Tag Archives: NMYO

Listen to Kendrick Oliver from New Life Jazz Orchestra talk about his life and his upcoming concert at Shalin Liu this Saturday

Earlier this week I interviewed Kendrick Oliver, director of the New Life Jazz Orchestra and Laura Heinrichs of the  Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras (NMYO).

Kendrick is bringing his high-energy orchestra to Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center this Saturday, February 8th at 8:oo p.m.

This concert will benefit the students of the NYMO, including their scholarship fund.

Kendrick talks about how he came to be the director of New Life Jazz Orchestra, which was not what he had planned to do when he attended Berklee College of Music and gives us a preview of the excellent music we will hear on Saturday — plus you get to hear some of that music in the interview too.

Listen here: 

Kendrick Oliver & New Life Jazz Orchestra @ Shalin Liu SAT 8 FEB benefit for NMYO

Wow, these guys can swing!  Here’s a great way to help support student musicians and have fun doing it.  From their concert page:

Award-winning conductor Kendrick Oliver and his youthful, vibrant and energetic 15+ piece orchestra (including a vocalist) will light up the stage for a night of infectious sound. New Life Jazz Orchestra has been selling out concert halls and turning heads throughout the jazz scene since its inception in 1995 while Oliver was a student at Berklee College of Music. Respected throughout the jazz community, New Life Jazz Orchestra has appeared at a host of high profile events including the Boston Beantown Jazz Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and opened JVC’s prestigious Newport Jazz Festival.

This evening will be nothing less than a swing, sing, stomp, and shout experience!

Don’t take their word for it.  Check out the videos, below.  (Tickets & info here)

Did you know we have a world-class composer in our midst? Check his new work out on Sunday

Composer Robert J. BradshawAward-winning, local, world-class composer Rob Bradshaw’s new work premieres this Sunday 5/5 at Gordon Chapel with 2 performances at 2:30 and 5pm.  You may know Rob from over 20 works commissioned and performed about Cape Ann, including the cantata commemorating the Middle Street Fire, Requiem for Rockport and music for the dedication of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives statue and Schooner Adventure.

Beyond Gloucester, Rob’s works have been performed all over the world from Bangkok, Thailand, to Sydney, Australia.  In America, his works have been heard in many prestigious venues including Lincoln Center and during The Kennedy Center’s 2010 International VSA Festival at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall.

Here’s what he says about Las Apariencias Engañan, which premieres on Saturday as part of The Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras Spring Afternoon Concert.  This concert is free and open to the public and appeals to all ages.  Each concert will last between an hour and two hours and both will be followed by a reception after the performance. The NMYO Silent Auction will take place during the concerts as well.

Las Apariencias Engañan, for orchestra, is inspired by Afro-Cuban Bembe rhythms.  These rhythms, widely performed throughout Latin America, have dramatically influenced American popular music but have been lost in their original form for most listeners.  This composition is intended to provide a fun and exciting way to help reintroduce this wonderful music to musicians and audiences.
As with all of my music, this work has a strong educational component and is intended to raise social awareness – in this case, of how Latin  American music has influenced (and continues to influence) American  music.Adam Hayes (Berry College) asked me to write a work inspired by  Afro-Cuban Bembe Rhythms.  If you are familiar with Latin American  music, you know that the “clave” rhythm (and many variations) is an integral part of the music and culture.  What you may or may not  know is that these rhythms are also found throughout American music.   We play them over different meters and this had led to Americans  losing both the knowledge of our rhythmic heritage and more  importantly, often the ability to even play or understand these  wonderful rhythms in their original form.Although not a Bembe per se, every rhythm in the work is directly inspired by the rhythm of this style and common variations.  For  many months, I have been working closely with percussion faculty and  other experts in the field, learning how to assimilate this style into my own work.
CiR:  As Composer in Residence with the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras it is my responsibility to teach students about the craft of composition and to inspire them to explore creativity through music.  We work on a composition project each year where the students create elements of a larger work that I assemble and they perform at their May Concert.