The 2012-13 school year has seen unprecedented growth in the MSM jazz department. Beginning this fall, the initiation of a jazz combo program has established two more permanent jazz ensembles that rehearse and perform each semester and the Vacek Jazz Artist Residency brought a new depth to our curriculum with lectures, lessons and performances from a visiting jazz artist for a week. That is already, by most accounts, quite a bit.
But there is so much more going on in 2013.
We are kicking off the spring semester with our annual jazz festival, now in its 15th year. On February 22 & 23, we welcome back Mr. Lew Soloff, who is probably best known for his time with Blood, Sweat & Tears. Lew Soloff’s career goes much further and deeper than that, of course. He has become a musical journeyman and is heard on many recordings that span genre and style. He can do just about anything one can imagine on the trumpet, and we are thrilled to welcome him back. His last appearance at MSM was our jazz festival in 2004 where he gave a remarkable performance and is still probably our favorite jazz festival ever.
Then, from April 9-16, we welcome back Bill Evans, this time for the spring semester’s Vacek Jazz Artist Residency. Bill was our guest artist for the jazz festival in 2009. This time around, he’ll be staying with us for a week, giving lessons to students, leading many of the rehearsals and offering up wisdom that only a seasoned professional can give to eager students. The culmination of this work will be presented in a concert on April 16.
Finally, on April 26, the MSM Jazz Orchestra will perform with the great Wayne Bergeron as part of the Katy Jazz Festival. Trumpet players will surely want to check this out! If you’ve never heard Wayne perform live, then prepare to have your face melted. It’s great fun.
All this, plus the debut of several new works for big band (and big band + orchestra!) in the spring written by our very own MSM students. More on that later. 2013 will be a year characterized by fresh ideas and enthusiasm. We hope that you can join us.