Tag: trumpet

“World of Warcraft,” “South Park” soundtrack contributors visit campus for special events

Accomplished multimedia composer Jeff Kurtenacker makes a return visit to his alma mater and he’s bringing Grammy Award-nominated trumpet player Wayne Bergeron along. The two Los Angeles-based musicians will lend their respective talents to the Lawrence University community for a series of special events April 12-13, culminating with a big band concert.

A 1999 Lawrence graduate and Green Bay native, Kurtenacker has made his mark in the video game industry. After graduating from Lawrence with a self-designed major in composition, Kurtenacker landed a job with Hans Zimmer at his company, Media Ventures/Remote Control, where he honed his craft of composing for media.Jeff-Kurtenacker_newsblog

After serving as choral arranger on “Warcraft 3” for Blizzard Entertainment, Kurtenacker worked on numerous other video game titles, among them “World of Warcraft,” “Pirates of the Burning Sea,” Dreamworks’ “Igor,”  and “American Idol.”

Kurtenacker joined Carbine Studios in 2008 as a sound designer and three years later moved into the role of lead composer. In addition to that role, he also serves as Carbine’s audio department manager. He composed, orchestrated and conducted a 75-piece orchestra in recording more than nine hours of music for Carbine’s “Wild Star.”

Bergeron has established himself as one of the most sought-after musicians in the world for studio sessions, film soundtracks, international touring, jazz concerts and clinics. He is especially in demand for film and television scores, having contributed to more than 350 TV and motion picture soundtracks. His many credits include “Frozen,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Monsters University,” “Despicable Me” “Marley & Me,” “The Simpson’s Movie,” “Dreamgirls,” “Mission Impossible 3” and “South Park.”

Wayne-Bergeron_newsblog_2After working behind the scenes for many years, Bergeron released his first solo effort, “You Call This a Living?,” which earned rave reviews as well as a Grammy Award nomination in 2004. His second disc, “Plays Well With Others” released in 2007, drew similar praise. His latest project is scheduled to be released later this year.

During their residency at Lawrence, Kurtenacker and Bergeron will participate in the following events, all of which are free and open to the public.

• Tuesday, April 12, 11:10 a.m. Bergeron and Kurtenacker will lead masterclasses in trumpet and composing, respectively, in Shattuck Hall 163 and Shattuck Hall 4.

• Tuesday, April 12, 7 p.m., Shattuck Hall 163. The pair will conduct a live recording session with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra sight reading one of Kurtenacker’s orchestral soundtracks. The session will be recorded just as his music is at Warner Bros. in Los Angeles. Bergeron will play with the LSO for the recording.

• Tuesday, April 12, 8 p.m., Shattuck Hall 163. Bergeron and Kurenacker lead a discussion on “the business of music,” providing an insider’s look at the world of composing and performing for film, television and multimedia.

• Wednesday, April 13, 8 p.m., Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Bergeron headlines a concert with the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble and the new 19-member Lawrence Jazz Faculty Big Band. The program will feature jazz standards such as Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train” as well as several selections Bergeron has personally selected from his library.

“We are so fortunate to get this opportunity to perform with Wayne Bergeron, who is really  one of the world’s most in-demand musicians,” said Patricia Darling, lecturer in music and director of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble. “We’ll be playing some great big band charts. This is going to be a very exciting and rewarding concert for everyone.”

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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 the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

Incorporating modern classical, vanguard pop and spoken word, composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire brings his unique brand of modern jazz to Lawrence University’s Jazz Series.

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Trumpet player Ambrose Akimusire

The Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet performs Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. in Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel. Tickets, at $30/$25 for adults, $25/$20 for seniors and $20/$18 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Joining Akinmusire on stage will be pianist Sam Harris, bass player Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown.

Winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2007, Akinmusire, 33, released his first album, “Prelude to Cora,” the following year. His second album, “The Heart Emerges Glistening,” released in 2011 on Blue Note Records, drew rave reviews. After being named Downbeat magazine’s Rising Star Jazz Artist of the Year in 2011 and Trumpet Player of the Year in 2012, Akinmusire moved to the forefront of progressive jazzmen, becoming one of the most buzzed-about artists of his generation.

“The first time I heard Ambrose, I was completely captivated, enchanted by his warm, huge, beautiful trumpet sound,” said Jose Encarnacion, director of Lawrence’s jazz studies program. “He speaks from the heart. His musical stories will take you places you have never imagined. This will be a musical experience not to be missed.”

His most recent album, 2014’s “The Imagined Savior Is Easier to Paint,” was compared to Mark Rothko paintings by NPR music critic Ann Powers, who described it as “large, filling every corner of the frame, yet calm, spacious, their colors connected in subtle gradations.”

On “The Imagined Savior,” Akinmusire flexed his composition talents, drawing inspiration from a local homeless man in his neighborhood, a 16 year-old imprisoned young woman and police brutality. He collaborated with numerous vocalists on the album, giving each an outline of the music and allowing them to create their own lyrics.

“He speaks from the heart. His musical stories will take you places you have never imagined.”
— Jose Encarnacion, director of LU’s jazz studies program

In the track “Rollcall for Those Absent,” a young girl reads the names of numerous African-American men and women killed by police.

Having a young voice read the names, according to Akinmusire, was “like the beginning of life talking about the end of life. I wanted to capture that.”

A native of Oakland, Calif., Akinmusire began playing the trumpet professionally while still in high school, touring Europe with the Five Elements band.  He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Along the way, he studied with trumpet luminaries Terence Blanchard, the late Lew Soloff and the late master teacher Laurie Frink.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.