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April 23, 2006

Chucho Valdez Visits Canadian Jazz Workshop

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian jazz concerts

Banff Jazz and Creative Music Workshop Program Runs 5 Weeks

(Calgary) The Banff Centre continues to foster jazz music with it’s annual spring workshop program running from May 7 to June 10th, 2006. In a tradition lasting over thirty years, the Banff jazz program brings leading performers and composers together with emerging artists in a series of three workshops spanning over five weeks. The workshops are highlighted by a number of public concerts.

Canadian jazz trombonist and composer Hugh Fraser is Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music program, which concentrates on the artistic and practical aspects of making music in a large ensemble.

Known around the world as one of the most important training grounds for improvising jazz musicians and composers, the spring jazz workshops bring leading performers and composers together with high-calibre emerging artists in an intense program of master classes, ensemble playing, discussion, and experimentation. The impact of these workshops is felt around the world; an international network of alumni has fostered exciting musical developments in many countries.

Beginning with the Jazz Composers Residency (May 7 to 9th), four to six composers are afforded the opportunity to work with Fraser and guest composer, Canadian trumpeter John Korsrud, to prepare works for performance by the Jazz Orchestra.

The Hugh Fraser Jazz Orchestra Workshop (May 10 – 20th) concentrates on the artistic and practical aspects of making music in a large ensemble. Musicians participate in daily master classes and rehearsals of both classic and new jazz orchestra works with Fraser. From May 18 to 20th, the legendary Cuban pianist, composer, and bandleader Chucho Valdes will step in to lead the Jazz Orchestra for a public performance of his works. Fellow visiting artists, Canadians Mike Herriott (trumpet, trombone, bass) and Kent Sangster (saxophonist ) will also be faculty members.

The third, the Jazz and Creative Music Workshop (May 22 to June 10th), will be directed by Canadian trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas. Emphasizing the creation of new music and the philosophy and practice of creativity in jazz and improvised music, the overall approach is to help participants find their own voice as instrumentalists, composers, and complete musicians.

Concerts and live performance are an integral part of the program, and offer the opportunity for the public to hear some of the finest in improvised music in it’s utmost creative environment. This year the concert series features Hugh Fraser, Chucho Valdez, and Dave Douglas in tandem with the Jazz Orchestra for a variety of performances. In addition to the concert series the Banff Centre Jazz Program hosts a jazz club that runs weekend evening performances, as well as presenting three noon hour performances on the grounds. All events are at the Banff Centre and offer a diverse selection of listening environments.

Concert Events:

May 20 / Eric Harvie Theatre
Jazz Orchestra with Chucho Valdés

May 13 / Margaret Greenham Theatre
Jazz Orchestra / Hugh Fraser

May 15 / Rolston Recital Hall
Jazz Orchestra / Hugh Fraser— New Works

May 27 / June 3 / June 10
Margaret Greenham Theatre
Saturday Night Jazz Series / Dave Douglas with visiting artists

Rez Abbasi (guitar), Gerald Cleaver (drums), Scott Colley (bass), Marilyn Crispell (piano), Greg Osby (saxophone), Adam Benjamin (keyboards), Brad Jones (bass), Gene Lake (drums), DJ Olive (sound artist), Marcus Strickland (saxophone) James Genus )bass), Deron Johnson (piano) Donny McCaslin (saxophone) Clarence Penn (drums)

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