Thursday July 27, 2017
Albuquerque, NM 87108
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Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire discusses performance techniques and styles.
Praised for a "chameleonic tone that can sigh, flutter or soar" (The Los Angeles Times), trumpeter, Ambrose Akinmusire (pronounced ah-kin-MOO-sir-ee) first caught the attention of saxophonist Steve Coleman as a high school student playing in the Berkeley (California) High School Jazz Ensemble. After graduating, Akinmusire moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music and before he had turned eighteen, he had already performed with Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Steve Coleman and Billy Higgins. Coleman invited Akinmusire (only 19 at the time) to join his Five Elements band, with whom he toured Europe after which he pursued a Master's degree at the University of Southern California, He went on to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, studying with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard, and in 2007, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition as well as the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. He returned to New York and performed with Vijay Iyer, Aaron Parks, Esperanza Spalding, and Jason Moran, and also he made his Blue Note debut, When The Heart Emerges Glistening (2011), to rave reviews. His 2014 follow up, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, was described by AllMusic as "a diverse range of carefully scripted, genre-blurring compositions - modern classical, vanguard pop, spoken word - in addition to jazz." A recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014, Akinmusire's forward-reaching compositions have also earned him grants from the MAP Fund and the French-American Jazz Exchange and he was a Commissioned Artist for the Monterey Jazz Festival (2015), Hyde Park Jazz Festival (2015), and the Kennedy Center (2016). The New York Times described his music as existing in "the realm of poignant possibility & artful implication, and not a small amount of beauty." Joining him tonight are Sam Harris, piano; Harish Raghavan, bass; and Justin Brown, drums. Opening tonight's concert will be the winner of the first ever John Lewis Youth Piano Competition held the previous day at the African American Performing Arts Center.
Ambrose Akinmusire will also perform a free youth concert/lecture demonstration at 2pm at the South Broadway Cultural Center/John Lewis Auditorium. Free for youth 18 years and younger, Adults are welcome if accompanied by a youth.
Ambrose Akinmusire's performance is made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Western Jazz Presenters Network (WJPN). The WJPN is a coalition of jazz presenters in the western region of North America dedicated to mutual support through networking, collective block-booking of touring jazz artists, professional development and advancement of the full diversity of the jazz field. www.westernjazz.org. Tonight's concert is also part of The John Aaron Lewis Legacy Project which is supported in part by a grant from the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund of the City of Albuquerque.