Griggs - Music
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| work in progress
Carioca: Song from Rio
for this evening is music from Rio de Janeiro. Specifically, music written
by composers from the "marvelous city" about their home. I
have selected works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha,
and Jobim. I will also include music written by non-native composers
(Darius Milhaud and Horace Siver) that was inspired by visits to Rio.
I set out to reinterpret
Spanish guitar music for a small jazz ensemble, inspired by the recording
Sketches of Spain by Gil Evans and Miles Davis. I learned that the initial
recording date for that historic work was November 17, 1959 so I booked
this concert for the 50th anniversary. The concert date is also the
second anniversary of my father's death, and I wanted to honor his memory
by doing what for me is most joyful.
Eventually I stretched
away from my original inspiration and toward something closer to my
heart. I found resonance in seresta and the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the 50th anniversary of the
Brazilian composer's passing was November 17!
das Selvas Brasileiras
Held on the grounds
of Seattle Center over the Labor Day Weekend, Bumbershoot is Seattle's
largest music festival. I will be played at 2:30 on Sunday, September
6 at the Northwest Court Stage. I wrote a new set of music to celebrate
the talent of the band: Doug Ostgard - woodwinds, Bill Anschell - piano,
Phil Sparks - bass, and Milo Petersen - drums.
A self-taught painter
and sculpter, James Washington also wrote poetry. I arranged three of
his poems and performed them with gospel singer Camila Recchi and guitarist
At a concert of
guitarist Sharon Isbin I was moved by her performance of the flamenco
works of Francisco Tarrega. The melodies and harmonies from the Iberian
penninsula reminded me of blues and jazz. I am arranging the melodies
of Tarrega and Albeniz for a jazz ensemble.
I love the way Elvin
Jones played drums. His sense of time and sensitivity in music making
is an inspiration to me. I was honored to make music with him. This
project involved recording 16 songs with him and 3 Seattle musicians
over 2 days.
To commemorate the
life of drummer Billy Higgins, Steve Korn invited several bands to contribute
a set of music for an evening memorial concert at Tula's. I wrote a
set of original tunes from my reflection on a life in jazz and the emotion
that comes through when listening to the joyful artistry of Billy Higgins.
Singer Becca Duran
commissioned me to arrange 11 of her favorite standards for a jazz sextet
performance at the Blue Heron Art Gallery on Vashon Island.
Voice and Vision
Earshot Jazz produced
a series at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The performance space features
statues from India. To compose the music for the concert, I meditated
on the presence of the statues. The resulting music was for vibes, bass,
French Horn, saxophone, drums, and dancer. The concert took place two
days after the attack on the World Trade Center. I felt that the peaceful
intent of the music was vital to center myself during the reaction to
the world events so I insisted on not postponing the event.
I attended Dave's
Saxophone Masterclass in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The week-long
seminar included solo and ensemble performances. I wrote a four-section
solo work for tenor saxophone and quintet arrangement of a song commemorating
my respect for Elvin Jones.