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January 7, 2010

Something beautiful from The Low Anthem…

Next Friday, January 15, at 9pm, the band will play at the Abrons Art Center as part of FONT Music. They’ve been kind enough to invite Dave Douglas to play a couple tunes with them. Can’t wait!

It’s part of a bill with Chicago Underground Duo with Rob Mazurek at 7:30; Opsvik & Jennings with Ignite a Noise Trumpet trio at 6:30; and more… full details at www.fontmusic.org.

UPDATE: They’ll be on Letterman on the 14th.

January 5, 2010

Forward Flight

Jan. 13-16, 2010
Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street (at the corner of Pitt Street)
NYC

Purchase tickets to the Benefit honoring Wilmer Wise HERE
Purchase the festival pass HERE
Purchase individual night tickets HERE

Tickets will also be available at the door.

Wednesday, January 13th

7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

FONT Music Celebrates The Music And Legacy of Wilmer Wise

A multi-faceted event and FONT Music fundraiser featuring a pre-concert reception and performances by Dave Douglas, Wilmer Wise and a gathering of special surprise guests. Wise’s eclectic and groundbreaking body of work includes faculty positions at Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory and countless collaborations with many of the most prominent musicians, composers, conductors and ensembles of the 20th Century. Over the course of his 50-year career, he has worked with everyone from Pablo Casals to Placido Domingo, Philip Glass to Steven Sondheim, Rudolph Serkin to Leonard Bernstein, the Marlboro Festival Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic, Quincy Jones to Weather Report and many others in between.

Thursday, January 14th

9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage

The Chamber Music of Ornette Coleman featuring Wilmer Wise, Lew Soloff and Taylor Ho Bynum

Distinguished trumpet player Wilmer Wise will lead a performance of chamber music composed by Ornette Coleman, highlighted by the rarely heard work, “The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin”, featuring special guest trumpeter Lew Soloff. The program will also include new arrangements of Coleman works featuring Soloff and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum created by Darcy James Argue, Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. and JC Sanford of thePulse Composer Federation.

7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

The Brass Music of Charles Wuorinen and Du Yun

The Urban Brass Quintet will present the New York premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brass Quintet with the composer conducting, and The New York Trumpet Ensemble, under the direction of Mark Gould, will perform Wuorinen’s “Big Epithalamium” for eight trumpets and Du Yun’s “Air Glow”, a 2005 FONT Music commission for five trumpets and laptop. Known as “a leading light of American contemporary music” (The New York Times), Wourinen has been one of the world’s foremost composers for more than four decades and Chinese-born Du Yun is one of its most eclectic and respected new

voices.

6:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Anti-Social Music, Inc.

The New York-based composer/performer collective Anti-Social Music, Inc., known for its own fresh and unpretentious semi-annual concert series, will present a program of world premieres, including new music written by David Durst, Bradley Kemp, Andrea La Rose and Pat Muchmore, featuring trumpeters Tim Byrnes, Chris DiMeglio, Stephanie Richards and Kelly Rossum.

5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Free workshop: Oral History Project with Wilmer Wise

Veteran trumpet player Wilmer Wise will share some of the wisdom he acquired during the course of his 50-year career as a first-call trumpet player working with many of the 20th Century’s most respected names in jazz, Broadway and classical music.

Friday, January 15th

9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage

The Low Anthem with special appearance by Dave Douglas

“At times languid and haunting, but with detours into Tom Waits-esque stomping and hollering, The Low Anthem’s music seems equally informed by Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, The Band and a late-night ride home in Joni Mitchell’s car,” explains NPR Song of the Day reviewer Bruce Warren. “Like fellow new-acoustic greats—Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper, et al.—The Low Anthem has created something strange, beautiful and new.” The Providence-based trio’s 2009 release, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch), earned Album of the Year honors at the Boston Music Awards and is listed on year-end lists in publications including the Boston Herald, The Independent, Q, Rough Trade and Uncut.

7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

Chicago Underground Duo

Cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor will celebrate the release of Boca Negra, their fifth recording for Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records. The longstanding group is known for its adventurous explorations of sound and texture, fueled by the musicians’ ability to bring more than a dozen different instruments, as well as programmed sounds, into the mix on their recordings. Its music draws on elements such as modern composition, free-form improvisation and avant-rock. Boca Negra, the band’s first recording since 2006, will be released in January 2010.

6:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Opsvik & Jennings meets Ignite a Noise Trumpet Trio

In his review of experimental chamber-pop duo Opsvik & Jennings‘ latest recording, A Dream I Used To Remember (Loyal Label, 2009), AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins writes, “the duo’s improvisational skills are reflected in the sophisticated harmonies and concise arrangements that drive their buoyant songs. Bursting with verdant Americana, pastoral folk and nostalgic old world ambience, these pieces sit comfortably alongside the work of their indie rock brethren.” For this performance at Forward Flight, the three year-old group will join forces with the Ignite a Noise Trumpet Trio featuring three of New York’s most adventurous trumpet players, Rich Johnson, Russ Johnson and Kirk Knuffke.

5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Free workshop: Ableton Live User Group

Co-hosted by FONT Music and the Ableton Certified Training Center, Dubspot, this free workshop will offer guidance and practice for brass players interested in using Ableton Live software in their performances.

Saturday, January 16th

9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage

Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble

Forward Flight concludes with the American debut of this international all-star ensemble featuring trumpeters Taylor Ho Bynum, Jean-Luc Cappozza, Franz Hautzinger, Joe McPhee, Itaru Oki and Herb Robertson and the world-class rhythm section of bassist William Parker and drummer John Betsch. First assembled in May 2008 for a two-night stand at Le Petit Faucheaux in Tours, France, the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble comes to the United States thanks to a grant from the CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange that will provide funding for this performance and a second at the International House in Philadelphia the following night as part of a traveling FONT Music triple-bill with The Chicago Underground Duo and The Meridian Arts Ensemble with special guest Dave Ballou.

7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

The Meridian Arts Ensemble featuring special guest Dave Ballou

This eclectic new music ensemble will be joined by trumpeter Dave Ballou to present the world premiere of David Sanford’s Seven Kings, a multi-movement work for brass quintet and trumpet soloist inspired by the complex interplay in King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, commissioned by FONT Music and Chamber Music America. The program will also include music by Ballou and Mark Applebaum. The New York-based Meridian Arts Ensemble features John Ferrari (drums), Daniel Grabois (French horn), Benjamin Herrington (trombone), Brain McWhorter (trumpet), Jon Nelson (trumpet) and Raymond Stewart (tuba).

6:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Trumpets in Traditional Folk Music: Mr. Tamerman’s Maggot and Sarah Ferholt’s Veveritse

Named after “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot”, a once popular English country dance—in the folk tradition a maggot is a bit of whimsical and extravagantly different bit of music brought on by the madness caused by an actual maggot bite—trumpeter Erol Tamerman’s new quintet romps through fanciful jigs, reels, ballads, waltzes, polkas and more, including original compositions. Joining Tamerman are Nadje Noordhius (trumpet, flugelhorn and pennywhistle), Will Holshouser (accordian), Jaqueline Schwab (piano) and Andrew VanNostrand (guitar and bouzouki).

Veveritse is eight horn players and two percussionists exploring the Romany (Gypsy) brass band tradition of Serbia. Led by Brooklyn-based musician and educator Sarah Ferholt, the group also features Erin Bell (baritone truba), Patty Farrell (alto horn), Emily Geller (bubanj), Don Godwin (baritone truba), JR Hankins (truba), Joe Keady (tuba), Quince Marcum (alto horn), Luke Schnieders (snare drum), Greg Squared (alto sax) and Ben Syversen (trumpet).

5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre

Free workshop: The York College Blue Notes

The York College Blue Notes, an elite high school big band-in-residence at York College/CUNY, will join with other student ensembles and members of the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble to demonstrate techniques for collective improvisation.

December 29, 2009

The Brass Music of Charles Wuorinen

“Charles Wuorinen is one of the world’s greatest composers… “— John Zorn

photo credit: Nina Roberts

As part of FORWARD FLIGHT, Thursday, January 14th at 7:30 p.m. The Urban Brass Quintet will present the New York premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brass Quintet with the composer conducting, and The New York Trumpet Ensemble, under the direction of Mark Gould, will perform Wuorinen’s “Big Epithalamium” for eight trumpets.

Charles Wuorinen (b. 1938, New York) is one of the world’s leading composers. His many honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize (the youngest composer to receive the award). His compositions encompass every form and medium, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, soloists, ballet, and stage. Wuorinen has written more than 250 compositions to date. His newest works include Time Regained, a fantasy for piano and orchestra for Peter Serkin, James Levine and the MET Opera Orchestra, Second Piano Quintet for Peter Serkin and the Brentano Quartet, Eighth Symphony for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Fourth Piano Sonata for Anne- Marie McDermottand Synaxis for four soloists, strings and timpani. Upcoming projects include an opera on Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain. (Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories based on the novel of Salman Rushdie was premiered by the New York City Opera in Fall 2004.)

Wuorinen has been described as a “maximalist,” writing music luxuriant with events, lyrical and expressive, strikingly dramatic. His works are characterized by powerful harmonies and elegant craftsmanship, offering at once a link to the music of the past and a vision of a rich musical future.

Both as composer and performer (conductor and pianist) Wuorinen has worked with some of the finest performers of the current time and his works reflect the great virtuosity of his collaborators.

His works have been recorded on nearly a dozen labels including several releases on Naxos, Albany Records (Charles Wuorinen Series), John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and a CD of piano works performed by Alan Feinberg on the German label Col Legno.
Wuorinen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

December 22, 2009

Stream from FONT celebrates Woody Shaw

Festival of New Trumpet Music
Celebrates Woody Shaw (1944-1989)

The Woody Shaw Legacy Ensemble: Brass Knights
At the Jazz Standard, New York

Sean Jones with Ezana Edwards, Nick Roseboro, trumpets; Mulgrew Miller, piano; Dwayne Burno, bass; musical director Victor Lewis, drums; Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III, Producer

MUSIC (all by Shaw)
Joshua C
The Moontrane
Katrina Ballerina
Sweet Love of Mine (Woody Shaw III on drums)
Stepping Stone

Stream it on demand at jazzset.npr.org after December 24, the 65th anniversary of Woody Shaw’s birth.

December 17, 2009

CELEBRATE THE MUSIC AND LEGACY OF TRUMPETER WILMER WISE JANUARY 13TH

CELEBRATE THE MUSIC AND LEGACY OF TRUMPETER WILMER WISE JANUARY 13TH AT NEW YORK’S ABRONS ARTS CENTER

On Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 p.m., The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) will honor esteemed trumpet player Wilmer Wise with a special concert and reception at Abrons Arts Center in New York. This festive presentation, which will feature performances by FONT Music co-founder Dave Douglas, Wise himself and a number of surprise special guests, will serve as both a fundraiser for the organization and the opening night of Forward Flight, its third and final event of the 2009-10 concert season. Forward Flight, which celebrates the eclecticism of the trumpet in contemporary music with a variety of concerts and free workshops on both of Abrons Arts Center stages, will continue through Saturday, January 16th.

Tickets for the opening night benefit concert are $35, which also includes a membership in FONT Music and admission to the pre-concert reception, and can be purchased HERE. http://www.nycharities.org/events/EventLevels.aspx?ETID=808.

Tickets for the other three nights are $15 ($12 for students with ID and FONT Music members) per night and can be purchased at (212) 352-3101 or https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/702215.

A festival pass is also available for $40 ($30 students with ID and FONT members). Passes can be purchased at https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/store/209.

The Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street (at the corner of Pitt Street) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Venue information is available at (212) 598-0400 and http://www.abronsartscenter.org

About Wilmer Wise:

More than two decades before Wynton Marsalis was famously straddling the worlds of jazz and classical music in the 1980’s, trumpeter Wilmer Wise was blazing a trail for musicians with the versatility to perform in settings ranging from jazz to Broadway to the highest levels of the classical music establishment. As an African-American musician of advanced abilities and an impressive classical pedigree coming onto the scene in the years leading up to the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Wise carved a unique path as the only black trumpet player in the ensembles he performed with in the early days of his career.

Fifty years and a wealth of experience later, his eclectic and groundbreaking body of work includes faculty positions at Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory and countless collaborations with many of the most prominent musicians, composers, conductors and ensembles of the 20th Century. Working with everyone from Pablo Casals to Placido Domingo, Philip Glass to Steven Sondheim, Rudolph Serkin to Leonard Bernstein, the Marlboro Festival Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic, Quincy Jones to Weather Report and many others in between, Wise has truly been there and done that.

Born in Philadelphia on December 21st, 1936, Wise began playing the trumpet when he was eight years old. His first teacher was Anthony DelCampo, a general music teacher at the local high school who also taught Wise’s fellow Philadelphians, Eddie Fisher and Mario Lanza. DelCampo’s class featured students on various instruments, giving Wise early experience playing with other musicians, transposing music into various keys and reading in different clefs thanks to the teacher’s insistence that the students learn solfeggio.

Growing up, his main musical influences at home were his mother’s player piano, which his sister also practiced on, and the radio shows favored by his father, including live broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic. He was also a fan of cornetist James F. Burke, a veteran of Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman’s famous band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, thanks to Burke’s performances as a soloist with the The Cities Service Band of America, which had its own weekly radio show from 1948-1954. Little did he know at the time that he would fulfill his childhood dreams by performing with both Burke (as a member of the Trenton Symphony) and the New York Philharmonic in the coming years.

Wise went on to study for six years with the legendary Sigmund Hering, a forty-year veteran of the Philadelphia Orchestra and widely considered the most influential trumpet teacher of his day, as well as Hering student Gil Johnson, Sam Krauss and Nat Prager, before turning professional in 1960. He began his career as the only black musician in the orchestras for the Broadway show previews in Philadelphia, including Showgirl with Carol Channing, and also performed as a guest soloist with groups such as Quincy Jones’ band as they passed through town. In the early 60’s, he also joined the trumpet section of Johnny Lynch’s Club Harlem Band of Atlantic City, which already included Johnny Coles and Lamar Wright.

In 1965, Wise began a five-year stint as the Baltimore Symphony’s Assistant Principal Trumpet. In a city that was slow to accept racial integration, the only place he could live was the Mount Royal Hotel, a well-known haven for African-American entertainers such as Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor, who Wise already knew from his days in Philadelphia. That same year, he also joined the Symphony of the New World, a fully integrated orchestra that featured both black and white performers, as well as men and women. The group, which also featured Joe Wilder on first cornet, was sponsored in part by the Ford Foundation and played its own concert at Carnegie Hall. 1965 was also the year he toured Europe as first trumpet in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra, conducted by Rudolf Serkin, and played on the ensemble’s famous recordings with cellist Pablo Casals.

One of the first jobs he got upon relocating to New York in 1970 was playing in the American Symphony conducted by Leopold Stokowski. A year later, he played in his first show on Broadway, Lovely Ladies and Kind Gentlemen, an unmemorable flop that actually led to a more lucrative job at Madison Square Garden. Wise would go on to become a first-call trumpeter on Broadway, playing lead trumpet in more than 30 shows, including five of Steven Sondheim’s biggest hits and their original cast recordings. He also played lead trumpet on the only recording of West Side Story conducted by Leonard Bernstein, as well as on many of Philip Glass’ movie soundtracks. His most long-lasting job was as the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s principal trumpet, a position he held for more than three decades until his retirement in 2003.

“At nearly 73, he is still playing at the top of his game,” declares cornetist/composer and fellow Festival of New Trumpet Music board member, Taylor Ho Bynum. “Wilmer shows that all these streams of contemporary music are deeply intertwined; that American music is not about the differences between genres, but the conversations and exchanges amongst them. It’s a great honor to work with him on the FONT Music board, and to hear him and fellow trumpet legend Lew Soloff perform Ornette Coleman’s ‘The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin’, and talk about his long and prestigious career as part of the free FONT Music Workshop Series, is going to be amazing. I’m so glad we’ll be able to honor him, hear him play and give him the recognition he deserves at this year’s Forward Flight event. ”

December 7, 2009

Wilmer Wise

If you’re unfamiliar with Wilmer Wise and his amazing career
check out this great interview from 2005 with Laurie Frink.

“Wilmer Wise’s extraordinarily diverse career clearly demonstrates his
musical open–mindedness. He’s played in big bands with Lee Morgan and
was the principal trumpet player for Marlboro Music Festival and – for
35 years – the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He was the first-call guy for
everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Stephen Sondheim, and he is still
playing at the top of his game. Wilmer shows that all these streams of
contemporary music are deeply intertwined; that American music is not
about the differences between genres, but the conversations and
exchanges amongst them. That’s what FONT is all about.”
-Taylor Ho Bynum, Curator

November 22, 2009

FORWARD FLIGHT

The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) will present Forward Flight, the third and final event of its 7th annual performance season, from Wednesday, January 13th through Saturday, January 16th at New York’s Abrons Arts Center.

This four-day celebration of the eclecticism of the trumpet in contemporary music, curated by Dave Douglas and Taylor Ho Bynum, will feature events on two stages, including performances by a diverse range of ensembles, three free FONT Music Workshop Series events and an opening night tribute to unheralded veteran trumpet player, Wilmer Wise.

The program will include world premieres of music from the New York-based composers collective Anti-Social Music (ASM) and composer David Sanford, whose piece, “Seven Kings”, was commissioned by FONT Music with support from Chamber Music America to be performed by the Meridian Arts Ensemble with guest soloist Dave Ballou. And, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Mark Gould, will present the New York premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brass Quintet.

Headlining events will include indie folk band The Low Anthem with a special appearance by Dave Douglas, a celebration of the Chicago Underground Duo’s new CD, Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey), a rare performance of Ornette Coleman’s “The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin” by Wilmer Wise and the American debut of the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble, featuring an all-star cast of trumpet players from America, Austria, Japan and France, presented with support from CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange.

“Forward Flight is a collection of performances designed to highlight the forward-looking trajectory of current brass music,” Douglas explains. “The name is taken from a late fifties album by Booker Little, and like that trumpeter it shows the wide ranging possibilities for this instrument. In the context of alternative folk and rock, in contemporary classical composition, in international hybrids of improvised music and electronics, brass instruments continue to breathe air into the expansion of contemporary trends.”

He adds, “FONT Music is for the first time becoming a membership organization, and this festival feels like a part of that step. In our own community, longtime board member Wilmer Wise will be feted with a ceremony and special performance on January 13th. When combined with a series of workshops free to the public, this seems like a big step in a very special year for FONT Music as an organization and as a music festival.”

October 24, 2009

James Jabbo Ware and the Me We & Them Orchestra

Dear Friends: Please join James Jabbo Ware, The Me We & Them Orchestra and Y’All of NY in honoring Jimmy Owens at the Sixth Annual Family and Friends Awards Concert.

Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Living Room at St. Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street
Tickets: $20/$10 seniors and students w/ valid ID
Reservations: 212-874-4448

We are pleased to announce that the Y’All of New York Family will be honoring the long time friend and supporter of MWTO, Jimmy Owens. Jimmy possesses a singular sound and sensibility on the trumpet and flugelhorn. He is also an accomplished improviser, composer, arranger, lecturer and educator. As a performer, Jimmy has anchored brass sections for such seminal ensembles as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and Charles Mingus. His abiding concern for the well-being of musicians and the music have fueled a lifetime of activism and organizing. A founding member and music director of the Collective Black Artists group, he has served on the National Endowment for the Arts. He was also a co-founder of The Jazz Musician’s Emergency Fund. Jimmy recently started his own record label, Jay-Oh Jazz, an outgrowth of his production company Jay-Oh Productions.

We will honor Jimmy Owens on Saturday, October 24, 2009, at the Living Room at St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue on 54th Street. A reception for donors, the board, musicians, and other special guests will begin at 7:30 PM. The concert is at 8:15 PM. While tickets to the concert can be purchased at the door, we hope that you will become a donor and come celebrate with us at the reception.