Orrin Evans
special guest appearance with Jazz at Princeton University’s Creative Large Ensemble

Orrin Evansspecial guest appearance with Jazz at Princeton University’s Creative Large Ensemble

In concert on April 9, 2022

Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, welcomes special guest pianist Orrin Evans for the Spring Concert by the Creative Large Ensemble under the direction of Darcy James Argue. The performance will feature an array of music from the past, present and future of jazz orchestra and take place on Saturday, April 9, 8 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, 68 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $5 for students. For information call 609-258-9220 or visit https://music.princeton.edu/events/creative-large-ensemble-spring-concert.

Jazz at Princeton caps its current season with the Princeton University Jazz Festival, Wednesday through Saturday, April 27–30.  Featured concerts include Trineice Robinson-Martin with the Jazz Vocal Collective (April 27), Small Group Z with saxophonist Alexa Tarantino (April 28), Small Group X with guitarist Gilad Hekselman (April 28), and International Jazz Day (April 30) with Small Groups A and I and guest saxophonists Seamus Blake and Tony Malaby.

During his kaleidoscopic quarter-century as a professional jazz musician, pianist Orrin Evans has become the model of a fiercely independent artist who pushes the envelope in all directions. Never supported by a major label, Evans has ascended to top-of-the-pyramid stature on his instrument, as affirmed by his #1-ranking as “Rising Star Pianist” in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll. Grammy nominations for the Smoke Sessions albums The Intangible Between and Presence, by Evans’ raucous, risk-friendly Captain Black Big Band, stamp his bona fides as a bandleader and composer. In addition to CBBB, Evans’ multifarious leader and collaborative projects include the Eubanks Evans Experience (a duo with eminent guitarist Kevin Eubanks); the Brazilian unit Terreno Comum; Evans’ working trio with bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr.; and Tar Baby (a collective trio of 20 years standing with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Nasheet Waits). One of Tar Baby’s two 2022 releases will be released on Evans’ imprint, Imani Records, which he founded in 2001 and relaunched in 2018. He was born in Trenton, NJ and raised in Philadelphia.

Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue has toured nationally and internationally with his 18-piece ensemble, Secret Society, garnering countless awards and nominations and reimagining what a 21st-century big band can sound like. Argue made his mark with his critically acclaimed 2009 debut Infernal Machines. Other critically acclaimed recordings followed, including Brooklyn Babylon in 2013 and Real Enemies in 2016, which the New York Times praised as “wildly discursive, twitchily allusive, a work of furious ambition…deeply in tune with our present moment.” In addition to his work with Secret Society, Argue has toured Australia and New Zealand leading the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He has led performances of his music by the WDR Big Band, Danish Radio Big Band, Frankfurt Radio Big Band, Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, and the West Point Jazz Knights. Argue has composed works for chamber duo and string quartet, art songs for Newspeak, and arrangements for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted residencies and workshops at the University of North Texas, McGill University, Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Cornish College, Western Connecticut State University, and with the Western Australian Jazz Youth Orchestra, among others. In 2012, he was composer-in-residence for Missouri State University’s annual Composition Festival. In 2015, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition and a Doris Duke Artist Award. He has received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Jazz Gallery, the Manhattan New Music Project, the Jerome Foundation, and BAM, as well as ensembles including the Danish Radio Big Band, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, the West Point Jazz Knights, and the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships form the New York Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Composers Now, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. His collaboration with Cecile McLorin Salvant on her original song cycle Ogresse was premiered in 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jazz at Princeton University serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form. Its goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of the program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects. They also have the opportunity to participate in academic courses from the music department curriculum that encourage the study of the historical, social, theoretical, stylistic, and creative issues that pertain to the jazz idiom.

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