jazzers (and other Five College musicians) will have a chance
to jam on stage with an acclaimed jazz saxophonist as participants
in the first event in a program coordinated by Branford Marsalis.
Tenor saxophonist David Sánchez,
a leading voice in Afro-Caribbean jazz whose recent album
Travesía is his third recording to be nominated for
a Grammy Award, will visit Smith on Wednesday and Thursday,
February 26–27, with his renowned sextet. Sánchez
will lead a performance workshop for students on February
26 at 3 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall in Sage Hall.
however, the highlight of Sánchez’s
visit may be a concert that evening at 8 p.m. in Sage Hall.
After a first-half performance by Sánchez’s
band, students—perhaps as many as a dozen—will
be invited on stage to play alongside the professionals.
On February 27, at 4 p.m., Sánchez and his group will
wrap up their visit with a panel conversation in Sage Hall’s
Earle Recital Hall, to be followed by a reception in the
Sánchez’s visit is the inaugural
event of Marsalis Jams, a program initiated by jazz saxophonist
through his new Marsalis Music record label, that combines
music and education by bringing world-class musicians to
the nation’s colleges to perform and to give musical
guidance to students.
The program aims to promote
opportunities for college student musicians to learn from
featured musicians chances to present their music to new
audiences on college campuses, in contrast to the typical
urban nightclub or concert settings.
Marsalis Jams gives students a chance to rub shoulders with
high-profile musicians, while also stimulating their interest,” says
Steve Waksman, assistant professor of music at Smith who
helped coordinate the event. Waksman will be the moderator
of the Sánchez sextet’s panel on February 27. “There’s
a lot of promise in this program and we’re in a good
position to take advantage of it.”
who was born in Puerto Rico, quickly became recognized in
the New York jazz scene in the late 1980s,
performing with pianist Eddie Palmieri and Paquito D’Rivera.
In 1991, Sánchez was invited by Dizzy Gillespie to
join his United Nations Orchestra.
critical acclaim with his debut album, The Departure, in
1995 and successive recordings Sketches
of Dreams and Street Scenes. His album Travesía, features
the same sextet that recorded his Grammy-nominated Melaza
last year, and will join Sánchez at Smith.
plans to pursue more musical performances by musicians such
as Sánchez, he says, who represent new genres,
perhaps hosting similar visits annually. “We have an
up-and-coming jazz ensemble here with a growing number of
players,” says Waksman of Smith’s 30-student
group, which is directed by Bruce Diehl. “The music
department is interested in getting some kinds of music here
outside the traditional genres.”
The Marsalis Jams
event is sponsored by the music, Latin American studies
and American studies departments, the offices
of the provost/dean of the college and the president, and
by the Five College Music Chairs.