Jazz at the ArsenalThe Cryogenic Renaissance Orchestra AKA the Greg Hopkins Nonet
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This dynamic, brilliant-sounding mini-big band features some of the best faculty musicians at Berklee and is led by iconic composer/trumpet player Hopkins. Among the many stellar credits in Hopkins’s international career are performances with Tony Bennett and many other jazz greats, arranging for RCA records, music director for the Buddy Rich band, and appearances at the Newport and Monterey jazz festivals.
The 9-piece band’s repertoire includes several original arrangements of Miles Davis’s influential Birth of the Cool recordings, while also paying homage to two Blue Note albums from the late 1960s: McCoy Tyner’s Tender Moments and Herbie Hancock’s The Prisoner. This concert will pay tribute to beloved local trumpeter, the late Herb Pomeroy, as well as the West Coast “ultra-cool sounds” from Henry Mancini’s score for the Peter Gunn TV series. Other pieces in the set list include: Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” and Tyner’s “Mode for John,” as well as Davis’s “Moondreams,” “Israel,” and “Boplicity” from the 1949-1950 sessions.
Hopkins offers new works, such as “The Lost Bagatelles of the Maitake,” an ambitious seven-part composition exploring the textural and technical parameters of the ensemble.
Alongside Hopkins, other luminaries in the group are pianist Tim Ray, drummer Bob Gullotti, bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa, trombonist Jeff Galindo, French horn player Ken Pope, tubist Greg Fritze, and saxophonists Shannon LeClaire and Dino Govoni.
Bob Blumenthal from the Boston Globe writes: “Greg Hopkins, the inspired trumpeter/composer, is one of Boston’s unappreciated jazz treasures.” A note about the band and its name: The Cryogenic (to freeze for future reference) Renaissance (rebirth of) Orchestra offers “a rebirth of the coolest,” celebrating the classic nonets from the late 40s through 60s.