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Chicago Jazz / Blues Concerts:
Concerts to Showcase Contrasts of Classical and Jazz Music featuring works by Edvard Grieg, Russell

The Chicago Sinfonietta marks the start of its 21st season in tribute to Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington in a first time ever collaboration with The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, under the Artistic Direction of Jon Faddis. The Sinfonietta and the CJE will perform a popular selection of Classical and Jazz works in exploration of Ellington’s work on Sunday, September 16, at 2:30 p.m. at Lund Auditorium, Dominican University, 7900 W. Division in River Forest, and Monday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The Boeing Company is the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Season Sponsor.

The Sinfonietta will begin its first concert of the 2007-08 season with selections from Edvard Grieg’s dramatic Peer Gynt Suite. Grieg wrote the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s poetic drama Peer Gynt in 1876 and arranged the suite for full orchestra in 1888. Peer Gynt Suite has become one of Grieg’s best-known works and can be heard in popular movies, television shows and advertisements. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble will then perform selections from Duke Ellington’s and Billy Strayhorn’s delightful 1960 adaptation of Peer Gynt Suite, giving patrons a comparative taste of Classical and Jazz as musicians, both symphonic and jazz, bounce between the two works.

Also on the bill, Sinfonietta timpanist Robert Everson will present Russell Peck's Harmonic Rhythm: Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra in a performance of brilliant sticking and a kaleidoscope of rhythmic and harmonic sounds. To conclude the concert, the Chicago Sinfonietta, together with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, will perform Ellington’s symphonic work for jazz ensemble and orchestra, Harlem. This bluesy, upbeat masterpiece was originally scored for his annual jazz concert series at New York's Carnegie Hall, making Ellington the first African American to conduct a jazz concert at the world-renowned venue. Jon Faddis later served as Artistic Director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band from 1992 – 2002.

Chicago Sinfonietta Executive Director, Jim Hirsch comments, “The Chicago Sinfonietta is ready to embark on its 21st year of genre-busting repertoire selections and unique partnerships. For the first time, the Orchestra will join forces with the renowned Chicago Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Jon Faddis, supporting our mission to expand the classical music audience by mixing a Classical repertoire with bold contemporary works.”

This concert is sponsored by The Boeing Company, ABC7, Chicago Public Radio 91.5 FM and Bettiann Gardner.

Tickets range from $26-$96 for concerts at Orchestra Hall and $26-$40 for concerts at Lund Auditorium at Dominican University. Special pricing for children, students and groups are available. For tickets, call (312) 236-3681, extension 2, or visit www.chicagosinfonietta.org.

The mission of the Chicago Sinfonietta is to serve as a national model for inclusiveness and innovation in classical music through the presentation of the highest quality orchestral concerts and related programs. The Chicago Sinfonietta aspires to remove the barriers to participation in, and appreciation of, classical music through its educational and outreach programs that expose children and their families to classical music, and by providing professional development opportunities for young musicians and composers of diverse backgrounds enabling new, important voices to be heard.

Celebrated by critics and audiences alike, the 21-member Chicago Jazz Ensemble comprises an elite group of Chicago Jazz musicians, ranging from established stars with national reputations and acclaimed Columbia College Chicago faculty, to the city’s brightest young talents. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble is recognized internationally as one of America’s leading Jazz ensembles. With Artistic Director Jon Faddis, the CJE's mission is to represent, preserve and promote the innovative traditions of American orchestral Jazz music. Founded in 1965 by distinguished composer and conductor William Russo, in September 2004, the ensemble entered a new phase in its history with the appointment of trumpet virtuoso, composer and conductor Jon Faddis as its Artistic Director. Formerly Artistic Director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Faddis has a 30-year history of performing and collaborating with the world’s foremost Jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble brings the celebration of Jazz and more to its audiences, aficionados and new-comers alike, with its innovative concert programs, family-friendly conversations for children and young adults, and exciting educational programming for students of all ages.

This collaboration with the Chicago Sinfonietta is part of the CJE’s Ninth American Heritage Jazz Series, which features On the Road with The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, a 13-city Midwest tour, including the Sinfonietta concerts plus four performances at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The American Heritage Jazz Series presents Special Guest Lalo Schifrin, Friday, November 2, 2007; The Music of Duke Ellington: Featuring Ellington’s Sacred Concert, Friday, December 14, 2007; “Happy 90th Birthday to Nat, Diz, Ella & Monk,” Friday, March 14, 2008; and A Triumph of Trumpets, Friday, April 11, 2008. All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Preceding each concert, Faddis will lead a 20-minute interview with the guest artist followed by an informative discussion with Neil Tesser regarding the evening’s program. For more information or tickets to the CJE series, visit www.chijazz.com or call (312) 344-6270.

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a most outstanding performer” and referred to by the Chicago Sun Times a “Master Timpanist,” Robert Everson earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Percussion Performance from DePaul University and is the percussion instructor at Concordia University. He also teaches at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, WI, and performs solo in-school percussion demonstrations for the International Music Foundation of Chicago and the Lake Forest Symphony. He also participates in the educational outreach Seed Program and Musical Excursions with the Chicago Sinfonietta. Everson has been the timpanist with the Chicago Sinfonietta since its inception in 1987. In addition, he is the timpanist with many orchestras in the Chicago area including the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Ars Viva, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra. He has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony. He is an extra player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has performed on CSO recordings under Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez; the latter having won the Grammy award for best orchestral performance in 2001. He has played with dozens of pop artists, including Celine Dion, Dennis DeYoung, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, the Moody Blues, Andreas Bocelli, Aretha Franklin and Art Garfunkel.

 

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