poster for Oswego Jazz ProjectGUEST JAZZ ENSEMBLE IN CONCERT

The University at Albany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to present the Oswego Jazz Project on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 7:30pm.  The program will feature works by composers Rufus Reid, Sam Rivers, Cedar Walton, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk and Oswego Jazz Project’s Eric Schmitz.  Members of the ensemble include Robert Auler on keyboards, Eric Schmitz on drums, Trevor Jorgensen on saxophone and Max McKee on bass.

The Oswego Jazz Project is the faculty jazz quartet-in-residence at SUNY Oswego.  Their appearance here is part of an artist-in-residence exchange program developed by UAlbany.  As the other half of the exchange, Capital Trio, the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s ensemble-in-residence, will visit SUNY Oswego on Friday, March 30, 2012.  This exchange program is in its third year. In the inaugural year, the UAlbany Performing Arts Center worked with the Music Department at the CW Post campus of Long Island University and their ensemble-in-residence, The Pierrot Consort.  Last year’s exchange was with Clark University and the QX String Quartet.

Since its inception in 2006, the Oswego Jazz Project has released two well-received CDs, Oswego Jazz Project (2007) and And the Time is Now (2008), featured in various print publications garnering enthusiastic reviews. The quartet performs a wide range of jazz styles including standards, Latin, contemporary selections, ballads and original compositions.  They fuse a high level of skill and artistry with a profound commitment to education and access for students and the community alike. Artistic highlights have included being featured on two episodes of National Public Radio’s nationally syndicated quiz show “Says You,” reaching 115 markets and a cumulative audience of 460,000 listeners as well as a New York City debut at the esteemed “jazz church” of Saint Peter’s in Manhattan and Harborfest 2008.

Eric Schmitz is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at SUNY Oswego where he directs the jazz ensemble and teaches jazz history, rock history, music theory and composition. He completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music where he studied jazz composition with Bill Dobbins and Fred Sturm and jazz drum set with Rich Thompson. In 2004 he won the Jazz Band Classic FIRST MUSIC 21 Commission Competition for which he received a commission to write an original jazz work for big band (Separate Ways). He is the recipient of two Downbeat awards: “Best Jazz Arrangement” for his studio orchestra arrangement of Harold Danko’s For Bud in 2003 and “Original Composition – Best Song” for his big band piece In Your World in 2004.

Trevor Jorgensen is Assistant Professor of Wind Studies at SUNY Oswego where he conducts the wind ensemble; teaches applied saxophone, clarinet, oboe and bassoon; coaches chamber music and small group jazz; teaches conducting and lectures on popular music and jazz. As a saxophonist, clarinetist and bassoonist, he has performed with Dorian Winds, Imani Winds, Ying Quartet, Aviv String Quartet, Central Winds, Oswego Opera Company, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Bacchus Trio and Northwind Quintet. As soloist he has won the SAI American Composer’s Concerto Competition and Elmhurst College Jazz Festival Outstanding Soloist Award. Jorgensen also performs and records with the Usual Suspects, Time Absolutely Jazz Combo, Jazz on Chicago Quintet, The Jorgensen/Hartman Jazz Duo, Powerhouse Rhythm and Blues and Mother Blues and the Mojo Band.

Robert Auler is an award-winning American concert pianist who maintains a national and international performing career as well as being an active jazz pianist. He has presented concerts and master classes with jazz greats Javon Jackson and Clay Jenkins.  Auler is a keen advocate of new music having worked with William Bolcom, Steve Reich, Leslie Bassett, Martin Bresnick, Rudolf Haken, and Frederic Rzewski, Jonathan Pieslak and Carter Pann. As a concerto soloist, Rob has appeared with the Northwest Florida Symphony, the Arc Ensemble (OH), the Champaign-Urbana Symphony (IL), the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra (VZ), the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra (MI) and the LaPorte Symphony (IN). His recent compact disc release, American Century, features music of the last 100 years influenced by the American vernacular.

Max McKee is the only non-faculty member of the Oswego Jazz Project.  He is a 2007 graduate of Oswego’s Music Department.

Tickets for the concert are $12 for the general public, $10 for seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff and $8 for students.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.