Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra

Tuesday / November 24, 2009 / 6:00 p.m.
Cathedral Church of St. Paul
138 Tremont Street
United States

Under the direction of Eugene Friesen, the Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra presents a special concert at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont Street, Boston.

The program will include music by Pat Metheney, Shostakovich, and Berklee faculty composer Mimi Rabson. The concert will feature Mexican vocalist Mili Bermejo in three love songs from Mexico and Argentina. Soloists from the ensemble will also be featured improvising in a variety of jazz and folk styles.

Berklee voice professor Mili Bermejo blends Latin folk music and jazz improvisation with poetic and socially aware lyrics. Critics have described her sound as “part poetry-folk, part Sarah Vaughn sophistication” (Boston Magazine). Included on her selections will be Dan Greenspan on bass and pianist Tim Ray, a longtime sideman with Lyle Lovett.

Pat Metheny’s “Jaco” is a tribute to the late bassist Jaco Pastorius. Arranged by legendary American fiddler Darol Anger, “Jaco” showcases powerful, rhythmic string writing and the improvisational abilities of  Berklee’s best string soloists.

“The Next Vehicle” by Mimi Rabson is a bluesy, polytonal exercise in groove, virtuosic string unisons, and contemporary jazz improvisation.

“Chamber Symphony,” by Dimitri Shostakovich, is dedicated to the victims of fascism and war. Originally composed as his eighth string quartet in July 1960, the music is austere, anguished, serenely beautiful, and violent. The piece attains new heights in the version for string orchestra by Lucas Drew.

Conductor Eugene Friesen is a graduate of the Yale School of Music. A Grammy Award–winning cellist and composer, he has been on the faculty at Berklee since 1999.

The Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra is committed to the art of ensemble playing and the development of repertoire featuring improvisation and the rhythmic capabilities of string instruments and players.