Global Concertos for Soloist and B’shnorkestra
The Latest Update
Global Concertos Shows and CD Release
I’m so thrilled to announce that B’shnorkestra will be performing Global Concertos again! Global Concertos is five compositions (premiered in 2015), each showcasing a guest soloist’s instrument and tradition: Thione Diop – West African talking drum, Christos Govetas – Greek clarinet, Srivani Jade – North Indian vocals, Julio Jauregui – Latin American piano and Thomas Marriott – American jazz trumpet. In Global Concertos each artist brings their individual voice to the B’shnorkestra (my 14-piece ensemble) to create a new “all world” sound. We have two performances: one in the Earshot Jazz Festival featuring all five soloists and one in Tacoma featuring two soloists and other B’shnorkestra material.
Monday, October 24, 8pm
Part of the Earshot Jazz Festival, co-presented with Cornish Presents
PONCHO Concert Hall, Cornish College
710 E Roy St, Seattle
Tuesday November 1, 7 pm
Presented by Classical Tuesdays in Old Town
2306 N 30th Street, Old Town Tacoma
Featuring soloists – Diop and Marriott.
Unveiled at these concerts will be a live recording CD of the premiere performance from May 2015 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. The official CD release is November 18, 2016, but audience members will have the opportunity to purchase pre-release copies of the album. You can also pre-order Global Concertos at Bandcamp. Check out videos of the premiere at www.bshnorkestra.com.
Global Concertos exceeded all of my expectations. Thank you NewMusic USA for making this possible. Stay tuned for the release of some high-quality videos and a live recording of the performance. It was a night to remember and I’m so happy to have been able to make this project happen. Until next time….
The final stretch
I can’t believe that it’s here – the debut weekend of Global Concertos is upon us. The rehearsals with the band and the soloists have been going wonderfully and now we get to perform it! I’m so grateful to have received this funding and to have been working on this project, it has been a real joy and an immense learning experience.
Our performance is Saturday May 9th at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and we are having an open dress rehearsal on Friday May 8th. For details go to www.bshnorkestra.com
We got a nice write up in the Seattle Weekly today- “Ambassadors of their own cultural music” is how composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack describes the diverse musicians she’s spotlighting on the next concert of her 14-piece new-music/improv ensemble, B’shnorkestra. She’s written works for Thione Diop (West African talking drum), Christos Govetas (Greek clarinet), Srivani Jade (North Indian vocals), Julio Jauregui (Latin American piano), and Thomas Marriott (American jazz trumpet)—musicians with roots in five continents and traditions outside Western classical music. In her new pieces, Boshnack made a point of including “orchestral landscapes for each individually virtuosic soloist to showcase their particular style of improvisation, aural tradition, rhythm/groove, and ornamentation,” she says; “I collaborated with the soloists to find a musical middle ground.” She titled her project “Global Concertos.” I love that she appropriated the name of classical music’s most hidebound, ponderously stuffy genre for her progressive, cross-cultural project.” – Gavin Borchert
In all the excitement of musical and logistical preperations for the show, updating this page was something that slid through the cracks and I didn’t post the bios of artists other than Christos. So here they are:
Srivani Jade was introduced to music at the age of four by her father Bhavani Prasad Jade and uncle Raghavendra Tilwalli. She studied Khayal initially with Dr. Sharad Gadre in the Gwalior style (2002-03), and since 2006, with Pandit Parameshwar Hegde in the Kirana style. Srivani also sings an eclectic repertoire of light classical music, such as,Thumri-dadra, Tappa and Bhajans. She concertizes regularly both in India and North America, and has performed in major music festivals such as the Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Mahotsav (2014) and Devnandanan Ubhayaker Yuva Sangeet Utsav (2009). She has five solo albums to her credit, and several grants, artist residencies and awards–including the Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award (2009) . She is an auditioned artist with All India Radio, and Visiting Artist at the University of Washington’s School of Music.
Thione Diop, percussionist from Senegal, West Africa, is widely recognized for his powerfully expressive Djembe performances. He is descended from an ancestral line of Griot drummers in Senegal, West Africa, and is a master of the djembe, sabar, tama, and djun djun. In 1998, Thione moved to Seattle to teach and perform; a year later he formed Yeke Yeke, a percussion ensemble that has performed the traditional rhythms of West Africa to delighted audiences for the last ten years. Thione is also responsible for some incredible regional events, such as the annual Spirit of West Africa Festival and Kasumai Africa, offering the Pacific Northwest audiences a chance to enjoy immersive experiences in African music, dance, and culture. Thione has shared the stage with such noteworthy musicians as Poncho Sanchez, Alpha Blondy, Prince Diabate and Max Romeo. Thione Diop and his group Yeke Yeke are well known from their many regional appearances in the U.S. and Canadian Northwest. In Senegal, Thione has collaborated with renowned griot artists Babou Laye Cissokho; master Kora player, Thierno Kouyate; Orchestra Baobab saxophonist, Thierno Ba; Xalam master, Samba Ndoc Tama player for Cheikh Lo and singer Abdoulaye N’Diaye on a number of tracks.
Julio Jáuregui was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Julio grew up in México City. His mother, Mireya López, also a pianist, instilled in him the passion for music. Julio attended the National School of Music from 1984-1987 where his focus of study was percussion. In Eugene, Oegon he performed with Caliente, a local salsa band. He became the musical director of Caliente in 1992. He was also part of a folk band named Sandunga. Julio also joined forces with percussionist Mingo Lewis (Santana’s Drummer) and was part of “Combination to Go.” Julio also became a member of other ensambles such as La Mayor,salsa band, Atmosphere, jazz trio. Julio moved to Seattle in 1997. He joined Latin Expression and Matices and became the musical director of both. He also created Cambalache with Camilo Suárez. Julio has recorded with Children of the Revolution, Guil Guimaraes, Jeff Busch, Nueva Era and others. He was part of Joe Santiago’s Salsa all stars concert in 2003 in which he performed with Giovanni Hidalgo, Joe Santiago, Giovanni Lugo, Pablito “El Indio” Rosario and others. In 2001 he joined forces with singer and long time friend Carlos Cascante and formed Tumbao a Latin sextet. Tumbao has given him the freedom to experiment with many avenues and performance formats.
Trumpeter Thomas Marriott is one of the most exciting musicians to emerge on the national jazz scene in more than a decade. The seven-time Golden Ear award winner is a skilled instrumentalist, composer and producer, always seeking to expand the boundaries of jazz music in all its forms. After winning the prestigious Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition in 1999, Marriott headed east from Seattle to New York where he gained initial acclaim through his work with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau band. Marriott completed 3 world tours as the jazz soloist with Ferguson, then continued to work in New York and on the road with the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Joe Locke, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Brian Lynch, The Chico O’Farrill Orchestra, Michael Feinstein, Eric Reed, Les Brown and the Band of Renown, Kenny Kirkland, Charlie Hunter, Deltron 3030, Ivan Neville’s Dumpsaphunk, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Ritchie “Alto Madness” Cole, Carl Allan, George Colligan, Orrin Evans and scores of others. Marriott’s diverse interests and skills are reflected in the range and success of his albums. Since 2004, Thomas has produced eight albums as a leader for Origin Records. Three of his albums have made the top-ten on national jazz radio airplay charts, including the 2009 release “East-West Trumpet Summit,” which made it all the way to number one. His albums have been featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and have gained critical acclaim world-wide, including the 2010 release “Constraints and Liberations” which garnered 4 ½ stars in Downbeat Magazine. Known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, Thomas continues to perform on the stages of the world’s greatest jazz clubs and concert halls, as a leader and alongside the top names in jazz. The Seattle native is featured on more than 100 recordings with musicians of all genres and styles. Thomas has produced albums for a number of artists including saxophonist Hadley Caliman and trumpeter Ray Vega. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the Board of Directors of Earshot Jazz. Since his return to Seattle in 2004 he has been the featured trumpet soloist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and has been a catalyst on the Seattle jazz scene.
Thank you for follwoing this project – my next update will be a post-concert rundown!
All the latest
Since my last post, B’shnorkestra Global Concertos has been making great progress and gathering much momentum. We had our first ensemble rehearsal on Sunday and worked through all five brand new concertos! All this week we are doing sectionals (string, rhythm and horn) to try to be as prepared and tight as possible for rehearsals with the soloists which begin this weekend. It feels so exciting and gratifying to finally be playing this music after months of solitary work on it. I love the creative process of writing – but what really makes me happy is actually collaborating with the great musical minds in my ensemble and the new experience of working with these soloists. I continue to learn more ways to best communicate my ideas to musicians whether they are classically trained string players, jazz horn players or an Indian vocalist – everyone approaches the music differently. During the writing process, I felt nervous as to whether or not I could accomplish what I set out to do. However after the first round of rehearsals and more meetings with soloists – I feel more confidant that we will be able to collectively create something very special. In these compositions, I tried to both lean on each player’s strengths and also push them out of there comfort zone. By doing that my hope is that we can all meet in a middle ground – and it will be a place that none of us have ever been before.
Tomorrow I meet with the incredible Christos Govetas who plays clarinet and brings so much to the Seattle music community both as a musician and in the many events featuring Greek, Turkish and Balkan music that he and his wife Ruth Hunter coordinate.
Below is Christos’ short bio and I have also included an mp3 of him playing on a piece called “Geikos”. Enjoy!
Christos Govetas is a multi-instrumentalist who brings his voice and earthy clarinet style from his homeland in Eastern Macedonia. After moving to this country in his teens, Christos discovered his love of traditional music and went on to learn regional music from all over Greece, Turkey, the Balkans and the North African Arab world. In addition to the clarinet, Christos plays the zourná, bouzouki and outi, bringing his 30 years of performing experience to the mix. Christos is a beloved teacher at many music and dance workshops and has performed and toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe and Greece. In addition to leading Dromeno, Christos also plays with Pasatempo Rebetika, and also plays laouto and sings regional Greek music with Ziyiá. Christos is the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Northwest Folklife Fellowship Award honoring his cultural contribution to the Greek-American and Folk dance communities. Christos is also a member of Bill Frisell’s Grammy nominated The Intercontinentals.
Video About The Project And More
Activity here in the world of Global Concertos has been pretty much nonstop. I have begun meeting with the soloists to go over what I have written for them. At these meetings I get feedback from them on the music and learn more on how to showcase their talents and tradition in the pieces. This collaborative process is a lot of fun and very educational.
Between now and the concert I will write a post a week with more information about each soloist.
Here is a video with more information about the project – enjoy!
Everything has come together!
It has certainly been a long time. I have been working very hard on this project in the meantime and am very excited to reveal the soloists, concert poster, venue and all other information. From now until May 9, I will be more regular with the updates as I will be in very full swing on this project. Information below:
Saturday, May 9, 2015 – 8pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Avenue South, Seattle
$5-15 suggested donation / All Ages
Buy Tickets: http://globalconcertos.brownpapertickets.com
Open dress rehearsal with Q & A: May 8 – 8pm
Composer Samantha Boshnack and her B’shnorkestra (a 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra) premiere Global Concertos: an evening of new music featuring an international tour de force of soloists.
Boshnack has written five new works, each showcasing a guest soloist’s instrument and tradition: Thione Diop – West African talking drum, Christos Govetas – Greek clarinet, Srivani Jade – North Indian vocals, Julio Jauregui – Latin American piano and Thomas Marriott – American jazz trumpet. In Global Concertos each artist brings their individual voice to the B’shnorkestra to create a new “all world” sound.
Global Concertos was made possible, in part by funding from New Music USA, 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.
Global Concertos gets rolling
Thanks so much to followers of this project. I am so grateful to New Music USA for funding this project.
Since the premiere isn’t until May 2015, I haven’t had any major updates to provide for you all (sorry to have been silent until now) – but I have been working hard on this project. I have been doing more fundraising (acquiring a 4Culture grant for the project) and gathering together the musicians I want to be featured soloists.
I’m very excited to announce that Julio Jauregui will be the Cuban pianist soloist. I look forward to working with him as I have heard wonderful things about his playing, and I can’t wait to delve into writing quirky montunos and syncompations.
As I thought hard about the diversity I was trying to accomplish in instrumentation and influence as well as what players are available in Seattle, I decided to change two of the instuments from what I originally listed. Two other soloists I have confirmed for the project are; the incredible Greek clarinetist/zourna player – Christos Govetas, and an amazing classical trumpeter – Brian Chin. I’m excited to write for zourna, an instrument I have never composed for before. For Christos, I will be writing sections for him to improvise over and giving him recordings so he can learn his melodic part by ear. I chose classical trumpet because, even though it is the instrument I play, Brian has a distinctive sound and a different skillset and vocabulary than mine. I will be able to write really new kinds of melodic content then I would for myself. I can see already how much this project is going to broaden my knowledge and push me into completely new territory.
I will keep you updated as I go – thanks for your support!
The B’shnorkestra is a 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra (consisting of strings, horns, drum kit, percussion and a conductor) featuring my compositions, which are modern, while drawing from many traditions. As a trumpeter/composer, I work with an assortment of ensembles in different Seattle musical scenes including: jazz, rock, avant-garde, salsa, world, classical and more. The musicians in the B’shnorkestra come from all of these diverse communities. The music bends and shades the many genres, showcasing the breadth of rich talent each player brings.
“Global Concertos” is a collection of five pieces, each featuring a world-class guest soloist from a distinct background; a Persian vocalist, jazz saxophonist, rock guitarist, Balkan trumpeter, and Cuban pianist. B’shnorkestra will provide the orchestral accompaniment for these “concertos”– it’s flexibility and wide-reaching sound is the perfect fit for works spanning the globe in their reach.
On May 9, 2015, we will premiere “Global Concertos” at the smaller (540 seat) recital hall in Seattle’s Symphony concert hall –Benaroya Hall. Internationally regarded for its technology-infused acoustics, this is the premier location for orchestral music in Seattle. This concert will be broadcast live over the web, recorded and videoed for documentation and distribution, and released as a DVD and digitally through YouTube and other outlets. There will be multiple rehearsals over the course of three weeks leading up to the performance, some open to the public.
Improvisation is such an important form of musical expression, not often seen in today’s orchestral world, despite its historical presence in the canon of concert music. My works, though fully notated, heavily utilize improvisation in different ways including: solos, group improvisation, improvising over intricate rhythms/grooves, and trading solos. “Global Concertos” will work these ideas out on a grand scale. I will work to showcase the soloist’s instrument and music while incorporating it into my compositional voice. I am interested in elevating, as opposed to exploiting, the cultural differences, similarities and intricacies of each soloist. I will ensure the soloist’s part is understandable, while also pushing them outside of their musical comfort zone, making this a truly experimental work. This re-examining of a classic orchestral compositional form will bring more adventurous and experimental elements to the orchestral canon.
B’shnorkestra is conducted by Joshua Kohl of the Degenerate Art Ensemble. The string section features concertmaster Alex Guy (Laura Veirs, Mirah), and bassist Jherek Bischoff, who collaborates with Amanda Palmer and Caetano Veloso. The remaining string players are all classically trained but perform with a variety of groups and artists including; Macklemore, Jim Knapp’s Scrape, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Cat Power and DJ Spooky. The brass/woodwind section features members of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and rhythm section members of the traditional Ghanaian group – Anokye Agofomma, and Brazilian jazz innovator Jovino Santos-Neto Trio.
Global Concertos will explore diverse places, reflecting the dynamic array of musicians, in turn connecting more directly and deeply with listeners. Bringing together new and already engaged audiences, this project offers our contemporary music community a kind of synthesis it has not yet experienced.
This composition was released on B’shnorkestra’s 2013 release, Go To Orange. This is the only track to feature guest artists – vocalist Megan O’Donoghue-William and Sri Joko on gender & rebab. The improvisation section is from 2:17-4:49. Lyrics are from a traditional Javanese poem. B’shnorkestra also includes; Alex Guy, Alina To-violins, Brianna Atwell-viola, Maria Scherer Wilson, Daniel Mullikin-cellos, Jherek Bischoff, Tim Carey-upright basses, Chris Credit-alto saxophone, Tobi Stone-flute, Greg Campbell-drums and Adam Kozie-xylophone.
This video is from our 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival Performance on October 26. Tenor saxophone solo by Tobi Stone at 1:45, drum solo by Adam Kozie over string melodies at 3:42. B’shnorkestra personnel is the same as work sample 1 except for; Lalo Bello on congas, Greg Campbell on percussion and Isaac Castillo on bass. This song demonstrates B’shnorkestra’s ability to meld many musics into something all its own. “…Some kind of twilight campfire serenade for a bohemian fantasy waltz. Latin or Gypsy? The answer is yes.” – City Arts Magazine
This composition was released on B’shnorkestra’s August 2013 release, Go To Orange. It begins with contrapuntal writing in a vaguely classical style and moves into an improvisation section (which I have abbreviated for this work sample) featuring Campbell on french horn and multiple string players. Things then quickly escalate into a wildly rocking second section with an improvised duet between Guy and Bischoff and a burning solo from tenor saxophonist Credit. The personnel is again the same as work sample 1 with Kozie on drums.
Start and End Dates
04/20/2015 — 05/09/2015