Space in the Heart: a jazzopera

November 9th, 2008

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Composer Bill Smith plays clarinet in the background, left as  Jordan Petersen  and Maria Mannisto sing Saturday night in:

Space in the Heart: a jazzopera Friday, November 7 & Saturday, November 8, PONCHO Concert Hall, Cornish College

Space in the Heart, composed by Bill (William O.) Smith from an original libretto by Peter Monaghan and directed by Jim Horne, is not your usual musical fare. A “jazzopera” for trio and three vocalists, it tells an archetypal American tale of desire, desperation, and despair.

Smith is a renowned clarinet virtuoso, composer, and frequent collaborator with Dave Brubeck, who has long pursued a blending of jazz and new-music styles. Space in the Heart is inspired in part by the early operas of such composers as Claudio Monteverdi, with their uncluttered plots and staging, and very much by the jazz tradition. Smith’s aim has been to “achieve a new kind of opera that is simple and clear with maximum freedom for the instrumentalists, who largely improvise,” he says.
In the work – seven dramatically-sung scenes with abstract instrumental interludes
– a model astronaut, besotted with the captain of her mission, and stunned by what she learns during a space flight (that Venus is in fact not the Planet of Love), vies with a rival for the captain’s heart. The work crystallizes around classic themes – romantic love, covetousness, violence – but also such scientific realities as Venus as an acrid orb.

The score is for three outstanding vocalists and a jazz trio (including a drummer who doubles expertly on French horn). As for the plot: it may recall various actual events, but the fiction here is despite those, not directly based on them.

Featuring the Bill Smith Trio (Bill Smith, clarinet and piano; Brian Cobb, bass; Greg Campbell, drums, percussion, and French horn) and singers
Becca Friedman, Maria Mannisto, and Jordan Petersen. Directed by Jim Horne.
Presented as part of the Cornish Music Series with the support of 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Jack Straw Productions, and Artist Trust.

 

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

 

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


 


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Cyro Baptista Friday, November 7, Triple Door


Cyro was in great form tonight performing with his group Banquet of the Spirit at the Triple Door to a full house. Wonderful spirits they were emanating from the sounds from the band.
Baptista’s mastery of the percussion of his native Brazil has propelled him to international renown. He has been a US resident for almost 30 years, but seems to spend much of his time drumming his way around the world with a host of leaders and outfits – from Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project, to Trey Anastasio’s Band, to John Zorn’s Electric Masada, to Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award winning Gershwin’s World, to Sting, to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints.
But that’s just a taste of the career of this surpassing percussionist. He has been much praised and often honored with critics and readers awards in many varieties of music. In his own projects, including the percussion and dance ensemble, Beat the Donkey, Baptista exalts in percussion styles and instruments from around the world in performances that are thrilling, surprising, and dazzling.
That will be the case, here, too, as he presents his new quartet, featuring keyboardist Brian Marsella, bassist and oud player Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, and drummer Tim Keiper.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

 

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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Cyro Baptista

November 8th, 2008

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Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits Friday, November 7, Triple Door

Baptista’s mastery of the percussion of his native Brazil has propelled him to international renown. He has been a US resident for almost 30 years, but seems to spend much of his time drumming his way around the world with a host of leaders and outfits – from Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project, to Trey Anastasio’s Band, to John Zorn’s Electric Masada, to Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award winning Gershwin’s World, to Sting, to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints.
But that’s just a taste of the career of this surpassing percussionist. He has been much praised and often honored with critics and readers awards in many varieties of music. In his own projects, including the percussion and dance ensemble, Beat the Donkey, Baptista exalts in percussion styles and instruments from around the world in performances that are thrilling, surprising, and dazzling.
That will be the case, here, too, as he presents his new quartet, featuring keyboardist Brian Marsella, bassist and oud player Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, and drummer Tim Keiper.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder

November 8th, 2008

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Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder Friday, November 7, Triple Door

Also on the bill, in this evening of unparalleled percussion: the searing sextet of Seattle-based drum legend, Michael Shrieve (Santana), in astonishing renditions of music from throughout Shrieve’s still-expanding musical quest. Shrieve is at the height of his powers in a band that has wowed audiences at its weekly gig at ToST in Fremont. His own mastery has peaked again to rank with the fabled performances of his youth. And he has able support from a cast of Seattle’s best: stellar guitarist Danny Godinez, Joe Doria (Hammond B-3 organ), John Fricke (trumpet), and the astounding electric bassist, a seeming reincarnation of Jaco, from Uzbekistan, Farko Dosumov.
Shrieve humbly calls himself a “mongrel”drummer, but you can call him Mr. Drum Ace, a master who has melded a multitude of percussion traditions into a seamless whole. Here he leads his quintet in scintillating performance, displaying the musical intuitions that have made the man who turned Carlos Santana on to Miles and Trane a renowned figure in percussion, worldwide, and record producer for everyone from the Rolling Stones to Bill Frisell to Amon Tobin.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra West, Wednesday, November 5, King Cat Theater

New York-trumpeter Steven Bernstein conducts his fine nine-piece band, which typically explores the largely-lost music of the bluesy, loose-territory bands. Tonight he performed in accompaniment to three Laurel and Hardy silent films on the screen behind him at the King Kat Theatre and he and the band had a lot of fun with it as did the audience. The Laurel and Hardy films were classic treasures. Steven Bernstein likes to have his cake and eat it too. The Grammy-nominated trumpeter is one of the hardest-working musicians to come out of New York’s “downtown scene.” He recently released three critically-acclaimed CDs on John Zorn’s Tzadik label and has had his music featured on MTV, Saturday Night Live, and National Public Radio. His ensemble, the Millennial Territory Orchestra, is an outgrowth of his immersion in the sound of the Midwestern swing bands from Robert Altman’s movie Kansas City. The ensemble was formed in 1999 for a series of midnight shows at New York’s Tonic nightclub, and they subsequently spent a year and a half in residency at the Jazz Standard. The group, a collection of distinctive musical personalities, recently released its debut recording, MTO Vol. 1, on Sunnyside Records. This is sure to be an edge-of-your-seat performance, featuring swing band adaptations of several rock and soul genre classics, led by this wonderfully “left of center” musician.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.



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Wayne Horvitz

November 6th, 2008

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Wayne Horvitz on Hammond B 3 organ with The President, Monday, November 3, Triple Door

Following the performance of Wayne Horvitz: New York Composers Orchestra, on Monday was Horvitz’s update of his great early ensemble, The President (just in time for Barack Obama). Formed in 1985 with an original line-up of Bobby Previte, Kevin Cosgrove, Joe Gallant, Dave Sewelson, and Wayne Horvitz, the President performed frequently on New York’s downtown rock scene, and soon settled on a line-up which also featured Elliott Sharp, Bill Frisell, Dave Hofstra, and Doug Wieselman.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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Bobby Previte

November 6th, 2008

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Bobby Previte on drums with The President, Monday, November 3, Triple Door

Following the performance of Wayne Horvitz: New York Composers Orchestra, on Monday was
Horvitz’s update of his great early ensemble, The President (just in time for Barack Obama). Formed in 1985 with an original line-up of Bobby Previte, Kevin Cosgrove, Joe Gallant, Dave Sewelson, and Wayne Horvitz, the President performed frequently on New York’s downtown rock scene, and soon settled on a line-up which also featured Elliott Sharp, Bill Frisell, Dave Hofstra, and Doug Wieselman.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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Ron Miles

November 6th, 2008

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Ron Miles playing in the back row of the New York Composers Orchestra, East and West Monday Nov 2nd at the Triple Door.

This concluding evening of the Wayne Horvitz retrospective featured Horvitz’s New York Composers Orchestra West and the President. What an incredible night of bands. The range and scope of his music left little to be desired. The fantastic level of talent represented on stage was simply amazing too. Not just for Seattle but for anywhere on this planet. The performance blew me away, although I did manage to hold on and stay until the end.

The New York Composers Orchestra was formed in 1986 by composers Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb as a means to perform works by composers wishing to write for jazz instrumentation without being confined by traditional jazz and big band styles. In New York, the orchestra was commissioned to perform works by Anthony Braxton, Lenny Picket, Butch Morris, Marty Ehrlich, and Elliott Sharp, among many others. After Horvitz and Holcomb relocated to Seattle in 1988, however, the NYCO repertoire spread out across the US – it has been performed by the original ensemble in New York City, Horvitz and Holcomb’s New York Composers Orchestra West, which very occasionally performed here in Seattle, and the Boston-based Jazz Composers Alliance, which has also showcased some of its scores.
Opportunities to hear large orchestras as adventurous as this, featuring musicians as gifted as this, are few and far between. As Rolling Stone has noted: “The NYCO points directions out of the musical prison that surround too much current jazz. And, like all truly great big bands, it swings its tail off.”
In this Seattle revival, Horvitz presented a stellar lineup of old friends from New York days along with some of the outstanding Seattleites whom he recruited to his cause early in his time here: on reeds, Hans Teuber, Briggan Krauss, Skerik, Doug Wieselman, and Jim Dejoie; on trumpets, Ron Miles, Brad Allison, and Thomas Marriott; on trombones, Chris Stover and Nelson Bell; on French horn, Tom Varner; on drums, Bobby Previte; on bass, Phil Sparks; on piano and organ, Wayne Horvitz. Robin Holcomb conducts and plays piano. With special guest, on guitar: Tim Young.
Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography, jazz photography, and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography.


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VOTE TODAY

November 4th, 2008

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Whatever you do today, do not forget to vote for whoever you choose.

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Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in photography for publications and corporations is also a Seattle wedding photographer with a story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photojournalism among the best of Seattle wedding photographers.

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This concluding evening of the Wayne Horvitz retrospective featured Horvitz’s New York Composers Orchestra West and the President. What an incredible night of bands. The range and scope of his music left little to be desired. The fantastic level of talent represented on stage was simply amazing too. Not just for Seattle but for anywhere on this planet. The performance blew me away, although I did manage to hold on and stay until the end.

The New York Composers Orchestra was formed in 1986 by composers Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb as a means to perform works by composers wishing to write for jazz instrumentation without being confined by traditional jazz and big band styles. In New York, the orchestra was commissioned to perform works by Anthony Braxton, Lenny Picket, Butch Morris, Marty Ehrlich, and Elliott Sharp, among many others. After Horvitz and Holcomb relocated to Seattle in 1988, however, the NYCO repertoire spread out across the US – it has been performed by the original ensemble in New York City, Horvitz and Holcomb’s New York Composers Orchestra West, which very occasionally performed here in Seattle, and the Boston-based Jazz Composers Alliance, which has also showcased some of its scores.
Opportunities to hear large orchestras as adventurous as this, featuring musicians as gifted as this, are few and far between. As Rolling Stone has noted: “The NYCO points directions out of the musical prison that surround too much current jazz. And, like all truly great big bands, it swings its tail off.”
In this Seattle revival, Horvitz presented a stellar lineup of old friends from New York days along with some of the outstanding Seattleites whom he recruited to his cause early in his time here: on reeds, Hans Teuber, Briggan Krauss, Skerik, Doug Wieselman, and Jim Dejoie; on trumpets, Ron Miles, Brad Allison, and Thomas Marriott; on trombones, Chris Stover and Nelson Bell; on French horn, Tom Varner; on drums, Bobby Previte; on bass, Phil Sparks; on piano and organ, Wayne Horvitz. Robin Holcomb conducts and plays piano. With special guest, on guitar: Tim Young.
Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography, photojournalism and portrait photography for publications and corporations and also a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography and wedding photojournalism among Seattle wedding photographers.

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