I am really looking forward to my upcoming January 11 Jordan Hall concert with A Far Cry. We’ll be doing my arrangements of five Weill tunes scored for strings featuring the vocalists Kristen Watson, soprano; and Zachary Wilder, tenor. More info on The Long Gaze.:
Here is a video from my last collaboration with A Far Cry with Dominique Eade:
A Far Cry returns to Jordan Hall with a Boston love-fest. Tufts composer John McDonald presents the world premiere of “Gentle but Uneasy Dance Music.” Benjamin Britten’s haunting “Les Illuminations” features not one but two Boston stars: soprano Kristen Watson and tenor Zachary Wilder. Anton Webern’s early String Quartet (1905) provides an otherworldly interlude before Kristen and Zachary return, in a rocking selection of Kurt Weill songs, newly arranged by Nicholas Urie.
As always, the recording coming back from the Netherlands is amazing. The Metropole Orchestra had me re-orchestrate an arrangement I wrote for the Klüvers Big Band for their gig with Kurt at the Meer Jazz Festival. Below, you can hear my arrangement:
I’ll be giving a free talk on jazz arranging on Saturday morning at the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy as a part of my residency with Exploring the Metropolis.
Topics I plan on discussing: What on earth is an arrangement and why should I care? Ways to approach Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Alphabet Song, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. Other highlights include references to musical Platonism, William Shatner, and classical Hellenic Architecture.
Go hear the Metropole Orchestra play two of my arrangements with Kurt Elling 2 June at the Meer Jazz Festival. Here is a video of Kurt singing my Norwegian Wood arrangement at the 2011 North Sea Jazz Festival.
Tea Lounge presents on Monday, January 16th @ 9PM as part of their “Size Matters” series THE CARLBERG/URIE CITY BAND, Suggested donation of $5 – 100,000.
featuring: Jeremy Udden, Douglas Yates, Kenny Pexton, Brian Landrus, Albert Leusink, Ben Holmes, John Carlson, Alan Ferber, Michael Christianson, Frank Carlberg, Gary Wang, Mark Ferber, Christine Correa and Nicholas Urie
The Carlberg/Urie City Band is a 12 (or 13)-piece group dedicated to playing (mostly) the music of Nicholas Urie and Frank Carlberg.
Upcoming Gig: A Concert to Benefit the Friends Shelter with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and the Meetinghouse Jazz Orchestra, January 12, 7:30 pm at 222 East 16th Street, in Manhattan, $20. I wrote the arrangements and I’ll be conducting the band. We are doing tunes from Gilad’s 2004 ENJA release, Exile. It should be a great night of music!
Things seem to be going well in Chicago as evidenced by this lovely write-up by Neil Tesser from the Chicago Jazz Music Examiner, “A U.S. premiere: Kurt Elling in Chicago, with a little Danish on the side.” Neil says in the piece, ”These days, Klüvers Big Band features a number of arrangements by Nicholas Urie, an American-born wünderkind arranger, who at the age of 26 has released two ambitious and uncompromising albums of original compositions while penning arrangements for a slew of other artists.” If you’d like to see the show in NYC, below is the info from the New York Times.
On a personal note, I am really excited that the band is playing in New York. I don’t get to go to many gigs where my arrangements are being performed (travel economics) and to have this wonderful band that I love working with in town, is just, well, special. I feel like I know everyone in the band already, despite my never having had the opportunity to shake their hands. It will be wonderful putting a face to a line on score paper. Very excited, indeed.
★ Kurt Elling, With the Klüvers Big Band (Tuesday through Oct. 30) On “The Gate,” released on Concord this year, the mercurial jazz singer Kurt Elling seeks out a meditative mood, without forsaking the imperatives of a searcher. Here he draws partly from the album with an estimable big band from Denmark, making its New York debut, and a succession of guests, beginning with the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón (Tuesday), the tenor saxophonist and flutist Lew Tabackin (Wednesday) and the tenor and soprano saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (Thursday). At 8:30 and 11 p.m., Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, Clinton, (212) 581-3080, birdlandjazz.com; $40 cover, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)
Here is a recording of my arangement of John Scofield’s A Go Go. Kluvers, per usual, sounded amazing as did Scofield and Stewert. Amazingness all around. I bought the A Go Go record at the tender age of +-16 and gave it my undivided attention for the better part of, well, a long time. It was such a pleasure to be able to participate in this project and get to work on some music I have a real attachment to – this music is as much a “standard” to me as anything else.
The Elling/Metropole gig at North Sea was by all accounts a wild success. I wasn’t able to make it out for the show but reports are good and the video is even better. My arrangement for Kurt of Norwegian Wood starts at 30:50 and as you will hear the orchestra played it with eclat and aplomb; and Kurt doesn’t sound too shabby either, per usual. The concert also featured the amazing Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks, with Vince Mendoza conducting (and contributing some really beautiful arranging, again, per usual). Take a peek and enjoy the concert!