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April 18: New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra Presents 'High Life: The Music Of Wayne Shorter'

Performance features live concert premieres of rarely heard Shorter arrangements with NEC Jazz Studies Chair Carl Atkins, pianists Rachel Z and Ethan Iverson, and saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.
Legendary jazz composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who passed away on March 2, 2023, left a monumental artistic legacy. The NEC Jazz Orchestra pays tribute to Shorter with High Life: The Music of Wayne Shorter, the orchestra’s final concert of the season, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 in NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston.

Special guest Carl Atkins, founding director of NEC’s Afro-American Studies and Jazz Departments, and NEC Jazz Studies Co-Chair Ken Schaphorst lead the orchestra in a program that includes live concert premieres of rarely heard arrangements by Shorter, premiere performances of new arrangements of works by Shorter and more. Special guest pianist Rachel Z ’84, who performed and recorded with Shorter, as well as current faculty members Jerry Bergonzi and Ethan Iverson will perform.

Three pieces from Shorter’s High Life recording including the title track and “Children of the Night,” in arrangements heard for the first time in a live performance, as well as “Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair” will be performed by the NEC Jazz Orchestra with members of the NEC Philharmonia and Rachel Z. Also on the program are Shorter’s arrangements of “Shere Khan, The Tiger” and “This is for Albert,” as well as Carl Atkins’s arrangements of three Shorter classics, “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum,” “Speak No Evil” and “Yes and No.” Iverson will be featured on the premiere performance of his new arrangement of Shorter’s “The Chess Players,” and Jerry Bergonzi will play on Ken Schaphorst’s new arrangement of Shorter’s “Infant Eyes.”

Admission is free but tickets are required. More information can be found on NEC’s website. The concert will also be live-streamed to audiences worldwide.

About New England Conservatory (NEC)

Founded by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new model of music school that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school stands at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts at the renowned Jordan Hall. Propelled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify musicians’ impact on advancing our shared humanity, and empowers students to meet today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to forge multidimensional lives of artistic depth and relevance.

As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools. It cultivates a diverse, dynamic community, providing music students of more than 40 countries with performance opportunities and high-caliber training from 225 internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of music-making and teaching through college-level training in classical, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Through unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships, it empowers students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC’s mission to make lifelong music education available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.

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