Up close, personal with musicians

By CiaraShook

Columbia’s Music Department hosts this fall’s Artists in Residence, a program that brings musicians to the college. This year’s musicians include Ivan Neville, Jon Faddis, Terence Blanchard, Udo Dahmen and Vincent Gardner.

In the past, Artists in Residence brought the artists to the college for a few days.  This year, the Music Department has given most of them a week-long stay at Columbia.

“I think it’s going to make such a huge impact on our students,” said Scott Hall, senior lecturer of music.

Ivan Neville

Ivan Neville, a multi-instrumentalist specializing in rock and funk, visited Columbia Sept. 21 through Sept. 25 as the first guest in the year-long series, bringing with him experience in working with renowned artists including The Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt.

Neville worked primarily with students in the contemporary, urban and popular music program in ensembles throughout the week.

Jon Faddis

Protégé of Dizzy Gillespie and artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Faddis started as  a studio trumpeter.

“He’s a brilliant composer and a brilliant jazz arranger,” said Joe Cerqua, production supervisor of the Concert Hall at Columbia.

Faddis will be working with jazz students from Sept. 29 until Oct. 1.

Terence Blanchard

Blanchard has composed and performed many film scores including Malcom X, Jungle Fever and Four Little Girls.

Cerqua said Blanchard sent his film scores to the college in advance and the student jazz ensemble is currently rehearsing his work.  The music students concentrating in film score are also studying Blanchard’s work, writing a theme fitting for a movie.

Blanchard will be working with the film score students and jazz ensemble from Oct. 12 until Oct. 16, performing a concert with the students Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

Udo Dahmen

A professional drummer and vice president of the German Music Council, Dahmen brings new ways of teaching rhythm and percussion to Columbia.

Dahmen will be working with students and instructors on his new concepts Nov. 2 through Nov. 6, with a concert performance Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

Vincent Gardner

Gardner, a Chicago native, is a renowned trombone player and composer, who previously worked with the Count Basie Orchestra, Chaka Khan and Lauryn Hill.

Gardner will work with jazz combos, students in the graduate music program and teach composition classes during his stay. Gardner will be at Columbia Nov. 17 through Nov. 20, with a concert performance Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Shele Sondheim

A songwriter and music producer, Sondheim has been commissioned by artists, labels and television to write and produce hit singles. He has previously worked with Phil Collins, Little Richard and Natalie Cole.

Sondheim will visit Columbia Nov. 2 through Nov. 6, with a concert performance Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

Verdehr Trio with Augusta Read Thomas

The Michigan-based Verdehr Trio is considered one of the more important small, classical ensembles in the U.S.

“They’re constantly commissioning new work from new composers,” Cerqua said.

The trio will be joined by Thomas on a piece that she composed, working with the composition students.

“[Thomas] will be working,” Cerqua said. “She is one of the busiest classical composers in the country right now.”

The Verdehr Trio and Thomas will be at Columbia from Nov. 11 through Nov. 13,  with two concert performances Nov. 13 at noon and 7:30 p.m.

All performances will be held at the Concert Hall in the Music Center, 1014 S. Michigan Ave., and the department plans to have more artists in the spring.

“The idea is to let [the musicians] talk to [the students] and to have that experience in a really personal way,” said Stephen Hadley, technical director of the Music Department..