Thomas Bergeron is one of those trumpeters who does it all – and really well! As comfortable in the jazz world as he is in the classical world and in the creative contemporary music world, he continues to blur the line of what these genres might even mean to someone. This is why we are big fans of him here at FONT Music.
He will be presenting music from his latest project “Sacred Feast” at The Dimenna Center (Benzaquen Hall) on Sept 25th for FONT Music 2015. We are seeing this as a DO NOT MISS performance (buy your ticket here). Not only is he a great artist, trumpeter and composer – he’s also a great guy and we had a blast chatting with him today. Here’s what he had to say…
Hey Thomas, thanks for chatting with us a bit today, we’re really excited to experience your show in couple weeks at The Dimenna Center – we’re so glad to have you on the program this year. I was surprised to hear this is your first time presenting with us. You are a great example of a “Crossing Genre Artist” we like here at FONT Music. We’ve found that FONT Music means different things to different people and artists, what does it mean to you?
I’ve been an admirer of FONT Music for years, and has become an important and influential force in the creative trumpet community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. To me, FONT Music is one of the most forward-thinking “New Music” festivals because it recognizes and embraces the many forms and genres that should fall under the heading of “New Music”, and focuses on the post-academic paradigm where performers are composers and vice-versa.
Right, that’s a great point about the performer being the composer and vice versa. In our community, you rarely are seeing the sole “composers”, but more so the performer is writing for themselves and others they are closely related to. In some ways, it becomes a bit more personal that way I suppose.
Among the many accolades for your new album “Sacred Feast”, the head honcho here at FONT Music Dave Douglas has said some pretty awesome stuff about your new project. “A really fine, beautiful statement. Subtle and rich … I can’t think of another player anywhere that could pull this off”. That’s pretty awesome…
Because Dave is such a model for me as an artist, as soon as “Sacred Feast” was finished, I sent the tracks over to him. I assumed that I was one of dozens of artists sending him material every week, so didn’texpect a response. He not only listened to it, but wrote me an email from the airport with his thoughts! How cool is that? This meant so much to me, and again shows how committed Dave is to supporting young artists and trumpeters. I was obviously thrilled when he asked me to perform at FONT Music this year. I hope that in time I can pay it forward by supporting future generations of FONT Music artists.
Dave Douglas has long been a huge creative and professional inspiration to me, and this Festival is a perfect example of why that is. On top of being a prolific creative force, stunning improviser, and virtuosic trumpeter, Dave is devoted to furthering the art form by supporting other creative artists, especially trumpeters.
Yeah, Dave’s a pretty amazing guy! So, for those of us new to Thomas Bergeron, can you give us a brief history? What have we missed thusfar?
This is a loaded question! I spent a good portion of my early years working in the classical world, both orchestra and chamber music. During this time I was mostly focused on honing my trumpet playing. Because I was taking orchestra auditions (and every freelance gig felt like an audition), I became obsessed with developing my sound and perfecting my technique. I soon realized that sound development and technical work would be never-ending pursuits.
It wasn’t long before I grew hungry for more creative outlets. I had played jazz for as long as I was a trumpet player, but after college I became more intensely interested in improvising and composing (and their intersections). It wasn’t until I arrived at Yale for graduate school that this became a career focus. Yale is primarily focused on classical chamber music, but there were a few fantastic jazz musicians in the program (and luckily for me they were rhythm section players :)). We put together a small jazz group, which provided an oasis of creativity for me. I wanted to convince the school that jazz performance practice had a place within their established chamber music curriculum. My strategy was to arrange jazz versions (written for jazz players) of the music of classical composers like Debussy, Villa Lobos, Chopin, and Ravel.
I love it – change the system from the inside out! Including your musical history and interests creating something unique. And this brought you to your first album?
My first jazz album interpreted the music of Claude Debussy (“The First of All My Dreams“). I was encouraged by the response to the music, especially when we performed live. We would constantly hear jazz fans saying they didn’t realize how cool Debussy was, and classical fans saying they never thought they’d enjoy a jazz show so much. While I was working on this creative outlet in the jazz realm, my classical career continued to have a life of its own.
I’m now going into my fourth season as principal trumpet with the Springfield Symphony, my third season with the Atlantic Brass Quintet, and I recently finished a two-year residency at Carnegie Hall with Ensemble ACJW. Working with these ensembles is of course immensely rewarding, not only because I get to perform alongside some of the worlds greatest players, but because I’m constantly exposed to some of the greatest music ever created. As a composer, jazz musician and improviser, I feed heavily off of the music that I’m exposed to in classical settings.
Wow – you’re ALL over the place musically, that’s so cool! And you’re drawing all areas of your musical interests into your creative playing and writing! So unique and personal! What can we expect next from you?
While promoting “Sacred Feast“, I’m always thinking about new material. I’m currently working on some ideas for smaller jazz groups (trios and quartets), and I’m also writing some new music for the Atlantic Brass Quintet. This is exciting to me because Atlantic is a traditional brass quintet made of up virtuoso players, but most of the players are also stellar improvisers with firm footing in the jazz world (like our trombonist Tim Albright, for example). The variety of skill sets in the ensemble opens up a lot of doors compositionally. I tend to pick a point on the horizon to sail towards, but allow the winds to blow me to a new course if they want to. So who knows, man? In general just trying to stay creative, stay healthy, and continue working hard to serve the world of music.
Yes… serving the world of music, that sounds about right. Do you have any big classical projects coming up?
As for nerve-wracking classical projects … there are a few coming up. Most notably, I’m performing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, as well as Copland’s Quiet City with the Springfield Symphony in November (along with Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks … yes all on the same program … yikes).
So, Sacred Feast is your newest album out taking a “different” look at the music of Messiaen. Can you give us some insight?
I became captivated by the music of Olivier Messiaen when I was studying with one of his students, Joan Panetti, who teaches a course at Yale called “Hearing”. What struck me most was his ability to manipulate harmony and tone color to magical effects. Messiaen was known as a mystic, and perhaps more famously as a devout Roman Catholic (someone tell the Pope this concert is happening on the day he’s in NYC!).
Right! He’ll be a half mile away from you when you’re performing “Sacred Feast” – we’re seeing that as more providence than coincidence here. We’ll save him a seat.
Seriously … Tell the Pope this show is happening while he’s in town. He will love it. He probably already loves Olivier Messiaen’s music. If he hasn’t heard of Olivier Messiaen, he should. If ever there was a Pope in history who would enjoy a jazz Messiaen show, it’s Pope Francis.
We totally agree. We’ll see what we can do … Speaking of spiritualness of the music, how does the music affect you?
I am not a religious person per se, but Messiaen’s music takes me to a place that I can only describe as spiritual. That’s why I created this project. I wanted to expose people to his music who might not otherwise find it.
The band has only sunk deeper into the music through the numerous performances we’ve given since the recording sessions (I’ve often thought that bands should re-record their albums at the end of the tours that promote them. It could be like a musical version of one of those before/after pictures in weight-loss ads).
Ha! Yeah, the music evolves so much over time – that’s actually kind of a cool idea. The before and after musical shots… I’d be totally interested in hearing something like that. Tell us a little bit about what to expect on Sept 25th for your concert at The Dimenna Center (Benzaquen Hall) for the Festival?
This FONT Music performance has turned into quite a special affair, with the addition of a fantastic string section and the brilliant Becca Stevens (who sings a 3-part song cycle of Messiaen’s on the record, in addition to his Vocalise). The icing on the cake is that my friend and Pakistani tabla master Yousuf Kerai will be in town that weekend, so I’m re-arranging a number of our pieces to allow him to join us. I met Yousuf while visiting Karachi in January. Just a few days after meeting him, we put together a concert with some local musicians in which we combined Eastern and Western musical practices. Yousuf is the real deal when it comes to tabla. He grew up in Pakistan and studied with Ustad Khurshid Hussain. I remember him describing tabla as a “means of discourse”, which is a particularly apt description in the context of our collaboration.
It’s been such a pleasure talking with you, and we can’t wait to hear this pretty special concert!
Thank you for supporting contemporary music and people crazy enough to devote their lives to playing the trumpet. You’re making the world a better place.
We seem to think so too – glad you agree! Okay, so if we DO get a hold of The Pope, how can we entice him to stop by?
My suggestion, if you have his ear:“Excuse me Your Holiness, there is a concert happening across town tonight entitled ‘Sacrum Convivium’ (use the latin, trust me). Music inspired by the great Catholic composer Olivier Messiaen, including performers from Pakistan, Japan, and the US. Would you like to attend?”How could he say no?
Well, if you didn’t convince him, you’ve convinced me! Thanks Thomas!
Here’s a great clip of “Porquoi” from the “Sacred Feast” recording session:
Thomas Bergeron’s Bio: A trumpeter, composer, producer, and educator known for excelling in both the jazz and classical realms, Thomas Bergeron exemplifies a new breed of 21st century artists. In addition to his own hybrid jazz chamber ensemble, Thomas performs as a sideman with many jazz groups in NYC, is member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet and principal trumpet with the Springfield Symphony. He recently concluded a 2-year residency at Carnegie Hall with Ensemble ACJW, and has performed with Vampire Weekend, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The American Symphony, The Temptations, Idina Menzel, Judy Collins, Jon Irabagon, Arlo Guthrie, Ernie Watts, and the Radio City Christmas Orchestra, among others. His network television appearances include Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and CBS This Morning.As an educator, Thomas is dedicated to sharing music in communities that would not otherwise be able to access it. He currently teaches inmates at Sing Sing Maximum Security Correctional Facility through Musicambia, and is an educational consultant for The Harmony Program in New York City. Thomas has held teaching positions at Williams College, Bennington College, Yale, and Amherst College. He holds two advanced degrees from Yale, where he won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and received the John Swallow Award for excellence in brass playing. He also holds a business management degree from UMass Amherst.Thomas is a Conn-Selmer Artist, performing on Bach Artisan Stradivarius Bb and Eb/D trumpets, the Bach Stradivarius Chicago C trumpet, and the Conn Vintage One flugelhorn.
Teachers: Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to study with Laurie, but I did study with Jon McNeil who is a long time friend and colleague of hers. He would sometimes mention her and her pedagogy. My other trumpet teachers include Lou Ranger during my time at UVIC and Miles Newman from Saskatchewan before that. More recently I studied with Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris, and several other NEC faculty during my time in Boston.
Influences: Greg Kelley, Nate Wooley, Peter Evans, Axel Doerner, Don Cherry, Kevin Drumm, Merzbow, Morton Feldman, …I think this list might get long now that I’ve exited from trumpet players so I’ll stop there.
Current Projects: I’ve been on tour in the States for a few weeks now playing with several different people and I’m leaving on another mini Canadian tour right after the CFONT festival. These dates have all been free improv. When I’m finally at home for awhile in April I’m going to spend some time writing for a group of Boston musicians I’m bringing up to Montreal for a recording session in May. I also have a collaborative project with electro acoustic artists Max Alexander and Eric Powell that I’m hoping to spend more time on when I get back to Montreal.
On the Side/Hobbies: I have an 11 month old son, so most hobbies these days are baby related ones. We like to spend time in the parks in Montreal, which when the weather is nice are really beautiful and lively with people.
I knew I wanted to play the trumpet when: My older brother plays the trumpet and my father used to. I think when I was little I just wanted to be able to do what they did so I started playing it pretty early in my life. I always liked playing it when I was younger…I think me and the trumpet argue with each other more these days then we did then.
Performance Highlight: It’s hard to pick just one, so many gigs are rewarding but unique. A recent highlight was playing at a house show in Boston with guitarist Chris Cretella. We played right after Joe Morris and Patrick Kuehn. Was one of those nights that the music just seems to go all the right places without you having to force it anywhere, and the audience was really listening and got that it was good. It’s really a great feeling when the whole experience of the performance is good and not just some elements of it.
Dream Band: hmmmmm, thats a tough one! I’m tempted to put people from radically different genres or times together but who knows if that would make a fruitful venture so…….I’m going to leave this one alone!
Fun Fact: I used to be really into juggling. I was once Ben Mulroney’s stunt double on a Canadian TV show called “Corner Gas”. If you ever see Ben juggling torches while riding a unicycle…
Friday, March 14 ”Trumpet Cultures”
(Doors open at 830, Music starts at 9pm)
Cafe Resonance 5175a avenue. du parc
Lina Allemano – Toronto: Lina Allemano trumpet, Brody West alto saxophone, Andrew Downing bass, Nick Fraser drums
Teachers: Axel Dörner (Berlin), Laurie Frink (New York City), Kevin Turcotte
(Toronto), Bill Dimmer (Edmonton)
Current Projects: What are you working on? Arrangements, techniques
you’re practicing, other projects
As a leader, I have two active groups: my longtime project Lina Allemano Four, and my new group Titanium Riot. I’ve just written new music for Lina Allemano Four that we’ll be playing in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and during our upcoming Europe tour in April. We’re hoping to record our 5th album later this year. Titanium Riot is just working on putting out our first album in the fall. I also play in various other creative projects as a side person as well as play a lot of improvised music. I’m particularly looking forward to collaborating with some great European improvisers, Achim Kaufmann and Christian Weber, in Germany and Austria at the end of March. Trumpet-wise, I’m currently honing my circular breathing as well as other extended techniques that I’ve been checking out recently, and I’ve also been attempting to make my own mutes.
I knew I wanted to be play trumpet when…
I noticed it only had 3 buttons. How hard could it be?
Dream Band: My long-time project, Lina Allemano Four. 8 years going and still
full of surprises!
Friday, March 14 ”Trumpet Cultures”
(Doors open at 830, Music starts at 9pm)
Cafe Resonance 5175a avenue. du parc
Bill Mahar Quintet (Montreal): Bill Mahar trumpet, Jennifer Bell alto/soprano saxophone, John Sadowy piano, Clinton Ryder bass, Michel Berthiaume drums.
Some of my favorite teachers over the years have been:
(McGill) – Kevin Dean, Jim Thompson, Ted Griffith, Jan Jarzyk
(Banff) – Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Don Thompson, Dave Liebman,
Muhal-Richard Abrams, Cecil Taylor, George Russell Influences:
As a trumpet player, I would say the chronological history of trumpet players
Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Miles Davis, Kenny
Dorham, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis.
I would also like to add, as a sideline, Don Cherry, Booker Little,
and Kenny Wheeler.
As a jazz composer/arranger a few of my main influences are: Duke Ellington,
Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Gil Evans, Charles Mingus
Current Projects: What are you working on? Arrangements, techniques
you’re practicing, other projects
I am currently working on projects for my big band, The Altsys Jazz
Orchestra. Over the years we have produced many concerts of my
compositions and have done projects with Kenny Wheeler, Donny
McCaslin, Tim Hagans, Ray Anderson, to name a few. In the fall of
2014, we will be doing a project with british / canadian expat
composer John Warren. A canadian premier preformance of his large work
Tales Of The Algonquin.
I am also busy writing arrangements for concert band, brass quintet
and brass band.
On the Side: any other hobbies, other interests…
On the non-music side of things, I enjoy the outdoors though cycling,
sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
I knew I wanted to be play trumpet when… after hearing a live
dixieland band made up of group of amatures who played with some great
energy. It really connected with me as an 11 year old. I started the
trumpet the next year.
A Performance Highlight:
My first indoor gig at the 1987 Montreal International Jazz Festival,
with the Vic Vogel Big Band at Place des Arts. Dizzy Gillespie was
the guest and we played music from his big band book. Dizzy played
trumpet, percussion, conducted, told a few jokes, and got me to do a
solo on his piece, Manteca. I felt like I had known Dizzy all my life
It was an up lifting experience for me at such a young age (and it
paid pretty good also).
I play in several dream bands made up of Montreal musicians. I just
wish we were able to play more often together.
Did you know? A short story about some fun fact people wouldn’t
necessarily know about you.
I also play electric bass, ukelele, and a bit of thermin. I’m ready
for gigs on the bass and uke, but the thermin still needs a bit of
Douglas’ Own Sextet Sept. 23, Featuring Jon Irabagon, Josh Roseman,
Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, Rudy Royston & Special Guest Vocalist Heather Masse,
Celebrating Release of New Sextet CD, Pathways, Part of DD|50 Box
Q: How did you become a trumpet player? Did you play other instruments before the trumpet?
DD: Even though trumpet was one of my earliest instruments after piano and trombone, I always naturally thought of myself as a musician. It didn’t occur to me that I was a trumpet player until it was way too late, which is one of the reasons for this festival. It’s to celebrate the trumpet as a piece of equipment in the hands of musicians of every variety, to counter the idea of the trumpeter as a music jock, a sort of athlete of the high notes and proponent of the showiest, brassiest sounds regardless of what the music calls for. We celebrate the Music first. Then the Trumpet, then the New. This is a Festival for music and musicians involved in some of the most compelling, expressive, protean, challenging, and fun music around.
Q: Were there recordings in the beginning and even years into learning the instrument that drew you into the trumpet’s sound and possibilities?
DD: When I finally realized and accepted that I was a trumpeter I was drawn to unique sounding players like Miles Davis, Thad Jones, Lester Bowie, Woody Shaw, Herb Robertson, and of course all the other giant spirits of jazz. I also listened to great classical players like Gerard Schwarz and Raymond Mase, more recently Alison Balsam and Hakan Hardenberger. But I am really a sucker for Macedonian and Mexican brass bands. When the trumpet itself makes people dance how can you not smile?
Q: People often talk about how the trumpet is the hardest instrument to play. Do you feel this is true? What doesn’t the general public understand about playing the trumpet that you wish people would realize?
DD: They say the trumpet is the hardest instrument to play. I’m not sure I agree — they are probably all equally hard. But the trumpet is exposed and personal, like the human voice. You have to figure out how to get a part of your body to effortlessly vibrate at extremely high velocities. This is why trumpet sounds range from the most vulnerable to the most brazen and powerful.
Q: If you had to identify with one or two gurus, trumpeters or otherwise, who had the greatest impact on your musical journey to date, whom would they be?
DD: Aside from all those trumpeters I’ve loved, John McNeil, Carmine Caruso, and Laurie Frink have had the biggest impact on my life as a musician-trumpeter. No question, without them I would not be where I am today. We would likely not be doing this festival. I met co-founder Roy Campbell when I first came to New York in 1984 and at that time I was studying with Carmine. Roy and I heard each other a lot around that time. In starting this festival we both had the same sense that a booster organization for creative trumpeter/composers was an essential job that needed to be done.
Q: How did you select the people you wanted to showcase in your particular curation? Were these people you felt were deserving of wider recognition? Were they people you felt shared a similar working aesthetic as you or came from someplace completely different?
DD: Every year we try to cast as broad a net as we can. We try to support recent arrivals to the scene. We try to celebrate creative pioneers who have pointed the way. And yet, no matter how broad the net, we are always discovering new players and new sounds. We always leave people out, unintentionally! This is one of the richest periods ever as far as new music goes.
Q: Who is your favorite trumpeter today (as in today, the day you are writing this email) and what recorded song available to the public best exemplifies why this trumpeter is so badass?
DD: I practiced a lot today, so if you ask me who is my favorite trumpeter today I am going to say that I am my favorite trumpeter today. How about that? We are all out here practicing to make music and life better. And we all doing it together one note at a time. I love so many players these days and the Festival of New Trumpet Music is a way of celebrating that.
Q: Talk a bit about the venue you chose to curate in? Why is it special to you? Why do you want people to experience that particular venue? Or was it the most hospitable venue available for what you wanted to do?
DD: For the past few years I have been involved in music and spirituality, through recording hymns and spirituals, and through exploring the essence of making music in the moment. Hugh Ragin is a trumpeter who shares that pursuit. When the concert hall at St. Peter’s Church became available for this festival I knew right away that I wanted to present my suite Pathways there. And I knew I would try to get Hugh Ragin to do something. He surpassed my wildest imagination by creating music for the vespers service itself! I cannot wait to hear it.
Q: Can you all share an anecdote about this year’s honoree Marcus Belgrave and what bearing, if any, he has had on your life as a listener, trumpet player, student, or appreciator of creative music?
DD: As I listen to this year’s honoree Marcus Belgrave what amazes me most is how he pulls notes out from all around the horn, the embouchure, and the room. Watching him play is like watching popcorn pop — you never know where the next movement is going to come from. He has one of the most amazing techniques I have ever seen. We are proud to bring him to New York with his own group to honor him with our Award of Recognition.
Q: What event besides the events you curated are you most looking forward to checking out live?
DD: The Henry Brant Flight Over A Global Map for 52 trumpets!!! and percussion is our pièce de resistance this season. I’ve never been involved in anything like this. So many great trumpeters are coming forward to play. It has been a supreme piece of work to organize and I know it is going to be an amazing thrill that will not be repeated any time soon.
Q: Any other thoughts about this year’s festival?
DD: Festival of New Trumpet Music enters its 11th season stronger than ever. New board members, new players, new venues. As a 501(c)3 public nonprofit we appreciate all the support we have had and encourage interested parties to visit our site and consider donating. Thank you.
September 8 through October 7, 2012 – in NYC and Brooklyn – The Festival of New Trumpet Music, directed by Dave Douglas, presents its 10th Anniversary Festival, a multi-genre, multi-venue celebration of new trumpet music by the instrument’s most creative players and composers. Hailed as “a grand highlight of the musical season” by The New Yorker and “a cross-stylistic extravaganza” by The New York Times, FONT Music reaffirms its status as one of the most adventurous and consistently innovative music festivals in the New York scene.
From Dave Douglas: “For our tenth festival we decided to go back to the full month model—a blowout of creative music that spans generations and genres that is our biggest festival since the early days when we had residency at Tonic. We’re book-ending the festival with two great free events: Stephanie Richards’ Rotations Rotations and Claudio Roditi with the West Point Jazz Knights. In between we’ve commissioned creative pioneers like Charles Tolliver, Tom Harrell, and Jack Walrath, and emerging talents like Adam O’Farrill, Alicia Rau, Bruce Harris, and Douglas Detrick. We’re really excited to co-curate with yMusic at Rockwood Music Hall, bringing up the NO BS! Brass Band from Virginia. I am also proud to present my own new project featuring singer Aoife O’Donovan on music from Be Still. I hope you will join us for this exciting and varied program! I am proud to be part of the group of ambitious musician/curators who have worked hard to support and expand the field through this festival’s programming.”
FONT’S 10th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Opening – Rotations, Rotations by Stephanie Richards Rotations, Rotations is a site-specific performance composed and directed by Stephanie Richards, who will be joined by nine moving brass and percussion players performing with the nostalgic sounds of the carousel’s “mechanical band”. Personnel includes Kirk Knuffke and Ben Holmes on trumpet, Brian Drye and Jen Baker on trombone, and Andrew Munsey, Nick Jenkins and Kenny Wollesen on percussion. Wardrobe stylist Sarah Maiorino and movement direction by Mark DeChiazza.
September 13-15 – The Jazz Gallery all concerts 9 & 10:30pm, 290 Hudson St, NYC. Thursday 9/13 1st set: $15.00 | $10.00 for Members, 2nd set: $10.00 | $5.00 for Members. Friday and Saturday 9/14-5 both sets $20.00 | $10.00 for Members.
Thursday, September 13–Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble – Pre-Concert Talk at 7:30pm. Chamber-Jazz quintet Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble gives the world premiere of its Chamber Music America-commissioned The Bright and Rushing World: Suite for Five Musicians. (The Bright and Rushing World: Suite for Five Musicians has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2011 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.)
Friday, September 14 – Adam O’Farrill Trumpeter Adam O’Farrill performs new music with Luis Perdomo, piano; and Burniss Traviss, bass and Nasheet Waits, drums, and will be joined by a special guest on trumpet.
Saturday, September 15 – Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet performing new, “thoughtfully tumultuous” (Nate Chinen, The New York Times) music for his sextet.
Wednesday, September 19 – The Checkout: Live from 92YTribeca featuring Dave Douglas Quintet with special guest Aoife O’Donovan. 92YTribeca, 8pm, 200 Hudson St, $12.00, The Checkout Live from 92YTribeca Co-produced by The Checkout-WBGO & NPR
Dave Douglas Quintet with special guest Aoife O’Donovan – CD Release Concert – Dave Douglas describes the title of his new release, Be Still, as “aspirational.” The continually evolving trumpeter and composer settles down for a ballad-like set that presents a series of hymns and folk songs with an intensely personal connection. Be Still brings out the most lyrical side of Douglas, and introduces both a newly configured Quintet, and an important new collaborator, vocalist and guitarist Aoife O’Donovan.
September 20 – The Spaces In Between with Sao Paulo Underground – Cornetist Rob Mazurek and choreographer/artist Marianne Kim’s FONT-commissioned collaboration grown out of the meditative environments of Mazurek’s solo performances at the Rothko Chapel, in Houston, TX and at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevrau, France.
September 21 – TILT Brass performs music by Dave Ballou, the latest installment of Nate Wooley’s 7-Storey Mountain, and the New York premiere of Louis Andreissen’s De Volharding for brass sextet and a cast of special guests. Tickets available HERE
Sunday, September 30 – 7 pm – yMusic – 8pm – No BS! Brass Hailed by NPR’s Fred Child as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” yMusic is a sextet of young performers equally comfortable in the overlapping classical and pop music worlds. yMusic will be premiering a FONT-Commissioned work by Andrew Norman. No BS! Brass Band is a powerful brass band that embraces the spirit of New Orleans into its original East Coast modern funk.
October 4-7 – Jazz Standard –Showtimes 7:30 and 9:30 with an 11:30 set on October 5 and 6, 116 East 27th St, NYC. Jack Walrath, Charles Tolliver and Tom Harrell all perform new music commissioned by FONT Music.
Hosted by Matt Lavelle, this new monthly series will present trumpeters from all walks of life. This month, Amir El Saffar will be presenting a clinic on “Trumpet Micro Tones and learning the Maqam”. Amir ElSaffar (born near Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an Iraqi-American trumpeter and vocalist. In addition to being a classical and jazz trumpeter, he is also a skilled interpreter of Iraqi maqam, which he sings and plays on santur. In 2002 he began studying the maqam tradition in Baghdad and London, with Hamid al-Saadi, one of the most renowned maqamsingers in Iraq. He has released a CD of this music and also applied maqam techniques to his trumpet playing. ElSaffan has performed with Cecil Taylor, Simon Shaheen, Randy Brecker, Miya Masaoka, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Samir Chatterjee.