Kaleidoscope // Jazz Orchestra & Advanced Jazz Ensemble

a trumpet player as if seen through a kaleidoscope

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An evening that traverses musical expressions from the sublimely lyrical to the fiercely hectic. We are delighted to present five world premieres composed by UNSW students – Vale and kaLeidoscope by Shawna Ellen, Paradox by Samuel Ellery, Sunset Sky by James Curran and Astrolabes by Ben Adams.


UNSW Jazz Orchestra
Directed by Sandy Evans

Jazz Orchestra are delighted to present 3 of the world premieres composed by UNSW students especially for this concert – Vale by Shawna Ellen, Paradox by Samuel Ellery and Sunset Sky by James Curran.

Shawna writes, “Vale is the culmination of different styles of composition, from my classical roots, to my love of time signatures in 7 (and 5 and 4!), through to an homage to Latin style music”.

James has fulfilled a long-held dream to write for Jazz Orchestra with Sunset Sky, a lyrical, moving ¾ piece that features the composer on tenor saxophone. He writes, "Sunset Sky is my first composition written for a jazz orchestra and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have it performed at my final concert playing with the UNSW Jazz Orchestra".

First year composer, Samuel Ellery, explores the aural paradoxes that polyrhythms in 6 and 4 create in a funky and intriguing composition.

Trinkle Tinkle is a Monk classic that features the pianistic wizardry of Gamran Green. Completing the program is an energetic Latin classic, Why Not by Michel Camilo with a fantastic groove and thrilling drum, saxophone and piano solos.

Chris Blundell, Lynx Van Den Brink, Jarryd Langford, James Curran, Shawna O'Neill, Logan Birchall , Peter Kostopoulos , Ryan Shofner, Christian Sherlock , Jaden Victoria , Gamran Green, Matt Jenkin, Fergus Spencer, Tristan Lacey and Jonas Tay


Advanced Jazz Ensemble
Directed by Alister Spence

A special feature of this program are two world premiere performances: original works by two fine composers and members of the ensemble; kaLeidoscope by Shawna Ellen and Astrolabes by Ben Adams. These contrasting pieces provide wonderful opportunities for the ensemble’s soloists and rhythm section.

Also on the program is City of Roses, a funk-style piece that features the clear, true tones of vocalist Ebony Tait, and No Love Dying a beautiful song that allows scope for Lily Stokes’ rich, resonant voice. Completing the program is Gun and the E-kid, a strong, relentless, rocky piece with an underlying shifting meter, originally written for electric guitar trio by Hedvig Mollestad.

kaLeidoscope is a phoenix song, symbolic of an old relationship dying and a new relationship blooming. It’s the first piece I’ve composed for a large ensemble that includes vocal parts with lyrics, and our vocalists have done a spectacular job bringing these lyrics to life with the help of the band. I’d like to thank Willem New for his assistance in composing the drum part, Alister for allowing me the chance to workshop this piece, and the entire Advanced Jazz ensemble for the dedication in making this composition a reality. Without you, this composition would have remained as just lyrics in my head. Thank you.

Astrolabes was written to create and explore an atmosphere, with heavy use of non-functional harmony and odd time signatures to create a difficult to place, floating feeling, as if the music itself is distilled in space - hence the title “Astrolabes”, which is a kind of star chart made by the Ancient Greeks. When composing the piece I decided that, instead of sitting in one space for the entirety of the work, that it would progressively grow thicker in texture ending with a wall of noise that, although calls back to previous moments in the work, evokes a very different feeling - as if one is being overwhelmed with the expanse of the universe.

Lily Stokes, Ebony Tait, Lynx Van Den Brink, Jarryd Langford, James Curran, Jack Cordukes, Shawna O'Neill, Ben Adams, Hugo Powell, Fergus Spencer and Tristan Lacey

How do I get to UNSW?
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UNSW Creative Practice Lab
cpl@unsw.edu.au /// 02 9385 5684

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