Following the release of her second CD, 2011’s “The Lost and Found,” Parlato was named No. 1 Rising Star Female Vocalist in DownBeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll.

“Gretchen is one of the most unique, provocative, and hip singers on the scene today,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music in Lawrence’s jazz studies department. “She pulls together great musicians to work with her in her band and I promise hers will be a great concert.”

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.

Grammy-Winning Bassist Christian McBride Closes Lawrence Jazz Series May 14

Two-time Grammy Award-winner Christian McBride and his acoustic jazz quintet Inside Straight performs Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel in the final concert of Lawrence University’s 2009-2010 Jazz Series.

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

Christian-McBride_web
Christian McBride

Hailed as “perhaps the most exciting jazz bass player since Ray Brown” by All About Jazz, McBride has appeared on more than 250 albums, including five of his own releases. Playing both acoustic and electric bass, McBride has accompanied scores of jazz luminaries, among them Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Diana Krall.

Over the past two decades, McBride has been one of the most requested sidemen in the music business, touring with such renowned jazz musicians and their bands as Roy Hargrove and Pat Metheney.

Assistant Professor of Music Mark Urness, who teaches bass in the Lawrence conservatory of music, said McBride has been at the forefront of jazz bass playing for nearly two decades.

“His stunning virtuosity is combined with an intense rhythmic feel and a rare melodic gift,” said Urness. “He epitomizes the modern jazz artist by combining tradition with innovation.”

Named “Hot Jazz Artist” of 1992 by Rolling Stone magazine, McBride won Grammy Awards in 2009 and 2006 in the best jazz instrumental album, individual or group category. He was named co-director of The Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2005 and recently finished a four-year appointment as creative chair for jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  As a composer, McBride created “Bluesin’ in Alphabet City,” a commissioned work performed by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Inside Straight, McBride’s new quintet, recently released its debut album “Kind of Brown,” a collection of hard swing-to-bluesy groove tunes. The international cultural criticism magazine Pop Matters praised Inside Straight for creating “delicious music” and described the album as “hot. It puts a little jump in your step.”

“Inside Straight is a traditional acoustic jazz ensemble with innovative compositions and improvisations,” said Urness. “The band draws influence not only from classic jazz, but also from modern funk and hip-hop artists.”

Inside Straight features Eric Scott Reed on piano, Steve Wilson on saxophone, Warren Wolf, Jr. on vibraphone and Carl Allen on drums.