With a rich harmonic and melodic syntax, the compositions of Chopin, Berg, and Szymanowski can serve as a springboard for exciting jazz experiments. This session integrates the compositional and harmonic techniques found in the selected compositions of these composers within a broader context of jazz harmony, improvisation, and composition.
Terefenko teaches at the Eastman School of Music, where he began his career studying jazz piano. After completing his M.M. in jazz piano performance (1998), he completed a Ph.D. in music theory (2004) with a dissertation on Keith Jarrett’s Transformation of Standard Tunes. Terefenko holds a unique joint teaching appointment in two departments: Jazz and Contemporary Media, and Music Theory. His research explores the interaction between classical and jazz improvisation. Terefenko’s piano solo album, Evidence, offers his creative take on favorite jazz standards, jazz instrumentals, and his own compositions. His latest duo project, Crossing Paths, features Tarantino, and the album explores the potential of interactive improvisation using lesser-known standard tunes as well as 20th-century, post-tonal compositions. In 2014, Terefenko published Jazz Theory: From Basic to Advanced Study (Routledge), which has already been adopted as a required textbook at prestigious music universities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Originally from West Hartford, Connecticut, award-winning jazz saxophonist Tarantino is also a woodwind doubler, composer, and educator who is passionate about developing and expressing her voice as an improviser and inspiring others to do the same. She performs regularly as a leader and sideman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including Tarantino/Terefenko, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Dave Rivello Ensemble, and the Alexa Tarantino Quartet/Quintet. In 2015, she released her debut album, Crossing Paths, with Terefenko on her new label, Infinite Records. The duo can be found performing and presenting jazz workshops and clinics across the globe. In addition, Tarantino has performed at the Rockport Jazz Festival; the Kennedy Center; the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy; and with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, among many others. She is a popular guest clinician at colleges, high schools, and summer jazz programs including the Rockport Jazz Camp in Rockport, Massachusetts, of which she is founder and director.