JAZZ GUITARIST AND COMPOSER JOEL HARRISON DEBUTS GROUNDBREAKING NEW WORK AT NOCCA
Performance also features Harrison’s work for cello, performed by NOCCA faculty member Jee Yeoun Ko
Friday, September 24, 2010 * 8pm * NOCCA’s Freda Lupin Memorial Hall
Here are some samples of Joel’s music. Track #3 and #4 are closer to what he’ll be performing at NOCCA!
Guitarist, composer, and Guggenheim Fellow Joel Harrison debuts a new project this fall entitled Singularity, featuring a septet of top-notch New York jazz musicians, including Christian Howes (violin), Donny McCaslin (saxophone), Dana Leong (cello), Gary Versace (piano), Stephan Crump (bass), and Clarence Penn (drums). These new compositions were commissioned by Chamber Music America’s prestigious “New Works” program. The project premieres at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) at 8pm on Friday, September 24, in Freda Lupin Memorial Hall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.NOCCAInstitute.com or by calling 504 940 2900.
Harrison’s compositional influences span the globe. It’s only appropriate then, that for the Singularity jazz project, he’s made use of many techniques employed by classical composers like John Adams, Charles Ives, and Olivier Messiaen. Singularity merges Harrison’s wealth of experience in jazz and world styles with his longstanding interest in contemporary composition to create a sound that’s often described as “chamber jazz”.
The musicians in Harrison’s ensemble are remarkable for their talent and for their wide-ranging abilities. Howes and Leong, both classically trained, are considered by many to be two of the top improvisers in the world on their respective instruments. McCaslin, Versace, and Penn regularly perform with some of the best names in jazz, including Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas, John Abercrombie, and more. Stephan Crump is part of Vijay Iyer’s trio and a composer in his own right. Bottom line: this group represents an extraordinary assemblage of talent and a very special treat for New Orleans’ music lovers.
Joining Harrison and his septet for this performance is acclaimed cellist Jee Yeoun Ko, who will perform a solo work for cello featured on Harrison’s recent Life Force CD. Ko is a founding member of the Faubourg Quartet, which recently performed the New Orleans debut of Wynton Marsalis’ suite for chamber orchestra entitled “At the Octoroon Balls”. Ko is also on the faculty of NOCCA’s Classical Instrumental department.
Singularity by Joel Harrison has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2009 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. This performance is also funded in part by a grant from the Southern Arts Federation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
About Joel Harrison
Joel Harrison has received numerous prestigious commissions in recognition of his composing and arranging skills. He was a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition in the late 90’s. Since 2003 he has received commissions and grants from Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation, and Chamber Music America. His 2007 solo for marimba won first prize in the Percussive Arts Society’s worldwide competition, and other recent chamber works include a work for solo cello and a duo for violin and cello. In 2003 the Free Country CD was voted one of the top 50 records of the year by Jazz Times. Harrison is a 2010 Guggenheim fellow.