PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Brown University Department of Music will host the acclaimed all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra for a four-day residency that will include a series of public events, including panel discussions, concerts, workshops and a film screening, Feb. 20-23, 2013. The residency is sponsored by the Visiting Musician/Artist Fund, which brings to the Brown campus noted artists in the music field to support music composition and performance among undergraduate and graduate music students.
“This is the first year we’ve used the Fund to bring an ensemble to Brown for a residency and it’s both an honor and a wonderful opportunity to be able to host a world-class orchestra like DIVA,” said Matthew McGarrell, director of bands at Brown, who organized the residency. “The orchestra brings to Brown the kind of music that is sophisticated enough to challenge our very best students in the classes and various events we have planned during the residency, while also being immediately accessible to anyone with an interest in American culture.”
Founded in 1992 by Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief drummer for Buddy Rich, DIVA has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the country, including Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Verizon Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center, Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, and the Apollo Theater in New York. International appearances include Le Meridien Hotel in Paris, Teatro de Sistina in Rome, Berlin Jazz Festival, Salzburg Music Festival, and Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
The band has shared the stage with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Carmen Bradford, Marlena Shaw, Dee Daniels, Maurice Hines, DeeDee Bridgewater, Rosemary Clooney, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jack Jones, Clark Terry, Dr. Billy Taylor, Terry Gibbs, Tommy Newsom, Randy Brecker and Dave Brubeck. In 2006, DIVA was voted one of the best big bands in the world in both DownBeat magazine’s annual Critic’s and Reader’s Polls and has been featured in numerous television appearances, including CNN’s Arts Break, CBS Sunday Morning, The Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Special, and on the Japanese NHK television network.
During the residency, DIVA members will participate in three class discussions that touch on a variety of topics, including the history of jazz and musical performance. Lead drummer Sherrie Maricle will work with members of Brown’s Jazz Combos in an open rehearsal. Other events include a screening of The Girls in the Band, a documentary on female jazz and big band instrumentalists that features DIVA, and a lecture by Tracy McMullen, assistant professor of music at Bowdoin College, on segregation in music.
DIVA will wrap up the residency with two concerts. Friday evening’s playlist will include new works by Brown music students, and Saturday’s concert will feature DIVA performing with the Brown Jazz Band.
All events are free and open to the public. Visit brown.edu/music/diva.html for full residency details.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
- Open Jazz Combos Rehearsal, Fulton Rehearsal Hall, 2-4 p.m. Sherrie Maricle, lead drummer of DIVA, will assist in coaching several of Brown’s Jazz Combos.
- Screening The Girls in the Band (2013), Grant Recital Hall, 8 p.m. This movie tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late ’30s to the present day. More information at www.thegirlsintheband.com
Thursday, Feb. 21
- In-class open discussion, Grant Recital Hall, 10:30-11:50 a.m. “History of Jazz” seminar (MUSC0030) with members of DIVA.
- In-class open discussion, Fulton Rehearsal Hall, Noon-2:50 p.m. “Jazz Transcription and Analysis” seminar (MUSC1950) with members of DIVA.
- In-class open discussion, Orwig Music Building, Room 109, 2:30-3:50 p.m. “Musical Performance and Theatricality” seminar (MUSC1680) with members of DIVA. Contact Dana_Gooley@brown.edu to attend.
Friday, Feb. 22
- Lecture Tracy McMullen, assistant professor of music at Bowdoin College, discusses “The Other Brass Ceiling: Why is Jazz More Segregated than the Military (and almost Everything Else)?” Grant Recital Hall, Noon.
- DIVA Jazz Orchestra Composers Concert, with new works by Aaron Clayton Dunn ’12, Matt Block ’12, William Turtle ’12, Jamie Fried, Dan Rome ’12 and DIVA composers. Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Martinos Auditorium, 8 p.m. To register for this free concert, visit divajazzfeb22.eventbrite.com. Registration will end Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23
- DIVA Jazz Orchestra Concert with Brown Jazz Band Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Martinos Auditorium, 8 p.m. To register for this free concert, visit divajazzfeb23.eventbrite.com. Registration will end Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m.
Grant Recital Hall and Fulton Rehearsal Hall are behind the Orwig Music Building at 1 Young Orchard Ave., on the corner of Hope Street and Young Orchard Avenue. Granoff Center is located at 154 Angell St. between Thayer and Brown streets.