Asheville Amadeus 2017

This week is the second (I believe, might be the third) annual Asheville Amadeus festival. The Asheville Symphony Orchestra teamed up with several other local organizations to celebrate the life and music of Mozart. There are talks, chamber music, sing-alongs, even a local brewery puts out a limited release beer called Wolfgang 1756 annually for this festival.

The most exciting part of Asheville Amadeus for me this year is the participation of the string students from MusicWorks! Asheville with the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra. The Asheville Symphony Orchestra is bringing in Midori in for a week long residency and she will be giving our violin students a master class too.

If you’re around western North Carolina this week looking for some Mozart related activities, consider attending some of the events around Asheville.

Stan Kenton Christmas 2016

The Asheville Jazz Orchestra will be performing our annual Stan Kenton Christmas fundraiser concert this Friday night, December 16, 2016, at 7 PM. The concert will be held at our usual location, Trinity United Methodist Church (587 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806).

We will be performing most of the charts on Stan Kenton’s “Merry Christmas” album, as well as several additional Christmas big band charts at this concert. The performance is free and open to the public, but we will be taking a collection to raise money for the Bless the Schools fund (which helps out Asheville City Schools children in need) and the Asheville Jazz Council (a 501c3 dedicated to promoting jazz education, performance, and composition in western North Carolina).

It has been a couple of years since I had a new Christmas arrangement of my own for this concert. Last week I put the finishing touches on a new arrangement of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. We’ll be playing that chart, as well as a few others by me at this show.

If you get to come, please come up and say hello after the performance.

AJO at White Horse Black Mountain, 12/10/16

The Asheville Jazz Orchestra will be back at the White Horse Black Mountain (105c Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC) on Saturday, December 10, 2016. For this show we’re pulling out the holiday book and will be playing holiday classics in a big band jazz style.

I’ve written a few of the charts we’ll be playing and am working on an original big band arrangement of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and hope to have it completed in time for this show. It will be a trombone section feature because, well, all charts should be trombone section features.

There is a $15 cover charge. If you make it to our show, please say hello on set break or afterwards.

Low-Down Sires at Piedmont Swing Dance Society

low-down-sires-drawingI’ll be performing this Saturday, September 24, 2016, at the Piedmont Swing Dance Society’s dance in Winston-Salem, NC. If I understand correctly, the dance will be at 7 Vintage Avenue in Winston Salem, NC. For more information and to register for the whole dance weekend, visit https://piedmontswingdance.org.

It’s short notice, but if anyone wants to try to meet up for an embouchure lesson or just to hang out, let me know.

Patriotic Concert July 3, 2016

18461977735_51e17e6dfd_zThis Sunday, July 3, 2016, the Asheville Jazz Orchestra will be performing our 2nd annual Patriotic Concert at Trinity United Methodist Church is west Asheville, NC. We’ll be performing a mix of patriotic music in a big band jazz style along side big band jazz from the WWII era, focusing on bands such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. The concert starts at 3 PM and is free and open to the public. A goodwill offering will be taken to raise funds for both the Asheville Jazz Council and the Asheville Buncombe Christian Community Ministry‘s veterans charity.

For a preview of some of the music you might here, you can watch four of us on WLOS Channel 13 here.

Smokey Mountain Brass Band Sunday, March 6, 2016

Here’s another weekend performance for me. This Sunday, March 6, 2016, I’ll be conducting the Smokey Mountain Brass Band in concert at Weaverville Methodist Church, in Weaverville, NC. The performance will feature a variety of music ranging from Clarke’s Cousins (with Bill Ross and JP Carney as the soloists) to Hymn of the Highlands by Philip Sparke to Hymnsong of Philip Bliss by western North Carolina composer David Holsinger. The performance starts at 3 PM and is free to attend, although we will be collecting an offering.

If you’re in the area this Sunday please come out and check out western North Carolina’s only British-style brass band.

History of Jazz Concert Series – Jazz of the Roaring 20s

Low-Down Sires DrawingThis Sunday, March 6, 2016, I’ll be performing again at a very neat concert series produced by Russ Wilson at the Isis Restaurant and Music Hall in west Asheville, NC.

The Jazz Age was a period in the 1920s, ending with the Great Depression, in which jazz music and dance styles became popular, mainly in the United States, but also in Britain, France and elsewhere. Jazz originated in New Orleans as a fusion of African and European music and played a significant part in wider cultural changes in this period, and its influence on pop culture continued long afterwards. The Jazz Age is often referred to in conjunction with the ROARING TWENTIES.

The next show in the HISTORY OF JAZZ series presents two bands (from Asheville, North Carolina) carrying on the tradition of this great music. The Low Down Sires and The Firecracker Jazz. These 2 bands play the uninhibited, freewheeling Jazz of King Oliver, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton.

THE LOW DOWN SIRES:
The Low-Down Sires are dedicated to the lost sounds of early jazz, inspired by the compositions and arrangements of Joe “King” Oliver, Edward “Kid” Ory, Jelly Roll Morton, and other giants from the storied origins of the art form. Their raucous style predates the smoother sounds of big band swing and the intellectualism of modern jazz and transports you to the streets of New Orleans and the barrelhouses of early 20th century Mississippi river towns. Their performance style is at once hard hitting and intimate, fitting in easily well at bars, back-porches, swing dances, and street corners.

THE FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND:
With jubilant vigor that spills from the stage to the streets, FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND revitalizes the energy of the roots of Jazz. In paying homage to the pioneers of early 20th Century Jazz, including that of Dixieland and New Orleans, the Firecracker Jazz Band carries the torch that was once lit by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong & Bix Beiderbecke.

A show not to be missed. Tickets are $15. Downbeat is 7:30pm
Isis Restaurant and Music Hall
743 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 575-2737 –  isisasheville.com

Upcoming Gigs

I’ve got some more public shows coming up, if you’re in the area.

Tonight, (Wednesday, February 17, 2016) I’m performing with the Greenville Jazz Collective Big Band at Chicora Alley in Greenville, SC. We play two sets of big band jazz starting at 7 PM.

Friday night (February 19, 2016) the Low-Down Sires will be playing from 8:30 PM until 11 PM or so at the Cork and Keg, downtown Asheville. The Sires specializes in jazz from 1920s New Orleans and Chicago, with a smattering of other music thrown in. It’s great for swing dancing or listening.

And on Saturday (February 20, 2016) the Asheville Jazz Orchestra will be back at Highland Brewing Company. We play two sets from 7 PM to 9 PM, featuring big band jazz from the Swing Era up through contemporary charts.

If you can make it out to one of these gigs please come up and say hello.

Upcoming Gigs

I’ve got a few public gigs this weekend for anyone around western North Carolina, beginning tomorrow night, Thursday February 11, 2016. I will be performing at Club Eleven on Grove with Mick Glasgow’s House Hoppers. There is a swing dance lesson that begins at 7:30 PM and the dance starts at 8:30. This is a special Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day themed event, so if you want to come in your Mardi Gras outfit you can join in the costume contest.

This Friday, February 12, 2016 I will be playing and directing the Asheville Jazz Orchestra at our monthly show at the White Horse Black Mountain. We’ll be playing our usual mix of big band jazz ranging from 1930s up through original charts, but with a focus this time on the hits of the Swing Era.

On Saturday, February 13, 2016 I’m playing two shows with the Low-Down Sires. The first is at the Marshall Fanciful Flea’s Madison Has HEArT fundraiser to raise funds to help heat homes for needy families in Madison County.  We are being flexible with our start time, but the music will be going on with several groups from noon until 5 PM.

Saturday evening we’re heading over to Noble Cider beginning at 6:30 and will be playing a couple more sets of traditional New Orleans/Chicago style jazz with the Sires.

If you can make it out to one of these shows please be sure to come up and say hello to me on a set break or afterwards.