CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 16, 2001
UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
'REALLY NEW MUSIC FOR HORN' AT MUSEUM OF ART NOV. 30 -- Horn player and composer
Jeffrey Agrell and pianist Evan Mazunik will team up to present "Really
New Music for Horn and Piano" as part of the continuing series "A
Breath of Art" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 in the University of Iowa
Museum of Art.
A collaborative project between the Museum of Art and the UI Division of
Performing Arts, "A Breath of Art" is a series of musical performances
held Friday evenings in the museum. The performance by Agrell and Mazunik
will be the final "Breath of Art" event for the fall semester.
Admission will be free to the museum and the performance.
Agrell and Mazunik will perform five pieces on the program, all of them involving
some degree of improvisation by both players. They will play Agrell's "Night
Sonata," "Divertimento for Horn, Piano and Audience" and "Repercussion,"
Mazunik's "Symbol Pleasures" and a new piece by Agrell, "September
Elegy," that was written in remembrance of the Sept. 11 tragedies.
"This concert represents a very unusual musical adventure for the horn,"
Agrell said. "As the most Classical of the brass instruments, the horn
is not often used for improvisation."
"The improvisation on this program is neither jazz in style, nor 'free'
improvisation. The goal of the performers here is to improvise in the original
sense of composing on the spot in the mood of the piece. Improvisation in
this sense has both unity and variety, both structure and surprise, activity
"The other special aspect of the program is the newness of the
pieces. 'Night Sonata' was written 11 months ago and premiered nine months
ago, and the other pieces are all less than two months old. One piece, the
'Divertimento for Horn, Piano, and Audience,' will be completely improvised
from suggestions from the audience.
"The 'September Elegy' arose as an expression of grief from the events
of Sept. 11, and is unusual in that it uses a natural horn without valves
-- the original 18th-century instrument -- for improvisation."
Agrell is a visiting faculty member in the School of Music, where he teaches
undergraduate horn, directs the Horn Choir, coaches chamber music and performs
with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was a member of U.S.
Army Bands from 1970 to 1973 and was associate principal horn with the Lucerne
(Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until 2000. During that time he
also performed chamber music throughout Europe.
Agrell began composing and arranging during his college years and played
jazz guitar and electronic music in the 1980s. For the past decade he has
had a steady stream of commissions from professional chamber music ensembles.
His Rhythm Suite for Clarinet and Marimba was the winner of the 2000 composition
contest of the International Clarinet Association. His works have appeared
on CD and have been broadcast on radio and television nationally and internationally.
Mazunik is an undergraduate student majoring in piano performance with School
of Music faculty member Rene Lecuona. An improviser who works in a variety
of idioms, ranging from jazz to third stream to experimental, he is the pianist
for several university ensembles, including Johnson County Landmark jazz band
and the Iowa Jazztet. He recently completed writing the score to the documentary
"Checker King," and he leads an improvisatory ensemble on campus,
M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor
for public events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2001-02 season, through
the University of Iowa Foundation.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open
noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 10 p.m. Thursday
and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking
lots west and north of the museum.
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima
on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at
* * *
UI JAZZ LAB BAND CONCERT DEC. 1 -- The Jazz Lab Band from the University
of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec.
1 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
The band, under the direction of jazz faculty member Brent Sandy, will perform
big band arrangements of music by Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn, Charles
Mingus and Horace Silver, among others. Featured guest performers will be
guitarist Steve Grismore and drummer/ percussionist James Dreier, both adjunct
faculty in the jazz program.
The concert will also represent the first performance of a new group in the
jazz program, the Afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble led by Dreier. Made up of percussion
area majors in the UI School of Music, the Afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble explores
the drumming and musical dialects of the Afro-Cuban folkloric music of Cuba,
including Rumba, Arara, Lyesa, Conga de Comparsa, Bembe and Mozambique.
Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty in 2000, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn
performer, teacher and clinician. Sandy performs regularly with local jazz
groups including the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, the Oddbar Trio and
Equilateral. As a member of the Orquesta Alto Maiz and Oddbar he has made
seven CDs, toured Europe in 1998 and was twice been featured on "Jazzset
with Branford Marsalis" on National Public Radio. He is an educational
specialist/clinician and Conn Vintage One artist with United Musical Instruments,
a division of United Musical Instruments, USA, and serves on the board of
directors of the Iowa City Jazz Festival.
Grismore has been a part of the Iowa City jazz scene for many years. He is
currently executive director of the Iowa City Jazz Festival, performs with
the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz and teaches at the UI and Augustana
College. He has recorded two CDs for the Accurate label with the Grismore/Scea
Group. He has performed and recoded with a number of esteemed jazz artists,
including Charlie Haden, Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Paul Smoker and Vinny
An Iowa native, Dreier played jazz in Boston for nine years and studied music
and percussion in Cuba and Brazil. He is a member of the Orquesta de Jazz
y Salsa Alto Maiz and plays with other groups in eastern Iowa, in addition
to his teaching duties at the UI and Augustana College. His performance and
recording credits include appearances with Victor Mendoza, George Garzone
and Willie Pickens.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.