CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
New UI jazz ensemble gives debut concert Dec. 9
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Improvisers' Arkestra, a new jazz ensemble at
the University of Iowa School of Music, will give its debut concert at
8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the Opera Studio of the Voxman Music Building
on the UI campus.
The concert, presented under the direction of John Rapson, head of the
UI jazz program, will be free and open to the public.
An ensemble of unconventional instrumentation, the Improvisers' Arkestra
was founded as a means to explore current trends in improvised music. As
such, Rapson said, it is a logical counterpart and compliment to the School
of Music's long-established big band, Johnson County Landmark (JCL).
"JCL is a repertory ensemble, performing original compositions
by jazz masters," Rapson said. "The Improviser's Arkestra will
give students an opportunity to work more on the cutting edge of jazz,
improvising freely and performing current work."
"Some of the repertoire will come from the students' own work,
either their own new compositions or transcriptions they make from current
The Dec. 9 concert will include two such works, "Feeling Human,"
a new work by saxophonist Mike Giles, and a transcription by double bassist
Anton Hatwich of Bill Stewart's "These Are They."
Other works on the program will include "Ramblin'" by Ornette
Coleman, from his celebrated "Change of the Century" recording;
"Free Range Chicken" by New York drummer Matt Wilson; and "Cryogenesis"
by Charlie Kolhase, a founding member of the innovative Either Orchestra
and a recording artist with three titles under his own leadership.
The current, unconventional instrumentation of the Improvisers' Arkestra
includes violin, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, tuba, guitar, accordion
and piano, in addition to the usual jazz rhythm section of double bass
The group takes its name from the a longstanding Minneapolis band, the
Improvisers' Orchestra. The spelling of "Arkestra" is derived
from Sun Ra's influential 1950s and '60s-era Intergalactic Arkestra and
Horace Tapscott's Pan African People's Arkestra. The group also derives
inspiration from Iowa native Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra.