BREAKING: Fivesome fanatics and vocal enthusiasts rejoice, for Claudia Quintet+1 (with Matt Mitchell now joining on piano) has just finished recording a new album. Alongside CQ+1 will appear Theo Bleckmann and fellow noted jazz vocalist Kurt Elling. The album also features and is dedicated to the poetry of Kenneth Patchen. It will be released by Cuneiform on October 11th.
NOW: As heat indices across America surge ever-skyward, our thoughts again turn to that mighty peninsula of Jazz, Newport, Rhode Island. On August 7th, just a handful long weeks from today, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble will appear at the Newport Jazz Festival alongside frequent Hollenvocalist Theo Bleckmann, vocalist Kate McGarry, and the singular Uri Caine on piano and organ. There they will perform John’s arrangements of songs by Imogen Heap, Jimmy Webb, Ornette Coleman and Kraftwerk, plus John’s original work. August 6th is close approaching–plot out the vacation days, make arrangements for the pets, then go forth and flee your homes in search of Jazz Paradise. Naturally tickets and more info is available here.
THEN once finished there JHLE will sail on a to-scale replica of the Santa Maria from the New World backwards to Lisbon, Portugal where they will perform at the Jazz Em Augusto festival on August 14th. Details for European fans and hungry travelers is available here. For those who’d like to attend but lack the airfare, be advised that at this time JHLE is still seeking volunteer rowers to help propel their modest vessel across the Atlantic; it is expected that, with equipment, ninety men will need to row nonstop for seven days if the band is to arrive on schedule. Interested parties should refer to the email below.
IN OTHER NEWS: This week John will be teaching an Alternative Big Band Workshop at Cornish College of the Arts with none other than the great Wayne Horwitz. From the (awesome-sounding) course description:
We will survey different approaches to composing for the jazz big band outside the mainstream, and explore texture, voicing, and form through examination of scores and recorded examples. Students will also have the opportunity to play and perform new compositions and arrangements by workshop instructors Wayne Horvitz and John Hollenbeck. The week culminates in a Friday evening concert featuring a student ensemble.
LASTLY stalwart arbiters of culture Downbeat Magazine recently concluded their 59th Annual Critics Poll and found the ascendant John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble to be this year’s Rising Star Winner for the category of Big Band. You can see all the winners from this poll at Downbeat’s website here.
These words have been brought to you by Jacques Swartz, Chronicler of John, to whom John has relegated all duties pertaining to web PR and general online upkeep. Jacques would like to reaffirm for all interested parties that he is not, in fact, Mr. John Hollenbeck, nor is he Mr. Hollenbeck’s imaginary alter-ego, but rather a fully discrete being in his own right. All queries, complaints, kind remarks and general feedback regarding this blog may be directed to Jacques at firstname.lastname@example.org