Highlights include: • Annual Film Noir Concert


  • Dave Holland performing in an NEC Jazz Orchestra Tribute to Kenny Wheeler


  • Music of Ken Schaphorst with the NEC Jazz Orchestra


  • Jason Moran Residency celebrating the music of Andrew Hill


  • Faculty Recitals by Dominique Eade, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Bob Nieske


  • Jazz In the Mix + CI Salon Nights – 33 one-hour concerts by exceptional student ensembles



New England Conservatory’s internationally renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation Departments announce over 50 free concerts and masterclasses for the Spring 2016 season. Highlights include a performance of musical Exotica directed by Anthony Coleman, an NEC Jazz Orchestra concert featuring compositions and arrangements by NEC Jazz Studies Director Ken Schaphorst, bassist Dave Holland performing in an NEC Jazz Orchestra Tribute to Kenny Wheeler, a residency celebrating the music of Andrew Hill with pianist/composer Jason Moran, workshops/master classes by top flight musicians including Iva Bittova and Dave Holland; recitals by stellar NEC faculty including Dominique Eade, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Bob Nieske; and Jazz In the Mix and CI Salon Nights, 33 one-hour concerts featuring exceptional student ensembles from the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments. All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, log on to: necmusic.edu/ or call 617-585-1122.





Monday, January 25 – Faculty Spotlight Concert – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


NEC’s celebrated Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation faculty showcase their music.


Thursday, January 28 – Jason Moran Master Class – 1 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Moran, who’s on faculty, will be celebrating the music of his mentor Andrew Hill. He’ll focus on two Hill recordings: Point of Departure and Lift Every Voice.


Thursday, January 28 – Student Performance led by Jason Moran – 8 p.m. in Brown Hall


Point of Departure Ensemble, the Lift Every Voice Ensemble and solo pianists will perform on this concert which focuses on the music of Andrew Hill.


Monday, February 8  – Dominique Eade – Winter Moon – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


Eade performs original music as well as songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Dylan, and more. Joining Eade are pianist Jed Wilson for duo performances and NEC students Kenan Adnawi on oud and Nima Janmohammadi on setar.


Tuesday, February 16 – Exotica directed by Anthony Coleman – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


With students originating from 17 different countries, NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department has become an important testing ground for stretching the boundaries of contemporary world music. In
this concert, directed by CI faculty member Anthony Coleman, students
will bring their original ideas to the concept of musical “Exotica” as it has been expressed in its many European, American, Middle

Eastern and Asian manifestations.


Wednesday, February 24 – Visiting Artist Iva Bittova – 10 – 11:50 a.m. Masterclass in Pierce Hall           


Visiting Artist Iva Bittova – 4 – 5 p.m. Lecture/Demo in Williams Hall            


As a solo performer, the multifaceted and charismatic Czech composer and improviser extends the range of both the human voice and her violin. Singing, bowing, plucking, and dancing simultaneously, she evokes everything from gypsy dances, grand opera, and avant-garde jazz to birdsong and forest animal cries. Come watch her work with CI students in the morning and gain a fascinating insight into her music in the afternoon.


Thursday, February 25 – NEC Jazz Orchestra: The Music of Ken Schaphorst – 7:30 p.m. Jordan Hall

The NEC Jazz Orchestra will present a concert featuring compositions and arrangements by Ken Schaphorst, Chair of the Jazz Studies Department.


Sunday, March 6 – Itzhak Perlman, In the Fiddler’s House 20th Anniversary – 7 p.m. in Symphony Hall


NEC CI Department Chair Hankus Netsky, musical director. Featuring Itzhak Perlman, Andy Statman, Frank London, vocalists Michael Alpert, Judy Bressler, Josh Dolgin (aka: SoCalled), and the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Tickets: http://www.celebrityseries.org/itzhakperlman/index.htm


Sunday, March 13 – Bob Nieske Faculty Recital  – 3 p.m. in Pierce Hall



Monday, March 14 – Eden MacAdam-Somer Faculty Recital – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


Join multi-instrumentalist Eden MacAdam-Somer for an evening of composed and improvised chamber music on voice, violin, viola, and fiddle, featuring works by Charles Ives, Pozzi Escot, and music from folk and jazz traditions. She will be joined by guest artists Ran Blake, Hankus Netsky, Sarah Bob, and members of the CI Chamber Music Ensemble.


Tuesday, March 29 – Jazz / Wild Card Concert – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


Each year, an audition committee selects a few exceptional students to represent NEC in the Honors Jazz and Wild Card ensembles.


Thursday, March 31 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Discover the musical innovators of tomorrow with In the Mix – one-hour concerts featuring NEC’s student jazz ensembles, each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.


Monday, April 4 – Jazz In the Mix7, 8 and 9 p.m in Pierce Hall



Tuesday, April 5 – CI Salon Nights – 7, 8 and 9 p.m in Pierce Hall


Jewish Music Ensemble, American Roots Ensemble, and Chorino Ensemble.


Wednesday, April 6 – Jazz In the Mix 7, 8 and 9 p.m in Pierce Hall


Thursday, April 7 – NEC Gospel Ensemble; NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble – 7:30 p.m. in Brown Hall


This concert showcases two of NEC’s exceptional student ensembles. The NEC Gospel Ensemble,

coached by Nedelka Prescod, explores contemporary gospel music as it is currently being created and performed. This ensemble works with repertoire composed within the last 20 years of contemporary gospel music and highlights key composers and choir leaders.


The NEC Jazz Composers Ensemble, coached by Jorrit Dijsktra, gives student composers the opportunity to develop their work for small jazz ensemble through rehearsal and performance.


Monday, April 11 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Brown Hall


Tuesday & Wednesday, April 12, 13 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Thursday, April 14 – Film Noir: Night of the Hunter – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


Co-producers Aaron Hartley and Ran Blake present their 11th Annual Film Noir project, featuring students and faculty of NEC’s groundbreaking Contemporary Improvisation department. This year’s performance explores Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, in which love, mystery, and religious fanaticism keep you on the edge of your seat, heightened by new music created by NEC musicians and special guests.


Monday, April 18 – CI Salon Nights – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Middle Eastern Ensemble, Survivors Breakfast, R&B Ensemble.


Tuesday, April 19 – CI Salon Nights 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Mark Zaleski Ensemble, Joe Morris Ensemble, Interdisciplinary Ensemble


Tuesday, April 19 – Masterclass with Bassist/Composer Dave Holland – 1 p.m. in Pierce Hall



Thursday, April 21 – Masterclass with Bassist/Composer Dave Holland – 1 p.m. in Pierce Hall



Thursday, April 21 – Tribute to Kenny Wheeler Featuring Dave Holland – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall


The NEC Jazz Orchestra directed by Ken Schaphorst will present two of Kenny Wheeler’s rarely-heard masterpieces, “Windmill Tilter” (1969) and “The Sweet Time Suite” (1991). NEC’s Visiting Artist-in-Residence Dave Holland, who played on both recordings, will be featured on bass.


Monday, April 25 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall


Tuesday, April 26 – Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra – 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall           


The Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra is devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students. Coached by pianist/composer and NEC jazz faculty member Frank Carlberg, the ensemble gives its composers the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band, as well as have their works heard.


Wednesday & Thursday, April 27, 28 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Keller Room


Saturday, April 30 – International Jazz Day – 8 p.m. in Brown Hall


UNESCO has designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. NEC joins the celebration with a performance featuring NEC faculty and students playing music embodying the ongoing dialogue between jazz and musical cultures from throughout the world.


Monday & Tuesday, May 2, 3 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Pierce Hall



Wednesday, May 4 – Jazz In the Mix – 7, 8 and 9 p.m. in Keller Room



Wednesday, May 11 – NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra performs music of Jimmy Giuffre and Mary Lou Williams – 7:30 p.m. in Brown Hall


Founded in 2008, the NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra is the only community jazz orchestra of its kind in the Boston area, open by audition to all musicians high school age or younger. The ensemble strives to give young musicians opportunities to learn and perform together in an environment of high expectations and standards. Bob Nieske conducts the group in a concert featuring the music of Jimmy Giuffre and Mary Lou Williams.



NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur “genius” grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 45th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.” The program currently has 95 students; 48 undergraduate and 47 graduate students from 13 countries.


Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd). Now in its 43rd year, the program trains composer/performer/ improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices. It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under Blake’s inspired guidance for its first twenty-six years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current chair Hankus Netsky and assistant chair Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. “A thriving hub of musical exploration,” (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program currently has over 50 undergrad and graduate students from 17 countries.


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