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Bienen School of Music Greets Spring With Nine-Concert Festival

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February 9, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A gathering of mandolin virtuosos, two distinguished jazz ensembles, the bassist from the Grammy Award-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and a collaboration between a celebrated guitar quartet and an innovative Chicago dance company are all part of the 2009 spring music festival presented by the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

"Collaboration Exultation: A Festival of Musical Connections" will feature an array of guest artists performing in a series of nine concerts, which begin March 7 and conclude April 11. Each festival concert will showcase a rare musical partnership. Two free master classes -- one presented by bassist Victor Lemonte Wooten (March 12) and another by harmonica virtuosos Howard Levy and Peter "Madcat" Ruth (April 4) -- are also open to the public.

All of the "Collaboration Exultation" concerts and events, unless otherwise noted, will be held at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

"Mando Magnificat," the festival's inaugural program at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, is a celebration of the mandolin, featuring Mike Marshall & Big Trio (comprised of Marshall, fiddler Alex Hargreaves and bassist Paul Kowert). Also on the program will be Sam Bush, German classical mandolin virtuoso Caterina Lichtenberg with guitar accompanist Mirko Schrader, mandolinist Don Stiernberg with pianist Larry Harris and bassist Jim Cox, and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. The program showcases the versatility of the mandolin with flights into classical, jazz, new acoustic, Americana, blues and orchestral music. Marshall's credits include performances with Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, Chris Thile and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Series. Sam Bush has performed with Bela Fleck, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.

The SFJAZZ Collective performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11. Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Dave Douglas, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland will present a program celebrating the music of renowned jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. The Collective was launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ, the West Coast's largest nonprofit jazz institution and the presenter of the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, and is known for its innovative approach to repertoire. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.

Victor Lemonte Wooten and JD Blair bring their "Two Minds, One Groove" tour to Northwestern at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12. Wooten is the bassist from the Grammy Award-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and has also performed with artists Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Dave Matthews and Prince. Drummer JD "The Groove Regulator" Blair's collaborations have included projects with Shania Twain, Yo-Yo Ma, Lyle Lovett and Yolanda Adams. Tickets are $20 for the general public, as well as senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $15 for students with valid IDs. Prior to the concert, Wooten will present an hourlong 4 p.m. master class in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall rehearsal room, located near the building's southeast entrance. The class is free and open to the public.

The festival continues with a performance by the Darol Anger-Mike Marshall Duo and the Swedish string trio Vasen at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. Violinist Darol Anger, founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet, will join mandolinist Mike Marshall (also featured in "Mando Magnificat" on March 7) and Vasen. Vasen is comprised of Olov Johansson, a virtuoso on the nyckelharpa -- a bowed, 16-string instrument related to both the hurdy-gurdy and the fiddle -- and violist Mikael Marin and guitarist Roger Tallroth. Their program will feature a blend of the fiddle and dance tunes of Appalachia and the traditional music of Sweden. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid identification.

Internationally renowned flutist Eugenia Zukerman and keyboardist Anthony Newman present "Pieces for the Musical Clock" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3. The musical clock -- a clock with internal pipes and bellows -- was so popular during the late 17th and 18th centuries that composers Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn all wrote works for it. Zukerman and Newman, together with Bienen School of Music flute students Beth Delorit, Amanda Fuerst and Eva Ryan, will perform their own interpretations of these compositions. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for students with valid IDs. This program is presented with the generous support of the Dorothy and Carl Johnson Visiting Artist Fund.

Harmonica virtuosos Howard Levy, Pablo Fagundes, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Bud Boblink and the Windy City Harmonica Trio and guitarist Chris Siebold join forces for the "Harmonica Convergence II" concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4. The program features the harmonica in jazz, classical, blues, pop, traditional American and world music arrangements. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs. Prior to the concert, Grammy Award-winning artists Howard Levy and Peter "Madcat" Ruth will present a free, public hourlong master class at 5 p.m. on the Evanston campus in Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive.

Percussionists She-e Wu and Bob Becker, bandoneon virtuoso Peter Soave and the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble will perform in "TangoRhythmia" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9. The program will feature music ranging from Bach to Piazzolla. It also will showcase the "bandoneon," an accordion-like instrument most commonly associated with the tango. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for students with valid IDs.

The Canadian Guitar Quartet and DanceWorks Chicago will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10. The Canadian Guitar Quartet includes Philip Candelaria, Denis Donegani, Patrick Roux and Louis Trepanier. The ensemble has toured extensively in North and South America. The program includes original tango-inspired works by quartet members Roux and Trepanier, as well as a Beethoven Minuet and Allegro arranged by Donegani. The new dance company DanceWorks Chicago will join the guitar group for a world premiere work commissioned especially for this performance. Tickets are $24 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $11 for students with valid IDs.

The "Collaboration Exultation" festival will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, with a performance by the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and special guest artists Victor Goines, the new director of the Bienen School's Jazz Program, and Anthony Molinaro and Charley Harrison. Jeff Lindberg will conduct the orchestra in a program that includes Nelson Riddle's "Cross Country Suite" featuring Goines as the clarinet soloist, and an unusual arrangement of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" performed by Naumberg Award-winning pianist Anthony Molinaro. Also performing will be composer, conductor and guitarist Charley Harrison. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.
Topics: Campus Life