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Chicago Tribune: Victor Goines Shows the Power of His Pen

Northwestern music professor launched rare, three-night performance residency

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January 27, 2014 | by Caitlin Tucker

Victor Goines

Victor Goines is director of jazz studies.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Victor Goines, director of jazz studies at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, gave listeners a chance to understand not only his musicality but also his writing, according to a Jan. 25 article in the Chicago Tribune.

The New Orleans native and his quartet recently played the Chicago premiere of “Her Eyes Smile,” the fifth movement of his original orchestral suite “Crescent City” at the Green Mill Jazz Club.

“The economy and maturity of this writing suggests that we need to hear ‘Crescent City’ in its entirety, to better understand Goines' continuing evolution as composer-arranger,” the Tribune said in its article.

“Goines has crafted a theme of as much brevity as beauty, its wide melodic leaps and somewhat angular contours unexpected for a piece that amounts to a love song to New Orleans,” wrote the Tribune.

Goines leads his own quartet and quintet and has composed more than 50 original works. He has been a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Wynton Marsalis Septet since 1993.

“As for Goines' playing, he summoned a great deal of New Orleans clarinet history in most of his work, but especially in ballads,” the Tribune article said. “And his rambunctious passages on tenor saxophone elsewhere in the set amounted to a tip-of-the-hat to Chicago-style tenordom.”

When Goines joined the Northwestern faculty in 2007 he stated that jazz performers must have an in-depth knowledge of the language of jazz and its historical roots. As a New Orleans native, New York performer and Chicago professor, Goines has helped students become articulate in the idiom and contribute to the evolution of jazz as an art form.

“Clearly Goines is a man of several cities,” wrote the Tribune. “Fortunately, Chicago remains one of them.”

Before becoming director of jazz studies at Northwestern in 2007, Goines served on the faculties of the Julliard School, Florida A & M University, the University of New Orleans, Loyola University in New Orleans and Xavier University. Clearly, Goines is a man of several universities. Fortunately, Northwestern remains one of them.

For tour dates and more information, visit Victor Goines.

Topics: People