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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

JazzGalleryWorkshopThis Thursday, September 17th, The Jazz Gallery will present the next edition of our large ensemble Jazz Composers Workshop, curated by composer/bandleader Miho Hazama. Thursday’s sets will feature works by composers Asuka Kakitani, Jon Schapiro, and Sara McDonald.

Hailing from Osaka, Japan, and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Asuka Kakitani has been leading her own big band in New York since 2009. The group released their debut record Bloom (19/8) in 2012 to critical acclaim; the very next year, Kakitani was singled out as a “Rising Star” arranger in the annual Downbeat critics’ poll. Kakitani’s music is lush and lyrical, frequently drawing on imagery from nature. Check out a live performance of Kakitani’s “Bloom” in the video below.

Jon Schapiro has been an active trombonist, composer/arranger, and educator in New York for over two decades. In addition to studying at Brown, the Manhattan School of Music, and NYU, Schapiro was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop and won the BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Prize in composition in 2003. In 2012, Schapiro put together a new big band called the Schapiro 17, which has performed regularly throughout New York since then and is working on its debut album. In between wrangling 17 players for gigs, Schapiro teaches jazz at Yeshiva University. Check out Schapiro’s quirky shuffle “Hmmm” below.

Schapiro 17 – Live at Greenwich House 3-30-14 Playing HMMM from RaZor Productions on Vimeo.

Vocalist/composer Sara McDonald is forging a unique path through New York’s post-everything music scene. A recent graduate of the New School, McDonald has already released a big band album under her own name and leads the 22-piece NYChillharmonic, a rock-jazz-you-name-it hybrid ensemble stocked with many talented young musicians. McDonald’s music slithers between genres and forms at will, creating songs with both pop-like immediacy and cinematic expanse. The NYChillharmonic track “Aubergine” is a case in point: primal grooves, spacey synths, and rich horn voicings all rolled up into a singular and potent package.

Don’t miss out on these two sets of varied and imaginative big band compositions.

The Jazz Gallery presents volume 4 of the Jazz Composers’ Workshop on Thursday, September 17th, 2015. The ensemble will play the works of Asuka Kakitani, Jon Schapiro, and Sara McDonald, and features Ben Kono, Jay Rattan, Dan Willis, John Lowery, and Andrew Gutauskas on reeds; Jonathan Powell, Josh Deutsch, Andy Gravish, and Matt Holman on trumpets; Mark Patterson, Matthew McDonald, Nick Grinder, and Max Siegel on trombones; Olli Hirvonen on guitar, Darren Denman on piano; Evan Gregor on bass; and Jeff Davis on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission ($10 for members) for the first set, $10 general admission ($8 for members) for the second. Purchase tickets here.