Announcing the Vacek Jazz Artist Residency & its first guest artist, Dan Haerle

We are very excited to announce that the Moores School of Music Jazz Department will initiate a new guest artist-in-residency program this fall! The inaugural Vacek Jazz Artist Residency will welcome Dan Haerle to MSM from November 6-13.

During his week-long residency at MSM, Mr. Haerle will be involved with every facet our jazz department. For several decades, he has been a vital and valuable resource to jazz education and performance; we could not be more thrilled to host him. There is a wonderful interview in two parts by Bret Primack that we highly recommend to get to know Dan Haerle, his history and thoughts on education, performance and being a professional musician.

Concert schedule is as follows:

Saturday, 11/10

Improvisation clinic with high school students (email if interested)
Cezanne with Dennis Dotson, David Craig and Joel Fulgham

Tuesday, 11/13

Tuesday recital in Moores Opera House
Moores Opera House with MSM Jazz Ensembles (purchase tickets)

The Vacek Jazz Artist Residency is an ongoing educational component of the MSM Jazz Department that pairs visiting jazz artists and educators with our students for a full week each semester. The goal of this project is to give students a in-depth appreciation for all facets of the jazz tradition from an outside professional. The guest artist not only performs with each ensemble in the jazz department, but also gives lectures, clinics and lessons in improvisation, composition, theory, history and performance, ranging from broad to the very specific issues.

Welcome to fall – First concert is October 9

Ah, yes. Fall is finally here! Houstonians can finally return to the outdoors, enjoy the 6-week “changing of the leaves” and start looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. But most importantly, school is in session, which means that we’re rolling out another busy concert season at The Moores School of Music. October 9 is our first concert and looks to be a superb affair, but this is only preparation for what is to come with the jazz department’s record-setting season! We will have a total of three guest artists performing with the jazz ensembles this year and we are very excited to have secured a permanent guest artist residency program. (details forthcoming)

For now, though, we hope that you will be able to join us as we celebrate the tradition of jazz in yet another concert of firsts. In particular, this concert will premiere a new work by our resident drummer/composer/graduate student, Daniel Webbon, in addition to the ongoing series of Houston premieres for the Radiohead Jazz Project. And as always, there will be surprises. Would you expect anything less?! So please, come one, come all! We are thrilled to be presenting this music in such a great city as Houston during its finest season.

Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30pm in the Moores Opera HouseClick here to purchase tickets online.

Program is as follows:

Jazz Ensemble

 Alone Together, arr. Dave Wolpe
Spring Ain’t Here, arr. Bob Curnow
Look for the Silver Lining, arr. Jerry Nowak
Wind Machine, Sammy Nestico

Jazz Orchestra

Maxwell D. Cat, Paul Baker
How Do You Keep the Music Playing?, arr. Mike Crotty
Kid A, arr. Chuck Owen
The Peacocks, arr. Bill Holman
Surrey on the Fringe, arr. Daniel Webbon
Strike Up the Band, arr. Sammy Nestico

2012 spring concert takes place on Wednesday, April 18

It’s our final concert of the 2011-12 school year, so we’re taking it out with a bang. Our season closer will feature both big bands performing several new works. The concert will feature new arrangements based on the music of Radiohead (“There There”) to Tom Harrell (“Blue in One”) and the premiere reworking of an old classic (“Nature Boy”). As always, there will be something for everyone that is a fan of quality jazz music and we hope to see you there. Program and ticket information below.

Infernal Jamnation, Jeff Lopez
Nick Madden, baritone saxophone
Brett Bousley, guitar
Thanushka Lewkebandera, piano

Six P.M., arr. Mark Taylor
Thanushka Lewkebandera, piano
Brett Bousley, guitar
Jacob Starr, tenor saxophone
Alex Johnson, trumpet

Lili’s Song, Paul G. White
Alex Winkler, piano

Six by Six, Doug Beach
Thanushka Lewkebandera, piano
Michael Autry, guitar

Pea Shooter, Jeff Lopez
Zack Woolhouse, tenor saxophone
Chad Tumminello, drums

Sambanice, Rob McConnell
David Ramirez, piano
Ruben Sepulveda, tenor saxophone
Landon Petersen, guitar

Nature Boy, arr. Gerald Massoud
Gerald Massoud, bass

Dearly Beloved, arr. Rich DeRosa
Justin Neumann, baritone saxophone

Blue in One, arr. Ryan Gabbart
Landon Petersen, guitar

There There, arr. James Miley
Darrel Materum, soprano saxophone
Henry Darragh, piano
Cameron Kubos, trumpet

Sister Sadie, arr. Michael Abene
Henry Darragh, piano
Darrel Materum, alto saxophone
Gerald Massoud, bass
Rick Harris, trombone

Concert details

Wednesday, April 18, 7:30pm
Moores School of Music Opera House
$10 general admission / $5 students
Click here for ticket information and directions

Recap: 14th Annual Moores Jazz Festival

The 14th Annual MSM Jazz Festival welcomed several schools from across not only Houston, but the entire south Texas region, and (as usual) we were impressed by the amount of talent heard during our two-day event. Each year’s bands continue to improve their skills along with their competitive spirit. Our judging panel had to spend a LOT of time deciding the results of each day’s activities. We are truly encouraged and inspired by the abundance of great jazz ensembles throughout the state of Texas.

Friday evening’s concert featured the Texas Music Festival Jazz Project, Houston’s all-star big band, and Saturday evening showcased saxophonist Seamus Blake with the MSM Jazz Orchestra. This may seem biased, but both evening’s performances were superb. Seamus Blake especially delivered on Saturday evening, performing a mix of his own original music with classic jazz and one standout composition by Vickie Yang. We were very happy to have him visit and contribute his knowledge in the afternoon clinics, as well. Any fan of jazz will want to take notice of Blake now as his star continues to rise in the jazz world. He is a fantastic musician who already boasts a distinguished pedigree and certainly has a promising future.

Thanks to our judges: Joel Fulgham, Johnny Gonzales and Armin Marmolejo for their great work. A HUGE thanks goes out to each school and band director for attending our festival; it cannot exist without your support and we hope that both you and your students gained some experience, knowledge and joy from this year’s event.

Outstanding High School of the Festival
Spring High School Jazz Band

Outstanding Middle School of the Festival
Memorial Middle School Jazz 1 – Harlingen, TX

Outstanding Soloist of the Festival
Clayton Farris, HSPVA

Outstanding High School of Friday
Katy High School Jazz Band

Outstanding Soloist of Friday
Clayton Farris, HSPVA

Outstanding High School of Saturday
Harlingen High School Honors Jazz

Outstanding Middle School of Saturday
Crosby Middle School

Outstanding Soloist of Saturday
Jessica Davis, Harlingen High School

All-Star Awards

Crosby Middle School, dir. Don Heaselet
Marcel Camacho
Shelby Innmon

Dekaney High School, dir. Trent Cooper & Ramsey Hampton
Jose Escovedo
Henry Espinoza
Kahlil Pinson

Harlingen High School, dir. Ronnie Rios, Maria Coronado & Marc Telles
David Dorado
Aaron Gomez
Juan Maldonado
AJ Padilla
TJ Saenz

Hastings High School, dir. Erich Sonnier & Paul Brodt
Luis Chacon
Emmanuel Otinwa
Salvador Velasco

Hightower High School, dir. Eduardo Tito Hernandez
Ashley Bacon
Davonte Jackson
Lumina Meneres

Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts, dir. Warren Sneed
Ben Ackley
Paul Cornish
Jeremy Dorsey
Jeremy Dritton
James Francis
John Koozin
Blake Opper
Sterling Overshown
Andrew Sneed
Alex Wheeler

James E. Taylor High School, dir. Bruce Melville
Erik Jaimes
Thomas Zak

Katy High School, dir. Terence Gorton & Andrew Lee
Blake Meynig
Jessica Mortensen
Ryan Wollenberg

Lake Olympia Middle School, dir. Ray Hundl
Sahir Kahn

Memorial Middle School, Harlingen, TX, dir. James Keltner & Julissa Garcia
Dylan Flores
Alyssa Uribe

Quail Valley Middle School, dir. Kenny Borak
David Young

Pasadena High School, dir. Jacob Faske
Oscar Cruz
Eric Peña

Seven Lakes High School, dir. Geroge Archer & Jonathan Yoo
David Rebellon
Luis Quintero
Shane Smith
Austin Snowden

Spring High School, dir. J.D. Guzman
Victor Gonzalez
Theo Meadough
Zach Robinson

Spring Woods High School, dir. Jeffrey Munger
Kyle Guillemette

Waltrip High School, dir. Charlie Stephens & Jesse Espinoza
Jose Barrios
Mario Derreza
Johnny Olivares
Christina Peña
Carnell Simmons

The 14th Annual Moores School of Music Jazz Festival

Seamus Blake

Seamus Blake (Photo credit: TurboFreddy)

featuring saxophonist Seamus Blake

February 24 & 25, 2012

We are very pleased to announce that the 14th Annual MSM Jazz Festival will feature world renowned jazz artist Seamus Blake.

The Moores School of Music Jazz Festival features performances from middle and high schools throughout the day as well as two free clinics with Seamus Blake and the Jazz Orchestra at noon each day. No admission fee is required to observe these school performances or clinics.

Friday evening’s concert will showcase The Texas Music Festival Jazz Project, a big band made up of Texas-based jazz professionals, while Saturday evening’s performance belongs to Seamus Blake with the MSM Jazz Orchestra.* It promises to be an exciting event full of masterful musicianship, education and great jazz. If you are a student, teacher, professional musician or just a jazz fan we guarantee that you will not want to miss this weekend’s activities!

Click here for more information on the festival, including schedule, ticket information and details on how your school can participate.

*Evening events are ticketed

Quantum Mechanics concert October 3

We at the MSM Jazz Department are pleased to announce a special concert featuring UH alumnus and saxophone instructor, Woody Witt. Dr. Witt is part of a new collective group called Quantum Mechanics. The group features original material played in all forms and styles of contemporary jazz music.  Quantum Mechanics is rounded out by a rhythm section featuring Eric Wollman (guitar, compositions), Jim Donica (bass, compositions), Peter Grant (drums) and Witt on saxes and compositions.  The rhythm section is based in NYC and have played together for about 10 years and in that time have accomplished a high level of musical communication and interplay within their ensemble.

The new collective has been enjoying a very busy fall with an extensive tour of the Southern United States and we are very excited to have them stop by the University of Houston just before they record all their material for a debut album.

Concert details
Quantum Mechanics
Monday, October 3, 7:30pm
Dudley Recital Hall (located inside the Fine Arts building)
Admission is free and open to the public

The 2011 Texas Music Festival opens June 7

You won’t ever have a better reason to come out and hear some great jazz music than Tuesday evening (June 7). The 2011 Texas Music Festival will kick off its season with an outdoor party taking place at 6:30 pm in the Moores Opera House courtyard.  This pre-concert event will feature UH students and alums, with pre-concert music provided by the Henry Darragh Quartet. Food will be served from the Camarena Tequila Food Truck, helmed by Chefs Hugo and Ruben Ortega of Hugo’s Restaurant.

The concert will begin in the Moores Opera House at 7:30pm. Tickets are available for purchase here. We are finally selling tickets online!!!

Program is as follows:

Back to Basieques, Matt Catingub
Bolivia, arr. David Metzger
A Child’s Dance, Woody Witt, arr. Aaron Lington
Donnie’s Tempo, Michael Kocour
Evensong, Aaron Lington
Kickin’ and Screamin’, Chuck Owen
The Palmieri Effect, Brian Lynch
Surge, Chuck Owen

David Caceres
Kelly Dean
Woody Witt
Warren Sneed
Karl Fulbright

Gary Weldon
Dennis Dotson
Danny Wilson
Mike Harris

Ryan Gabbart
Armin Marmolejo
Ed Lowe
Bruce Melville
Carl Muller

Rhythm Section
Mike Wheeler, guitar
Ken Ward, piano
Anthony Sapp, bass
Joel Fulgham, drums

This will be the Houston premier of the 2011 Texas Music Festival, but for jazz fans outside of Houston, the TMF Jazz Project will perform on Monday, June 6 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the Texas A&M University campus at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsored by KTSU 90.9 The Choice FM and Defender Network.