6 World Premieres
Guitarist, composer, arranger, lyricist, writer, educator, and vocalist Joel Harrison has “created a new blueprint for jazz” (New Orleans Times-Picayune). In this bountiful show, Harrison will present new music for five different ensembles spanning the worlds of jazz, funk, R&B, World, classical, voice, large ensemble and chamber music.
The program includes the six world premieres, including the premiere of “Breath”—a requiem but also an affirmation of “anima,” the essence of life—written for a 12 person classical vocal chorus and 15 piece jazz band. It will be followed by two acapella vocal pieces meant to be “sacred” works that bring comfort to the bereaved. Next, the eventful, sometimes raucous “America at War,” released at the start of the pandemic, will be performed by an 18-piece jazz orchestra for the first time.
The event will also feature Alta String Quartet performing the 5th movement of a work written in 2017 dedicated to author and psychedelic pioneer, Ken Kesey. Alta will also play a new work entitled “My Life in Bar Bands,” honoring Harrison’s decades playing guitar in bars.
The evening will conclude with The Stardust Reunion Band, showcasing three acclaimed singers—Everett Bradley, Nicki Richards, and Keith Fluitt—in what is essentially an R&B band. Harrison composed the lyrics and music for this uplifting, funky ensemble.
Joel Harrison Jazz Orchestra conducted by Erica Seguine
The New York Virtuoso Singers conducted by Harold Rosenbaum
The Alta String Quartet
Vocalists Everett Bradley, Nicki Richards, and Keith Fluitt
Soloists: Jon Irabagon (saxophone), Alan Ferber (trb), Dave Smith (trpt), Stacy Dillard (sax), Joel Harrison (gtr)
“Protean… brilliant” —The New York Times
A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.