Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kansas City: Day 4

Getting off to a late start this morning, we arrived at the "Lesser-Known Works for Clarinet" recital in time to hear Eric Mandat's Folk Songs. Gregory Oakes pulled off the extended techniques with ease, including the difficult movement in which the performer must blow across the upper joint to produce a flute-like sound.

Next we were off to the ICA business meeting, where we were invited to formally introduce the Clarinet Cache column and blog to the board and members in attendance. At the meeting, we had the pleasure of hearing from Antonio Saiote about ClarinetFest 2009, which he will host in Porto, Portugal. Also discussed were the recent election results of ICA officers for the upcoming year, and much thanks were given to Jane Carl for her work organizing the festival, and to the current officers for their contributions to the organization.

The afternoon concert of recent works for clarinet, clocking in at over two hours long(!), had an assortment of styles and performers represented. One highlight was Belgian clarinetist Stephan Vermeersch playing v.runchak.b.clari@net (2004), a work by Volodymyr Runchak which depicted the life of an e-mail message. Following Vermeersch was Garry Evans (pictured below), with the Sowerby Sonata and Robert Jager's playful new work Aphorisms. Kathleen Jones ended the recital with a premiere of Divertimento Caribeno 2 by Sonia Morales (sister of Ricardo Morales).

The last concert to be held at the Unity Temple was an evening of jazz with Stephane Chausse and Paquito D'Rivera. The mellow, delicate playing of Chausse was sometimes obscured by the drums, but this was probably due the church acoustics rather than any fault of the performers.

Chausse's very satisfying performance could have only been topped by Paquito D'Rivera himself. Indeed, upon taking the stage, D'Rivera remarked, "I told him don't play so good... now I have to work double!" After a few tunes with the talented rhythm section, the audience was treated to a surprise when Chausse and Larry Combs took the stage with D'Rivera.

Combs, Chausse, and D'Rivera performed an incredible rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia." We thoroughly enjoyed the concert, and so did the rest of the audience - they demanded an encore performance from the three clarinetists as well as a second encore from D'Rivera. Overall, it was a fantastic event to end the series of evening concerts.

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