Jazz Ensemble Winter Concert

Trumpet Summit Reunited!
February 8, 2020 - 8:00pm
Old Cabell Hall
$10 / $9 UVA Faculty & Staff / $5 students / Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance

The UVA Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of John D’earth, will present their spring concert on Saturday, February 8th at 8:00pm in Old Cabell Hall featuring Trumpeters Omar Kabir, Taylor Barnett, Spencer Hadley, Eli Goldstein, and Will Evans.

For their first concert of 2020, the UVA Jazz Ensemble will host five jazz trumpet artists, each one of whom is a former private student of John D’earth, the ensemble’s director.  The trumpeters, who are all originally from Charlottesville, studied with D’earth at different times in his long teaching career, and have developed voices and careers of their own over several decades or several years, depending on the age of the player.

The oldest guest, Omar Kabir, was D’earth’s first trumpet student when he moved to Charlottesville in the early eighties.  Omar has performed and recorded internationally with artists like David Murray and the Cecil Taylor Big Band.  Taylor Barnett, a PhD who met and studied with D’earth as a junior at Albemarle High School, is a Virginia-based trumpeter, teacher, and composer currently serving as Virginia Commonwealth University’s Coordinator of Musicianship Studies. In 2001, he was awarded First Place in the Jazz Division of the National Trumpet Competition.Princeton graduate Spencer Hadley now lives in New York City preparing for graduate school in German Literature and pursuing a performance career as a jazz trumpeter and composer. Eli Goldstein, a recent graduate of JMU’s Jazz Performance program is based in Charlottesville and free-lances extensively on the east coast. (“He’s my first-call sub at this point,” D’earth remarked.) And, Will Evans, at eighteen years old the youngest of the five guests, just began undergraduate studies in jazz performance at the Manhattan School of Music and is a student of Ingrid Jensen.  All five trumpeters cut their teeth at D’earth’s now-legendary Thursday Night at Miller’s gig, which has been happening for close to forty years.

“I came up with the idea for this concert at Miller’s one Thursday night last summer,” says D’earth of his inspiration for the February 8th trumpet extravaganza.  “Four of these five guys showed up at my gig (all but Taylor Barnett) and sat in at the same time. I was floored by two things: they all played their butts off, and they didn’t sound like each other or like me.  We all played off of each other and it was a joyous thing, a little competitive, perhaps, in a friendly way, but we were all blown away by how much music we could make together.  I wanted people to see this, and I had to include Taylor Barnett.  He is just too terrific and so much a member of this little club!”

Unsurprisingly, a sixth trumpet student of D’earth’s will participate. Owen Brown, who will play a lot of lead trumpet on the 8th, doesn’t have much of a resume yet because he’s a junior at Albemarle High School.  D’earth often includes community members, faculty, and staff in his UVA band.  As a high school junior, Will Evans was featured with the Jazz Ensemble, as well.

Audiences at recent UVA Jazz Ensemble concerts have been delighted by a jazz vocal component provided by the newly-formed University Jazz Singers.  Jazz vocalist Tina Hashemi, who will be featured as a soloist with the band, leads the group.  Tina is the first jazz student to be accepted into the Music Department’s new performance concentration program.

The band will perform a blend of classic and newly-minted jazz compositions.  Count Basie will be represented by Corner Pocket and Flight of the Foo Birds, and Duke Ellington will provide his magic in Concerto for Cootie, featuring the guests.  Even though Lester Young insisted that jazz musicians were, “sensitive,” you can’t have a trumpet summit without it turning into a blowfest at some point: Arturo Sandoval’s Funky Cha-Cha and D’earth’s Merengue Loco will provide two starting points for such shenanigans.  D’earth will also unveil a new song to be sung by the jazz choir: Keep it Simple!  And the singers will perform an arrangement of Willowland, by D’earth’s late wife and musical partner,  Dawn Thompson.

“I love the band right now,” says D’earth, “not least because of some wonderful new players like Michael McNulty, on guitar, (who has already contributed an original composition we’ll be playing: Mixed Meter) Nick Wu on baritone sax, and medical student Trent Ogaz on tenor sax. But, also, the veterans are sounding great!  And we have a creative dynamo in music graduate student and drummer/composer, Rami Stucky, who is constantly writing new things for the band and has quietly become a mentor and model to the younger students.”  Stucky has written a new feature for Tina Hashemi on Everything Happens to Me.  The Jazz Ensemble will also be performing Some Grafitti on the A Train, an arrangement by JMU’s jazz director Chuck Dotas of D’earth’s parodic paraphrase of the Strayhorn/Ellington chestnut, a vocal rendition of Have You Met Miss Jones and Kenny Dorham’s Minor’s Holliday.

The UVA Jazz Ensemble comprises undergraduates, graduate students, and community members.  They offer three concerts per academic year and present numerous guest artists both from our area, and from the national and international jazz scene.  Don’t miss their third annual Jazz4Justice concert, sponsored, in part, by the Virginia legal community, featuring their guest artist, French pianist/composer Damian Groleau.

The UVA Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of trumpeter/composer John D’earth, has become known as one of the most creative college big bands in the country. The group’s performances feature classic repertoire from across the spectrum of Jazz history, Jazz arrangements of music from diverse genres, and original compositions and arrangements, from within the band, by the students and the director. The UVA Jazz Ensemble comprises undergraduates, graduate students, and community members.  They offer three concerts per academic year and present numerous guest artists both from our area, and from the national and international jazz scene. 

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda. Parking is available in the Central Grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Road, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner.  Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall. 

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 UVA Arts Box Office at http://www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu/ or 434.924.3984.  Tickets will also be sold in the lobby of Old Cabell Hall one hour prior to the event start time.

All events are subject to change. 

To see a list of all the UVA Jazz Events visit http://music.virginia.edu/jazz-events


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu