Brian Torff and The Jazz Professors present "New Duke"


7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Friday, October 12, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: New DukeJazz fans get a fresh take on the genius of composer, arranger, bandleader, and pianist Duke Ellington when the master's music is revisited by The Jazz Professors in "New Duke" on Friday, October 12, 2012, for two sets: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., at the Wien Experimental Theatre inFairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The Jazz Professors is a band comprised of Fairfield University jazz faculty and led by bassist, composer and Fairfield University professor Brian Torff, "New Duke" features Torff's arrangements of Ellington's Cotton Club period through the 1950s, infused with funk, hip-hop, reggae, and other contemporary rhythms, presenting the musical brilliance of one of jazz's most influential figures in an original and brand new light. Support for this project comes, in part, from the National Endowment for the Humanities General admission tickets are $30.

The Jazz Professors consist of Brian Torff, bass, arranger; Jamie Finnegan, trumpet; Steve Moran, sax and clarinet; Rick Sadlon, sax, clarinet, and flute; John Fumasoli, trombone; Dave Childs, piano; Don Mulvaney, drums; and Darryl Tookes, vocalist. The set list includes Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train," "Petite Africaine Fleur," "Solitude," "Heaven," "Come Sunday," "East St. Louis Toodle-oo," "C Jam Blues," "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain 't Got that Swing," "Mood Indigo," and "Black and Tan Fantasy."

"This concert is a tremendous opportunity to see and hear Duke Ellington's music in a new light," said Brian Torff. "The Jazz Professors are a group of working professionals and educators at Fairfield University, and we have created a new take on much of Ellington's music. These arrangements are in a contemporary vein and utilize funk, hip-hop, reggae, and world music beats in an effort to put Ellington's music in a new direction. These arrangements that I have scored came from a National Endowment grant that was obtained by my colleague, Dr. Laura Nash in 2010."

Following the 9 p.m. performance Brian Torff will be leading an "Audience Talkback" session about Duke Ellington and his role in the Harlem Renaissance.

Tickets and subscriptions are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 1, 2012

Vol. 45, No. 65