Possibilities are Endless
Celebrating 40 Years of Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory
Concerts in Boston and
New York Featuring Distinguished Faculty, Alumni and Students of
NEC's Contemporary Improvisation Department August 3, 2012 - April 8, 2013
possibilities are endless at New England Conservatory, which
celebrates the 40th anniversary of its groundbreaking
Contemporary Improvisation department with a year-long series of
concerts and events in Boston and New York City.
Featuring many of NEC's distinguished alumni, faculty and students,
and special guests, the Boston festivities include performances by
Marty Ehrlich, Randy Weston, Carla Kihlstedt, Gunther Schuller,
Anthony Coleman, Peter Row, Judy Bressler, Bert Seager, Linda Chase
(with renowned poet Jane Hirshfield), The Sail Away Ladies
(featuring Sarah Jarosz, Eden MacAdam-Somer and the Friedman
Sisters), Dominique Eade, Manga Rosa, The Sol Y Canto Trio, Juanito
Pascual, Lissa Schneckenburger, Dave Fiuscynski, CB Calloway Brooks,
Ken Schaphorst, current department chair Hankus Netsky, founding
department chair Ran Blake, and much more. Three New York events in
March 2013 include a Contemporary Improvisation Showcase featuring
renowned faculty and alumni; an all-day Contemporary Improvisation
Festival in Brooklyn curated by Anthony Coleman; and a panel
discussion and performance highlighting NEC's pivotal role in the
revitalization of Jewish music.
In addition, this fall
MacAdam-Somer launches New England Conservatory's new Continuing
Education/Preparatory Department program in Contemporary
Improvisation. Initial offerings will include Music of the World, a
Jewish Music Ensemble, an African-American Music and Improvisation
Ensemble, the "Walking Between the Worlds" ensemble, and private
instruction in ear-training, improvisation, composition and
performance, all focused on preparing today's musicians for
twenty-first century musical careers. All courses and ensembles are
open to the public for credit or non-credit.
Improvisation 40th Boston Events
Commonwealth Concerts featuring groundbreaking original music
and jazz from NEC's Contemporary Improvisation and jazz departments
in free concerts that precede Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's
performances of Coriolanus on the Boston Common, August 3 through
Opening Night, a showcase for current Contemporary Improvisation
curated by Eden MacAdam-Somer, to be held in Brown Hall at NEC at 8
p.m. on Tuesday, September 4, featuring Ran Blake, Aaron
Hartley, Anthony Coleman, Dominique Eade, Tanya Kalmanovitch Ted
Reichman, Jerry Leake, Eden MacAdam-Somer, Hankus Netsky, Nedelka
Prescod, Amir Milstein, Peter Row, Bert Seager and others.
o Multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich, one of the most
lyrical and inventive musicians around, follows with a week-long
residency (September 5 - 13) including a talk on his music on
Thursday, September 6 and a concert featuring NEC students and
faculty on Thursday, September 13 at NEC's Jordan Hall.
o Master Class "Expanding the Possibilities of the Double
Bass" with bassist/composer Mark Dresser at 10 a.m. on
Friday, September 14 in the Keller Room, NEC.
o Master Class with prolific composer, improviser, and
pianist Satoko Fujii at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 25
in Pierce Hall, NEC.
o Family Barn Dance led by Eden MacAdam-Somer, Brown
Hall. October 7, 2012.
All ages: an introduction to fiddling and social dancing with the
chair of NEC's Preparatory and Continuing Education program in
o Everyone Can Improvise Workshop with Hankus Netsky, as part
of The Fenway Alliance's Opening Our Doors Day, a day of
cultural experience in the Fenway Cultural District on Monday,
October 8, 2 p.m. at NEC's Brown Hall.
o Dominique Eade, Faculty Recital, 8 p.m.
Thursday, October 11 at NEC's
o Bert Seager's Kombucha and Carla Kihlstedt's Rabbit, Rabbit,
at the Regattabar, Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. *Tickets required.
o An Evening of Music and Poetry with Linda Chase and Jane
Hirshfield at 8 p.m. on Monday, October 22 at NEC's
o Contemporary Improvisation Workshop with Hankus Netsky
and Eden MacAdam-Somer, on Friday, October 26 from 4-6 p.m. in NEC's Pierce Hall.
o Contemporary Improvisation Alumni Showcase featuring
Manga Rosa, Sol Y Canto, Juanito Pascual, Lissa
Schneckenburger, Dave Fiuscynski, and CB Calloway
Brooks with Ken Schaphorst and the NEC Jazz Orchestra,
co-hosted by Hankus Netsky and Judy Bressler in Jordan
Hall at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 26.
o Ran Blake, A Life in Music (curated by Aaron Hartley),
Saturday, October 27 from 10 - 11:45 a.m. Featuring musical and
video tributes and a live interview conducted by Hankus Netsky at
NEC's Williams Hall.
o A "World
Barn Dance" featuring the Contemporary Improvisation
Department's American Roots, Jewish Music, and
World Music Ensembles, in Brown Hall at NEC on Saturday,
October 27 at 8 p.m.
o Brando Noir, this year's multi-media Film Noir
extravaganza, curated by Ran Blake and Aaron Hartley, in Jordan Hall
at NEC on Monday, October 29 at 8 p.m. Now an annual
Halloween tradition, this year's concert switches from a director
focus to the work of the actor who brought the word "brooding" into
everyday speech: Marlon Brando.
o Contemporary Improvisation Department Singer/Songwriter and
Vocal Showcase hosted by Dominique Eade, at Scullers Jazz Club
on Wednesday, October 31 at 8 p.m. *Tickets required.
o Contemporary Improvisation Night at the Lily Pad,
hosted by Joe Morris, Thursday November 1 at 8 p.m. *Tickets required.
o The Sail Away Ladies is a groundbreaking contemporary
acoustic quartet that originated as an NEC honors ensemble featuring
Eden MacAdam-Somer and Mia Friedman on violin and vocals, Sarah
Jarosz on mandolin, banjo and vocals, and Ariel Friedman on cello
and vocals. At Club Passim, Wednesday, November 7 at 8 p.m. *Tickets required.
o Rebirth of the Third Stream featuring the NEC Jazz
Orchestra, directed by Ken Schaphorst in Jordan Hall at 8:00pm on
Thursday, November 29.
o Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Faculty Spotlight Concert
on Monday, January 28 at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall.
o From Third Stream to Contemporary Improvisation Co-curated by Gunther Schuller and Tanya Kalmanovitch,
with a 6:15 p.m. pre-concert panel discussion in the Keller Room
moderated by Tanya Kalmanovitch, featuring Gunther Schuller, Ran
Blake, Allan Chase, and Hankus Netsky on Tuesday, February 19,
2013. 8 p.m. concert in Jordan Hall at NEC.
o Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul at 7 p.m. on
Sunday, March 3, 2012 at Boston's Symphony Hall featuring
violinist Itzhak Perlman, vocal soloist Chazan Yitzchok Meir Helfgot
and musical director Hankus Netsky, Chair of NEC's
Contemporary Improvisation Department and Maestro Russell Ger with
members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and Chamber Orchestra.
Presented by the Celebrity Series.
o Monk/Webern, a concert celebrating two 20th-century
compositional masters, curated by Anthony Coleman. Monday, April 8, 2013
at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall at NEC.
o Contemporary Improvisation Honors Ensembles: Jazz/Wild Card
on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall.
o A residency April 16 - 18
featuring pianist/composer Randy Weston, culminating in a
concert with the NEC Jazz Orchestra directed by Ken Schaphorst in
Jordan Hall on Thursday, April 18th at 8 p.m. Weston is
renowned as one of the world's foremost improvising pianists and is
widely credited for his pioneering work in bringing African and
Middle Eastern roots music to the world of American improvisation.
Contemporary Improvisation 40th New York Events in March 2013 to be
History of the Contemporary Improvisation program at NEC
Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran
Blake, NEC's Contemporary Improvisation program trains
creative musicians to broaden their musical palettes and develop
unique voices as composer/performer/ improvisers. "We have entered
an era when musical labels mean less and less and each individual
musician draws on multiple influences to define who they are," says
current Contemporary Improvisation chair Hankus Netsky.
Led by Ran Blake for its first twenty-six years, the program is
unparalleled for its structured approach to ear training and its
emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication,
aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under later chairs
Allan Chase and Hankus Netsky, the department expanded its offerings
considerably. Among the department's current student ensembles are
the African American Roots Ensemble, the Songwriter's Workshop, the
Jewish Music Ensemble, the Interdisciplinary Ensemble (drawing on
poetry, painting, and dance for inspiration), the World Music
Ensemble, the Twenty-first Century ensemble, the American Roots
Ensemble, the Film Noir Ensemble, the Cobra Ensemble, the Indian
Modal Improvisation Ensemble, and composition and improvisation
ensembles led by Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris and Tanya Kalmanovitch.
Every student is encouraged to develop a wide array of musical
skills, preparing them for any and all musical challenges that might
come their way in their professional lives. In a guest appearance
at a departmental event in the fall of 2011 that included world
music, chamber music and free improvisation, Gunther Schuller
(featured in our February Jordan Hall concert), who coined the term
"Third Stream" in the 1950s and articulated the idea of the
"Complete Musician" during his presidency at NEC said: "I feel that
my vision for this department has now been realized."
The program's alumni include internationally renowned
clarinetist/composer Don Byron, keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski,
Martin & Wood, Jacqueline Schwab, whose solo piano improvisations
were featured in Ken Burns' award-winning PBS series "The Civil
War," and Aoife O'Donovan, featured on Yo-Yo Ma's recent Goat-Rodeo
project and, for many years, with the acclaimed hybrid bluegrass
ensemble, "Crooked Still." Departmental faculty include violinist
Carla Kihlstedt of the Tin Hat Trio, iconic improvisational pianist
Ran Blake, acclaimed vocalist Dominique Eade, and pianist/composer/
improviser Anthony Coleman. "New England Conservatory's Contemporary
Improvisation department is special because it truly empowers its
students to become artists," says Rabbi Greg Wall (CI 1982), a
celebrated recording artist whose innovative downtown blend of jazz,
world music and Jewish sounds has filled the halls of top venues
from Carnegie Hall to stages throughout North America, Europe and
Current Contemporary Improvisation department chair Hankus Netsky
has taught at NEC since 1978. A multi-instrumentalist, composer,
scholar and educator, he is founder and director of the Klezmer
Conservatory Band, America's premier klezmer and Yiddish repertory
ensemble. He has composed extensively for film and television, and
has worked closely with such artists as Robin Williams, Joel Grey,
Theodore Bikel, Marty Ehrlich, Linda Chase, Ran Blake, Itzhak
Perlman, and Robert Brustein, with whom he has collaborated on two
full-length musicals. He has produced numerous recordings, including
ten by the Klezmer Conservatory Band. His latest collaboration with
Itzhak Perlman, "Eternal Echoes - Songs and Dances for the Soul," is
scheduled to be released by Sony Masterworks in September, 2012
Travelers, for further information on Contemporary Improvisation
at NEC, go to: http://necmusic.edu/contemporary-improvisation http://necmusic.edu/ci40