If you're in the Storrs / Mansfield, CT area, I hope you will consider attending the UConn Jazz Ensemble concert this coming Tuesday, Nov. 1st at 7:30 p.m. in von der Mehden Recital Hall. The group will be performing seven pieces by the NYC-based, award-winning composer, Nathan Parker Smith.
The instrumentation of the group is 2 trumpets, French horn, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, piano, bass and drums. This is the same instrumentation I chose for my professional 10tet, "the New Directions Ensemble". Both Nathan and I are clearly influenced by Jim McNeely, who first used this instrumentation on his 2002 Grammy-nominated recording, "Group Therapy".
My students have worked diligently in preparing this challenging, fun music, and I am very proud of the progress they have made --- both as an ensemble and as soloists.
Nathan will work directly with the students, in rehearsal, on the afternoon of the 1st. What a great opportunity! I'm sure my students will have many questions for him. I certainly do.
Nathan Parker Smith's work was recommended to me by composer Dave Rivello, for whom I have tremendous respect. I haven't yet met Nathan, except through our e-mail exchanges. I heard / saw him conduct the BMI / NY Jazz Orchestra at the Summer Showcase concert of the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop two years ago, when he won the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize.
I highly recommend this concert. We've worked on this music for the past two months, and it would be fantastic to have a full house. Please join us and bring your family and friends.