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  • LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF "MISA JUSTA," A SYMPHONIC JAZZ MASS CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD COMMISSIONED BY THE PHILHARMONIC FROM ARGENTINEAN COMPOSER EDUARDO GUTIÉRREZ DEL BARRIO
  • Jan. 29, 2005

  • Premiere, Conducted by William Henry Curry, features Vocalist Dianne Reeves, Trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Flutist Hubert Laws, Oboist Paul McCandless, Pianist Billy Childs, the Paul Smith Singers and the Northridge Singers of Cal State Northridge

    Concert Part of Philharmonic's 2004/05 Jazz Series At Walt Disney Concert Hall


    SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2005, AT 8 PM

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by guest conductor William Henry Curry, presents the world premiere of "Misa Justa" ("Just Mass"), a powerful symphonic jazz mass that pays homage to womanhood by Argentinean composer Eduardo Gutiérrez del Barrio (pictured), at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, January 29, at 8 p.m. Written for orchestra, large choir, five jazz soloists, bass, and drums, the piece features vocalist Dianne Reeves, the Philharmonic's Creative Chair for Jazz with whom del Barrio has collaborated on numerous songs and albums, pianist Billy Childs, oboist Paul McCandless, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, the Paul Smith Singers and the Northridge Singers of Cal State Northridge. The concert, which opens with Reeves and her band performing a selection of jazz standards, is part of the Philharmonic's 2004/05 Jazz series.

    Del Barrio explains the theme of "Misa Justa," which was more than three years in the making, "It recognizes the equality of the sexes while condemning the misogynistic actions of men throughout history. In that sense, this is a Misa Justa, a 'Just Mass.' The work was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    The orchestra provides the Mass' traditional structure and the choir sings the Latin mass liturgy while the improvisational music of the jazz soloists provides an alternative perspective. Throughout the work, the "old and the prescribed" (classical music/Latin text) contrast with the "new and the improvised" (jazz music/English text). The Mass includes five poems - one for each part of the Mass - written by poet Patsy Moore, which Reeves sings. The various musical and textual elements are intertwined throughout the work.

    The seeds of the "Misa Justa" were sowed 50 years ago when del Barrio's father wrote a Mass, a recording of which made its way to the Pope, who responded to the composer through his aide, Monsignor Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI. Inspired by his father's music and the Papal letter, del Barrio vowed to some day write a mass himself.

    Upcoming performances in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Jazz series include an appearance by saxophone great Sonny Rollins on Wednesday, March 16, 2005, at 8 p.m. Joshua Redman leads the San Francisco Jazz Collective on Friday, April 8, 2005, at 8 p.m. Closing the series is James Moody's 80th Birthday Celebration on Sunday, April 30, 2005, at 7:30 p.m.

    Composer EDUARDO GUTIÉRREZ DEL BARRIO was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1937. When he was five years old, his family moved to Mendoza, where they opened a music conservatory. Eduardo's musical talent developed in that nurturing environment. After years of studying the classics, Eduardo formed his first jazz group and started working in clubs at the age of 17. In 1965, he moved to the U.S., first to New York and then to Los Angeles, where he founded the jazz fusion group Caldera with Jorge Strunz. The group recorded four critically acclaimed albums for Capitol from 1976 to 1979. Around this time, Eduardo met Dianne Reeves, with whom he has a long musical relationship. He also began working with Earth, Wind, and Fire as a writer, player and arranger, including for the Grammy-nominated song "Fantasy" (1977). Eduardo has also collaborated extensively with Herb Alpert, who built him a recording studio at A&M records. It was there that Eduardo worked on the last album Stan Getz made in the U.S.A., writing all of the songs but one. He also collaborated with Alpert on four recordings, and the two co-produced Eduardo's solo album Free Play. A mixture of jazz and classical music, Free Play comes closest to the style of the "Misa Justa"; it was released in 1991.

    Conductor WILLIAM HENRY CURRY is in his ninth season with the North Carolina Symphony. He serves as the artistic director for Summerfest and all North Carolina Symphony summer programs. He also conducts classical, educational and pops concerts throughout the state. He previously served as Resident Conductor of the New Orleans Symphony. A native of Pittsburgh, Curry started conducting and composing music at age 14. His first major appointment was at age 21 when he was named Assistant Conductor of the Richmond Chamber Orchestra. He went on to serve as Resident Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony from 1978 to 1983, and with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1983 to 1985. Curry was appointed Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony in 1983, a post he held until 1988, the same year he was named winner of the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition and performed in Carnegie Hall. He was featured conductor for the tour and recording of Anthony Davis's Grammy-nominated opera X. Curry's guest conducting appearances have included performances with the Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, National, Detroit, Denver, American, and San Diego symphonies. In 1997 he made his debut with the Israel Camerata Jerusalem orchestra. He has also conducted orchestras in Bangkok and Taiwan, and has led opera productions with the New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Chicago Opera Theatre. Curry is also a composer, and his works have been played by many of America's finest orchestras.

    In March 2002, jazz vocalist and recording artist DIANNE REEVES was appointed Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association - then a newly established position. In this role, Reeves oversees the scheduling of jazz programming for the Association at both the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Prior to joining the organization in this capacity, Reeves has graced the Bowl's stage on many evenings under the stars while delighting audiences with her singular vocal talents. A Blue Note/EMI recording artist since 1987, Reeves has earned five Grammy nominations. She won consecutive Best Jazz Vocalist Grammy Awards in 2000 and 2001 for her albums In the Moment and The Calling and in 2003 for A Little Moonlight. But the greatest tribute to her artistry comes from the musicians - Clark Terry, Sergio Mendes, Harry Belafonte, and the late, great Joe Williams - who have actively championed Reeves throughout her career. In 1987, Reeves became the first vocalist signed to the newly reactivated Blue Note label, for which she has since recorded numerous albums, including those that garnered her Grammy recognition. Reeves was recently featured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on several Duke Ellington projects in celebration of Ellington's Centennial. A recording with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony and a concert appearance at Carnegie Hall with Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of St. Luke's were among her many other appearances associated with the Ellington Centennial salute. In 2002, she performed at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The 2002 season finale of HBO's Sex and the City also featured an appearance and performance by Reeves.

    During the past 20 years, on the strength of poll-topping CDs and award-winning Hollywood film scores for directors including Spike Lee, TERENCE BLANCHARD has established himself among the most influential jazz composers and players of his generation. An alumnus of the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, Blanchard emerged on the New York jazz scene in the 80s as a member of Lionel Hampton's big band and, later, replacing Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He and his former New Orleans classmate, saxophonist Donald Harrison, were principal soloists on the Blakey band's New York Scene (1984), which includes their compositions, earned a Grammy Award, and helped spark an acoustic jazz renaissance among his generation of players. Blanchard is a multi-Grammy Award nominee, most recently in 2002 for Lost in A Fog, featuring standards by composer Jimmy McHugh Blanchard's new CD, Bounce (Blue Note, 2003), features original compositions as well as arrangements of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" and "Nocturna," by Brazilian composer Ivan Lins. He has scored numerous Spike Lee films, including Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, and Clockers. Blanchard is the Artistic Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at USC.

    Internationally renowned flutist HUBERT LAWS is one of the few classical artists who have also mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues. Moving effortlessly from one repertory to another, he has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta with the orchestras of the Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Amsterdam, Japan, Detroit, and the Stanford String Quartet. He has given annual performances in the Hollywood Bowl with fellow flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. He was a member of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. In addition, he has appeared at the Montreux, Playboy, and Kool Jazz festivals. He also performed with the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982 and with the Detroit Symphony in 1994. He has 20 albums in his discography, including My Time Will Come and Storm then the Calm for the Music Masters record label. Session work also remains a staple of Hubert Laws' schedule and includes recordings with such artists as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Sergio Mendes, Bob James, Carly Simon, Clark Terry and Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. He studied at Texas Southern University and earned a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music.

    During a distinguished career spanning three decades, PAUL McCANDLESS, oboe, has brought a soaring lyricism to his playing and composing that has been integral to the ensemble sound of two seminal world music bands, the original Paul Winter Consort and the relentlessly innovative quartet, Oregon. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer, McCandless has specialized in an unusually broad palette of both single and double reed instruments that reflect his grounding in both classical and jazz disciplines. Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania to a musical family, McCandless studied at Duquesne University and the Manhattan School of Music. He embarked on his performing career playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony at Carnegie Hall and the United Nations when he was only 19. At the recommendation of his oboe teacher, Robert Bloom, Toscanini's first oboe player, he joined the Paul Winter Consort. A finalist in the 1971 English horn auditions for the New York Philharmonic, McCandless had already been playing with the Consort for three years, establishing an affinity for unconventional contemporary chamber settings. He played with them until 1973, recording five albums. During that time, McCandless formed an alliance with guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, bassist Glen Moore, and percussionist Collin Walcott, later forming Oregon. For three decades, this group has transcended all established genres, and recorded 23 albums on Vanguard.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, AT 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    William Henry Curry, conductor

    Dianne Reeves, vocals

    Hubert Laws, flute

    Paul McCandless, oboe

    Terence Blanchard, trumpet

    Billy Childs, piano

    Paul Smith Singers

    Northridge Singers of California State University, Northridge

    Selections by Dianne Reeves with her band

    GUTIÉRREZ DEL BARRIO Misa Justa (World Premiere - LAPA commission)

    An Upbeat Live pre-concert event takes place in BP Hall one hour prior to the performance; it is free to all ticketholders.

    Tickets ($25 - $80) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Libby Huebner, 562.799.6055; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034