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“Brass Fest II” to feature eclectic mix of jazz and folk vocals, solo trumpet, and works for brass quintet

From October 9 to 11, the UW-Madison School of Music will present its second brass music festival, following a spirited event last year that was enthusiastically received by students and the community.

This year, “Brass Fest II” has added a vocalist to the mix: a Norwegian singer who mixes jazz tunes with pop and folk music from the Middle East, Bulgaria, Spain and India. The three-day festival will also features two brass quintets and a solo trumpeter.

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The festivals showcase the energetic, eclectic world of brass music, says festival organizer John Aley, professor of trumpet at UW-Madison and principal trumpeter of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. “We benefited from creative energy last year that continues to impact positively in the School of Music,” says Aley. “The performances will showcase some amazing talent and innovation including the surprising and delightful synergy of brass plus voice.”

On the docket this year:

Friday, October 9: Axiom Brass Quintet, 8 PM, Mills Hall. This lively Chicago quintet features repertoire ranging from jazz and Latin music to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet.  Friday’s concert will offer an Elizabethan suite, “The Art of the Fugue” by J.S. Bach, and brass quintet works by Victor Ewald, David Sampson, and Patrice Caratini.

Axiom Brass is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and at Chicago’s Rush Hour Concerts. They are winners of the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition (2012), the Preis der Europa-Stadt Passau in Germany (2012), the 2008 International Chamber Brass Competition and prize-winners of the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and the Jeju City International Brass Quintet Competition in South Korea. Axiom Brass is comprised of Dorival Puccini, Jr., trumpet; Jacob DiEdwardo, horn; Kevin Harrison, tuba; Serdar Cizmeci, trombone; and Kris Hammond, trumpet.

Saturday, October 10: Festival Brass Choir with the Axiom Brass Quintet, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, trumpeter Adam Rapa, vocalist Elisabeth Vik, and students/faculty of the School of Music. 8 PM, Mills Hall. Conducted by Scott Teeple, professor of music and wind ensemble conductor. The concert will include works by Astor Piazzolla, James M. Stephenson, Anthony DiLorenzo, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and a Bulgarian vocal work sung by Ms. Vik.

The Norwegian-born vocalist Elisabeth Vik was classically trained by Norwegian opera singer Rolf Nykmark, then moved on to study commercial music and music business at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in England. She received a bachelors degree in pop-music performance, then moved to New York City. She has traveled the world gathering and learning techniques and musical expressions, giving her sound and stylings hints of Indian, Arabic, Spanish, Bulgarian as well as Norwegian flavors, superimposed upon a classical technique and an affinity for jazz.

American Adam Rapa is a dynamic performer, composer, producer and educator known for the excitement, energy and enthusiasm he brings to stages and classrooms around the world. Rapa has been featured as a special guest artist and clinician at trumpet conferences around the globe including the International Trumpet Guild conference, the National Trumpet Competition, and festivals in dozens of countries around the world. Adam performed and/or recorded with Grammy Award winners Nicholas Payton and Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Doc Severinsen, Soulive, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Cyrus Chestnut, Jorge Pardo, Mnozil Brass, Belgian Brass, Alice in Chains, Academy Award winning film composer A.R. Rahman, and many others. Now living and freelancing in Copenhagen, Rapa plays lead trumpet in the Danish Radio Big Band and also performs with members of the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.

The Wisconsin Brass Quintet, formed in 1972, is a faculty ensemble in residence at the UW-Madison. In addition to performing with the WBQ, the players have also been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble. Current members include Tom Curry, tuba; Mark Hetzler, trombone; Daniel Grabois, horn; John Aley, trumpet; and Matthew Onstad, trumpet.

Sunday, October 11: Duo recital with trumpet soloist Adam Rapa, vocalist Elisabeth Vik, and musicians from the School of Music. 7:30 PM, Mills Hall.  Based in Denmark, the duo offers a creative blend of classical and jazz, melding traditional and modern repertoire with a Latin sizzle. Works will include the Carmen Suite by George Bizet, Så Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet by Evert Taube, arranged by Rapa & Vik, Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla arranged by Rapa, and Anitras Dance by Edvard Grieg, arranged by Vik & Rapa.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday concerts are $15 for adults, free for students and children. Sunday’s concert is free to all.

Buy tickets to both concerts and save!

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Guest Artist: Brian Allen, trombone

Master class April 9, 2-4 PM, Room 1321.

Brian Allen in joint concert with Mark Hetzler, professor of trombone.

Brian Allen is from Lake Jackson, Texas. He is an artist working in the fields of sound and visual art.

As a trombonist, composer and improviser, he has performed with Anthony Braxton, Dave Ballou, Gerald Cleaver, Mark Dresser, Ellery Eskelin, Satoko Fujii Duo and Orchestra NY, Frank Gratkowski, Drew Gress, Tony Malaby, Tom Rainey, Roswell Rudd, and Michael Sarin.

Brian has released five CDs: Synapse – Trio with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey, Duo (with Reuben Radding,) Solo Trombone, Brain Killer, SKETCHEE and toured extensively.

Brian is a recent recipient of a Meet the Composer Global Connections Grant for Mexico in 2007, named a finalist in 2005 Antti Rissanen Jazz Trombone Competition in Kotka, Finland, and directed, composed and arranged for Burnin!, The Texas Tech Jazz Trombone Band, winner of the 2005 ETW Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. In 2003, Brian was awarded a residency from Diverse Works, of Houston, to present new works with Brain Killer.

He has had compositions premiered at several international, national and regional festivals, including the 2004 ITF in Ithaca, 2006 Midwest Electronic Music Festival, 2006 SCI Conference at Rice University, 2005 ETW, TMEA and TBA Conferences. His compositions include pieces for wind ensemble, electronica, chamber ensembles, Mexican Banda, rock and/or roll, and jazz.

Dedicated to education, Brian teaches privately and at Brazosport College. Brian has studied with Don Lucas and Robert Diehl at Texas Tech University with a Masters in Composition and Bachelors in Performance.

Brian is currently developing new projects and means of expression in a broader context through the integration of the visual and aural arts.

Listen to a 2007 NPR interview with Brian Allen:

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Guest Artist: Richard Illman, trumpet – Special multi-media concert

Presenting a collaborative multi-media concert for trumpet and video with guest trumpeter Richard Illman, and School of music faculty Mark Hetzler (trombone) and Alex Noppe (trumpet).

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Faculty Duo Recital: Mark Hetzler, trombone, & Martha Fischer, piano

This concert will showcase music from their recent Summit Records CD release, Themes and Meditations, featuring the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Frank Bridge.