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Eastman Celebrates the Music of Gil Evans: Part Two

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Published on Oct 29, 2012

Click on this link to view part one of this piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKKftg...

The Eastman Chamber Jazz Orchestra's Gil Evans Centennial Celebration is the result of a three year collaboration between New York City based producer Ryan Truesdell and the Eastman Chamber Jazz Orchestra, directed by Dave Rivello. Ryan and Dave have a friendship going back a number of years, as well as a mutual love of the music of Gil Evans, from his early arrangements for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in the 1940s to his celebrated collaborations with Miles Davis in the 1960s and beyond. A few years ago, through Gil Evans' family, Ryan was granted access to thousands of pages of music handwritten by Gil himself. The discovery of some unknown arrangements of Gil's prompted him to call Dave, who without hesitation invited him to Rochester, NY for a reading session with musicians at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

From there, these compositions bearing Gil's iconic style, many of which have never been recorded or were previously thought to be lost, came to life in those sessions. While Ryan gathered a collection of musicians in New York City to record an album of selected music spanning more than 30 years of Evans' career, he wanted an opportunity for a more complete representation of this work to be heard. With the partnership of Dave and the Eastman Chamber Jazz Orchestra, they were able to assemble a group of musicians from Eastman that could perform this music live, some of which had not been heard by any audience in decades.

This second part follows the group as they traveled to Perugia, Italy for six performances at the Umbria Jazz Festival. This festival is one of the largest in all of Europe and it's where Gil returned year after year to perform with his orchestra toward the end of his life. Building on that tradition, the orchestra played much of the music that Gil had arranged before and after the period that he collaborated with Miles Davis. Much of the music had never been recorded and was unveiled to audiences at Umbria for the first time as Gil had originally intended it. During the festival, the orchestra performed on stage with various guest artists, including Francesco Cafiso, Stefano di Batista and Scott Robinson.

Eastman Chamber Jazz Orchestra

Directed by Dave Rivello

Reeds and woodwinds:

Ethan Helm
Marc Schwartz
Karl Stabnau
Marc Abrate
Alexa Tarantino
Owen Broader
Levi Saelua

Oboe- Alina Jeon
Bassoon- Sean Barela

French Horns:

Sasami Ashworth
Renee Vogen
Russell Rybicki


Jonathan Heim
Adam Crosse
Nikola Tomic
Dave Chisholm


Chad O'Brien
Alistair Duncan
Mike Conrad
Greg Hammond

Tuba- Mike Blair
Guitar- Ben Bishop
Piano- Nick Weiser
Bass- Ben Thomas
Drums- Matt Honor
Percussion- Adam Maalouf

For more information on Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project or the album of new recordings, visit: http://gilevansproject.com/

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