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Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Faculty Spotlight Concert Tuesday, March 24 At NEC’S Jordan Hall
(Published: March 09, 2015)

• Featuring Anthony Coleman, Eden MacAdam-Somer, Bert Seager, Jerry Leake, Nedelka Prescod, Mal Barsamian, Schwendener, Dave Zoffer and more •

Join NEC's celebrated jazz and contemporary improvisation faculty in a showcase concert on Tuesday, March 24 at NEC's Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Performing are African percussionist/vocalist Jerry Leake, violinist Eden MacAdam-Somer, pianist Bert Seager, vocalist Nedelka Prescod, pianist Dave Zoffer, pianist Anthony Coleman, oudist Mal Barsamian, pianist Ben Schwendener and others. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, log on to http://necmusic.edu/event/13729 or call 617-585-1122. This concert was originally scheduled for January 26, but was postponed due to a blizzard.

The program includes:

Traditional West African: Slow Agbekor

Jerry Leake (African Percussion, Vocals), Lisa Leake (Vocals)

Leake: Conundrum

Jerry Leake (Clapping, Vocals)

Eden MacAdam-Somer

Eden MacAdam-Somer (Violin)

Seager: Also Ran

Rick DiMuzio (Soprano Saxophone), Bert Seager (Piano), Ehud Ettun (Double Bass), Jerry Leake (Percussion)

Zoffer: Almost Elated

Dave Zoffer (Piano, Vocals), Caio Afiune (Electric Guitar), Steve Langone (Drums), Burcu Gulec (Vocals), Oscar Stagnaro (Electric Bass)

Meeropol: Strange Fruit

Nedelka Prescod (Vocals)

Coleman: Bidonville Enviais

Anthony Coleman (Piano)

Barsamian: Improvisation

Mal Barsamian (Oud)

Traditional: Turkish Classical Piece

Mal Barsamian (Oud)

Hill: Smokestack

Ben Schwendener (Piano)

NEC's Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who's who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: "NEC's jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni." The program currently has 98 students; 54 undergraduate and 44 graduate students from 14 countries.

Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation program is "one of the most versatile in all of music education" (JazzEd). Now in its 42nd year, the program trains composer/performer/ improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices. It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under Blake's inspired guidance for its first twenty-six years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current chair Hankus Netsky and assistant chair Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O'Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. "A thriving hub of musical exploration," (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program currently has 53 undergrad and graduate students from 16 countries.

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