Address: 1320 Mainstreet Hopkins , 55343 United States
JazzMN Orchestra Presents Kenton's 100th Kickoff
with Special Guest Stephanie Nakasian
In a celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Stan Kenton's birth, the JazzMN Orchestra expands its 10-piece brass section to accompany internationally acclaimed jazz singer Stephanie Nakasian. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 20 at the Performing Arts Center in Hopkins High School.
There have been few jazz musicians as controversial as Stan Kenton. Dismissed by purists while loved by many others, Kenton ranks with Chet Baker and Sun Ra as jazz's top cult figure. During the 1940s and 50s, he led a succession of highly original bands that often emphasized emotion, power, and advanced harmonies over swing, and this upset some listeners who felt that all big bands should aspire to sound like Count Basie. Kenton had a different vision.
He called his music "progressive jazz" and developed reputation for "volume" which his patrons loved. With constant touring and considerable radio play, Kenton's following grew substantially as he fused the big band orchestral sound with his solid arrangements to bring a jazzy, swinging sound to the nation. Saint Paul's Prom Ballroom, the University of Minnesota and Leamington Hotel in Minneapolis were regular Kenton tour stops. Over the decades, his band roster became a who's who of jazz. Singers Anita O'Day and June Christy enjoyed tremendous careers following vocal stints with Kenton's orchestras. INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: June Christy was born on November 20, 1925; the JazzMN concert takes place on 85th anniversary of her birth.
Kenton was a prominent figure on the American musical scene and made an indelible mark on the arranged type of big band jazz. Kenton's music evolved throughout the 1960s and 70s, and although he was no longer considered a contemporary innovator, he promoted jazz and jazz improvisation as an educator. The "Kenton Style" lives in big bands at the high school and collegiate level, and the framework he designed for his "jazz clinics" is still widely used today. Artistic Director Douglas Snapp notes he was fortunate to be able to attend a Kenton Jazz Camp as a youth, which influenced his career. Dr. Snapp has worked to bring together a dynamic collection of Kenton's music for the November 20 concert.
Stephanie Nakasian first came to international attention in the mid-80s when she sang and toured with the vocal jazz master Jon Hendricks and Company in her "vocal jazz apprenticeship." Since then, she has toured and recorded with her husband and partner internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Hod O'Brien. Ms. Nakasian already has a legacy of albums including her Lullaby in Rhythm, a tribute to Kenton singer June Christy.
Touted by The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz as one of the world's leading jazz singers, Stephanie will be offering vocal tributes to June Christy and will add a little icing on Kenton's cake. Ms. Nakasian has appeared on television and radio in the United States, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean, and has performed at many festivals alongside such notables as Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin, Hank Jones, Roy Haynes and many others.
Individual advance tickets are priced at $27 and $29 with student tickets at $17 and are available online at ticket link or by calling 866-811-4111. All concerts are held at Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center, 2400 Lindbergh Dr, Minnetonka 55305
The JazzMN Orchestra includes many of the Twin Cities' finest jazz musicians. Members have performed with some of the world's most famous big bands including Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman. Formed as a nonprofit arts organization by Artistic Director Douglas Snapp in 1998, JazzMN is a professional orchestra that follows the models of classical orchestras in striving for artistic excellence. JazzMN's mission is to promote excellence in the jazz art form through concerts and educational experiences.
Additional dates in the 2010-11 JazzMN Orchestra season include:
March 12, 2011-- Jazz Guitar Extraordinaire Mike Stern, guitarist
April 9, 2011 -- Sizzling T-bone Entrée Andy Martin, trombonist
Photos and additional information: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.JazzMN.org.