Friday, June 10, 2016

Arts, Ideas, & Maria Plus Stanley
The 19th Annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas starts this weekend and runs through June 25th (no shows on both Mondays).  As usual, the programs are a mix of music, art, theater, dance, discussions, movies, interviews and more, much of it free and open to the public. - go to to check out all the events).

Among the ticketed events are the three-night run (556/14-16) of choreographer Kyle Abraham and his company, Abraham.In.MotionThe troupe will share the stage with pianist Kris Bowers, drummer Otis Brown III, bassist Chris Smith, and the impressive vocalist Charenee Wade who will perform music composed by Robert Glasper.  Composer Julia Wolfe, the SITI Company and the Bang-on-Can All-Stars present "Steel Hammer" Thursday 6/16 through Saturday 6/18 - the music, theater, and dance piece tells the story of the legendary John Henry, "the steel-drivin' man."  And, on Wednesday June 15, the Maria Schneider Orchestra will play at 8 p.m. in the Morse Recital in Sprague Hall, on the corner of College & Wall Streets in the Elm City.
Ms. Schneider (pictured above) has had quite a year.  She arranged and recorded a piece with the late David Bowie that won  the GRAMMY for Best Arrangement earlier this year.  She also carried home the award this for Best Jazz Large Ensemble Recording, honoring her brilliant ArtistShare album, "The Thompson Fields."  Last month, Ms. Schneider won five different categories in the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.  Currently, the MSO is the midst of a 5-night run at Birdland in New York City.  

For the New Haven concert, she and the Orchestra will be premiering a new piece that was co-commisioned by the Arts & Idea Festival's Fund for the Future.  The program will also features songs from "The Thompson Fields" and you can be assured she'll dig into her impressive catalog of compositions that has built over the past two+ decades.  A good number of the 17 musicians in the MSO have been there since the early 1990s when she began a 5-year residency at Visiones in Greenwich Village.  Like Duke Ellington as well as her mentors Bob Brookmeyer and Gil Evans, Ms. Schneider writes for the various members of the orchestra.

Amazingly, there are still tickets available - go to and reserve yours now.

Maria Schneider will also be part of a panel discussion on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, the night before the concert.  Titled " Taking Ownership: Music and Intellectual Property in the Digital Age", legal scholar and Professor of Law at Northeastern University Jessica Silbey will moderate a conversation with Nancy Baym, Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research New England, Jean Cook, Co-director of the Artist Revenue Streams project, and Ms Schneider, about alternative models that benefit consumers and artists alike. The event is free and open to the public. The composer testified before the US Congress Sub-committee on Intellectual Property in 2014 and has been interviewed numerous times on television; she's also a member of a new advocacy group,  

Perceptions Photography
Earlier on Wednesday - 12:00 noon, to be exact - there will be a free concert on the New Haven Green featuring Stanley Maxwell (yes, that's the quartet pictured left and no, there's no one in the group with that name). The quartet - Andy Chatfield (drums), Mark Crino (bass), Eric DellaVeccia (alto saxophone), and Evan Green (acoustic and electric keyboards) - is celebrating 15 years together this year, not easy for a CT-based group playing exclusively original material.  Their music is great fun, a joyful mix of jazz, funk, and rock.  Stanley Maxwell plays on the First Niagara Stage and it's a fine way to spend the lunch hour.  To find out more about the band, go to  

Remember - Arts & Ideas is engaging fun, often challenging audiences with provocative topics.  There are events for kids throughout the Festival, especially on the three Saturdays. So, hie thee to to check it all out.

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