NY's Nial Djuliarso Quartet in San Francisco; to Jam with Eric Alexander Sept 22


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Nial Djuliarso Quartet
New York band winners of 2008 International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University Generations Jazz Project “International Competition and Fellowship for Emerging Jazz Combos”

Quartet to appear with Eric Alexander and Andrew Speight at Monday night jam session at Shanghai 1930 in San Francisco, September 22, and in concert at San Francisco’s Knuth Hall, Friday afternoon, September 26.

The Nial Djuliarso Quartet, winners last May of the first annual Generations Jazz Project “International Competition for Emerging Jazz Combos,” held by the International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State, will be returning to San Francisco this week to continue their year-long fellowship at SF State with a round of workshops and training. The quartet will be performing a free concert on Friday afternoon, September 26, at 1:00 pm at Knuth Hall on the San Francisco State University campus as part of the SF State School of Music and Dance afternoon concert series.

An exciting New York-based combo, the Nial Djuliarso Quartet offers an energetic post-bop sound rooted in the tradition of artists like Clifford Brown and Horace Silver. The four musicians, pianist Nial Djuliarso, trumpeter Bruce Harris, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Carmen Intorre, are quickly gaining visibility on the New York City jazz scene. Individually and collectively, they’ve played with musicians like Winard Harper, Joey DeFrancesco and Wynton Marsalis.

Quartet to jam with Eric Alexander and Andrew Speight and San Francisco local players

In addition to their Knuth Hall performance, the quartet, along with Generations mentor musicians Eric Alexander and Andrew Speight, will be playing on Monday night, September 22, at the weekly jam session regularly led by Speight at Shanghai 1930, 133 Steuart Street in San Francisco near the Embarcadero, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. The evening represents a great chance to see these up-and-coming young players in a relaxed setting. It will also be a terrific venue to enjoy Alexander, one of the most dynamic tenor players on the scene today, and Speight, an alto saxophone powerhouse and one of the Bay Area’s premier jazz players. The weekly Shanghai session commonly draws an impressive gathering of young Bay Area musicians.

A unique jazz program with an historic mission

The Generations Jazz Program represents an effort by the International Center for the Arts and San Francisco State University to help bring jazz education back to its traditional model of inter-generational mentoring in the combo format. For that reason, ICA designed Generations as a fellowship for combos rather than individual musicians, and gathered an all-star group of jazz stars to serve as ambassadors and mentors. The first Generations mentor band included Jimmy Cobb, Ray Drummond, Eric Alexander, Marcus Belgrave, Ronnie Mathews and Andrew Speight.

During their week in San Francisco, the musicians of the Nial Djuliarso Quartet will be offering workshops for student musicians in several Bay Area high schools. They will also be receiving musical and professional mentoring from Alexander and Speight, who is also the Generations Project’s Artistic Director.

Nurturing traditional mentorship models

“The idea of the Generations Jazz Project is to try to create the same sort of laboratory learning atmosphere that Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Art Blakey created within their groups,” says Speight. “Within those bands, and others like them, the best young musicians were nurtured by the masters of the established generation. The younger players got a real trial by fire in concerts and jam sessions. And that’s where real musical innovation took place. Today our academic model focuses so much on individual learning, on practice rooms and technical virtuosity. We’d like to help reverse that. That’s why each year our fellowship will bring an intact band instead of individuals. And that’s why we’ve brought in some fantastic veteran players like Jimmy Cobb and Ray Drummond to mentor these bands.”

About the International Center for the Arts

The International Center for the Arts is a creative, research and producing organization that operates within the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University. Founded in 2005 with a generous grant from SF State Alumni George and Judy Marcus, the ICA is focused on the future of the arts with an emphasis on providing incubator experiences for gifted artists in the performing, media, and visual arts and through interdisciplinary projects that link the arts to their creative counterparts in the humanities, sciences, education and social sciences.

For more information

For more information about the Generations Jazz Project or the Nial Djuliarso Quartet, please contact Jerry Karp. You may also visit the Generations website below.

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