Free Improv Pioneer Evan Parker To Give Master Class At NEC


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Thursday, September 18 at 3 p.m.

As Part of Nearly 100 Free Events for 2014-2015 NEC Season

A pioneer of free improvisation, Evan Parker is considered one of the most influential saxophonists in the post-Coltrane era. Since the late 1960s he has remained a dynamic and innovative voice who has expanded the range of his instrument and the expressive possibilities of improvised music. Parker comes to New England Conservatory at 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 18 to give a workshop for students. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place in NEC’s Pierce Hall, 241 St. Botolph Street, Boston, MA. For more information, log on to: necmusic.edu/jazz or call 617-585-1122.

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur “genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.” The program currently has 98 students; 54 undergraduate and 44 graduate students from 14 countries.

Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd). Now in its 42nd year, the program trains composer/performer/ improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices. It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under Blake's inspired guidance for its first twenty-six years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current chair Hankus Netsky and assistant chair Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O'Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. “A thriving hub of musical exploration,” (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program currently has 53 undergrad and graduate students from 16 countries.

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