02/04/14 By Jon Muchin
New England Conservatory Jazz Studies Department Presents Jazz and the Struggle for Freedom & Equality
Performed by the NEC Jazz Orchestra on Thursday, February 27 at Jordan Hall
WGBH Jazz Host Eric Jackson to Narrate Mingus’ “Freedom”
Ken Schaphorst, New England Conservatory's chair of jazz studies, leads the NEC Jazz Orchestra in Jazz and the Struggle for Freedom & Equality featuring some of the landmark compositions associated with the battle against racism and bigotry. Selections include Charles Mingus’ “Haitian Fight Song,” “Fables of Faubus,” “Freedom” and “Meditations on Integration;” Carla Bley’s “Dreamkeeper;” and excerpts from Duke Ellington’s “Black, Brown and Beige.”
The concert takes place on Thursday, February 27 at 8 p.m. in NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA. It is free and open to the public. For more information, log on to http://www.necmusic.edu/jazz-and-struggle-freedom-and-equality or call 617-585-1122.
This concert is part of NEC’s year-long Music: Truth to Power festival, a series of over 30 concerts which demonstrate just how vital music is to the human struggle and what revolution in artistic expression sounds like. Programs range from roots music to Beethoven, fight songs to anti-war anthems.
NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.” The program currently has 114 students; 67 undergraduate and 47 graduate students from 12 countries.
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