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New England Conservatory Presents The NEC Gospel Ensemble and the NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble In Concert on Thursday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m.
(Published: March 17, 2016)

New England Conservatory showcases two of its exceptional student ensembles - The NEC Gospel Ensemble and The NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble - in concert on Thursday, April 7 at 8 p.m. at NEC's Brown Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, go to: necmusic.edu or call 617-585-1122.

The NEC Gospel Ensemble, coached by Nedelka Prescod, explores contemporary gospel music as it is currently being created and performed. This ensemble works with repertoire composed within the last 20 years of contemporary gospel music and highlights key composers and choir leaders. As Prescod says: "The NEC Gospel Ensemble offers students an opportunity to practice the art of learning by oral/aural transmission while encouraging their ability to deliver lyrical messages through modern forms of 'call and response' and improvisation."

Performing are Elizabeth Hoyt, Alexandra Keller, Farayi Sumbureru, Katie Martucci, and Robert Pate, voice; Jeffrey Cox, trumpet; Gustavo D'Amico, tenor saxophone; Will Bridges, alto saxophone; Joseph Copeland, organ/piano (Assistant Director); Sam Fribush, piano/organ; Andres Abenante, guitar; Umar Zakaria, bass; Eli Cohen, drums; and Julian Loida, percussion.

The NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble, coached by Jorrit Dijsktra, gives student composers the opportunity to develop their work for small jazz ensemble through rehearsal and performance. Performing are Charmaine Lee, voice; Daniel Hersog, trumpet; Abraham Mennen, tenor saxophone; Peter Jonatan, piano; Andres Abenante. Guitar; Evan Carley, bass; and Francisco Vielma, drums/percussion.

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 43rd 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 over 50 undergrad and graduate students from 17 countries. http://necmusic.edu/contemporary-improvisation

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. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz. 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 95 students; 48 undergraduate and 47 graduate students from 13 countries.


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More Information: https://www.necmusic.edu/jazz

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