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Illinois Wesleyan University School ofMusic PRESENTS



Featured Guest

John Daversa composer/trumpeter with the IWU Jazz Ensemble Timothy Pitchford, Director February 6, 2014 Westbrook Auditorium Presser Hall

Symposium of Contemporary Music Thursday, February 6,



Career and Craft: Following your Highest Excitement

Presentation by John Daversa 8PM

Music ofJohn Daversa

Performed by the IWU Jazz Ensemble, Timothy Pitchford, Director The Bridge, Part 1 Internal Bare Your Soul Camels Hara Angelina (Small Group) ]unk Wagon


Don't Jive The Hitman Your Mother Oma Old Timer Some Happy Sh*t

Following the concert, the audience is invited to a reception in the Presser Hall reception room, courtesy ofSigma Alpha Iota T hese programs are presented as part of the IWU New Music Series To receive notifications of Series events via email, contact David Vayo, Series director:

A Notefrom the Symposium Director Nine years ago, composer Vince Mendoza came to campus as the first jazz musician to be a featured guest at the Symposium of Contemporary Music since Phil Wilson and Courtney Cox in 1973. Mendoza's appearance was in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the IWU Jazz Festival, an event founded by Prof. Tom Streeter, who introduced jazz to our school's curriculum in the 1970's. Time moves inexorably on, and "Doc" retired to Utah, the center of his faith and family, several years ago. Happily, we were able to find another trombonist and ensemble leader to fill the large (and constantly tapping) shoes Doc left behind, and continue to move our jazz program forward: Prof. Tim Pitchford, whose inspired guidance in leading the Jazz Ensemble through John Daversa's challenging and rewarding charts you'll hear this evening. I'm grateful to Tim for suggesting Daversa as a guest, and look forward to other jazz luminaries gracing Symposia to come. Daversa and Mendoza are at the forefront of an ongoing resurrection of the large jazz ensemble as a vital creative medium. The Swing Era of the 1930's and 40's was the golden age of the big band, when jazz was the most popular musical style and the big band its signature ensemble, analogous to the guitars-and-drums groups which embodied rock for the general public in subsequent decades. The many cultural shifts which took place after the end of World War II included waning interest in big-band swing, and while many of the notable bands continued with undiminished vitality they never regained their former mass popularity. However, albeit dimmer on the radar screen, the medium's creative possibilities continued to expand in the 50's, 60's and 70's - Duke Ellington's brilliant later work, the innovations of Gil Evans and Stan Kenton, any number of Sinatra albums, Don Ellis' odd time signatures and microtones, the more traditional yet unconstrained Thad Jones/Mel Lewis and Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin bands, and the thrilling, constantly-expanding musical universe of Sun Ra's Intergalactic Space Arkestra. There followed something of a slump for the big band in the 80's and 90's. On the bright side, the establishment of jazz repertory ensembles at Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Institution cemented the recognition of jazz as an American cultural heritage equal in significance and profundity to concert (classical) music; but while these bands generated some important new music (such as Wynton Marsalis' Pulitzer-winning Blood on the Fields) their focus on playing classics from previous eras also gave rise to fears that the big band's primary purpose from this point forward would be to present live performances of past masterpieces,

carrying with that mission the risks of museumication and ossification that were bedeviling symphony orchestras as well. In the jazz world at large, the innovations of recent decades had largely run their course, and the big band was languishing as a progressive medium. But just as many American orchestras have begun reinventing the role of that ensemble through increased programming and commissioning of new music (think the LA Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony and the Albany Symphony), so too did the large jazz ensemble begin an era of creative rebirth around the turn of the millennium. Mendoza and Daversa are key figures in moving the medium forward, as are such other gifted composer/bandleaders as Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue; also of note is the New York-based Spok Frevo Orquestra, with its sophisticated, supercharged charts in Brazilian frevo style. Fresh chord changes, rhythms, orchestrational colors and musical forms are rejuvenating the big band and giving it a voice based in our own era. It's an optimistic and invigorating time for jazz, and you'll hear that for yourself tonight. - David Vayo

A Note from the Jazz Ensemble Director My first exposure to John Daversa's music took place about three years ago. My initial reaction to the first track of his album, Junk Wagon: T he Big Band Album, was of excitement and inspiration-finally, here was a contemporary composer writing music that is relevant and accessible to the general public, yet still managing to break new ground in the area of big band composition. Daversa's music explores a variety of creative devices that include inspirations from hip-hop, rock, fusion, drums and bass, straight-ahead jazz, free jazz, the Blues, and beyond. Although many of his pieces contain advanced compositional techniques such as complex meters, extended harmonies, layered counterpoint, and expansive free improvisations, the music is highly approachable to listeners of all tastes. Daversa's virtuosic musicianship on the trumpet and EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) equally matches the freshness of his compositions. The IWU Jazz Ensemble is extremely fortunate for this opportunity to perform with John Daversa. My thanks to Dr. Mario Pelusi and Dr. David Vayo for their support of this year's Symposium jazz-area guest artist, and their invitation to include the IWU Jazz Ensemble in the concert. - Timothy Pitchford

John Daversa John Daversa is a versatile and internationally respected performer (Trumpet/EVI), composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, educator, and BFM Jazz recording artist. He is a winner of the Herb Alpert Award, David Joel Miller Award, the National Trumpet Competition, the ITG Jazz Soloist Competition, and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Daversa's celebrated and distinctive musical perspective has been a passport to performances on world stages such as The Today Show, Late Nite with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Live 8 (Berlin), Hamburg Music Festival, Java Jazz Festival (Jakarta), Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreux Festival, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He has also had the opportunity to perform or record with artists such as Fiona Apple, Michael Buble, Dori Caymi, Andrae Crouch, Sheryl Crow, Bob Mintzer Big Band and The Yellowjackets. In 1996, he founded the John Daversa Progressive Big Band, which is one of the leading forces of modern jazz in L.A. today. In 2011, the band released its first studio album, Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album, to critical acclaim winning Best in Show and Awards of Excellence in Creativity/Originality and Production in The Global Music Awards. remarked that "Daversa's fearless exploration ... takes him off the beaten path, as he creates bold and ballsy big band music for the modern epoch." In addition, Daversa leads the John Daversa Small Band consisting of tenor saxophonist Robby Marshall, alto saxophonist/flutist/vocalist Katisse Buckingham, keyboardist Tommy King, bassist Jerry Watts and drummer Gene Coye. This powerhouse ensemble transitions with ease from sections of incredible sensitivity to vignettes of intensity rivaling that of his own Big Band. The Small Group's latest album Artful Joy (2012) features Bob Mintzer and Gretchen Parlato. Daversa earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from The University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies at California Institute of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California. He is currently the Department Chair of Studio Music and Jazz at Frost School of Music, University of Miami.



Jonathan Novak, Alto 1, ' 16 Matt Mason, Alto 2, '16

Andy Seidel, Lead, '15 Zach Siegel, 2nd '15 Samantha Stevens, 3rd '16 Calob Pluhm, 4th, '14

TENOR SAXOPHONE Sam Aronson, Tenor 1, '15 Cathryn Yolk, Tenor 2, '15

BASS TROMBONE Stephanie Jones '14

TRUMPET Kelly Lamorena, Lead, '14 Jeremy Gruner, Lead, '16 Shaun Schaefers, Trumpet 3, '16 Zachary Taylor, Trumpet 4 '15 Gregory Goeden, Trumpet 5, '15

VOCALIST Nicole Chamberlin, '14

SOUND TECHNICIAN Keanan Koppenhaver '14

JAZZ LIBRARIAN Brandon Moore '15

PIANO Nathan Evans, '14

BASS Jack Gardner, '17

DRUMS Jake Thaker, '17

GUITAR Gregory Goeden, '15

e)ymposium ot crJontemporary �usic Guest Composers Performers Scholars •

1952-2014 1952: Earl George, Grant Fletcher,

Burrill Phillips

1986: Jean Eichelberger Ivey 1987: Jan Bach

1953: Anthony Donato, Homer Keller

1988: John Beall

1954: Normand Lockwood,

1989: Hale Smith

Robert Palmer

1990: Karel Husa

1955: Wallingford Riegger, Peter Mennin

1991: Alice Parker

1956: Hunter Johnson, Ulysses Kay


1957: Ernst Krenek, William Bergsma


(Spring) Alexander Aslamazov (Fall) Leslie Bassett,

1958: Aaron Copland

John Crawford (Society of

1959: Paul Pisk, George Rochberg

Composers, Inc. Region 5 Conference)

1960: Roy Harris 1962: Robert Erickson, George Rochberg,

Glenn Glasow 1963: Robert Wykes,

Alabama String Quartet 1964: Robert Wykes, E. J. Ulrich,

Salvatore Martirano, Herbert Briin, Ben Johnston 1966: Louis Coyner, Edwin Harkins,

Philip Winsor, Edwin London 1967: Frederick Tillis, George Crumb 1968: lain Hamilton 1969: The Loop Group, DePaul University

1995: David Diamond 1996: Morton Gould Memorial Concert 1997: Joseph Schwantner 1998: Arvo Part 1999: John Corigliano 2000: Libby Larsen 2001: William Bolcom, Joan Morris 2002: Present Music 2003: Mario Lavista,

Carmen Helena Tellez 2004: Louis Andriessen, James Quandt,

Monica Germino,Cristina Zavalloni

1970: Halim El-Dabh, OIly Wilson

2005: Vince Mendoza

1971: Edward J. Miller

2006: New York New Music Ensemble

1972: Stravinsky Memorial Concert

2007: Stephen Paulus

1973: Courtney Cox, Phil Wilson


1974: Scott Huston 1975: David Ward-Steinman

(Spring) Roderik de Man, Annelie de Man (Amsterdam)


1976: Donald Erb

(Fall) John Sharpley, Orchid Ensemble

1977: Lou Harrison, Ezra Sims

2009: ONIX (Mexico City)

1978: M. William Karlins

2011: Yang Xiaozhong, Song Mingzhu,

1979: Leonard B. Meyer

Zhou Tianli (Sichuan Conservatory

1981: Walter S. Hartley

of Music)

1982: David Ward-Steinman


1983: George Crumb Concert


1984: Robert Bankert, Abram M. Plum,

R. Bedford Watkins 1985: Michael Schelle

(Spring) Shulamit Ran (Fall) Chinary Ung, Susan Ung, Adam Greene, Stacey Fraser, Jocelyn Chang

2014: John Daversa

Profile for Ames Library

Symposium of Contemporary Music, 2014  

Presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music, February 6, 2014, with featured guest, composer/trumpeter John Daversa.

Symposium of Contemporary Music, 2014  

Presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music, February 6, 2014, with featured guest, composer/trumpeter John Daversa.