The Patterson Library presents "An Intimate Afternoon of Jazz with Bruce Johnstone and Carousel Strings," on Saturday, March 1, from 3 - 5 p.m. Carousel Strings is an 11-member ensemble directed by Bruce Johnstone who is a renowned saxophonist and director of Curricular Jazz at the SUNY Fredonia School of Music.
This program will give Patterson Library's audience the rare treat of hearing jazz played by strings with the backing of a rhythm section and an intriguing combination of jazz standards, Latin jazz and even a few original pieces in an intimate concert. Carousel Strings consists of four violins (Stephen Minor, Lucas Denies, Virginia Croft and Cassity Warnecke), one viola (Katharine Allen), two cellos (Avishai Afec and Brandon Codrington), piano (Ian Liedke), bass (Scott Gergelis and Emma Garcia), drums (Cody Lockley) and guitar (Mark Bamann). Hannah Stanek-Chu, a freshman Vocal Performance major from Williamsville, will be the concert's featured vocalist and will be accompanied by the ensemble.
In the last four years ago, the Carousel Strings has enabled string musicians to double their style exposure, Johnstone explained, which increases employment options and also gives Music Education majors experience in creating similar ensembles. Concerts given in Western New York by the Carousel Strings also demonstrate the variety of music that the School of Music is creating, Johnstone added.
But there's more to a Carousel Strings concert than just listening to and enjoying the music. "I'll be doing quite lot of talking throughout the program, which you do not do in a classical concert. I'll talk about the tunes, the composers, the original compositions that we perform and what the influence was behind them," Johnstone explained.
Exposing student musicians to new audiences is a big part of each Carousel Strings performance, and Johnstone proudly introduces each musician and tells a little bit about his/her background. An informal musician meet-and-greet will be held following the concert. The New Zealand-born Johnstone traveled throughout the world when he played with jazz icons Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson at the concert.
This "Intimate Afternoon of Jazz" is free and open to the public.
The Patterson Library Octagon Art Gallery Program is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Re-Grant Program administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council. Please contact Nancy N. Ensign, Octagon Gallery Curator, for interest in art exhibition for the year 2015 at 326-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.