ITF evening concerts are special events, featuring innovative programming, new music, amazing artist line-ups, and lots of stuff you simply can’t see anywhere else.
We are super excited to showcase this year’s lineup of world-class trombonists. Read on to find out more!
First up, on Wednesday night, David Rejano, Principal Trombonist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Jörgen van Rijen, Principal Trombonist at the Royal Concertgebouw (Netherlands), will open our Festival Artist Series with a shared recital.
Joining the LA Phil in 2016, Spanish trombonist David Rejano electrified local audiences with his solo recital at SoCal Trombone Day in 2017. His ability to combine intensely soft and delicate playing with spicy rhythmic virtuosity is truly dazzling. In addition to past ITF performances, Rejano has appeared as a soloist at the Festival Européen du Trombone, Concours National de Trombone de France, and the Sapporo Festival.
Jörgen van Rijen is well-known to ITF audiences, and is a frequent soloist on stages around the world. Hailed as an “ambassaor of his instrument,” he has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including concerti by Jacob TV, Florian Magnus Maier, Kalevi Aho, and James MacMillan. Recipient of the Netherlands Music Prize and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, Jörgen currently has six solo releases on the Channel Music Label.
Hear these two world-class artists together, only at the ITF!
On Thursday night, our Concert of Concertos will feature Gordon Wolfe and Vanessa Fralick of the Toronto Symphony, and Kenneth Thompkins, Principal Trombonist of the Detroit Symphony.
A native of Severna Park, Maryland, Kenneth Thompkins has served as Principal Trombonist of the Detroit Symphony since 1997, when he was appointed to that position by Neeme Järvi. Thompkins’ recent solo release (listen on his website here), Sonatas, Songs, and Spirituals, has been hailed as “inspiring” (Dr. Irv Wagner), “gorgeous,” (James Nova), and “creative” (Weston Sprott).
Vanessa Fralick has performed with the Toronto Symphony since 2013. Prior to that time, she performed for three seasons as Acting Associate Principal Trombone of the St. Louis Symphony. Vanessa is a prize-winner in numerous competitions, including the 2012 Elora Festival Competition, the 2011 OSM Standard Life Competition, and the 2010 Susan Slaughter International Solo Brass Competition.
Gordon Wolfe joined the Toronto Symphony in 2001, and took over the Principal chair in 2006. As a founding member of Central Park Brass, he performed for children across the New York Metropolitan area, and continued that work in Toronto, as an ambassador for the Toronto Symphony’s Preludes program. In addition to performing as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony, Gordon has been a featured guest of the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Idaho State Wind Ensemble.
Catch all three of these incredible artists on our Thursday night concerto program!
Friday night, we are excited to feature a tribute to the great JJ Johnson, with featured soloists, Elliot Mason, Vince Gardner, Ryan Keberle, and Tony Baker, backed by an all-star sextet of Eastman School of Music Alumnae, Nick Finzer, Tim Albright, Mark Kellogg, Jim Martin (bass), Catie Hickey, and (Festival Host) Chris Van Hof. BSU faculty members Cassius Goens III, Scott Routenberg, and Nick Tucker will step in as the rhythm section for this amazing concert!
English-born trombonist and bass trumpeter Elliot Mason began playing at the age of four, and was already winning awards (The National Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Soloist) by the age 15. He also won the ITA’s Frank Rosolino Competition, and was a recipient of the Slide Hampton Award at Berklee. Mason has performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, directed by Wynton Marsalis, since 2007, and recently released his first solo album, Before, Now & After.
Vincent Gardner has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Connick, Jr., the Saturday Night Live Band, Chaka Khan, A Tribe Called Quest, and Lauryn Hill, and is also a current member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (since 2000). He is also active as a composer and arranger. In 2009, he composed “The Jesse B. Semple Suite,” a 60-minute tribute to the short stories of Langston Hughes, which was both commissioned and featured by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Gardner has five solo recordings, released through Steeplechase Records.
Professor of Trombone at the University of North Texas, Tony Baker is known internationally as a soloist in both jazz and classical styles. Tony has performed with the Woody Herman Band and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and has shared the stage with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Steve Turre, Terry Gibbs, and John Fedchock. Well-known to ITF audiences, Tony has been featured at Festivals in Nashville (2001), and Finland (2003), and was the Festival Host (at UNT) in 2002.
Currently active in New York, Ryan Keberle’s has enjoyed a multi-style, dynamic career, performing in a diversity of styles, including collaborations with jazz greats such as Maria Schneider and Wynton Marsalis, Hip-hop superstars like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys, and Latin-jazz hitters like Pedro Giraudo and Ivan Lins. In addition, he has pursued numerous solo projects, many of which explore innovative concepts, such as his “double quartet,” featuring a traditional jazz rhythm section together with a brass quintet.
And, Saturday night, calling all Sci-Fi fans, prepare to let your Geek Flag fly, because you’re about to overdose on TROMBONE AND STAR WARS at the same concert!
Jim Nova’s “Fall from Light to Dark” featuring an all-star roster of ITF Artists
Jim Nova, Second Trombonist in the Pittsburgh Symphony, returns to the ITF, after his insanely popular 2018 master class on multi-tracking techniques, but this time, he’ll be doing it all live, with an all-star performance of the Star Wars arrangements from his release, A Fall From Light to Dark. If you know Jim’s project, you know he overdubbed (or “Novadubbed”) all the parts himself, so the ITF finale concert will be the world premiere of hearing these arrangements live, with a full choir stacked with ITF All-Stars! Don’t be afraid to geek out…everyone will be doing it!
“I could not be more thrilled to share with you this journey… my journey… from a trombone Padawan… to a Novadub Jedi Master.”
In addition to these incredible evening concerts, we’ll have a full program of Presenters, University Faculty Showcase Recitals, and Student Ensembles! The ITF is truly a world stage. Where else can you find so many trombonists, from so many different backgrounds, performing in so many styles? Nowhere! Don’t miss it!
See you in Muncie!