FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Livermore Valley Arts
Contact: Ruth Egherman (925) 583-2306
Excite & Motivate the Kids This February at The Bankhead
Livermore, CA – (January 12, 2024) – While a Wednesday evening Valentine’s Day may be tricky to make plans on, Livermore Valley Arts has a special performance that can be shared with the entire family on the special day. On Wednesday, February 14, JazzReach will present Sittin’ In and Groovin’ Out, Featuring Metta Quintet Plus Special Guests, LVA’s very own East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars. Following a week of residencies at Las Positas College and with East Bay Jazz, these talented musicians will share the labors of these talented students with an evening concert that will provide entertainment for adults while inspiring and emboldening budding musicians and young people in our community. This special performance will surely provide an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for couples or families at the beautiful Bankhead Theater in Downtown Livermore.
A cohesive, tight-knit unit featuring some of today’s most esteemed, creative artists, Metta Quintet, is fueled by a collective, open-minded musical curiosity and dedicated to exploring new artistic territory while maintaining a passionate commitment to arts education, fostering new audiences, and nurturing young talent. The quintet released its critically acclaimed debut recording, Going to Meet The Man (Koch), in 2002, featuring eight commissioned works by the then-emerging, now-renowned composers Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Larry Goldings, and George Colligan. All works were inspired by short stories by celebrated American author James Baldwin. In July 2006, Sunnyside Records released the quintet’s second critically lauded CD, Subway Songs, which features eight all-original commissioned compositions inspired by the sociological dynamism of the New York City Subway experience. In early 2012, the quintet, in partnership with the digital music distributor The Orchard, released the globally-themed Big Drum/Small World to unanimously positive reviews; the project features a diverse array of all-new music by renowned composers from eight different countries, including
Lionel Loueke, Miguel Zenon, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Yosvanny Terry, Omer Avital, and Metta Quintet’s very own Marcus Strickland. The project explores the globalization and ever-broadening definition and sound of jazz. Hans Schuman, Drums and the Founder of JazzReach is a graduate of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music and has performed with world-renowned artists including Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Reed, Wynton Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, Larry Goldings, Antonio Hart, Christian McBride, Marcus Strickland, Stefon Harris, Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer, and Joshua Redman among many others. In 1994, Schuman founded JazzReach Performing Arts & Education Association, Inc. with proceeds from the reluctant sale of an inherited Steinway Grand Piano. Since its inception, Schuman has successfully positioned the organization as one of our nation’s leading providers of live educational content for young audiences. As Founder, he has overseen the organization’s day-to-day operations, and as Artistic Director, has conceived, developed, written, and produced the organization’s entire repertoire of touring programs and has participated as a performing member of Metta Quintet in its 20+ year history. By commissioning all-new works and creating immersive, live multimedia concert programs for the stage, Metta Quintet is committed to challenging convention and expanding the boundaries of the live jazz experience.
East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars, about to begin its eighth season, is an after-school program for high-caliber musical performance and education for high school jazz musicians. East Bay Jazz’s two ensembles, big band, and combo, rehearse on a weekly basis and frequently perform between January and June. In East Bay Jazz, students develop their skills within the jazz idiom, gain real-world performance experience, and share their love of music with the East Bay community and beyond. Led by founder and director Spencer Sussman, tenor and bass trombonist, composer/arranger, and educator from the Bay Area, East Bay Jazz’s educational programs are fully supported by Livermore Valley Arts, whose mission to offer a broad range of arts opportunities and experiences to engage, enrich, and inspire our diverse community includes supporting and fostering the next generation of artists in our community. Since 2016, over 100 talented students have participated in East Bay Jazz. The program, holding open auditions at the end of the month, enrolls around thirty talented students each year who come from all over the East Bay Area. These students develop a passion for jazz and music performance. There are
those who are already jazz connoisseurs who will gain more exciting opportunities to connect with others about their passion. There are those who enjoy music performance and become more deeply interested in jazz as they progress through the program. Whatever their background, most importantly, this program fosters a musical community for students of the East Bay, which helps create lasting memories during these formative years of their lives.
In a very exciting opportunity, JazzReach is a whole event, more than just a performance, as they will be in the Tri-Valley the week of February 12, hosting music residencies in the mornings for students at Las Positas College and in the afternoons with East Bay Jazz. “We are delighted to continue the solid partnership we’ve established with Livermore Valley Arts in 2024,” said Dan Marschak, Las Positas College Music Department Coordinator. “Their decision to bring JazzReach to Las Positas College (LPC) aligns seamlessly with our shared vision, prompting an exciting residency opportunity for our music students. LPC has a strong jazz program that includes a certificate in Jazz Studies, which articulates to the BM program at California Jazz Conservatory, and a Summer Jazz Camp (June 2024) open to Middle and High School students. The JazzReach residency will be a great addition to our offerings this year.” LVA Visual Arts and Education Manager Anne Giancola also commented on this occasion. “In the past, after auditions for East Bay Jazz in January, performances showcasing their development and training in the program have not traditionally started until March or so. JazzReach has provided a fabulous opportunity for the talented crop of students this year to start out their season in a unique and memorable way by being featured with Metta Quintet on the Bankhead stage in February. Now, audience members, friends, and family can witness the journey of these young people throughout the full season of the program.”
At Sittin’ In and Groovin’ Out, music and culture will take center stage when Metta Quintet performs and then invites East Bay Jazz students to perform along with them, giving a little insight into what the students will have learned in their residency intensive together over the
course of the week. “We want to spark curiosity about the magic that is the creative process and we want to ignite young imaginations and stir in them an excitement about their own creative possibilities,” said Schuman. Audiences can expect to be swept away by the soulful rhythms of some of the best jazz musicians in the world and the best of the next generation as they take the
Tri-Valley on a musical journey like no other. Be there to support this next generation of musicians and witness mission in action at The Bankhead on February 14. Tickets for all shows in the 2023-2024 Bankhead Presents season are available online, by calling 925-373-6800, or at the box office windows. For a complete list of events, visit livermorearts.org.
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Livermore Valley Arts is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center are home to eight resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. LivermoreArts.org
Show: JazzReach Presents: Sittin’ In and Groovin’ Out
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20—$45 (student/military personnel price available)
Dates, times, and ticket prices for other events available at www.LivermoreArts.org