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Published on Sep 22, 2017
In this breathtaking performance, we hear a gorgeously simple melody passed around the septet, from lone bass, to two horns, and eventually expanding to the full ensemble. The theme seems to grow right out of E. E. Cummings' words, changing as the poem unfolds, and we see and hear the impact the words and developing melody have on improvisation, dance, and the interplay among the performers. Let's touch the sky.
'If Up's The Word' - composition by Jonny Peiffer, performed by Sojoy
Text by E. E. Cummings (from '95 Poems' - number 95: 'if up's the word/and a world grows greener' published in 1958)
Choreographed and performed by Junichi Fukuda
Sojoy performers: James Clark - trumpet; Josh Gagnon - trombone; Matt Langley - tenor; Russ Grazier - alto; Hunter McKay - bari; Scott Kiefner - bass; Jonny Peiffer - spoken word/drums. Special guest Junichi Fukuda - dance.
Sojoy is a little big band modern jazz septet formed by drummer and composer Jonny Peiffer. Sojoy recently released it's second album 'The Adventures of Oliver Z. Wanderkook.'
Junichi Fukuda formed his company “Fukudance” as a vehicle to continue his artistic journey from dancer to choreographer and director.
The great modernist poet E. E. Cummings summered at Joy Farm near Silver Lake, NH, where it is possible he penned the four stanzas that, among other radical things, encourage us to 'do as an earth which can never do wrong does.' Jonny Peiffer began performing on the Seacoast in the late 90’s with Drika Overton’s Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival and ‘Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker.’ Now with Sojoy, he has gathered an ensemble of the finest improvisers in the area to perform music he has composed and perfected over the past decade and a half. His influences range from Ben Allison, Jaco Pastorius, and Andrew Hill to Ellington, Mingus, and Monk. Sojoy is a new spin on a modern Big Band tradition. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx