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Dave Slonaker – Dave Slonaker Big Band

Dave Slonaker Big Band Convergency

From the album Convergency
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Composer and arranger Dave Slonaker believes that we are in a new Golden Age of creativity for big bands and large ensemble jazz, and considering the success of his debut recording, INTRADA (2013), he is probably right. Not only was the album nominated for a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, INTRADA also received stellar reviews. Jack Bowers of All About Jazz said, “Slonaker´s music is contemporary in the best sense of the word, harmonically sophisticated yet always accessible thanks to an unswerving reliance on time-honored melodies and rhythms. In other words, this is big band jazz that quickens the pulse, swings hard and enhances the tradition.”

Now, on his newest release, CONVERGENCY, Slonaker takes all the elements that made INTRADA successful    and expands upon them. The title of the album reflects his concept. Rather than writing standard big band charts, Slonaker set out to create a large ensemble where each of the remarkable musicians has an opportunity to express their own unique talent, creating a convergence of all the different elements of the ensemble into a unified whole. Slonaker explains, “I love the tonal colors of a large jazz ensemble, and that includes the different colors that band members paint with their solos. When I compose and arrange, I like to  create a canvas that allows diverse musicians to express themselves with their own, individual voice.”

Slonaker grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied trombone and piano. His teachers in arranging and composing have included Rayburn Wright, Manny Album, David Baker, and Bill Dobbins. Now a full time composer, orchestrator and arranger, Slonaker has worked in Hollywood for over thirty years and is highly regarded as one of the top arrangers and orchestrators in film and television. His credits are extensive, including such blockbusters as Spiderman, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Alice in Wonderland and Air Force One, among many others. Although working in film and television has its rewards, as a composer and arranger with unique concepts, Slonaker has a compelling need to express himself through his own compositions.

The compositions on CONVERGENCY in some way reflect a life journey, which Slonaker explores within the tradition, but also with all the possibilities his large jazz ensemble offers. When musicians come together as a   group, each of their own life stories intersect, merge, and converge in ways that give meaning to the music.

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