Michael Gibbs and Bill Frisell with the UW Symphony and Jazz Studies Faculty

Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 7:30pm
$20 ($10 students/seniors)
guitarist Bill Frisell
Guitarist Bill Frisell (Photo: Monica Frisell)

Guitarist Bill Frisell and jazz composer/arranger Michael Gibbs--Frisell’s former teacher at Berklee School of Music--teamed up for the 2015 release Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band Play a Bill Frisell Setlist, a collection of Frisell songs from throughout the guitarist’s career, arranged by Gibbs for big band. In this performance with the UW Symphony, Frisell revisits Gibbs’ arrangements, joined by Jazz Studies faculty Cuong Vu, Ted Poor, and Luke Bergman.

 

 

PROGRAM

Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Luke Bergman, and Ted Poor play the music of Michael Gibbs.

Ballet

Feelings and Things

And On the Third Day

Blue Comedy

Sweet Rain

 

*Program subject to change.

 

The Unanswered Question……………………………….…… Charles Ives

Bill Frisell, guitar

Cuong Vu, trumpet

Natalie Ham, Sabrina Bounds, McKenzie Rickman and Leanna Keith, flutes

String section of the UW Symphony (backstage) with Abbie Naze, conductor

David Alexander Rahbee, conductor

 

-        INTERMISSION -

 

Nocturne Vulgaire  ……………………………….………………Michael Gibbs

Throb……………………………………………..………………. Michael Gibbs

Richter 858 #7……………………………………………..Bill Frisell, arr. Gibbs

Juliet of the Spirits……………………………………… .Nino Rota, arr. Gibbs

Rag……………………………………………………….. Bill Frisell, arr. Gibbs

UW Symphony

Bill Frisell, guitar

Cuong Vu, trumpet

Luke Bergman, bass

Ted Poor, drums

David Alexander Rahbee, conductor

 

ARTIST BIOS

Michael Gibbs

"Gibbs music is full of intriguing inner detail that does not deflect from the ultimate destiny of his pieces." – BBC Music Magazine

 "Mike Gibbs' ingenious arrangements suggest a pop art incarnation of a traditional big band -- assembled from blistering guitar riffage, fiery brass and deeply idiosyncratic rhythms ...[his music]...nevertheless retains the soulfulness of conventional jazz, and for all its mind-expanding consciousness, the music speaks to the body as loudly as it does the intellect. Most impressive is the tactile sumptuousness of Gibbs' sound -- the music boasts as many tints and textures as a Pantone Color Guide." – All Music Guide

Brit-jazz composer and arranger Michael Gibbs was born in 1937 in Zimbabwe. Starting in 1959, he studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory , Tanglewood and the Lenox School of Music, where he studied with a who's who of contemporary jazz and modern composition: George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Iannis Xenakis, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and others. In 1964 he moved to the UK, where he engaged himself in the rapidly emerging contemporary UK jazz scene. Starting in the late 60s and continuing into the mid 70s, he recorded a number of highly acclaimed and influential albums featuring many of the most prominent British-based jazz players who, like Michael, were beginning to flirt with jazz/rock. Since the mid 70s he has worked as a educator as well as a free-lance arranger, doing arrangements and orchestrations for major names such as Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Peter Gabriel among many others, while too infrequently recording his own music.

 

Bill Frisell, guitar

Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell played clarinet throughout his childhood in Denver, Colorado. His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material. Later, Bill studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber. Bill moved to the New York City area in 1979 and stayed until 1989. He now lives in Seattle.

Michael Gibbs, composer/arranger

Mike Gibbs - composer, arranger and trombonist has worked with many music luminaries, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Narada Michael Walden, Michael Mantler, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel, Bill Frisell.

Born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), he grew up playing trombone and piano and was awarded scholarships to attend Lenox School of Jazz and Tanglewood Summer School, where he studied with Gunther Schuller, George Russell, J.J.Johnson, Lukas Foss, and Iannis Xenakis. Having graduated from Berklee College of Music with diploma in Arranging and Composition in 1962, he moved to the U.K. played trombone for Tubby Hayes, Graham Collier, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, and by the 1970's was generally recognised as one of the leading young composer-arrangers in jazz.

His albums, including Michael Gibbs and In The Public Interest, won him numerous awards and after nine years as composer-in-residence at Berklee, during which time he orchestrated Joni Mitchell's Don Juan's Reckless Daughteralbum among many others.

He returned to the U.K. in 1985. He has since written extensively for films and television and worked with the NDR, WDR and HR bands in Germany. In 2004 he received an Honorary Fellowship from Birmingham Conservatoire.

Cuong Vu, trumpet

Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing to a wide range of artists such as Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie.

As a youngster, Cuong's intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released eight recordings, each making critics’ lists of the 10 best recordings of their respective years and has received rave reviews from notable publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, the Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, JazzTimes and Downbeat. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory as a trumpet player, blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic and sound world.

Awards and honors that Cuong has garnered include grants from the Royalty Research Foundation, the Donald E. Peterson Professorship, ArtistTrust, 4Culture, CityArts and the Colbert Award for Excellence.  Cuong is currently associate professor and chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington and was awarded the University of Washington's prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award in his third year on faculty. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He’s been recognized as one of the top 50 Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD” and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. Amazon listed Vu’s “Come Play With Me” on their “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time.”

Ted Poor, drums

After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, drummer Ted Poor moved to New York City, where he has made a deep impression on the jazz and improvised music scene.  Modern Drummer describes his playing as “adventurous, truly dynamic, and forward-thinking.” Jazz Review writes, “Ted has an uncanny ability to shape the music and a refreshingly unique, organic approach to playing the drums.” This unique approach has caught the ears of many of jazz’s most established musicians and quickly placed him amongst those drummers most in demand.

Ted has toured the world over and is a regular member of many bands, including those of Grammy award winning trumpeter Cuong Vu, guitarist Ben Monder, Bad Touch, and the Respect Sextet.  Ted’s most recent project as a leader is called Mt. Varnum. Formed in August of 2011, Mt. Varnum reconciles a life-long love of deep swing with an equally earnest adoration of classic and indie rock.  The band’s forthcoming debut release “Wounded Caroline” is a powerful and complete manifestation of that union.

As an in-demand sideman, Ted has appeared on dozens of recordings and has shared the stage with many world renowned artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill Frisell, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Maria Schneider, Aaron Parks and Ralph Alessi. As a guest soloist and educator, Poor has held residencies at, among others, the Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Cal Arts, Lawrence University, the University of Oregon, and the HR Big Band of Frankfurt.  He is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Luke Bergman, bass

An innovative bassist, composer and producer who is constantly putting forth spirited work, Luke Bergman has become an integral part of the music scene in the Northwest. His artistic and educational efforts as well as his dedication to creative music have served as a touchstone for a new generation of Seattle musicians.

Bergman's music has garnered critical acclaim on a national and international level for his work with Heatwarmer, Speak, Thousands, and The Cuong Vu Group.

He is dedicated to the development of the local music community and serves as co-creator, organizer and artistic director of The Racer Sessions, a weekly performance series which is devoted to the advancement of avant-garde music in Seattle. Debuting new works each week and operating as a performance workshop for group free improvisation, the series has provided a place for artists to interact and inspire each other on a regular basis. Bergman also serves as a board member, producer, recording engineer and co-founder of Table and Chairs Music, a not-for-profit, independent record label that documents and promotes creative music in Seattle. As an experienced educator, Bergman offers a wealth of musical knowledge in many areas paired with an eagerness to reach students of all abilities.


CONDUCTOR BIO

David Alexander Rahbee is currently artist in residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is conductor of the University Orchestra and teaches conducting. He was a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and received a fellowship from the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007.

Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Orchestre de la Francophonie (Canada), the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, the Boston New Music Initiative, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. He has collaborated with prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, David Chan, Joseph Lin. He was an assistant at the Vienna State opera (2002-2010), music director and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1997-2001). He has been engaged as a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestras of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO). Festivals he has been involved with include the Salzburg Festival, the International Bartók Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival.

Dr. Rahbee's principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School.  He holds Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting.  He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. Mr. Rahbee has been selected to active participate in masterclasses by renown conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdenk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó, and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors.