On Saturday, November 15th, the UVA Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of trumpeter John D'earth, will present a guest artist concert in Old Cabell Auditorium with alto saxophonist and composer Richie Cole. Mr. Cole is a distinguished jazz musician who has worked in the bands of Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, and Doc Severinsen, and who collaborated closely with the pioneering vocalist Eddie Jefferson. He has also worked with Freddie Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, and Manhattan Transfer. His Alto Madness Orchestra, a seven piece band with an eighteen piece sound, has won critical acclaim for its ingenious arrangements and emphasis on improvisation, and his Alto Madness Junior Orchestra has been a groundbreaking educational vehicle for scores of young jazz musicians. The evening will feature several of Cole's arrangements of his own compositions including Trenton Style, Palomba, and the intense Harold's House of Jazz, which is based on the standard Cherokee, a venerable "challenge tune" from the be-bop tradition.
The evening will feature two "reunions": Jazz Ensemble leader John D'earth and Mr. Cole jammed together and collaborated on projects in the mid-seventies as participants in New York City's legendary jazz-loft scene, and, in the mid-nineties, Cole began mentoring a ten year old saxophonist named John Petrucelli who is the current lead tenor player and featured soloist with the Jazz Ensemble.
"John Petrucelli is a remarkable young musician." says ensemble director D'earth. " He exemplifies a tradition of dedicated, professional level players that we have seen come through the jazz program here at UVA over the years; people like trumpeter Dean de la Pena, alto saxophonist John Wittman, and pianist Kait Duntan. His father and grandfather are both tenor players and his own level of commitment to practicing the horn and developing himself as a jazz artist is astounding given that he is a double major in Government and Philosophy. It was John who suggested Richie as a guest artist. Richie has been a major influence in John's musical life. John is a player with a fiercely individual style and a practice regimen more suggestive of a student at a major conservatory than a liberal arts student with a super demanding double major. I frankly cannot imagine how he does it all. I can't wait to see John and Richie interacting on the bandstand. They are both high-energy performers. And I'm looking forward to seeing my old friend, Richie Cole, again. He has always been a powerful sax player and a prolific, exciting jazz composer and arranger."
The evening will also feature classic charts like Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca and Count Basie's Flight of the Foo Birds penned by Neal Hefti. The band will also perform D'earth's arrangement of Charles Mingus' Reincarnation of a Lovebird, which will feature bassist Ryan Gilchrist. In a musical aside the band will perform a D'earth original, Ngoni, that will feature guitarist Brett Jones.
"The band has a very individual feel to it this year," says D'earth. We have a large, tight trombone section and very strong solo voices. Listen for guitarist Brett Jones, pianist Pete Cobos, baritone saxophonist Greg Weaver, tenor sax player Canelle Boughton, trumpeters Brandon Walsh and Chris Luk, and trombonist Cameron (Cooter) Williams. We are also blessed with a couple of strong, capable section leaders, Danna Thomas on lead alto sax and Eric McQuillan on lead trumpet. This fall concert with Richie Cole promises to be an electrifying show!"
The rest of the year promises more excitement for the Jazz Ensemble. On Saturday, March 14th, 2009, the band will present a guest artist concert, capping a three-day residency, with Grammy-Award-winning trumpeter and film composer Terence Blanchard. And on Saturday, April 25th the ensemble will present, Let's Dance! featuring classic big band dance music from the nineteen thirties and forties.
The November 15th concert featuring Richie Cole will begin at 8:00 pm in Old Cabell Auditorium. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets may be purchased at the Old Cabell Hall Box Office ahead of time or on the evening of the concert. Call (434) 924-3984 to reserve tickets over the phone. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and 5 ARTS $ for UVa students.
UVA Jazz Ensemble with guest alto saxophonist and composer Richie Cole
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 8pm
Old Cabell Hall, UVA
$10 / $5 / 5 ARTS$ for UVa students