The UW Jazz Orchestra
photo courtesy Michael R. Anderson
The University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra is important. It provides a vital training ground for talented students who will take jazz into the future. It gives those students a foundation in one of the genre’s root forms while exposing them to the masters of yesterday and, in some cases, the masters of today. 45 years after its founding the UWJO concluded its season playing increasingly complex music under UW director of jazz studies Johannes Wallmann. Continue reading
The UW Honors Jazz Band plays its first gig under Professor Johannes Wallmann.
Photo courtesy Michael R. Anderson
The UW Honors Jazz Band is the best jazz idea in Madison in 2013. But it isn’t just an idea. These kids can flat-out play. As a veteran “listener” I’ve listened to a lot of good musical ideas. They don’t always work. The UW Honors Jazz Band from the fertile musical mind of Professor Johannes Wallmann proved at its inaugural concert that it is a really great working idea.
The Honors Band was the early May opening act for the UW Jazz Orchestra. I’ll say more about that band’s fine performance next week.
The impressive set list for the Honors Jazz Band included Matt Dennis’ classic Angel Eyes and Thad Jones’ The Farewell plus A Single Sky by Dave Douglas and Samba de Los Gatos from Mike Steinel, a prominent jazz faculty member at the renowned University of North Texas. With a set like this the auditions for the by-invitation-only band must have had a sign reading, “No wimps allowed.”
The band worked together for just three, albeit very long, rehearsals. The players looked very serious, expected from a young group making their initial public appearance. At the same time, the listener felt a sense of swing from the group. These are talented musicians playing more than notes. They seem to have a surprising understanding of the music they are playing. Continue reading
Under the direction of the awesome educator Steve Sveum, the jazz program at Sun Prairie High School is one of the best in the country. As it has often done over the past two decades, the school’s Jazz Ensemble I has been selected as one of 15 finalists in the annual nation-wide “Essentially Ellington” competition produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City (watch here as students find out the big news). In the coming weeks, Madison area jazz fans have two chances to catch performances by Jazz I as they prepare for their big trip to New York.
This Saturday, April 20, at 7:00 PM in the school’s Performing Arts Center (888 Grove Street in Sun Prairie), Jazz I will be performing in a concert that also features the other two Wisconsin high school jazz ensembles that made the “Essentially Ellington” finals this year: Beloit Memorial and Lake Geneva Badger. Each band will be performing the pieces that they’ll be performing at LincolnCenter next month. This concert is free and open to the public.
Then, on Sunday, May 5th, at 7:00 PM, Jazz I will give its ticketed “Send Off” concert of Ellingtonia to help raise the funds needed to send the band to New York. This concert will be held at Sun Prairie’s Cardinal Heights Middle School Auditorium (the former high school building) at 220 Kroncke Drive in Sun Prairie, and will feature special guest vocalist Kyle Ketelsen singing the Sinatra songbook.
Come out and support these very talented and hard-working young musicians who will be responsible for keeping the music alive for decades to come.
As part of the mutual welcome to our community at the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium’s “Jazz Junction” kickoff event at Full Compass this past November, the UW School of Music’s new Jazz Studies Director Johannes Wallmann, http://www.music.wisc.edu/faculty/bio?faculty_id=94, gave us a sneak peek at the brasstet format that’s been at the forefront of his composing, arranging and performing, and that is heard on his latest CD, “The Coasts” (2010, MWP Records).
Johannes has now firmed up the membership of the Wisconsin edition of his brasstet, and Madison Music Collective is bringing them to the Brink Lounge tomorrow (Sunday, 3/10/13) for a 3:30 PM concert hosted by Mad Toast Live’s Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines and a 6:00 PM interactive workshop hosted by Laurie Lang of the Improvisational Music Workshop. In addition to Johannes on piano, the new band (called The Sweet Minute) includes the stellar line-up of Dave Cooper (trumpet), Darren Sterud (trombone), Marty Erickson (tuba), John Christensen (bass) and Devin Drobka (drums).
Discounted advance sale tickets are available at http://www.thebrinklounge.com/ai1ec_event/jazz-on-a-sunday-johannes-wallmann-and-the-sweet-minute/?instance_id=1456. Full-price tickets will also be available at the door. For more info about the band, visit http://madisonmusiccollective.org/Events/Johannes.shtml.
The Bad Plus are coming to Madison for a free performance at the Sett (Union South) this Sunday at 8:00 pm. Now, a free workshop for jazz students and community members has been added for the following day.
WORKSHOP / Q&A with The Bad Plus
Monday, March 4, 11:00 am to noon
Morphy Recital Hall
UW School of Music
455 N Park Street, 2nd floor, Madison, WI 53706
Free & unticketed
While the concert on Sunday evening is directed towards a general jazz audience (and really anyone who enjoys good music), the workshop on Monday will be geared towards musicians / music students.
“Love Light, Love Dark,” a jazz concert with Susan Hofer, Doug Brown & John Christensen.
Where: the Center for Conscious Living, 849 E. Washington Ave., Suite 118, Madison, WI, 53703
When: Saturday, February 9th, 7pm – 10pm?
Cost: Admission is $12 day of show or $10 with advance purchase, available with a credit card or Paypal account
More Info: Experience world class jazz in an intimate setting as these musical magicians weave a seductive tapestry of sonic delight. Susan will be joined by Doug Brown on guitar and John Christensen on bass for this evening of romantic, dynamic improvisation. Settle in for an evening designed to fill your heart and enliven your soul. This is a substance free “Teahouse Concert.”
For more event info, go to http://www.mylovingspirit.com
To listen to some music online, go to her myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/susanhofermusic