Kimmel Center Creative Music Program for Jazz Announces Monthly Meet the Master Series
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by BWW News Desk
The Kimmel Center's Creative Music Program for Jazz continues its popular Meet the Masters series engaging 25+ regional student musicians, ages 11-17, in master class workshops led by world renowned jazz musicians. On Saturday, November 10, the Meet the Masters workshop is led by one of the top tenor saxophonists and flautists, Gary Thomas, in the Merck Arts Education Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Ralph Alessi leads the master workshop on Saturday, December 22. These sessions are open to the public for interested musicians, students and teachers and jazz aficionados who would like to observe.
The Meet the Masters series continues into 2013 with workshops led by jazz artists such as Cuban-American drummer and composer Dafnis Prieto (Jan. 19), North Philly native trombonist Jeff Bradshaw (Feb. 19), and pianist and composer Sumi Tonooka (May 26), among others.
Meet the Masters Workshop
American jazz saxophonist and flautist Gary Thomas is one of the leading tenor saxophonists of this generation who is known for his fresh, varied approach to improvisational jazz and inventive solo jazz performances. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Thomas is the founder and director of the Jazz Studies program at the Peabody Institute, and is the first African American degree program director at the conservatory. He has released 11 albums to date as a leader, two of which, By Any Means Necessary and While the Gate Is Open, were named best recordings by Downbeat magazine in the 1990s. He is currently a member of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition band, and has been a member of the Herbie Hancock Quartet since 2002. Thomas has worked on more than 80 recording s as featured sideman, solidifying his place as one of the most coveted saxophonists on the jazz scene today, He has performed with iconic jazz musicians such as MiLes Davis, Steve Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, among many others.
Meet the Masters Workshop
With "drop-dead trumpet chops" (Jazz Times), Ralph Alessi is one of the biggest proponents and players in the avant-garde jazz scene, bringing a unique teaching perspective to the Meet the Masters series. An established trumpeter, he is also a renowned bassist. His 2011 album release, Cognitive Dissonance, received a four star rating in Downbeat magazine and included in The New Republic's top ten list of records in 2011, In 2013, Alessi will release two records, a quartet recording on ECM records featuring Jason Moran and a duo record on CAMJazz with Fred Hersch. A San Fransisco native, Alessi attended the California Institute for the Arts, where he studied and performed with jazz luminaries such as bassist Charles Haden, pianist Bill Perkins, and pianist Frank Strazzeri. Following a move to New York in 1990, Alessi has played extensively with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Uri Caine, and saxophonist Steve Coleman to name a few. He is currently the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has been on the jazz faculty at New York University since 2002.