A look inside the jazz quartet among Jazz & Classics events

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2002

Juneau Jazz and Classics heads into its second weekend with a topnotch jazz quartet, a gifted soprano and an a capella jazz-pop quintet taking the Juneau stages.

But there's another side to Jazz and Classics, the work the guest artists do offstage. Some events are free and open to everyone. Others take place in schools and are directed at students.

"We have about 20 school visits total - we're doing a lot of outreach this year," said Jazz and Classics Artistic Director Linda Rosenthal.

Some visiting musicians perform in classrooms and for school assemblies, demonstrating their prowess and talking about their art and careers.

Mezzo soprano Lisel Fedkenheuer's visits to Juneau schools are supported in part by opera star Marilyn Horne.

Horne "set up a foundation to help young singers. She wants to keep the art of song recital alive," Rosenthal said. "Lisel will be working all week, going to the schools, talking about what she does, singing a bit for them and getting the younger kids up for her. Jeffrey Agrell also has a really full school schedule."

Agrell is a French horn player with a reputation as a skilled clinician. In addition to school visits, he will lead a workshop May 23 teaching the basics of improvisation to musicians of all skill levels and styles.

Jazz & Classics on Campus

All events are at Egan Library at University of Alaska Southeast and are free. They will run back-to-back with 15-minute breaks for setup.

11-11:45 a.m. - "A Look Inside the Jazz Quartet," presented by the Bob Mintzer Quartet.

Noon-1 p.m. Digital music demonstration and workshop with Jason Ohler and digital art demonstration and workshop with David Riccio.

1-1:30 p.m. Thunder Mountain Big Band.

1:45-2:15 p.m. Vanier Catholic High School Big Band from Whitehorse.

2:30-3 p.m. Juneau-Douglas High School Big Band.

3:15-4 p.m. A Jazz Jam with the Thunder Mountain Big Band featuring members of the JuneauDouglas High School Big Band and Whitehorse's Vanier Catholic School Big Band.

4:15-5 p.m. Ursa Major String Ensemble with guest artists Kathryn Lucktenberg, violinist, and Steven Pologe, cello.

Composer and Grammy-award winning big band, jazz and classical musician Bob Mintzer will work with Juneau-Douglas High School bands. The Vanier Catholic High School Big Band is coming to Juneau from Whitehorse to work with Mintzer.

"He's coming in and sharing with the musicians and the community," Rosenthal said. "He's coming in early to work with Thunder Mountain Big Band Thursday and Friday. Then Saturday they will have worked together."

Saturday afternoon, May 25, all the bands will offer free performances at the Egan Library on the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

Mintzer performs Saturday night with his jazz quartet. But Saturday morning, Mintzer, legendary jazz drummer Peter Erskine, keyboardist Russell Ferrante and bassist Dave Carpenter will dissect the jazz quartet in a free workshop called "A Look Inside the Jazz Quartet."

"Basically we try to take apart the mechanism that makes a quartet work, so that people are able to see how each of the four contribute, how it fits together, how we assemble the music - how an ensemble functions," Mintzer said.

The demonstration is open to everyone.

"The more one understands anything the greater the appreciation can be," Mintzer said.

About noon Saturday, Juneau educator and musician Jason Ohler will offer a workshop on composing digital music. He'll give a brief presentation, then open up a computer station in the media room in the UAS library. Artist David Riccio also will talk about creating digital art.

"People can drop in and create art and music, then go hear the bands," Rosenthal said. "They can just come and go freely. It's one more neat activity to have going on the same time music is happening."

All Saturday Jazz and Classics on Campus events are free.

Riley Woodford can be reached at rileyw@juneauempire.com.

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