NEC Launches Free Concert Series

Nearly 100 performances scheduled for 2016-17

Donny McCaslin

The Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation departments at the New England Conservatory have announced a new series of nearly 100 free concerts for the 2016-17 season.

NEC’s concert series will span September to May, and will launch on Sept. 2 with a concert featuring the faculty of the Contemporary Improvisation Department.

Notable events include a concert by the NEC Jazz Orchestra, which will celebrate the release of Ken Schaphorst Big Band: How to Say Goodbye with a performance of Schaphorst’s recent recordings, as well as his arrangements of the music of Donny McCaslin, an NEC faculty member.

On Feb. 21, co-producers of the 12th Annual Film Noir Project Aaron Hartley and Ran Blake, featuring students and faculty members of NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation Department, will present a musical reimagining of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Vertigo. The performance will include special guests and new music created by NEC musicians.

In celebration of International Jazz Day on April 30, NEC faculty and students will offer a performance featuring music that “embodies the relationship between jazz and other musical cultures throughout the world,” according to a press release.

Two days later, on May 2, NEC will offer its final concert: a tribute to Cornelius Cardew’s 17th-century work, The Great Learning. The concert will be directed by Anthony Coleman, and feature a variety of solos.

The 2016-17 concert series is composed of 81 concerts, all of which will be free to the public. For more information on the series, visit necmusic.edu or call (617) 585-1122.