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This Rock We’re On: Imaginary Letters
Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra
June 16, 2023
Greenwich House Music School
46 Barrow Street, NYC
GRAMMY® nominated Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra will present “This Rock We’re On: Imaginary Letters,” an oratorio for jazz orchestra, voice, cello, and percussion. A meditation on the natural environment and the fate of the planet, this multi-movement work features vocal works, set for chamber ensemble, that take the form of a letter to or from selected “protagonists” — authors, artists, naturalists, and adventurers whose insights have shaped our appreciation of the natural world. Each of the vocal works is followed by an instrumental jazz orchestra piece that reflects on the text of the letter.
The Gotham Jazz Orchestra brings together a star-studded roster of New York City musicians. Featured soloists will include Jason Rigby (tenor saxophone), Ben Kono (alto saxophone), Charles Pillow (alto saxophone), Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Jared Schonig (drums), Nir Felder (guitar), Dave Eggar (cello), James Shipp (percussion), and the up and coming Brazilian vocalist Jamile Staevie Ayres.
Mike Holober, the group’s leader and composer of the work, has been described by Downbeat Magazine as “one of the finest modern composer/arrangers of our time.” He was awarded the 2022 American Academy of Arts and Letters Andrew Imbrie Award in Music, and his GRAMMY® nominated double-CD “Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out” (“Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, 2020”), garnered rave reviews in the jazz press. Downbeat Magazine proclaimed it a “long anticipated, epic work,” while others praised his “daring compositional voice,” “powerful orchestral magic,” and “profound artistic vision” — confirming his place in “the front rank of the most accomplished and inventive composers in jazz,” and “leading the charge to shift what a big band can sound like.”