An important reminder: Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra will be performing the “2nd Premier” of Concerto Nova by W.A. “Bill” Mathieu very soon. If you haven’t heard this amazing work yet, here’s your chance. This concert will also be a live recording session. Details below. We hope to see everyone there.
This program will feature Bill Mathieu’s works for Jazz Orchestra written from 1958 to 2012. This concert will include the first-ever public performance of a piece Mathieu wrote especially for the Nova Band. Written as a through-composed Concerto in the classical style, the “Concerto Nova” is a six-movement masterwork, that melds bebop and cool jazz into a third stream work of amazing sounds.
Nova is very pleased to be able to perform this outstanding music and hope you can join us. And we are particularly proud of our collaboration with Mathieu. He broke into the music scene in 1958 when, as an 18-year-old phenom, he became staff arranger and trumpeter on the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Kenton’s 1959 album, Standards in Silhouette, showcases Mathieu’s rich melodic writing and sophisticated harmonies. That album was critically acclaimed and remains one of the highlights of the Kenton Discography. Bill then spent time writing for Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson and others. In the mid-‘60s, Bill became the founding music director of the Second City Theatre in Chicago and its companion theatre in San Francisco. Bill remains a renowned composer, compositional teacher and music author on the West Coast. Nova collaborated with Mathieu in 2010, in playing a number of previously-unrecorded originals and arrangements for the Kenton band, culminating in a critically-acclaimed album. That collaboration ripened into Mathieu writing Concerto Nova especially for the Nova Band.
The Nova Jazz Orchestra would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year. We also missed acknowledging some other yearly milestones, including Groundhog Day and Valentines Day. President’s Day is coming up; this means we can preemptively wish you a happy one of those.
In all seriousness, this post is to let everyone know we’re still here. Currently, the main focus of the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra’s musical activity is rehearsing Bill Mathieu’sConcerto Nova.
We’re pleased to say that the work is shaping up nicely, and soon we hope to welcome Bill Mathieu to town again to hear our progress and offer further guidance. Stayed tuned, everybody!
Visitors to this website may wonder what the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is up to. Considering this space hasn’t been updated in quite a while, it’s a reasonable question. Our silence here, however, belies the fact we are in the midst of a big project.
What is this big project, you might ask? Well, not too long ago, Nova recorded the unrecorded arrangements (and originals) of William “Bill” Mathieu, originally written for Stan Kenton in the late 50s.
The resulting CD, Vol. 2-Double Feature, pleased and delighted many people. Importantly, the recording pleased Bill Mathieu, too, so much so that he was motivated to write an original work specifically for the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. The result is Concerto Nova, a 6 movement work. Nova is currently rehearsing this new music, and the composer Bill Mathieu will visit us soon to help out on the finer musical points. As you might suspect, Nova intends to perform and record Concerto Nova. Stay tuned.
A belated but hearty thanks to all those who came out to our CD release party last month. Your support was and is certainly appreciated; we felt lots of good vibes coming from our audience at the Shorewood. Onward — here’s what’s coming up for Nova:
November 22: Our monthly performance at the Shorewood Bar & Grill, 7pm-11pm.