For Jazz Appreciation Month, hear from top student ensembles in Take Five
ARK, "Bird Walk"
ARK is an example of collaborative efforts across three institutions. It’s a trio featuring guitarist Robert Papacica, who received a Bachelor’s degree at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and is currently enrolled in the graduate program at the Steinhardt School of Music at New York University; drummer and tabla player Keshav Batish, who carries on the tradition of Hindustani music across genre and instrument, and is earning his doctorate in composition at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and saxophonist Anthony Paolini, who attends the esteemed jazz program at McGill University in Montreal. ARK plays original music by all three members, who manage to collaborate frequently and get together as often as they can to play and record on either coast. Their self-titled debut album has just been released; “Birdwalk” is a piece by Papacica.
NYU All University Jazz Orchestra, "Nuestro Tiempo"
Bobby Sanabria — multiple Grammy-nominated drummer, percussionist, bandleader, educator, and host of WBGO's Latin Jazz Cruise — is also the director of the NYU All University Jazz Orchestra. "With the students I explore the big band jazz tradition in all its depth, breath and scope," Bobby says. "From Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and other Latin jazz styles, to bebop, swing, funk, fusion and beyond. An interesting thing about the ensemble is that it is open to all members of the student body, not just jazz music majors. An NYU student might be a business or political science major but at the same time may also be a talented musician. If they pass the audition process the orchestra gives them the opportunity to continue explore that side of their talents. It makes for a nice mix of personalities. It's similar to Albert Einstein who was also a violinist and continued to actively perform throughout his life. The orchestra performs composer, arranger Dr. Jeremy Fletcher's, a former student of Bobby's at the Manhattan School of Music, swinging jazz mambo composition, 'Nuestro Tiempo' (Our Time)."
Dynamic, "Chorinho ppe'te"
Siena Jazz University, in the small Tuscan town of Siena, draws students from around the world to study at the National Academy of Jazz, led by founder and director Franco Caroni. Pianist and composer Greg Burk currently coordinates the Masters Program, and the faculty consists of veteran jazz performers and educators from around the world, including trombonist Joseph Bowie. WBGO will be featuring several ensembles from the school throughout Jazz Appreciation Month; this week we feature a student ensemble called Dynamic, performing a composition titled “Chorinho ppe’te.” The group consists entirely of Italian performers: vocalist Alessandra Diodati, pianist Guglielmo Santimone, guitarist Paolo Augenti, bassist Federico Campanello and drummer Fabrizio Doberti.
JMI Jazz World Orchestra, "Shining Star"
Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) prides itself in the preservation of music and its young performers, and is dedicated to preserving the art of communication, the art of community and the art of improvisation that is Jazz. Students from around the world audition. Once selected, they gather and rehearse in the ancient Croatian city of Grozjnana for five days, and then the cross-cultural collaborative World Jazz Orchestra is ready to go on tour. The youth orchestra is led by trombonist Luis Bonilla, who is also artistic director, and professor at the Jazz Institute at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. Bonilla composed “Shining Star,” which features key contributions from trombonist Matteo Bassini, alto saxophonist Frank Talbot, pianist Pablo Campos, percussionist Manfredi Caputo and drummer Szecso Szendrody.
JMI Jazz World Orchestra, "Where Is The Love?"
Here's one more from the JMI Jazz World Orchestra. On the Ralph MacDonald/William Salter song “Where Is the Love?” — best known for the version recorded by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway — the featured performers are vocalists Patricija Skof and Valdemar Kusan, trumpeter Joan Mar Sauque Vila, tenor saxophonist Ori Jacobson, and vibraphonist Vid Jamnik.