BRATTLEBORO—TI’ve Vermont Jazz C.enter’s Massive Band will current its annual Scholarship Gala on Friday, Dec. 2, at 8 pm This occasion is the first fundraiser for the Vermont Jazz Heart (VJC) Scholarship Fund, which grants an annual common of $27,000 in scholarships to college students, offsetting charges for VJC ensembles, personal classes, and its summer season jazz workshop.
This 12 months, the band will characteristic clarinetist/vocalist Evan Arntzen in a tribute to one in every of America’s most vital composers, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, in addition to raffle off some thrilling objects.
Nearly all the unique materials was composed and organized by Ellington or Billy Strayhorn, his musical accomplice of 30 years. Concertgoers will hear music that was transcribed note-for-note from the unique recordings.
These charts have been later made accessible by Basically Ellington, a nonprofit instructional program that was established and funded by Jazz at Lincoln Heart to distribute initially amongst colleges and so they have now been made commercially accessible.
The VJC Massive Band, underneath the management of musical director Rob Freeberg, is made up of space skilled musicians who come collectively to benefit from the rewards of enjoying inspiring, difficult, and traditionally important repertoire whereas elevating cash for the scholarship fund.
* * *
D.uke ANDllington’s music is extensively liked. Jazz requirements signify solely a small portion of his immense catalog of him, however his imprint of him goes a lot deeper. His affect on the historical past of contemporary music can’t be overemphasized.
In accordance with music historian Gunther Schuller and musicologist Barry Kernfeld, Ellington was “essentially the most important composer of his style.” Ellington’s Wikipedia entry confirms that he “wrote or collaborated on greater than 1,000 compositions; His in depth physique of labor by him is the most important recorded private jazz legacy, and plenty of of his items by him have turn into jazz requirements.
Ellington gifted the world with a repertoire that features tons of of well-liked songs together with “Satin Doll,” “Do Nothing until You Hear From Me,” “It Do not Imply a Factor (If It Ain’t Received that Swing),” and “Temper Indigo,” in addition to symphonic works, film soundtracks, music for ballet and opera, and three sacred concert events.
The Ellington Orchestra remained collectively for over 50 years and featured legendary artists corresponding to tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges, trombonist Lawrence Brown, bassist Jimmy Blanton, and plenty of others. Ellington earned 9 Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Pulitzer Prize for music.
The US Treasury and Postal Service have issued commemorative quarters and stamps, respectively, with Ellington’s picture. His achievements and persona de él have catapulted his presence de él into the world of delusion and legend, incomes him a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Stroll of Fame. He has been immortalized in songs and compositions written by Stevie Surprise, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis.
Ellington was acknowledged for his light manners; he was a person of grace who was wined and dined by authorities leaders all through the world. He charmed Queen Elizabeth and composed “The Queen’s Suite” for her de ella alone — a single urgent of its recording de ella was given to her and was not commercially issued throughout his lifetime de ella. Ellington was a fancy particular person who typically composed all through the evening, greeting the day at 2 p.m.
He was a deep thinker, who regardless of his picture as an entertainer, composed music that was forward of its time, breaking down boundaries and difficult expectations.
For instance, in quite a few interviews, Ellington expounded on how he was not a fan of the phrase or idea of “jazz.” He claimed that pigeonholing the music was a advertising software detrimental to its notion of him, that as a result of it was “past class,” it could higher described utilizing the phrase “free expression.”
When requested by Edward R. Murrow in 1959 how he described his personal music, Ellington stated “we attempt to seize the pure sounds of the folks, the people who find themselves round us, strolling down the road, whistling a tune or working whereas buzzing. We need to soak up what’s pure with the folks.”
Ellington raised the sounds of life to the extent of artwork. He distilled and musically conveyed the qualities of these “pure sounds,” encapsulating their essences and presenting them to the general public (who he adored) within the context of swinging big-band music. Ellington’s compositions by him sensitively evoke the spirit of locations and other people, however additionally they embrace the worth of bringing collectively folks to bop and socialize.
Whereas undertaking these grand feats Ellington concurrently asserted activist statements that molded folks’s conceptions in regards to the Black expertise. Even within the early years of his profession, Ellington was a pacesetter who was cognizant of the ability of his place as a outstanding artist. He strategically used this vitality and positioning to turn into a spokesperson who used media to boost consciousness of the plight of Black People.
Ellington was recognized for composing music for the folks he cared for (corresponding to his mom and the Queen of England) and for writing songs devoted to the musicians in his band, a few of whom stayed on for many years. He stated, “it is a great factor for me to jot down for a person particular person when you realize who the man is who’s going to be enjoying it.”
I’ve composed jeep’s blues for Johnny Hodges, Craving for Love for Lawrence Brown, Trumpet in Spades for Rex Stewart, and Live performance for Cootie for Cootie Williams; there are quite a few different examples as effectively. In perusing Ellington’s authentic scores viewers can see the nicknames of the artists (like “Rabbit” for Hodges) scrawled in beside the staves of the manuscript.
* * *
Aaudiences at This present will hear and dance to the genuine musical preparations that have been performed by the Ellington orchestra. The preparations will probably be embellished by improvised solos from the members of the VJC Massive Band, together with Arntzen.
Arntzen, a clarinetist, saxophonist, and vocalist, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, about as distant from New Orleans as one could be in North America, and but it’s the music of the Crescent Metropolis that sparked Arntzen’s musical journey .
A 3rd-generation musician, he started studying the New Orleans-style clarinet from his grandfather, Lloyd Arntzen, on the age of seven. The primary melodies he discovered to play have been blues tunes from nice Black American composers, corresponding to Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, and Jelly Roll Morton.
After learning in Vancouver, Arntzen moved to New York Metropolis to carry out and attend graduate college. He not too long ago acquired his graduate diploma in clarinet efficiency from the Manhattan Faculty of Music.
Arntzen has carried out at venues all through the USA and Canada. Arntzen held the lead saxophone chair in Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks from 2016–2021, and was a daily member of Terry Waldo’s Gotham Metropolis Band and David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band.
In 2017, Arntzen was the musical director of Jazz at Lincoln Heart’s Jazz for Younger Individuals program on Louis Armstrong. His discography consists of notable recordings by Bria Skonberg, Kat Edmonson, Loudon Wainwright III, and the award-winning soundtrack for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He has additionally launched three critically acclaimed albums as a pacesetter: Evan Arntzen Meets La Part Rhythmique, jazz crushand countermelody.
* * *
mcommon D.irector Rob Freeberg is a seasoned trumpeter and massive band conductor who leads the VJC’s massive ensemble with finesse and ability, drawing on his respect for the jazz legacy, an unerring ear, and many years of expertise main his personal massive band within the New York Metropolis area.
Freeberg moved to Dummerston in 2012, after retiring as director of bands at New Rochelle (New York) Excessive Faculty, the place he taught for 30 years. He’s additionally the musical director of the VJC Sextet and likewise performs with the Windham Orchestra, its brass quintet, the Bennington County Choral Society, and the Keene Chorale.
Band supervisor and baritone saxophonist Sherm Fox’s continued persistence and organizational efforts have offered the glue that has held the band collectively since 2004—organizing 16 jazz cats is not any small activity. The band was initiated by Fox and Howard Brofsky (aka “Dr. Bebop”), the VJC’s mentor and former board president who died in 2013.
* * *
members of the 2022 VJC Massive Band consists of trumpeters Don Anderson, Rick Anderson, Haneef Nelson, and Rob Freeberg; woodwind gamers Michael Zsoldos, Sherm Fox, Matt Steckler, Carl Clements, Evan Arntzen, and Donna Morse; trombonists Bruce Eidem, Dave Sporny, and Caroline Cole; and rhythm part members Eugene Uman (piano), Wes Brown (bass), and Steve Rice (drums).
For the reason that pandemic, the VJC instructional program has been selecting up steam. This 12 months’s summer season workshop, Rising Artist Competition, and fall semester have all been profitable. Your attendance and contributions to the scholarship fund will go straight towards benefitting college students who in any other case wouldn’t be capable of pursue their musical targets.
This Ellington-feature live performance will provide each stay stream and in-person elements. Reside-streamers can create dance events of their properties or select to return to the Jazz Heart to bop to the sounds of a 16-piece massive band.
All attendees and musicians and everybody who is just not actively enjoying wind devices or singing will put on masks.
No desk seating is on the market this 12 months to maximise social distancing and dancing area. Dancing is inspired, and chairs could also be fewer than attendees.
The livestream for dwelling viewers could be accessed on the Vermont Jazz Heart’s web site or through its Fb Reside web page. Livestream viewers are inspired to make a web based donation to the Scholarship Fund in lieu of buying a ticket.