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Jazz Innovations, Part I

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 7:30pm
  • Jazz student pianist (Photo: Steve Korn).

Student jazz ensembles pay homage to the icons of jazz and break new ground with original progressive jazz compositions.


Combo 5for5
Cuong Vu, ensemble advisor

Dance of the Infidels:  Bud Powell

Ceora: Lee Morgan

Chelsea Bridge: Billy Strayhorn

There Will Never Be Another You: Harry Warden/Mack Gordon

Whisper Not: Benny Golson

PERSONNEL: Martin Nguyen, alto saxophone; Andrew Son, tenor saxophone; Luiggi Cantcafe, guitar; Beau Wood, bass, Murphy Janssen, drums

Unit 6
Steve Rodby, ensemble advisor

Inner Urge: Joe Henderson

Chill: Josh Redman

Tell Me A Bedtime Story: Herbie Hancock

Trinkle Tinkle: Thelonius Monk

Unit 7: Sam Jones

PERSONNEL: Andrew Sumabat, trombone, bass trumpet; Brad Schrandt, tenor saxophone, flute; Elias Hampton, guitar; Nebee Yohannes, piano; Tony Lafaive, bass; Micah Richie, drums

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. Petersen 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.”

Steve Rodby
Acoustic and electric bassist, audio and video editor and producer Steve Rodby was born in Joliet, Illinois. He began studying classical orchestral bass at age 10, and quickly developed parallel interests in pop and jazz. A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in classical bass performance, Steve spent many years as a multi-style studio musician on both acoustic and electric bass in Chicago recording studios, while also playing with the leading contemporary classical chamber music group in the city, the University of Chicago's CCP. Playing regularly at the Jazz Showcase also gave him the opportunity to play with numerous jazz masters. In 1981, Steve joined the Pat Metheny Group, and would play with the PMG for 3 decades. Steve also started, in the early 80s, producing records for the PMG and many others, as well as working as a video editor for both PBS music specials and other music DVDs. In all, Steve has won 15 Grammy awards. Recently, Steve has been touring and recording with the international group The Impossible Gentlemen.