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METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA PERFORMS AT GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

January 27, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES BACK

METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at 8 p.m. 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan/26, 2009Composed of some of the metro area’s finest jazz musicians, this fantastic orchestra is known for its insightful interpretation of revered jazz classics. Together with special guest artist Lynn Seaton, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, directed by Mason’s director of jazz studies, Jim Carroll, presents a very special night of music at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. In addition to bassist Seaton, the performance also features 8-year old trumpet prodigy Geoffrey Gallante and steel drummer Victor Provost. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

The first half of the performance features works by a variety of jazz luminaries, including Duke Ellington’s “Daybreak Express,” Bart Howard’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You” arranged by Quincy Jones and Count Basie’s “Avenue C.” After the intermission, the orchestra performs works by Lynn Seaton and his collaborator, trumpeter and composer Akira Sato.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s music department, bassist Lynn Seaton has gone on to perform with some of the most outstanding jazz artists of our time, including Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme and ensembles such as Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd and the Count Basie Orchestra. He has received praise from fellow artists, audiences and critics alike. “Seaton is a bass player with a technique beyond imagining – his hand slides up and down the neck of the bass with the speed of the darting tongue of a cobra, his fingers dance on the strings ala Fred Astaire, and the notes come bursting forth,” said Sid Weinberg in the Blue Notes Jazz Letter. In addition, Seaton has participated in more than 100 recording sessions, including the Grammy Award-winning “Diane Schuur and The Count Basie Orchestra,” plus two Grammy nominated recordings, “Woody Herman 50th Anniversary" and John Fedchock’s “No Nonsense.” Seaton has been a music faculty member at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Long Island University, State University of New York at New Paltz, William Paterson College and is currently teaching at the University of North Texas.

Geoffrey Gallante first picked up the trumpet at age four. At 8-years-old, his credits include The Washington Post, the Washington Times, BBC radio, CBS’s “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and NBC’s “The Today Show.” Gallante possesses the kind of musical giftedness seldom seen among such a rarefied and exclusive group as child musical prodigies. He has performed for and with other jazz luminaries including fellow trumpet players Phil Driscoll, Arturo Sandoval, Hugh Masekela, Maynard Ferguson and even the preeminent jazz musician of our time, Wynton Marsalis. He has had guest solo appearances with Washington Symphonic Brass, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and the 257th U.S. Army Band, and he has performed the National Anthem at professional sports venues across the country.

Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Victor Provost’s interest and subsequent love affair with the steel drums began at the St. John School of the Arts. A former member of the youth steel pan orchestra Steel Unlimited, Provost first performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival in 1999, and has since performed at venues throughout North America and Europe. He recently managed the Urban Arts Center, a community arts program in Portsmouth, Va., and instructed and arranged for the center’s steel band orchestra. Provost’s diverse musical background has allowed him to develop a unique voice on his instrument of choice.  He weaves melodic and harmonic phrases together during improvisations, often reflecting nuances of horn or piano lines. Provost’s genuinely authentic approach to Caribbean music and intellectual approach to all other genres makes him one of the most highly sought after pan players in the region.

Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra director and alto sax virtuoso Jim Carroll’s illustrious career includes performances at Carnegie Hall, The White House, The Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall and the Apollo Theatre. A versatile performer, Carroll has performed with Michael Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Taylor, Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and many others. Active as an educator, he is the director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.

 

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA  are $38, $30, $19. Family Friendly!  All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.