Marcus Roberts, Modern Jazz Generation culminate week with Oct. 24 performance at the Flynn
By Jeffrey R. Wakefield
Piano virtuoso Marcus Roberts, one of the brightest lights in contemporary jazz, and his ensemble, Modern Jazz Generation, will be in residence at the University of Vermont the week of Oct. 20 and will perform at the Flynn Theatre for the Performing Arts on Friday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. The UVM residency is co-sponsored by the Flynn Theatre.
At UVM, Roberts will teach a piano master class on Monday with his trio, including Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass. The full ensemble will work with UVM’s Jazz Ensemble on Tuesday and Thursday. All the sessions are free and open to the public.
Roberts is known for dazzling, virtuosic playing that taps the full range of the jazz piano tradition, from Scott Joplin to Cecil Taylor and beyond. Modern Jazz Generation incorporates the trio but adds nine more top instrumentalists: Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra trumpeter Marcus Printup, award-winning trombonist Ronald Westray and a number of talented younger players just coming into prominence.
Jazz Studies director Alex Stewart said UVM’s student musicians are in for a treat in the master classes next week.
“For the pianists, working in such an intimate setting with a jazz master like Marcus will be a peak experience,” he said. The UVM Jazz Ensemble, which is preparing for an all Count Basie concert on Thursday, Nov. 13, will also benefit greatly in their sessions with the talented musicians in the large group, he said. “Modern Jazz Generation explores contemporary musical expression but is also steeped in the jazz tradition,” he said. “For an aspiring young jazz musician in 2014, that’s an attractive and very powerful learning opportunity.”
The concert and residency are being presented in association with the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs through the UVM President’s Initiative for Diversity. UVM students with a student ID can purchase tickets for $10.
Learn more about the concert on the Flynn’s website.
• Monday, Oct. 20, 4-5 p.m. UVM Recital Hall. Piano master class with Marcus Roberts Trio.
• Tuesday, Oct. 21, 4-5:15 p.m. Southwick Ballroom. Open rehearsal: UVM Jazz Ensemble with Marcus Roberts and Modern Jazz Generation
• Thursday, Oct. 23, 4-5:15 p.m. Southwick Ballroom, Open rehearsal: UVM Jazz Ensemble with Marcus Roberts and Modern Jazz Generation.