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In Celebration of Dizzy

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New England Conservatory’s (NEC) Jazz Studies Department will present Manteca: Dizzy Gillespie and the Birth of Latin Jazz on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall. In celebration of Dizzy Gillespie's centennial, the NEC Jazz Orchestra will perform early Latin jazz masterpieces including "Manteca" and "Cubano Be, Cubano Bop." NEC alumnus Chris Washburne will perform with the band, in addition to speaking at 1:00 p.m. on the day of the concert. NEC faculty member Miguel Zenón will also be a featured soloist, and will contribute two compositions, "Second Generation Lullaby" and "Oyelo."


While playing together in the trumpet section of Cab Calloway's band, Dizzy Gillespie and Mario Bauzá became friends and started collaborating on the creation of a new musical style, mixing Gillespie's modern jazz sensibility with the Cuban tradition that Bauzá grew up with in Havana. When Gillespie put his own big band together in 1947, Bauzá recommended Cuban percussionist, singer, dancer and composer Chano Pozo, who worked closely with Gillespie on many of the band's most influential arrangements, including "Cubano Be, Cubano Bop," "Manteca," and "Tin Tin Deo." George Russell, hired by Gunther Schuller to teach at NEC in 1969, was also a pivotal part of this development, composing what is generally considered to be the first modal jazz composition in "Cubano Be, Cubano Bop," a piece so ahead of its time that many reviewers at its Carnegie Hall premiere compared it to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."


NEC Jazz Orchestra members are alto saxophonist and clarinetist Nathan Reising; alto saxophonist Yu Wang; tenor saxophonist Hunter Smith; tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Jesse Beckett-Herbert; baritone saxophonist Andrew Bedard; trumpeters Robert Lane, Jeffrey Cox, Massimo Paparello, and Daniel Hirsch; trombonists Bulut Gulen, Nicholas Rosario, Michael Sabin, and Felix Padilla; pianist Inigo Ruiz; guitarist Luca Ferrara; bassist James Dale; and drummer Marcelo Borque Perez. Guest players are percussionists Sebastian Garzon and Luis Herrera, and Nick Auer, Andrew Bass, and Mackenzie Newell on French horns.


Manteca: Dizzy Gillespie and the Birth of Latin Jazz will be performed on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Ave., Boston. Admission is free. For information, call 617-585-1122 or visit https://necmusic.edu/event/7256

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