UVA Jazz Ensemble presents "Local Giants"
On Saturday, February 25th, the UVA Jazz Ensemble, directed by John D’earth, will present their winter concert in Old Cabell Auditorium at 8:00 P.M. The concert, entitled Local Giants, will feature two extraordinary guest artists who happen to reside in our area, saxophonist Bobby Read, and soul/jazz guitar master Randy Johnston.
Randy Johnston is one of the most widely recorded and prolific guitarists of his generation. He has released 12 albums as a leader for the Muse, Highnote, J Curve, Mel Bay, and Random Act labels, and he has toured extensively with jazz greats like Lionel Hampton, Huston Person, Etta Jones, and Lonnie Smith. In addition, he had been a regular member of the Lou Donaldson quartet for seventeen years.
Bobby Read, a forty-year veteran in music, is a saxophonist/woodwind player, studio engineer, producer, and composer. Bobby has played in a huge variety of musical contexts as a member of groups spanning from rock, jazz, folk, classical, and theatre. He has played thousands of gigs over 20 years as saxophonist, woodwind and wind synth player with Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers, including the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Woodstock '99, The Jackson Family Honors, Olympics events, for President Clinton twice, and even for skater Brian Bointano! Over the years, Bobby has performed and jammed with a formidable list of artists: Bonnie Raitt, Branford Marsalis, Eric Clapton, Chick Corea, Don Henley, Pat Metheny, members of Los Lobos and the Black Crowes, most of the Grateful Dead, and numerous others. Bobby was on all of the Hornsby CDs from 1993-2013, several full length videos, and numerous TV performances. Bobby is now focused on producing and recording his own music and promoting the plethora of great local artists this area has spawned, through his new label and website, smallworldrecords.space.
“Bobby is one of my oldest friends and one of the greatest musicians I have ever known”, says D’earth. “We played for six years together in Hornsby’s band and Bobby has produced and performed on many of my projects. And I’ve played on his. Randy Johnston is one of my newest friends because he only recently moved here from New York. We have been performing together and I am astounded by the depth of his playing and improvisations. I hold Bobby and Randy in the same high esteem. They are virtuosos who can play any kind of music. What is particularly important to me is their expressivity. They both know how to tell a story when they play.”
The concert will feature classics like Thad Jones’ Little Pixie, Charles Mingus’ Peggy’s Blue Skylight, and the Jazz Ensemble’s resident guest vocalist, third year Joy Collins, singing a burning arrangement of Sammy Cahn’s, It’s You or No One. Also featured will be originals by D’earth, the guests, and members of the band.
“I will probably play a little more in this concert than I usually do,” D’earth allowed. “I love playing with Bobby and Randy. But I want to feature our own amazing players, too, like trombonist Doug Bethel, (who will be contributing his own Mingus Type Tune for small group) graduate student trumpeter Harrison Frye (killer!) tenorman Matthew Smith and the rest of our wonderful saxophone section, and our beloved pianist, Peter Hodskins, now tragically in his fourth year!”
A new piece by D’earth, Elements of Style, will be performed alongside State of the Nation from his suite for Jazz Ensemble, Green Chemistry, and Ravel Dreaming, by Bobby Read, based on Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.
The UVA Jazz Ensemble is noted for its creativity and eclecticism and its refusal to conform to jazz orthodoxies. On Saturday, February 25th, experience the ebullience of the Jazz Ensemble and get acquainted with your neighbors, Randy and Bobby, who happen to be two of the finest musicians anywhere.
Tickets are $10 for the general public, $9 for UVA faculty and staff, $5 for students and free for UVA students who reserve in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Box Office by calling 434.924.3376 or visiting www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu.
Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda (map). Parking is available in the Central Grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner. Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.
All programs are subject to change.