Jazz Concert: Fall 2013

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Wesley Chapel


November 23, 2013


07:30 PM to 09:00 PM


The Houghton College Jazz Ensemble will have its first concert of the fall on November 23, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in Wesley Chapel. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

This concert, led by director of jazz activities Ken Crane, will feature two distinct groups: Jazz Combo and Jazz Workshop, and will cover a wide variety of music within the jazz genre.

In the first part of the concert, the Jazz Combo will perform creative, small-group jazz.

The Jazz Combo was created as a vehicle to teach about improvisation and the development of the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic material that one needs in order to create a skillfully performed, spontaneously improvised solo. 

The group’s program for the evening includes the music of Chick Corea, the great fusion-jazz pianist and composer; and Joseph Zawinal, who came to fame playing with Cannonball Adderly and then Weather Report.  The group will also perform a piece by composer Jerome Kern. 

Crane explains, “I wrote an arrangement featuring Esther Efthimiou, our flute player and vocalist, of the standard ‘All the Things You Are’ which has been a vehicle for improvisation on hundreds of recordings from Charlie Parker in the 1940s to this present time.”

The second half of the concert will feature the Jazz Workshop big band, complete with standard big band instrumentation that has been passed down since the 1930s:  five saxophones, four to five trumpets, four trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums and a singer. 

In regard to the evening’s program, Crane specifies, “In my programing of our concerts, I always try to include some of the best composers in this American-made art form.   This concert includes compositions by Oliver Nelson, Thad Jones, arrangements by Michael Phillip Mossman and even a piece by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.” 

He continues, “What I am still really excited about is the gifted young jazz composers living right in our midst:  Jerbrel Bowens and Malcolm Bell.” Both Bowens (’16) and Bell (’15) have written original compositions that will be performed in this concert by both bands.

Crane has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz as a trombone soloist, lead trombone, jazz tuba player, arranger, composer and record producer.  Most notably, Ken spent several years of his life touring and recording with Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra and Clark Terry.

For more information, contact Ken Crane at ken.crane@houghton.edu.


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