Eleven time Grammy winning jazz pianist and composer Lyle Mays returns to Wisconsin in November in one of eight thrilling Lawrence University Performing Artist and Jazz Series concerts lined up for the 2011-2012 season.
Recognized around the world as a master of the keyboard, Mays has toured with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, performed with jazz and pop icons Ricky Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell and Bobby McFerrin, and established a 35-year musical collaboration as an integral member of the Pat Metheny Group.
A native of Wausaukee, Mays takes the Lawrence Memorial Chapel stage Nov. 5, 2011, with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio, the Lawrence Studio Orchestra and the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble as part of Jazz Celebration Weekend.
“We’ve put together a stunning lineup of musical performances with something for everyone,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “If you’ve never been to Lawrence for a concert, the performers in this series will blow you away.”
The series kicks off Oct. 14, with the Turtle Island Quartet, winners of the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, “A Love Supreme.” Turtle Island fuses a classical string quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles, redefining the state of the art. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma called Turtle Island “a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”
On Oct. 24, renowned pianist Richard Goode brings his tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness to the Lawrence campus. Goode’s music making has inspired critics around the world to utter such praise as “you’d swear the composer himself was at the keyboard, expressing musical thoughts that had just come into his head.”
Joining Mays for Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 4-5 is the Tierney Sutton Band, which celebrated its third consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for 2009’s “Desire.” The album was described as a “conceptual masterpiece” by the Chicago Sun Times and critics call the Tierney Sutton Band’s music enduring, conveying “a sense of spiritual meditation… and a pure jazz spirit.”
The artist and jazz series continues Feb. 17, 2012 with the Jeremy Pelt Quintet. One of the most talked about jazz trumpeters of the past decade, Pelt and his band mates “swing hard, and they swagger in their arrangements,” said reviewer Jeff Krow. “Pelt is at the peak of his powers with the power and range of Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard in their seminal years.”
So Percussion creates music not easy to define, exploring all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility. The quartet, performing March 10, 2012 at Lawrence, has been called an “experimental powerhouse” by the Village Voice, “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine, and “brilliant” by the New York Times. Edgy (at least in the sense that little other music sounds like this) and ancient (in that people have been hitting objects for eons), they are among today’s most exciting composers and their own original music has quickly helped them forge a unique and diverse career.
Hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by The New Yorker magazine, Chanticleer performs at Lawrence Memorial Chapel April 13, 2012. Chanticleer is known as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to new music.
The Performing Artist and Jazz Series closes May 11, 2012, with a performance by the extraordinary Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez. His distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz has attracted critical acclaim and his abundant talents and enthusiasm make his concerts memorable and inspiring. Perez will perform with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio.
Lawrence University, "Lawrence University Unveils “Stunning” 2011-2012 Performing Artist and Jazz Series Lineup" (2011). Press Releases. Paper 462.