Curated by JC Sanford, this weekly big band series highlights some of New York City's finest musicians. This month's lineup features:
May 7: Javier Arau Jazz Orchestra This 18-piece big band is led by composer/bandleader Javier Arau, a former member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. Currently the program director of New York Jazz Academy, Arau's compositions are published by UNC Jazz Press and Dorn Publications, and he has received awards and honorsfrom Down Beat Magazine, ASCAP, BMI, and MTNA. Also an accomplished saxophonist, he was the cover artist of the July 2009 issue of Saxophone Journal and is an artist endorser for Virtuoso saxophones.
May 14: Delphian Jazz Orchestra performs music that stretches outside of the typical parameters of a traditional big band. The music drastically morphs styles that fall anywhere from the influences of Ellington and Monk to Stravinsky and Frank Zappa. Hoping to free itself from the confines of formal structure, The Delphian Jazz Orchestra expresses a full range of emotion and thought through unique musical artistry.
May 21: Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra is fresh off a successful appearance at the Blue Note. Ueda, originally from Hyogo, Japan, currently performs and tours with various groups including: Grady Tate Quintet, Ted Rosenthal Trio, Satoshi Inoue quartet, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, DIVA Jazz Trio and Five Play. She is the winner of the third annual BMI Foundation/Charlie Parker Jazz composition Prize for her original big band piece "Castle in the North" (2002).
May 28: Awakening Orchestra runs the table from avant-rock to contemporary classical, with all points in between. Heavy-handed yet remarkably agile and adaptable, the 20-piece ensemble is conducted and led by impassioned and incendiary composer Kyle Saulnier, combining a dark harmonic sense of humor and aleatoric techniques with back-breaking grooves and moments of thunderous convergence. Since 2006 the Awakening Orchestra has played venues as varied as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (at Lincoln Center), the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Vans Warped Tour.