Read the program
Welcome and Bemvindos!
Following last Fall's
concert of Brazilian Serenades, I decided to
continue exploring the music of Brazil and the possibilities of writing
for a small chamber jazz ensemble. The Museo Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro
heard a recording from the last concert and is enthusiastic about my
research and future projects. I hope to present concerts each March
and November, and look forward to sharing much more music with you.
This week is the
113th birthday of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. To honor his
memory, tonight's concert is a journey through Rio's music history-from
the roots of urban dance in Ernesto Nazareth's tangos more than a century
ago, through the flowering of concert music at the pen of Villa-Lobos,
to the cool popular songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova. Each
of these composers declared their love for the city of Rio through not
only words but melodies, rhythms, and harmonies. Tonight's concert will
also include composers who, while not natives of Rio, were so moved
by the city's sounds and feelings that they let Rio speak through their
Not only do I love
Rio for its marvelous music, my favorite Brazilian export was born there-my
wife Doris Kogan. Ever since we met 28 years ago, she has been my muse.
Tonight I will share with you one of the first songs I wrote under her
spell, another anticipating the birth of our son Ruben, and a third
longing for our return to the city of her birth. To her loving parents
I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. Thank you Marcos and Jenny for
including me in your family and sharing with me the best of Brazil.
I am extremely grateful
to have my mother and brother in the audience this evening. They traveled
great distances to share this evening with us. I wish my father were
still alive to see how much fun we are having.
All of the music
on tonight's program from Nazareth, Milhaud, Villa-Lobos, and Jobim
were originally written for piano. This gave me room to re-imagine the
musical gestures and compositional devices while orchestrating for winds,
strings, and percussion. Almost all of the pieces tonight are short
gems without extensive development. In general, melodies were left intact,
but tempo, meter, rhythm, and harmony were fair game to re-imagine based
on my musical tastes. This is music I enjoy hearing and playing. I hope
you enjoy it as well.
Busch - percussion
Jeff studied percussion in England and Brazil. His latest project is
Drums and Voices-Contemporary Spirituals with Pat Wright from the Total
Experience Gospel Choir and is funded by a King County Arts grant.
de Carvalho - guitar
Marco is a native of Rio de Janeiro and graduate of the city's Music
Conservatory. He traveled to several cities in the US before settling
in Seattle. He appears on numerous soundtracks and recordings including
three CDs featuring his own compositions. His newest recording is entitled
Richmond - cello
Louie studied cello with Orlando Cole, attended the Eastman School of
Music and received a Masters in Cello Performance from Temple University
studying with Lorne Monroe. He was a member of the National Symphony
Orchestra in Washington D.C and came to the Northwest to teach cello
and chamber music at the University of Puget Sound and was the founder
and Musical Director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra for seven years.
Griggs - saxophone
Steve recorded two CDs in Seattle with Elvin Jones and is featured on
the soundtrack the Bungie/Microsoft video game Halo 3: ODST. Steve's
won a Longfellow Chorus Award of Distinction in the 2010 Longfellow
Chorus International Composers Competition.
Pascal - vibraphone, marimba
Jazz vibraphonist Susan Pascal has performed throughout the United States
and Canada, and recently completed her third tour to Singapore. She
has played for motion picture soundtracks including The Blind Side,
Office Space, and Eulogy, and recently collaborated in performances
with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.
Sparks - bass
Phil is a faculty member of the UW Jazz Studies program, named Northwest
Instrumentalist of the year in 1996 by Earshot Jazz, inducted into the
Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009, and was featured in a cover story
in the May 2009 Earshot Jazz Magazine.
Varner - French Horn
Tom teaches at Cornish College, appears on over 50 recordings, and has
ranked high in Down Beat critics polls for many years. His latest recording
Heaven and Hell is on Omnitone.