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New England Conservatory’s Pioneering Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation Departments Present Fall 2021 Season

Christian Wissmuller • News • August 19, 2021

Mary Halvorson (Photo: James Wang)

New England Conservatory’s internationally renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation (CI) Departments announce their 2021 fall season with an array of concerts featuring NEC students performing with faculty and guest artists. Highlights include the NEC Jazz Orchestra with special guest composer/pianist Arturo O’Farrill; Grow Your Art, a music business residency and concert with composer/vocalist and MacArthur fellow Cécile McLorin Salvant; groundbreaking guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson in a residency and concert; NEC’s visiting artist-in-residence, bassist/composer and NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland in a concert with students; as well as CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts featuring rising star students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.

The concerts are free and open to the public and are scheduled to take place in person as well as be streamed. For information, please visit https://necmusic.edu/concerts.

FALL 2021

Thursday, September 9 | Opening Night
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall
NEC kicks off the year with a live concert featuring faculty of the Contemporary Improvisation Department, with music from Persian, Appalachian, Middle Eastern, and Jewish traditions as well as jazz, Avant Garde, new works, and more. The concert will feature Department Chairs Eden MacAdam-Somer and Hankus Netsky, founding Chair Ran Blake, as well as Nima Janmohammadi, Dominique Eade, Liz Knowles, Greg Liszt, Mal Barsamian and many others.

Sunday, September 12 | CI Open Mic
3-6 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room
Students from the Contemporary Improvisation Department share their music in live solo and small ensemble performances.

Thursday, September 23 | Bassist/composer and NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland
7:30 p.m., Burnes Hall
NEC’s visiting artist in residence Dave Holland performs with NEC students.

Thursday, October 7 | Music of Mary Halvorson
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall
The concert, the pinnacle of a three-day residency, features the music of guitarist/composer/improviser Mary Halvorson, as she collaborates with CI students in performances and reinterpretations of her work.

Thursday, October 21 | Panel Discussion with Arturo O’Farrill and Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, moderated by Ken Schaphorst
1 – 3 p.m., Brown Hall

Thursday, October 21 | NEC Jazz Orchestra featuring Arturo O’Farrill
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall
In collaboration with NEC’s Intercultural Institute, the NEC Jazz Orchestra will present a performance of Chico OFarrills legendary Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite” along with guest Arturo OFarrills Afro-Latin Jazz Suite.” NEC faculty member Mehmet Ali Sanlikol will also join the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a performance of his “Abraham Suite.”

Monday – Thursday, November 1 – 4 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Sunday, November 7 | Linda Chase: “For Our Common Home,” An Oratorio for Ecojustice
7:30 p.m., Brown Hall

Monday – Thursday, November 8 – 11 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday, November 15 | Tradition
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall
For almost 50 years NEC’s department of Contemporary Improvisation has fostered a community of artists interested in studying music from different cultures and the interactions between them. This concert presents musical traditions from different corners of the world, drawing on their customs, histories, and stories, honoring their roots and re-examining them from new perspectives. Audiences may hear traditional works from the Mandé West African, Irish, and Persian music ensembles, along with new student and faculty pieces exploring tradition, and what it means to us as we move through our daily lives. The purpose of this concert is not only to contemplate and celebrate tradition, but to consider its impact and role in our world today.

Monday – Wednesday, November 15 – 17 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday & Tuesday, November 22 – 23 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday – Wednesday, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m., Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday – Wednesday, December 6 – 8 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, December 13, 15, 16 | CI Salon Nights and Jazz Ensemble Concerts
featuring students from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments.
7 p.m. Eben Jordan Ensemble Room

Monday – Thursday, November 29 – December 2 | Cécile McLorin Salvant, Grow Your Art Residency
In a week-long collaborative residency with NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department, pioneering artist McLorin Salvant will discuss lessons learned in the music business, work closely with NEC students and present a concert in which she performs with small NEC student ensembles.

Wednesday, December 1 | Grow Your Art – Pitch Night
Black Box Theater, SLPC
NEC Students & Alumni compete for $5,000 to help develop the business side of their musicianship. A competitive application process modeled on real-world grants, finalists present at this live pitch.

Thursday, Dec. 2 | Concert – McLorin Salvant performs with NEC student ensembles
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall

Thursday, December 9 | NEC Jazz Orchestra plays the music of Mary Lou Williams
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall

Tuesday, December 14 | NEC Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra
7:30 p.m., Jordan Hall
The Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra is devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students. Coached by jazz faculty member Frank Carlberg, the ensemble gives its composers the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band, as well as have their works heard.

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