LJO: "Mostly Dolphy"

Black and gold graphic bar
 Dec. 30, 2004

Adele Field
Luckman Complex
(323) 343-6616



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Luckman Jazz Orchestra to Explore
Works of Brilliant, Controversial
L.A. Jazz Icon: “Mostly Dolphy”
James Newton, Conductor

WHO: Luckman Jazz Orchestra, James Newton, Conductor
WHAT: LJO Concert: “Mostly Dolphy”
WHEN: Saturday, January 15, 2005, 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
TICKETS: $40-$35-$30. Discounts available for students, seniors, groups. Box Office: (323) 343-6600 / Ticketmaster: (213) 365-3500 or www.ticketmaster.com
PRE-SHOW: 5:00-8:00 p.m. – University Club dining (reservations recommended, (323) 343-6600); 7:00 p.m. – Free Luckman Studio Talk with Buddy Collette
INFO: www.luckmanfineartscomplex.org

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles native Eric Dolphy was both praised and vilified by music critics in his day for complex harmonies that pushed the boundaries of avant-garde jazz. On Saturday, January 15, at 8:00 p.m., conductor James Newton leads the Luckman Jazz Orchestra in a long overdue homage to the controversial composer’s works, with a program titled “Mostly Dolphy.” Prior to the concert, a free Luckman Studio Talk will be offered at 7:00 p.m., with Buddy Collette as guest speaker. For audience members who wish to dine beforehand, the bistro-style University Club on campus will be open for menu service beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Eric Dolphy, a Dorsey High School graduate, first rose to prominence in the 1950s Central Avenue jazz scene. A multi-instrumentalist who played alto sax, flute and clarinet, he also earned distinction as the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz. During an all too short career that ended with his untimely death in 1964 at age 36, he performed or recorded with his own groups, as well as with the ensembles of many of the big names in jazz such as Roy Porter, Gerald Wilson, Chico Hamilton, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Max Roach, and Ornette Coleman. Dolphy left behind a body of work once dismissed by some as “atonal” or “anti-jazz,” but now universally recognized for its major significance to the jazz canon.

“One of the important points of this concert for me,” says LJO conductor James Newton, “is not only to touch on aspects of Eric Dolphy’s career, but to look at how his influence is manifested today, and in recent jazz history. The interpretation of jazz is always changing as it’s moving through time – in a completely different way than is true for European classical music. One of the ways we explore this is through a piece dedicated to Dolphy, written by World Saxophone Quartet member Oliver Lake, known as one of the greatest interpreters of Eric Dolphy’s music.”

The program, supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, will also include Dolphy compositions that are rarely heard in a jazz orchestra context, in new arrangements by Newton and other members of the Luckman Jazz Orchestra. Among the Dolphy works to be performed are: “Straight Up and Down” (arr. James Newton); “South Street Exit” and “245” (arr. Lanny Hartley); and “Fire Waltz” and “The Prophet” (arr. Isaac Smith).

The LJO’s “world-class musicians” ( – L.A. Jazz Scene) have brought the 17-piece orchestra acclaim as “one of the premier big jazz orchestras in the country.” Scheduled to appear on January 15 are: Bijon Watson – trumpet; Nolan Shaheed – trumpet; James Ford III – trumpet; Salvator Cracchiolo – trumpet; Charles Owens – alto/soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Dereck McLyn – alto sax; Fred Jackson, Jr. – tenor sax, clarinet; Bennie Maupin – tenor sax; Jack Nimitz – baritone sax; George McMullen, Jr. – trombone; Jacques Voyemant – trombone; Isaac Smith – trombone; William Roper – tuba; Leon “Ndugu” Chancler – drums; Lanny Hartley – piano; Jeffery Littleton – bass; Alberto Salas – Latin percussion; and James Newton, conductor.

LJO Season Highlights
The Luckman Jazz Orchestra began its fourth year this season with a successful three-concert tour to Berlin, as part of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department International Cultural Exchange Program, followed by a program of “Miles ’n Trane” at the Luckman in November 2004. “Mostly Dolphy,” on January 15, 2005, will be the orchestra’s last home concert of the 2004-05 season. In May, the LJO will perform for the second subsequent year at Walt Disney Concert Hall, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. More information is available online at www.luckmanfineartscomplex.org regarding the Luckman Fine Arts Complex 2004-05 season, the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, and the LJO’s Berlin engagement.

NOTE TO EDITORS: James Newton and members of the Luckman Jazz Orchestra are available for broadcast and print interviews. Please contact Adele Field, (323) 343-6616, for information. A photo opportunity is planned in early January; details will be announced shortly.

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