The occasional collaborations between musicians of a classical background and those of a jazz and improvised music background are very interesting to me.
These opportunities, which I have been lucky to have been involved in both as a performer and as a composer, tend to be notable (at least in Vancouver from what I can see)for what can be an obvious sense of respect between artists of different disciplines going both ways. Although my formal training was all in classical trumpet, my performing (and largely my composing) careers have been involved with jazz, for the most part. I have experience seeing things from both sides of this particular fence, and have come to realize that musicians play music because they love music, and because of the challenge it presents to them. At least that is the case for most of the musicians that I know and respect. Maybe that doesn’t provide a large enough sample group!
There is also the camaraderie that comes with working together in an ensemble of people that one has respect for; that too can help cement this all together.
It is not to say that this is always the case, but I did feel this way pretty strongly back in the Fall of 2011 when I had the chance to have my compositions for this concert (such as they were at that time) workshopped by Owen Underhill and the Turning Point Ensemble at the Rose Gellert Hall in Langley (at the Langley Community Music School, where I studied piano as a boy). I felt welcomed, listened to, and I also sensed a feeling of open – mindedness which in itself can have a very calming influence on an anxiety – ridden jazz composer writing for musicians who don’t regularly play jazz .
I guess we try and meet in the middle, and that is what I have been thinking about while working on this music.
I for one am really looking forward to this event,