By Alysa Levi-DAcona
It looks like the sun isn’t the only thing that’s starting to heat up in the Fox Valley area! Starting May 23, Lawrence University is sustaining its New Music At Lawrence by bringing in Alan Ferber, trombonist and composer. The series’ goal is to promote new music from any genre, focusing on specific composers, an anniversary or centennial of a great work in music history, known contemporary music ensembles, special “themed” concert, or innovative programs that feature Lawrence faculty and students. Furthermore, guest performers will get involved with the Lawrence community, from master classes to innovative talks and connections to other disciplines.
In the case of Ferber, Lawrence is providing students and community members with the experience of the smooth rhythms of jazz combos and original music, followed by master classes in trombone and jazz composition and arrangement. Since Ferber is no novice at composing both chamber jazz and big band, the first half of the program will feature him performing his original music with Lawrence’s five student combos. We know that recorded TV show from the week is just calling your name, but don’t leave after intermission! You’ll get to experience songs straight off his Grammy-nominated Best Large Ensemble Album March Sublime, featuring the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble (LUJE).
If his Grammy-nomination doesn’t already impress you, his soulful twist puts a unique stamp on big band. He’s a prominent face in contemporary jazz composition, also standing among the world’s finest improvising soloists on trombone. But he doesn’t stop at playing and writing music. Ferber also serves as a jazz faculty member at New York University, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and Montclair State University.
“Alan’s compositional style displays a unique and original approach toward melody and harmony, with a ‘voice’ that we’ve not heard in his contemporaries,” said Fred Sturm, Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University. “It’s exceptionally difficult to pull together and maintain a 17-18 piece ensemble in a big urban environment for any length of time, and Alan has accomplished this because his musicians find his music compelling, exciting, and of high artistic merit.”
From his new tunes to his collaboration with local musicians, Ferber is sure to prove a more than qualified artist to spice up your night.
The program is Friday, May 23 at 8 PM in the Lawrence University Chapel. Admission is free and open to the public.