The Jazz and Contemporary Music Department Presents: Spontaneous & Steeped: Fresh Travelers and Worn Paths at LONGY SCHOOL OF MUSIC OF BARD COLLEGE
Come see two of Longy’s premier jazz ensembles as they tackle repertoire that is outside of the norm. The quintet led by John Lockwood has been exploring what it means to be spontaneous with their music. Encouraged to “Never play it the same way twice” the students are able to bring their individual voices into the music and breathe life into tunes that could be played with a more straight ahead approach. The students, eager for a challenge, opted to forego the traditional harmonic jazz instrument, the piano, for something with slightly fewer strings, the guitar. This was a welcome change of pace as the resulting sonic landscape shifted without sacrificing harmonic content.
The Latin Ensemble, led by Fernando Michelin will be performing pieces by famed Brazilian Composer, Hermeto Pascoal. The group has also been hard at work diving deep into the music of Puerto Rican born Miguel Zenon. Both of these composers are known for their cutting edge interpretations of music steeped in tradition. Pascoal finds inspiration from nature and Brazilian folk music. Zenon, a Grammy Award nominee and recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships also draws inspiration from a musical form originating in nineteenth-century Ponce, Puerto Rico, called Plena. Zenon describes it as a "byproduct of the Spanish colonization of America that combines African rhythmic syncopations and European harmonies and melodic cadences."