Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. The winner of nine GRAMMY Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin Jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, he performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music, and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premier several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several GRAMMY nominations (1979, 1980) and a GRAMMY (1979).
His numerous recordings include more than 30 solo albums. In 1988, he was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble organized by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with jazz. Mr. D’Rivera continues to appear as guest conductor of that group which features such artists as James Moody, Slide Hampton, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Jon Faddis, Steve Turre, and others. A GRAMMY was awarded to the United Nation Orchestra in 1991, the same year Mr. D’Rivera received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music. Additionally, his highly acclaimed ensembles—the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, and the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet—are in great demand worldwide.
New York jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig has recorded 19 albums as a leader. His newest CD release is The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter on Half Note Records, which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 2009. This is the follow-up project to the 2005 GRAMMY nominated CD, Another Kind of Blue: The Latin Side of Miles Davis, and the 1998 GRAMMY nominated CD, The Latin Side of John Coltrane. These exciting projects were recorded live at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, and feature special guests Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin, and Brian Lynch. His most recent solo recordings on the CrissCross label are A Jones for Bones Tones, Obligation, Land of Shadow, Hieroglyphica, Unseen Universe, Osteology, and Heart of Darkness which received 4 and 1/2 stars in DownBeat Magazine. He has also been voted #1 Jazz Trombone (TDWR) in the 1998, 1999, and 2002 Downbeat International Jazz Critic’s Poll.
Maestro Kynan Johns, a leading conductor of his generation, combines his position as Director of Orchestras at Rutgers University with Director Assistente to Maazel & Mehta at the Palau de les Arts, Reina Sofia, Spain. 3 Johns has conducted the Israel Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony, Sydney and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and recently conducted Maazel’s 1984 at La Scala, in addition to Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly and Don Carlos in Valencia, working with Domingo, Frittoli & Alvarez. Johns has been a prize-winner in many international conducting competitions, including the Dimitris Mitropoulos & Maazel/Vilar Conducting competitions. He holds the inaugural Australian Centenary Medal, the Queens Trust award, Nelly Apt Bequest and Emerging Artist of the Year Award. This season he will conduct Die Fledermaus with MSM, Luisa Miller, Faust and Turandot in Valencia, Brahms’ Requiem and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony with Limburg Symphony, Holland, and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony with the Asturias Symphony.
Rutgers Jazz Ensemble’s 2009-2010 Artist-in-Residence Walter White’s dynamic trumpet playing has led him to work with many of the top names in music including Bob James, Dave Holland, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Gunther Schuller, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, and The Mingus Big Band. During the early 1990s, Mr. White toured and recorded with his boyhood hero, trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, and is featured on the CD, Live from London, playing “The Fox Hunt,” a sizzling duet with Maynard recorded at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. Currently, Mr. White serves as lead trumpeter for Dave Matthew’s Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, with whom he tours Japan on a bi-yearly basis, and has recorded six award-winning records for the Japanese market. Mr. White’s playing has graced the sound tracks of records, movies, and television; most notably network sitcoms Taxi, and The Cosby Show. As a recording studio owner, Mr. White produces music for records, television, and film, and has authored the Walter White Long-tone Accompaniment, a play-along CD for music practice, which has garnered worldwide acclaim. He has composed over forty original works for large jazz ensembles and has been commissioned to write for choirs, woodwind and brass ensembles, and symphonic orchestra. Walter White is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician.
A comprehensive research institution with more than 50,000 students on three main campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey comprises one of the major state university systems in the nation. Chartered in 1766 in New Brunswick as Queen’s College, Rutgers is the eighth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation and now comprises 29 degree-granting divisions, including 16 offering graduate programs of study.
Founded in 1976, Mason Gross School of the Arts is the arts conservatory of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is home to the departments of dance, music, theater arts, and visual arts. Its faculty and alumni rosters include arts professionals recognized nationally and internationally. The 4 school’s enrollment of 690 undergraduates across four departments and 314 graduate students across three departments, combined with a faculty of 160, assures students the opportunity to work closely with accomplished artists within their fields. Distinguished alumni include Kristin Davis, Calista Flockhart, Avery Brooks, Carol Wong, Alice Aycock, Cleo Mack, Julia Ritter, William Pope.L, Terell Stafford, Christina Pato, and Qiang Tu. The Mason Gross School was recently ranked the 19th most selective school in the country by the Kaplan/Newsweek college survey. Additional information may be found at www.masongross.rutgers.edu.
The Department of Music at Mason Gross School of the Arts has a faculty of 35 full-time and 38 part-time members. There are approximately 500 students enrolled in its seven degree programs: Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music, Master of Arts, Artist Diploma, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Musical Arts. All of the music degree programs have their common aim the development of well-educated professional musicians who have a deep historical and theoretical understanding of all aspects of music. The diversity of faculty specializations within the school provides a breadth of expertise rarely encountered in other programs.
Paquito D'Rivera Quartet
Paquito D'Rivera, Saxophone/Clarinet
Alex Brown, Piano
Eric Doob, Drums
Ruben Rodriguez, Bass
Rutgers Jazz Ensemble
Featuring 2009-2010 Artist-in-Residence Walter White
Rutgers Symphony Orchestra