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A great big music update

Grab your coffee or tea for this one


Though its temperatures got cold in the past 24 hours, South Carolina's music scene is indisputably hot right now. How hot? Oxford American knows. The quarterly literary magazine focusing on Southern literature publishes an annual music issue, and this year's focus is on South Carolina's musical culture. The 21st Annual Southern Music Issue "features unforgettable songs and stories from South Carolina, the issue includes voices ranging from the Upstate to the Lowcountry, highlighting icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Eartha Kitt, as well as contemporary artists such as Shovels & Rope and Ranky Tanky." Pre-order your copy at the link above. Each issues comes with a CD compilation and digital download. But the Oxford American issue is far from being the only highlight. Sip away and enjoy some briefs.

FatRat Da Czar double album out today

You might remember reading about this a month ago. South Carolina’s godfather of hip-hop FatRat Da Czar released his double album TRIBE yesterday, with 25 tracks and nearly 40 collaborators, including 30 features and nine of the state’s most respected producers. Czar’s highly anticipated ninth studio album is now available at all digital music retailers and streaming services. As part of the album release, Czar will perform this Friday, Nov. 15 at Arts & Draughts at Columbia Museum of Art in Columbi, and Saturday, Nov. 16 at The Purple Buffalo in Charleston, bringing on stage some of South Carolina’s most elite past, present, and future hip-hop artists.

S.C. Phil re-imagines Vivaldi

Seasonal changes are top-of-mind in the Palmetto State today, and no music captures the spirit of those better than the iconic The Four Seasons, completed in 1725 by Antonio Vivaldi. In 2012, composer Max Richter (right), claiming to be one of a long list of composers who reworked pre-existing music, notably Franz Liszt, Igor Stravinsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, took on Vivaldi’s ubiquitous masterpiece. The result is a minimalist transformation that leaves only fragments of the original music. Each of the twelve movements contains at least one recognizable quotation from the original, but they vary in length and nature from the famous virtuosic riffs for the solo violin to mere ostinato accompaniments. The fragments also include new, dissonant harmonies, distorted meters, loops and repetitive phrases. The S.C. Phil presents the work this Saturday evening in Columbia. Tickets and information here.
 

World's No. 1 jazz pianist coming to Columbia

Kenny Barron playing pianoJapan. France. Spain. Italy. France again. South Carolina. That is the travel itinerary for Kenny Barron, recently ranked as the world's premier jazz pianist by the 67th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. (That puts Barron ahead of names like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.) On Nov. 23, Barron's travels bring him to South Carolina for an engagement with the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. He is also an NEA Jazz Master, and Jazz Weekly says he's "the most lyrical piano player of our time" and he's said to captivate with elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms. The SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble is comprised of 18 of the finest jazz musicians, soloists, and bandleaders from across the Carolinas with a mission to present jazz concerts at the highest artistic level. The ensemble performs big band classics, music from the Great American Songbook and modern originals by the group's members.

Local groups highlight 2020 Charleston Jazz Festival

[caption id="attachment_42702" align="alignright" width="250"] Click to enlarge.[/caption] Announced this morning! On Jan. 23, 2020, the 6th Annual Charleston Jazz Festival will open with some of Charleston’s most exciting jazz groups: Offramp The Music of Pat Metheny, Cameron & the Saltwater Brass Shake Everything You Got! and Lee Barbour’s Polyverse Art of the Modern Organ Trio featuring Justin Stanton of Snarky Puppy. Tickets are on sale now at www.charlestonjazz.com. Charleston Jazz presents the Charleston Jazz Festival every year, offering a world-class celebration of jazz by presenting timeless and creative productions that entertain audiences, stimulate arts education, foster economic growth and unite artists and audiences in Charleston. Each year, the festival line-up includes internationally acclaimed headliners, the best local jazz bands, and top youth artists performing a wide range of styles including swing, salsa, blues, Brazilian, and the American Songbook.

Tuning Up: Arts and the economy + Midlands music lessons

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Who's ready for a long weekend? (Us, for starters, so don't judge us for jumping up and down emphatically.) We're certainly not here to represent the 209 and 102 as all arts and culture organizations, but it does dovetail nicely with the SCAC's own study from 2018 (using 2014 data) that there are 115,000 arts-related jobs in the state that drive a $9.7 billion impact on the South Carolina economy. Our thanks go out to all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces for their service that keeps us free and safe.

Sumter community band seeks musicians

'Dust off your old instrument ... and come play with us'


From the Sumter Item:

Among the band's current 40 to 45 members are teachers, military personnel from Shaw Air Force Base, lawyers, doctors, homemakers, farmers, pilots and college students; several are school band directors. Mitchum said members must be at least 18 years old, have experience in a middle or high school band and able to read music. There is no audition. Prospective members should attend a rehearsal in order to register. Dues are $15 a year, which helps defray the cost of sheet music.

A nonprofit organization, SCCB receives partial funding in the form of a matching grant from the S.C. Arts Commission, which in turn receives funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. The band also belongs to the Association of Concert Bands ...

Mitchum urges interested musicians to register this Thursday, although they may register any Thursday during the band's season. He said,"Dust off your old instrument, if you have one, and come play with us."

Read features contributor Ivy Moore's full story by clicking here.

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Four S.C. musicians selected for the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2)

Students among 80 selected, will perform in Miami & NYC

[caption id="attachment_39994" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image by Jason Rapp/SCAC[/caption]
Carnegie Hall this week announced the names of the 80 young musicians selected from across the country for NYO2, a three-week, intensive summer orchestral training program for outstanding American instrumentalists ages 14–17. The members of NYO2 2019—coming from 30 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as exceptionally talented musicians who not only embody a very high level of artistry, but who also come from a wide range of backgrounds, representing a future for American orchestral music that includes communities which have often been underserved by and underrepresented in the field. 20 musicians are returning to NYO2 from previous seasons. The four South Carolina students are:
  • Violinist Payton Jin-Hyun Lee, 10th grade, Duncan (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Ansley Moe, 11th grade, Spartanburg (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Jeremiah Moultrie, 12th grade, Charleston (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Hailey Xu, 12th grade, Greer (Riverside High School)
For the second consecutive year, the musicians of NYO2 will travel to Miami Beach for a week-long residency, made possible through a continued partnership with the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS). As part of their training, NYO2 players have the opportunity to work with NWS Fellows leading up to a performance at the New World Center on Saturday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m. led by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. The program includes
  • Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka,
  • selections from Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat,
  • and Gabriela Montero’s Piano Concerto No. 1, “Latin,” featuring the composer as soloist.
The New World Center concert will be made available to the community for free via WALLCAST®, with the full performance viewable outdoors in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot projection wall of the building. During their time in Miami, the NYO2 members will also have opportunities to interact with local young musicians in the South Florida area through NWS community partner organizations, playing and learning side-by-side with one another. Following their Miami residency, NYO2 returns to New York for a culminating performance at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Carnegie Hall concert, priced at $25 for adults and $10 for students, are on sale now in person and over the phone through the Carnegie Hall Box Office by calling 212.247.7800 and at CarnegieHall.org. Discounted student tickets are available online for verified Student Insiders only – all other youth tickets must be purchased at the box office or over the phone. The NYO2 program begins with an intensive training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York in mid-July. The young musicians work with NWS Fellows as well as other professional players from top orchestras, and also have opportunities to make music side-by-side with members of NYO-USA and NYO Jazz. Joseph Young, artistic director of Ensembles at the Peabody Institute, returns as NYO2’s resident conductor, and the students also have the opportunity to work with James Ross, music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Virginia. The faculty leads private lessons, master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills in preparation for the culminating concerts in Miami Beach and New York.

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Recording preserves famed organ’s signature sound

Earlier this year, internationally renowned musician Parker Ramsay visited Winthrop University to record an album of George Whitefield Chadwick’s organ music on the university's famed D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ. It is the last recording on the organ before renovations to Byrnes Auditorium that will temporarily prevent its use began. Enthusiasts of the historic organ can still revel in its signature sound captured in the Raven Label recording until the organ is once again available for performances. Winthrop commissioned the organ’s construction in 1952 by the Aeolian-Skinner company. It is named for the Winthrop founder and first president. The large four-manual instrument with 3,788 pipes, the last instrument of famed tonal designer G. Donald Harrison, makes the organ to this day one of the largest in the Carolinas. During its 50th anniversary in 2005, the treasured instrument underwent extensive restoration efforts thanks to generous supporters and Winthrop alumni. Given the Byrnes makeover, admirers said now it is even more critical to preserve both the sound of the instrument and the building, equally highlighted on Ramsay’s recording of Chadwick’s music. “It’s a uniquely American artifact, and this recoding preserves that signature sound … it’s a national treasure in so many ways,” said Murray Somerville, who helped establish the Friends of the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ Performance Fund along with his wife, Hazel, a Winthrop alumna from the class of 1969. Hazel served on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as artistic director of the children's choruses at the Blair School of Music. Somerville, artistic director emeritus of Nashville's Music City Baroque period instrument ensemble, and former Harvard University organist and choirmaster, performed a recital on the classic organ in 2016 and was instrumental in coordinating the production of Ramsay’s CD. Music lovers can purchase the CD in the Winthrop Bookstore during the Nov. 16-17 Homecoming & Reunion Weekend or buy directly from Raven. The recording – featured recently on Michael Barone’s "Pipedreams" radio program – is a debut for Ramsay, a young musician already regarded for his accomplishments and blossoming career on three instruments: organ, harp and harpsichord. The CD features Ramsay on organ playing compositions of George Whitefield Chadwick, who was president of the New England Conservatory in the early 1900's and a noted composer of symphonies and orchestral tone poems. Some of the pieces on this CD are first recordings, enhanced by Byrnes’ acclaimed acoustics. “We have this wonderful memento of [the organ] … and its acoustic setting, in all its tonal splendor,” Somerville said. Other world-famous musicians have visited Byrnes solely to perform on the famous organ, including:

  • Princeton University Organist Eric Plutz, who spent the summer of 2012 recording his “French Trilogy” CD,
  • Juilliard-trained organist Christopher Houlihan,
  • Westminster Abbey organist James O'Donnell,
  • German musicians Christoph Wolff and Stefan Engels,
  • and Canadian organ virtuoso Maxine Thevenot.
For more information about how to give to the Friends of the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ Performance Fund, contact University Advancement at 803.323.2275.

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North Charleston seeks teaching artists for elementary after-school program

Application deadline: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 Thanks to the dedication of Mayor Summey and city council, North Charleston has been committed to providing after school programs in public elementary schools within city limits since 2008. One component of these programs is to provide arts enrichment classes through the city’s cultural arts department. The department provides a multi-disciplined roster of artists to teach these classes and is currently seeking artists to offer instruction in the program for the 2018/19 school year. Local artists in all disciplines with a willingness to share their talents and an ability to instruct elementary age students are invited to apply for the part-time, contracted positions by Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. There is a particular need for teaching artists in dance, music, theatre, and creative writing. The parameters for the After School Arts Enrichment Program are as follows:

1) Time Commitment: Program dates are Sept. 4, 2018, through June 6, 2019. Teaching artists offer instruction at their assigned site twice a week for two months, which equals 16 days of class activities. Instruction takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Timeframe includes one (1) hour for class activity and 30 minutes prep/clean-up time for a total of 1.5 hours each visit (3 hours total each week). Cultural Arts requests a minimum two-month commitment from participating artists. Artists able to serve longer are rotated to a new site after each two-month term and may serve up to two sites each term, depending on need/availability.

2) Site Details: Eleven elementary schools in North Charleston are identified program sites. Class size will vary at each site. Teaching artists should anticipate working with an average of 30 students at a time. Each site has at least one staff member in the class to assist with the children.

3) Rate of Pay: $20/hour. Cultural Arts provides materials. A limited supply budget is available depending on the needs of the arts discipline. All disciplines are approved for 1.5 hours per day for a total of 3 hours per week.

To ensure the safety of the children, background checks are required for all teaching artists selected to participate in the program. Interested artists should submit samples of their work (images, sound clips, videos, etc.) along with a current résumé or CV by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Application materials may be emailed to kyeadon@northcharleston.org or mailed to the attention of Krystal Yeadon at City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. For more information about the After School Arts Enrichment program, or the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website or call 843-740-5854.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Simmons, Deputy Director City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department 843.740,5854 | culturalarts@northcharleston.org

Healing and development from… the arts

This afternoon, The Hub would like to draw your attention to the (positive) effects arts participation has on the human body. Exposure is certainly nice, but we focus specifically today on the actual doing. And before going further, these come by way of NASAA – the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


First, dance. Without being overly general, all it takes is a look at a professional dancer to know dance is, at least physically, good for you. But recent data from Australia shows that older adults who participate in dance classes see “increases in physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and as well as a general sense of achievement.” See study here. Closer to home, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can seek symptom relief through participation (there’s that word again) in dance classes from Ballet Spartanburg (right, dancer Charlotte Lanning). The company received the 2018 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts yesterday in part because of offering its community classes like this, which can also help those who have experienced a stroke or disorders like autism, dementia, or multiple sclerosis. Ballet Spartanburg offers the only course of this type in the Upstate, and it's led by Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo. Winifred Walsh, who leads a Parkinson’s support group in Spartanburg, had this to say about the course in her support letter for the company’s Verner Awards nomination:

To receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease at age 53 is a life-changer ... A friend urged me to join Spartanburg’s PD Support Group and the Dance for PD class offered by Ballet Spartanburg. I went and I was horrified at first look. I thought, ‘I am not like those people!’ But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed and have stayed for some nine years now. And guess what? I am exactly like those people, people with Parkinson’s who are not wasting time on self-pity ... Ballet Spartanburg Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo has set the bar high for our teachers who find joy in our attempts, who rejoice with us in our successes, who laugh with us often ... Outreach seems such a simple term for such complex blessings to me and to others who have movement and balance disorders. We offer gratitude to Ballet Spartanburg for improving our lives through dance, and also through love. We are not merely people with Parkinson’s. Ballet Spartanburg has made us dancers.”

Learn more about the additional benefits of this program by clicking here.
Second, music. The National Endowment for the Arts is talking music training, which is how people get ready for … participation (that’s a hat trick). Two recent articles “find that music education not only strengthens creativity but also improves brain functions related to language development, attention, visuospatial perception, planning and other executive functions, and short-term and working memory.” Music training can be found, almost literally, everywhere. But lessons can be costly, to say nothing of other potential barriers. But four of the professional orchestras the South Carolina Arts Commission helps fund offer the interactive Link Up program from Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. Link Up partners orchestras with schools (home, private, and public) or school districts to offer an interactive musical curriculum in schools that teach students lessons in theory and can teach them how to use the recorder. The program usually culminates with a trip to see the professionals perform locally, with a twist: during the Link Up concert, the students can play recorders along with the musicians on stage! The four South Carolina orchestras that offered Link Up concerts during the 2017/2018 school year are the Aiken and Charleston symphonies and South Carolina (Columbia) and Spartanburg philharmonics.

Tuning Up: Busking is back in Spartanburg + NEA Jazz Masters concert

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Not to go all meta on you, but today we bring a "Tuning Up" solely about... music. These entries are longer than normal "Tuning Up" entries, but we really, really felt like it was the perfect deployment of the feature. Enjoy! -Ed.

Busking returns to downtown Spartanburg

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series is returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District starting this week! The CCC special events coordinator describes the program like this: "Street Music, or busking, is meant to be an intimate experience, not a large event. They are like micro, pop-up performances that are meant to enhance your experience downtown and encourage you to stay longer. You will be able to walk from one end of East Main Street at Liberty all the way to The Grain District and hear a variety of musical instruments, genres, and styles." The Street Music Series launched in August 2017 and ran for 13 weeks. In that time, the Cultural District was host of  145 gigs featuring nine genres of music that more than 1,800 people stopped to enjoy along Main Street.  

Free events celebrate masters in jazz

The National Endowment for the Arts is paying tribute to the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters – Todd Barkan, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, and Dianne Reeves – with a free, Kennedy Center concert in Washington on Monday, April 16. The concert, which will also be webcast live, will bring together many stars of the jazz world in performances that will highlight the NEA Jazz Masters’ careers. The concert will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for jazz, and include remarks by the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, as well as Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center. The concert will include performances by:
  • Terri Lyne Carrington,
  • Nir Felder,
  • Sullivan Fortner,
  • James Francies,
  • Pasquale Grasso,
  • Gilad Hekselman,
  • Angelique Kidjo,
  • Christian McBride,
  • Camila Meza,
  • NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet,
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant,
  • Antonio Sanchez,
  • Helen Sung,
  • and Dan Wilson.
And oh, by the way, you're invited. Up to four (4) tickets per household may be reserved for this free concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by dialing 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home (note: these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 7:45 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018. Print-at-home tickets are unavailable for this concert. Those with ticket reservations should bring their printed reservation confirmations to the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office on Monday, April 16, 2018, between 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to receive their tickets with seating locations. All reserved tickets not picked up by 7:45 p.m. on April 16 will be released and distributed to a ticket giveaway line. If you're not up for a trip to D.C. (those cherry blossoms, though!), the concert will be video-streamed live on the NEA and Kennedy Center websites, among others. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov. In addition, SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz will audio broadcast the concert live.

Mark Rapp designated Columbia and state jazz ambassador

He's sold out Jazz at Lincoln Center four times and played the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. He's performed solo gigs in Vienna, Geneva, Boston, Washington, and – of course – New Orleans. He's taken the stage with Branford Marsalis, fellow South Carolinians Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, and Edwin McCain, Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Delfeayo Marsalis. And according to a resolution by the S.C. House of Representatives, Mark Rapp is now also "Jazz Ambassador of Columbia and the State of South Carolina."  The resolution was presented to the accomplished jazz trumpeter in February by Reps. Beth Bernstein and Kirman Finlay and recognizes him as "master jazz musician, composer/arranger, and teacher" and lauds his many accomplishments. "I am humbled and excited by this recognition," Rapp said. "It not only reaffirms the foundations which Skipp Pearson built, but acknowledges my genuine dedication to the work of growing and serving our jazz community. "My mission is to grow, elevate, and expand the jazz community in and around Columbia through recordings, events, and education, creating a thriving scene for both the artists and our audiences.  I’m determined to enrich and advance the lives of our citizens and the culture of our communities through the wonderful art form of jazz." The designation was held by the late Skipp Pearson, also of Columbia, from 2002 until his passing in summer 2017.

Carnegie Hall launches new, free program for high school jazz musicians

Audition deadline: February 1 High school jazz musicians (ages 16-19) are invited to audition for National Youth Orchestra Jazz, a new, free program created by Carnegie Hall. NYO Jazz will launch in the summer of 2018 and serve as a sister program to the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, which was started in 2013 and has toured Asia, Europe, and North and South America with major conductors and soloists. NYO Jazz is an ensemble of about 25 musicians who will come together for two weeks of training with an outstanding faculty, make a debut at Carnegie Hall on the stage on Stern Auditorium, and then travel to Europe -- all-expenses-paid -- to visit several of the most prestigious festivals in the UK, Holland, and Germany. Trumpeter and educator Sean Jones has agreed to be the inaugural artistic advisor for NYO Jazz. He will lead the band and be a featured soloist, joined by other special guests, for the Carnegie Hall concert and tour. NYO Jazz will be in residence at Purchase College, SUNY, just outside of New York City, from July 14-28, 2018, and then on tour through August 10, 2018. The stellar faculty working with the students at Purchase will include Obed Calvaire (drums), Gerald Clayton (piano), Etienne Charles (trumpet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone),  Mimi Jones (bass), Erica von Kleist (saxophone), Matthew Stevens (guitar), and Reggie Thomas (ensemble coach). The audition process is entirely online, and details are available on the Carnegie Hall's website. The application deadline is February 1, 2018, but students should allow plenty of time to prepare and record their audition. Via: Carnegie Hall