A Multi-Media Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis
Some of today’s most esteemed musicians from the Metta Quintet play the music of Miles Davis.
Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $25 adult; $20 child/student
(recommended for ages 10 and up)
FAMILY PACK - save 25%
Buy four or more adult tickets and get $5 off per ticket.
Irvine Barclay Theatre - 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA
www.thebarclay.org | 949.854.4646
Featuring the Metta Quintet
A multi-media celebration of the groundbreaking music of the iconic trumpeter, bandleader and cultural provocateur, Miles Davis.
Using jazz and 20th century America as a backdrop, The Blue Flame Incident (which alludes to one of Davis' earliest childhood memories) traverses the music of one of the most compelling, infinitely creative and trailblazing artists the music world has known.
JazzReach is an enterprising New York organization dedicated to educating children and adults in their appreciation of jazz. JazzReach's resident ensemble, The Metta Quintet, is comprised of some of today's brightest emerging jazz stars.
Greg Ward, Alto Saxophone | Lucas Pino, Tenor Saxophone | Liya Grigoryan, Piano |
Rashaan Carter, Bass | Hans Schuman, Drums | Beresford Bennett, Narrator |
Ron Cephas Jones, Voice of Miles Davis
Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized New York City-based 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music.
Through the presentation of innovative, widely acclaimed live multi-media educational programs for young audiences, captivating main-stage concerts for general audiences and informative clinics and master-classes for student musicians and ensembles, JazzReach is steadfastly dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation, awareness and understanding of this rich, vital, ever-evolving American art form.
Since premiering our debut educational program in 1997, JazzReach has successfully positioned itself as one of our nation's leading arts organizations dedicated to jazz. Our dynamic, innovative programs have triumphantly served over 255,000 young people nationwide in partnership with many of America's most prominent performing arts presenters and have received unanimous praise from students, teachers, parents, the media and arts professionals alike.
All of JazzReach’s artistic programming is carried out exclusively by the organization’s official resident ensemble, the Metta Quintet.
A cohesive, tight-knit unit featuring some of today’s most esteemed, creative artists, Metta Quintet is fueled by a collective, open-minded musical curiosity and dedicated to exploring new artistic territory while maintaining a passionate commitment to arts education, fostering new audiences and nurturing young talent.
Through the commissioning of all-new works and the creation of immersive, live multi-media concert programs for the Main Stage, Metta Quintet is committed to challenging convention and expanding the boundaries of the live jazz experience.
The quintet released its critically acclaimed debut recording, Going to Meet the Man (Koch) in 2002, featuring eight commissioned works by the then-emerging, now-renowned composers, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Larry Goldings and George Colligan. All works were inspired by short stories by celebrated American author James Baldwin. In July 2006, Sunnyside Records released the quintet’s second critically lauded CD, Subway Songs, which features eight all-original commissioned compositions inspired by the sociological dynamism of the New York City subway experience.
In early 2012, the quintet, in partnership with the digital music distributor, The Orchard, released the globally-themed Big Drum/Small World to unanimously positive reviews! The project features a diverse array of all-new music by renowned composers from eight different countries, including Lionel Loueke, Miguel Zenon, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Yosvanny Terry, Omer Avital and Metta Quintet’s very own, Marcus Strickland. The project explores the globalization and ever-broadening definition and sound of jazz.
ArtsReach at The Barclay
As part of its ArtsReach initiative, Irvine Barclay Theatre takes featured artists out into the community to create direct and meaningful audience engagement programs designed to foster a greater awareness and understanding of various art forms.
For the eighth year in a row, the Barclay will bring New York City’s Metta Quintet and its acclaimed JazzReach educational program to the Irvine and Santa Ana unified school districts (Jan 15–18, 2019). During each of the 11 in-school workshops, the Metta Quintet musicians will actively engage more than 1,200 public school students (grades 4th through 6th) in an analysis of:
- the cultural factors that have come together to make jazz such a compelling art form
- the social conditions that shaped the music's development
- the immense impact jazz has had on the sound and evolution of indigenous American music
Irvine Barclay Theatre is proud to be welcoming JazzReach back to Orange County through its ArtsReach initiative. These activities are specifically aimed at serving students from grade school through university, and individuals from diverse geographic, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Our aim is to inspire young people to explore jazz while providing new and relevant arts programming opportunities for local schools.
These activities are supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Hans Schuman (Drums and Founder, JazzReach). Born in Lansing, Michigan, Hans Schuman began playing drums at the age of 13 while growing up in Tucson, Arizona.A graduate of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, Hans has performed with world renowned artists, including Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Reed, Wynton Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, Larry Goldings, Antonio Hart, Christian McBride, Marcus Strickland, Stefon Harris, Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer and Joshua Redman, among many others.
In 1994, Schuman founded JazzReach Performing Arts & Education Association, Inc. with proceeds from the reluctant sale of an inherited Steinway grand piano. Since inception, Schuman has successfully positioned the organization as one of our nation’s leading providers of live educational content for young audiences. As founder, he has overseen the organization’s day-to-day operations; as artistic director, he has conceived, developed, written and produced the organization’s entire repertoire of touring programs and has participated as a performing member of Metta Quintet in its 20+ year history.
Greg Ward (Alto Saxophone) began playing saxophone as a young boy growing up in Peoria, Illinois. Currently based in New York City, Ward has had the opportunity to perform and record with a varied group of distinguished peers and luminaries, including Prefuse 73, Lupe Fiasco, Tortoise, William Parker, Andrew D’Angelo and Mike Reed.
A 2004 graduate of Northern Illinois University, Ward spent years cutting his teeth on the Chicago jazz scene, taking advantage of every opportunity that was offered to him, including projects for the International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series, the Peoria Ballet Company and the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Since his arrival on the New York City scene in 2009, he’s produced a number of adventurous, widely praised recordings as a bandleader and composer.
In recent years, he’s composed and performed a commission for the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, was selected as one of the two New Music USA Van Lier Fellows and was commissioned by New York City’s Jazz Gallery to write a visionary multi-media piece for a septet inspired by the life and work of renowned artist/sculptor Preston Jackson. He also collaborated with composer, sound designer and performer Caleb Willitz on the film score for Beresford Bennett’s film, Pinch, and on an electro-acoustic project, Gaps and Spaces: Synoptic Optiks.
Lucas Pino (Tenor Saxophone) has performed at some of the world’s most esteemed festivals and venues. As a tenor saxophonist and multi-woodwind player, his unmatched musical prowess and unique approach make him one of the most in-demand side musicians across generations. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Lucas graduated from some of the country’s top music programs, including the Brubeck Institute, The New School and The Juilliard School.
Lucas’ past performance experience includes Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Carl Allen, Benny Green, David Sanborn, Takuya Kuroda, Jonathan Batiste, Darcy James Argue, Alan Ferber and Nick Finzer, among others.
Based in New York City, Pino is the leader of the No Net Nonet, a distinct and innovative nine-piece acoustic jazz ensemble. His band has become an established part of today’s scene through a monthly residency at Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village. In September 2017, Pino released his second album with the Nonet, The Answer Is No (Outside in Music), a follow-up to its 2015 debut, No Net Nonet (Origin Records). In January 2017, Lucas received a Herb Alpert ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his composition, “Golden Rule, Turing Test.”
Liya Grigoryan (Piano) was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and grew up in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. At age five, Grigoryan began taking part in piano competitions and performance tours throughout Russia, the Ukraine, Germany and Scotland. In 2010, she moved to Amsterdam to pursue degrees at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Grigoryan has won high-profile international competitions and awards, including the Leiden Jazz Award and the Keep an Eye International Jazz Award, and has taken part in exchanges at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hudson Jazz Workshop. She performs actively in the Netherlands and across Europe, and has appeared on top stages including Bimhuis, the Concertgebouw and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Rashaan Carter (Bass) grew up in the Washington D.C. area. It was there, with the nurturing of his father, a saxophonist, and his mother, a jazz radio programmer, that Rashaan forged an interest in music. After stints with various instruments, the bass became the voice for his musical expression. Rashaan worked and gained experience in the local scene in Washington D.C. and after high school, moved to New York City to attend The New School, where he studied with Buster Williams and Reggie Workman. While attending The New School, he also began to work with many of the faculty, including Joe Chambers and Jimmy Owens, among others.
Since moving to New York, Rashaan has become entrenched in the jazz scene and has worked with Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller and Louis Hayes, Wallace Roney, Marc Cary, Cindy Blackman, Doug and Jean Carn, Antoine Roney, Sonny Simmons, among others. He’s also studied with one of his prime influences, Ron Carter. Rashaan regularly performs with a myriad of artists in and outside of New York and can be found on various recordings as well.
Beresford Bennett (Narrator) is an actor, writer, director, filmmaker, musician and teacher. He has narrated many audiobooks of varied genres, and has appeared in several movies, television shows, and on stages across the country. He is also an award-winning screenwriter.
Born: May 26, 1926
Died: September 28, 1991
Over six full decades, from his arrival on the national scene in 1945 until his death in 1991, Miles Davis made music that grew from his uncanny talent to hear the future and a headstrong desire to play it. From his beginnings in the circle of modern jazz, he came to intuit new worlds of sound and challenge. While the vast majority of musicians find the experimental charge and imperviousness of youth eventually running down, Miles forever forged ahead, trusting and following instinct until the end.
In doing so, Miles became the standard bearer for successive generations of musicians, shaping the course of modern improvisational music more than a half-dozen times. This biography attempts to explain those paradigm shifts one after another, through his recordings and major life changes.
The factors leading to that process are now the foundation of the Miles Davis legend: the dentist’s son born in 1926 to middle-class comfort in East St. Louis. The fresh acolyte, learning trumpet in the fertile, blues-drenched music scene of his hometown. The sensitive soul, forging a seething, streetwise exterior that later earned him the title, Prince of Darkness. The determined teenager, convincing his parents to send him to New York’s famed Juilliard School of Music in 1944, a ploy allowing him to locate and join the band of his idol, bebop pioneer Charlie Parker.
It wasn’t long before the headstrong young arrival grew from sideman to leading his own projects and bands of renown, from the restrained, classical underpinning of the famous Birth of the Cool group (Miles’ first foray with arranger Gil Evans) to the blues-infused hardbop anthem, Walkin’, to his first famous quintet (Coltrane, Chambers, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones) with whom his recordings on muted trumpet helped him develop a signature sound that broke through to mainstream recognition. His subsequent jump from recording with independent labels (Prestige, Blue Note) to Columbia Records, then the Tiffany of record companies, propelled his career further, and a series of late ‘50s albums (Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess, Miles Ahead, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain) secured his widespread popularity.
Miles’ group shifted and morphed through the early ‘60s until he settled for a four-year run with his classic quintet, a lineup that is still hailed today as one of the greatest and most influential jazz groups of all time. Their albums together—from Miles Smiles, ESP and Nefertiti to Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro—traced a pattern of unparalleled growth and innovation.
Had Miles stopped his progress at that point, he’d still be hailed as one of the greatest pioneers in jazz, but his creative momentum from the end of the ‘60s into the ‘70s would not let up. He was listening to the world around him—the amplified explosion of rock bands and the new, heavy-on-the-one funk of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone. From the ambient hush of In a Silent Way to the strange and unsettling, yet wildly popular, Bitches Brew, he achieved another shift in the musical paradigm and a personal career breakthrough.
Bitches Brew was controversial, a best-seller, and attracted another younger generation into the Miles fold. Thousands, whose musical tastes respected no categorical walls, flocked to hear Miles, and a slew of fusion bands were soon spawned, led by his former sidemen: Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever. The studio albums that defined Miles’ kaleidoscopic sound in the ‘70s included a series of (mostly) double albums, from Bitches Brew to 1971’s Live-Evil, ‘72’s On the Corner and ‘75’s Get Up With It. The covers listed populous line-ups that reached up to 11 musicians, adding new names to an ever-widening circle of on-call talent.
By the end of 1975, Miles was tired—and sick. A period of seclusion ensued, full years to deal with personal demons and health issues, bouncing between bouts of self-abuse and boredom. It was the longest time Miles had been off the public radar—only amplifying the appetite for his return.
When Miles reappeared in 1981, expectation had reached a fever pitch. A final series of albums for Columbia reflected his continuing fascination with the funk of the day (Rose Royce, Cameo, Chaka Khan and later, Prince) and the sounds of synthesizer and drum machines (Great Miles Shift Number 8). The Man with the Horn, We Want Miles and Decoy found him still working with Teo Macero and still surrounding himself with young talent, including bassist Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones). In 1985, his album You’re Under Arrest—with unexpected covers of recent pop charters (Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”)—brought the long Davis-Columbia association to a close. He embarked on a new relationship with Warner Bros. Records and producer Tommy LiPuma, scoring successes with Tutu (written in a large part by his bassist Marcus Miller), Music from Siesta (also with Miller), Amandla (featuring a new breed of soloists, including alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza, guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly, keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, and others) and Doo-Bop (his collaboration with hip-hop producer Easy Moe Bee).
Those titles proved Miles’ farewell—still pushing forward, still exploring new musical territory. Throughout his career, he had always resisted looking back, avoiding nostalgia and loathing leftovers. “It’s more like warmed-over turkey,” the eternal modernist described the music of Kind of Blue twenty-five years after recording it. Ironically, in 1991, only weeks after performing a career-overview concert in Paris that featured old friends and collaborators from as early as the ‘40s, he died from a brain aneurysm.
Like his music, Miles always spoke with an economy of expression. And for Miles, it had to be fresh, or forget it. “I don’t want you to like me because of Kind of Blue,” he insisted. “Like me for what we’re doing now.”
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About Irvine Barclay Theatre
Since opening its doors in 1990, Irvine Barclay Theatre has emerged as one of California's most imaginative performing arts showcases. A unique collaborative venture among the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and the private sector, the theatre has a reputation for wide-ranging programming in the fields of contemporary dance, music, and theater arts. Performances take place in the 750-seat "jewel box" theatre which is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. Visit www.thebarclay.org to learn about our exciting new season!