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Schuller to Schnyder: A Third Stream Exploration

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: A 10-Year Anniversary of a Jazz and Classical Marriage

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Gunther Schuller Honored with Chicago Mayoral Proclamation

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

We were deeply honored to have hosted Gunther Schuller for this important performance as part of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s 10th Anniversary Season.

Soon approaching 90 years old, Gunther spent 3 days with us in Chicago to participate in a publicly broadcasted discussion about Third Stream, attend a Chicago Jazz Philharmonic rehearsal to offer guidance and advice, and to attend his concert tribute at Symphony Center.

Much to his surprise, he was presented with an official proclamation from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, proclaiming February 6th, 2015 as “GUNTHER SCHULLER DAY” in Chicago.

This was soon followed by a moving and riveting performance of his work Concertino for Jazz Band and Orchestra.  

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Daniel Schnyder’s “Suite for Jazz Band and Orchestra” – WORLD PREMIERE

Posted on February 17, 2015 by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

On February 6, 2015 at Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, conducted by Orbert Davis, delivered the world premiere of Daniel Schnyder‘s “Suite for Jazz Band and Orchestra” in seven movements. Schnyder was featured on solo soprano and tenor saxophones on his piece.  

Chicago Classical Review wrote of the new work:

“The evening concluded with the commissioned work, Suite for Jazz Band and Orchestra by Daniel Schnyder, a sprawling seven-movement piece with the composer providing soprano and tenor sax solos throughout. His second movement, a lush, dreamy landscape with Schnyder’s tenor weaving a fabric of stunning melody was particularly memorable. Schnyder’s work is an ambitious piece with each movement creating its own sound world. The orchestra was challenged with restless, shifting meters and some screamingly fast tempi, and navigated the thicket of difficulties admirably.”

The work’s opening suite can be viewed here

Tonight in Chicago and Live Broadcast: “The Rebirth of the Third Stream”

Posted on February 4, 2015 by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

WDCB Live from Piano Forte studios presents 

“The Rebirth of the Third Stream”

a panel discussion with Orbert Davis, Gunther Schuller, and Daniel Schyder, moderated by Barry Winograd, with live piano by Leandro Lopez Varady. 

Date: Wednesday, February 4th from 6pm – 7pm

Price: FREE

Venue: PianoForte Studios – 1335 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60619
(312) 291-0291
or streaming live at WDCB.org

Admission is Free to attend the interview live in the acoustically pristine PianoForte Studios…And you can listen to it live on the radio, on 90.9FM, WDCB.org and via cable TV in Chicago on CAN TV42.

The discussion will preview the Chicago Jazz Philarmonic’s upcoming concert on February 6, which will honor Schuller (pictured right), the NEA Jazz Master and composer who originally coined the genre term “Third Stream” in 1957 to describe the melding of jazz and classical genres. Schuller will make a rare Chicago appearance for this performance that traces the music of Third Stream from 1957 to present day. The concert will include a newly commissioned work by Daniel Schnyder, a Grammy-nominated composer/performer with a dynamic reputation in both jazz and classical genres.

If you’d like to attend the Febraury 4 interview live, be sure to RSVP here:


Concert Tickets on Sale!

Posted on January 6, 2015 by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

This event is just one short winter month away, confirmed to take place

Friday, February 6 @ 7:30PM
Symphony Center (Chicago)

Tickets may be purchased on-line and if you purchase by this Friday, January 9, take advantage of an early bird 15% discount using code CJPEARLY.  

Just spoke with Daniel Schnyder this morning.  His world premiere work currently has working title of “Suite for Orchestra and Jazz Band” and consists of seven movements! 

We really look forward to bringing Schuller, Schnyder and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic together.  Stay tuned for more news and developments!



As part of its 10th Anniversary celebration in the 2014-15 performance season, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic looks to further establish its title as “America’s definitive Third Stream orchestra” presenting contemporary repertoire that bridges jazz and classical genres.  Over the last decade the orchestra and its chamber ensemble have presented a string of world premieres composed by its Founder and Artistic Director, Orbert Davis. To kick-off its launch into the next decade, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic will make its first commission to multi-genre composer Daniel Schnyder to write a 3 movement work (~20-25 minutes) for its 60-piece jazz symphonic orchestra.

The work is targeted to premiere at Chicago’s Symphony Center as part of a program titled “From Schuller to Schnyder: A Third Stream Exploration” – giving tribute to composer Gunther Schuller who originally coined the term “Third Stream” in 1957 and highlighting the works of those that have carried the torch in truly blending jazz and classical genres.  In addition to the Daniel Schnyder world premiere, the program for this concert will present other orchestral works in Schnyder’s repertoire, in addition to works of Gunther Schuller and Chicago’s own William Russo.    Most recently, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic delivered a Symphony Center commissioned Orbert Davis world premiere “The Chicago River” to an audience of 1,600+ in this historic venue.  We look forward to returning to their stage with this program which is sure to please both classical and jazz audiences.

In planning for its first official commission, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic gave careful consideration to who would be the composer that would best fit its aesthetic of seamlessly combining jazz and classical genres.  Daniel Schnyder was top of list and equally enthusiastic about the commission. “Daniel’s music truly speaks across genres,” says Orbert Davis, “at the same time his compositions require a level of technique and musicianship I know we have with the high caliber of crossover musicians in the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.”

Having the unique palette of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s orchestration, Daniel Schnyder’s jazz symphony is sure to produce a different aesthetic from his large body of orchestral work which has primarily been performed with a classical symphony in mind.  In Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the jazz rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) serves as the anchor of the orchestra, around which the full tonal colors of a symphony orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp) dance around.  Not to mention within the orchestra itself, talented soloists abound.

In addition to the world premiere, we intend to take every opportunity possible to connect composers to audiences.    Leading up to the performance, Daniel Schnyder will spend several days in Chicago – not only participating in rehearsal with the orchestra but also engaging audiences in a series of publicity events with Orbert Davis and Gunther Schuller (panel discussions, press engagements, and university workshops) that will serve to educate the public and audiences about the development of the “Third Stream” genre and the art of composing across genres.

Project Media

Trumpet Concerto

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Features: Daniel Schnyder

This orchestral work features Manuel Blanco (trumpet) with Spain’s RTVE Orchestra, conducted by Andres Salado. It was recorded in November 2012. Piece ends at approximately 23:40. This work is particularly impressive because of its physical and technical demand of all the musicians, most notably of course, the trumpet feature. We chose this work because it is under consideration to be part of the evening’s program. It would be an amazing feature for our own Orbert Davis and an opportunity to invite a guest conductor.

Subzero, Bass Trombone Concerto

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Features: Daniel Schnyder

This is the last movement of Bass Trombone Concerto by Daniel Schnyder played as played by David Taylor and the Absolute Ensemble NYC under the direction of Kristjan Jaervi in 2008. This sample inches closer to the jazz side of the third stream spectrum, but again demonstrates the high demand of artistry and technique that Daniel Schyder’s compositions require. This piece is also consideration to be part of the evening’s program.

“Brewing the Toxic Stew” from The Chicago River (Mvmt. 2)
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Chicago Jazz Philharmonic premieres Orbert Davis'”The Chicago River” in May 2013 at Symphony Center (Chicago). This work is a “tone painting” of Chicago River’s transformation into a toxic waste receptacle following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as depicted from a book of photos entitled “The Lost Panoramas”, the inspiration for the five-movement work. This sample demonstrates the high level of artistry and technique of the orchestra – ready to tackle the challenge of performing a Daniel Schnyder composition.

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Chicago, Illinois

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Last update on February 23, 2015

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Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic combines jazz and classical to create new, evolved, “third stream” musical experiences at home and around the world. CJP’s third stream approach unites diverse perspectives, expanding the possibilities of what music brings to life for students, musicians, audiences, and communities. Since its groundbreaking debut as the headliner of the 2004 Chicago Jazz Festival,…


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