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June 5-6: First Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings presented by The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and American Composers Orchestra


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American Composers Orchestra (ACO) and The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University will present the first-ever Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings at Columbia University's Miller Theatre (Broadway at 116th St.) on June 5 at 2pm (working rehearsal) and June 6 at 7:30pm (run-through). Both events are free and open to the public, giving audiences a chance to look behind the scenes at the process involved in bringing brand new, stylistically diverse orchestral music to life.

The JCOI Readings feature new works by eight composers chosen from participants in the JCOI Intensive, a five-day series of workshops and concerts that brought together more than 30 jazz composers, chosen from a national pool of applicants, on the Columbia campus in June 2010 to explore writing for the orchestra.

The selected composers are Harris Eisenstadt, Mark Helias, Adam Jenkins, Erica Lindsay, Nicole Margaret Mitchell, Rufus Reid, Jacob Sacks, and Marianne Trudell. Following the JCOI Intensive, these composers worked further with mentor composers and conductors over the past year, to develop and score the works that will be presented during the JCOI Readings.

Listen to audio samples from this year's chosen composers online.

JCOI is a new development in the jazz field, and aims to provide resources for both jazz and classical music by promoting the emergence of composers trained in both jazz and new orchestral techniques. The JCOI curriculum was created by composers Jane Ira Bloom, Anthony Davis, Fabien Lévy, and Center for Jazz Studies director George Lewis, all of whom also served as instructors.

While many jazz composers seek to write for the symphony orchestra, opportunities for hands-on experience are few. The Readings are the culmination of this process, allowing the public to hear the results of the selected composers' yearlong compositional process. The Readings are under the direction of George Lewis, with ACO creative director Derek Bermel, and mentor composers Anthony Davis, Alvin Singleton, and Tania León.

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