Stefon Harris at the Institute this week.

We are excited to have Stefon with us this week working with the students. He is always so inspiring and so informative.

Here is a shot of them jamming late night at the tower.



Joe Gilman and past Fellows get another nice review.

Joe Gilman: Relativity (2013)


Published: January 27, 2013


The concept of interpreting art and other visual works into a piece of music, is probably not an easy thing to realize, yet onAmericanvas (Capri, 2010), pianist Joe Gilman successfully accomplished this feat, drawing his inspiration from the art world using paintings as vehicles for jazz improvisation. Relativity follows the same theme, this time focusing on the works of Dutch graphic artist Maurtis Cornelis Escher better known as M.C. Escher where Dr. Gilman, music Director of the Brubeck Institute’s Fellowship Program, offers eleven original compositions for this concept recording.
Saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and trumpeter Nick Frenay play pronounced roles in a brilliant quintet that fires on all cylinders evident right from the opening salvo “Three Spheres.” Escher’s 1961 lithograph “Waterfall” serves as the inspiration for the lighter mid-tempo piece of the same name featuring Gilman’s handy work. The beautiful “Three Worlds” possesses a darker yet simpler texture, showcasing the pianist in a softer mode with drummer Corey Fonville providing the accompaniment. In stark contrast, “Smaller and Smaller” comes out in steamy fashion, one of the disc’s better burners.
Bassist Zach Brown‘s strong chords introduce “Encounter,” perhaps the set’s departure tune as it’s funky and even bluesy style distinguishes it from the other themed tunes. Gilman returns to the core of the project with another balladic piece, sharing the stage with Frenay’s flugelhorn voice and the drummer’s crashing cymbal accents with the graceful “Snow.” The unquestioned center-piece of the album is the melody-rich “Day and Night” complete with brisk solos and a warm Brazilian flair carrying the day.
“Sky and Water” and “Ascending and Descending” round out the set, leaving an impression that’s relatively easy to ascertain: musical scores of a challenging, entertaining and enjoyable nature. Relativity marks another successful musical interpretation of another art form, something in which Gilman is becoming more prolific. What jazz melodies Gilman might pen from the inspiration of Roman, Gothic or even ancient Greek sculptures?
Track Listing: Three Spheres; Waterfall; Three Worlds; Smaller And Smaller; Covered Alley; Encounter; Snow; Day And Night; Sky And Water; Dewdrop; Ascending And Descending.
Personnel: Joe Gilman: piano, Fender Rhodes; Nick Frenay: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chad-Lefkowitz-Brown: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Zach Brown: bass; Corey Fonville: drums.
Record Label: Capri Records | Style: Modern Jazz

Downtown Stockton Art Contest concert with the BIJQ

The Brubeck Institute and the Bob Hope Theatre welcomed nearly 2,000 children from throughout SUSD and Stockton charter schools to enjoy some live jazz!

Bob Hope 1

This event was the start of the Downtown Stockton Art Contest “Music of Dave Brubeck Inspires My Imagination”

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 10.03.43 AM

The best way to introduce Dave Brubeck is through his music. So, over 2,000 students from Stockton Unified School District get that experience Tuesday. Along with students from downtown charter schools, they’ll listen to an hour of the late jazz master’s music – played by University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet. Then they’ll use their imaginations, creating paintings reflecting impressions of Brubeck and his music. “We’re hoping, for many of them who probably haven’t heard jazz live or on recordings, that it gives many of them a first taste,” said Simon Rowe, the Brubeck Institute’s director. “And Dave’s music is a good exemplar. “We were looking for a way to get kids involved. We thought of an art contest.” The concert is part of “Music of Dave Brubeck Inspires My Imagination,” a collaboration among Pacific, the Downtown Stockton Alliance, Delta College and Stockton Unified. The musically motivated art contest is designed to inspire and educate students as a preliminary to the March 18 to 23 Brubeck Festival. “The music of Dave Brubeck is just phenomenal,” said Pheon Davison, Stockton Unified’s administrator of visual and performing arts and physical education. “It’s important for them (students) to experience all different types of music. This will be great.” The Stockton Unified students – third-, fourth- and sixth-graders – will transfer their visual interpretations into paintings. The winning entries at each grade level will be combined into a mural that’ll be placed on the boarded-up downtown Main Hotel’s exterior.

Click here for the complete article from the RecordNet

Arts Council kicks off annual Ovations series w/ the BIJQ

BIJQ calavers

Backstage at Bret Harte High School’s Per-forming Arts Theater, the five University of the Pacific students composing the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet took a few minutes to unwind, relax and munch on some snacks provided by the Calaveras Arts Council before the start of their performance.

The young musicians – Malachi Whitson, Paul Bloom, Rane Roatta, Adam Goldman and Tom Kelly – officially marked the start of the Arts Council’s 32nd year of its popular Ovations series.

“I believe this is our first time in Calaveras County,” said Nick Fryer, the Institute’s associate director. “This theater is a really great performance space. In the current economic climate it’s great to see people appreciating the arts. We’re happy to be here.”

Whitson echoed Fryer’s sentiments, commenting on the region’s “beautiful scenery.”

Bringing outstanding performing arts acts like the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet to Calaveras County is nothing new. Mary Jane Genochio, current Arts Council executive director, and Penny West, the council’s former director, reminisced on the different groups they’ve brought to the county and the success they’ve achieved.

Click here to read full article