Spring may not be busting out all over but as the holiday season approaches the time seems to have come for Jazz Flute Big Bands.
Following the regular bi-annual appearance of the National Flute Association Jazz Flute Ensemble under the baton of Billy Kerr at their annual convention in Minneapolis in August, two more JFBB concerts are scheduled for December in different parts of the world.
UK Northern Jazz Flute Big Band at Burscough Arts Centre December 2nd 8pm
December 2nd sees the appearance of the UK’s ensemble, whose history, including its appearance at the London Jazz Festival, is described in an earlier news feature.
On this occasion, it will be the Northern UK Ensemble, appearing not in London but in the Liverpool suburb of Burscough at its thriving arts centre overlooking the Liverpool to Leeds Canal. Again, though, the group has something of an international flavour, with members from Italy, Canada, the USA, Australia and South Africa as well as the basic English contingent that has been training under the supervision of Dr. Tom Sykes of Liverpool College and Dr. Peter Westbrook, editor-in-chief at International Flute Journal, author of The Flute in Jazz, founding chairperson of World Music at the NFA and four-time member of the NFA JFBB.
Dr. Sykes will be assisted by JFBB musical director for the UK JFBB, award-winning multi-instrumentalist and educator Andy Panayi as well as three other guest artists, Australian Casey Greene currently resident in Shrewsbury, UK, Italian Martina Biguzzi currently residing in Birmingham, UK and, perhaps most surprising, Dominique Gagné who is flying in specially from New York City. Between them, Greene, Panayi, Sykes and Gagné, along with alto flutist Gerald Harrison are responsible for 10 items in the JFBB book at the present time.
Leading the group from the first flute chair, Jeff Rimmer is also the conductor of the Southport Symphony Orchestra. Veteran of the UK jazz scene Glenn Cartlidge will be doubling on guitar and flute! Simonne Dale will offer some vocals.
This is the JFBB’s fifth appearance in the UK and it will be used to obtain video footage of some of the band’s repertoire for promotional purposes. All band members have been advised to attend a beauty shop the day before the performance whether it is needed or not!
Guest artists will be featured in a set of small group arrangements supplied by Rick Faulkner and other member of Flutes and the Abstract Truth of New York.
Five days later, another JFBB makes an appearance, this one its maiden voyage. The following announcement describes the event:
Calgary Jazz Flute Big Band Inaugural concert
With special guest Eric Friedenberg
“The international phenomenon, the Jazz Flute Big Band (JFBB), has come to Calgary! Led by a three-time winner of (and production coordinator of and a soloist with) the Jazz Flute Big Band Competition of the National Flute Association (New Orleans, 2013; Chicago, 2015; and Minneapolis, 2017) John Reid has worked internationally to bring this project to Calgary.
“Traditionally horn players (trumpet, sax, trumpet) have had the chance to ease into jazz playing by playing in a big band or jazz ensemble, getting the hang of swinging, hearing colleagues improvising, then eventually getting a chance to take a solo themselves. Flute players have not had that opportunity — until now! American jazz flutists Ali Ryerson and Billy Kerr, and British jazz flutist (and founder of the Flute Journal website) Peter Westbrook have been commissioning “charts” from great jazz writers for JFBB and are making those charts available to John Reid.”
The special guest for this concert will be Eric Friedenberg. An esteemed arranger, composer, and musical director, Mr. Friedenberg, is one of Calgary’s most accomplished flute and saxophone players.
Thursday, December 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Knox United Church (506 – 4th Street SW)
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