OSWEGO — The Oswego Jazz Project will join CNY Jazz Central artists to perform original compositions and jazz standards in a free virtual concert for SUNY Oswego at 7 p.m. Friday, March 12.
After the concert, part of the college music department’s Ke-nekt’ Chamber Music Series, performers will answer questions from the audience live via chat.
“Like everything else, the Ke-nekt’ Chamber Music Series has had to re-imagine itself and adjust to live streaming and live broadcast events during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Trevor Jorgensen, chair and associate professor of music at SUNY Oswego. “Unable to bring guest artists to campus to ensure SUNY Oswego students and employees safety, we have been reaching out to local and regional organizations for places to stream and record.”
While the lack of tours for national and international artists contributed to the shift, it has provided an opportunity to showcase and support “the incredible regional talent,” Jorgensen noted.
For the March 12 concert, this means such CNY Jazz Central artists as SAMMY Award-winning trombonist Melissa Gardiner, who has been described by legendary jazz trombonist Curtis Fuller as “technically creative and emotionally powerful.” Her improvisation is inspiring and motivating for the listener, Jorgensen added, as she draws audiences in with a raw expression that directly relates to life experience.
The concert also will feature Larry Luttinger, drummer for the CNY Jazz Orchestra and the founder and executive director of the Central New York Arts Foundation. A percussionist with the former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and current Symphoria, Luttinger has played with such luminaries as Clark Terry, Phil Woods, David Liebman and Chuck Berry.
Also performing will be Spencer Phillips, principal bass of Symphoria and jazz bassist for the Pops series. Phillips has performed with the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, and recorded with Orchestre de la Grancophonie Canadian, under Jean-Philippe Tremblay.
Two Oswego Jazz Project co-founders and Oswego music faculty members — Jorgensen, who will perform on saxophone, and international award-winning pianist Robert Auler — will round out the quintet; these two and Gardiner all contribute an original piece to the program.
Other works in the program were composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Kenny Barron, Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, Victor Schertzinger and Johnny Mercer, and Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.
The Oswego Jazz Project serves as musical ambassadors for SUNY Oswego by educating as well as entertaining. In addition to their musical mastery, the group is known for a commitment to spontaneity and innovative improvisation.
While tickets are free, reservations are required via tickets.oswego.edu.