LSM Newswire

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Saxophonist Mike Murley headlines York Universityĺ─˘s Faculty Concert Series

Toronto October 21, 2009: Nationally acclaimed saxophonist Mike Murley steps into the spotlight November 17 at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall as the featured performer in York Universityĺ─˘s Faculty Concert Series.

Recognized as one of Canadaĺ─˘s finest jazz talents, Murley is very active as a bandleader, sideman, composer and arranger. Heĺ─˘s an eight-time winner of the Jazz Reportĺ─˘s "saxophonist of the year" distinction, and has nine Juno Award-winning recordings to his credit. A former member of the celebrated ensembles Time Warp and the Shuffle Demons, his performance and recording credits include Metalwood and the Rob McConnell Tentet, collaborations in the Murley/Occhipinti Duo, Murley/Braid Quartet, David Liebman/Mike Murley Quartet and DMBQ, and his own trio, quintet and septet.

Murleyĺ─˘s latest recording as a leader, The Melody Lingers On (CBC Records), features his trio live in concert at Torontoĺ─˘s Glenn Gould Studio with a 12-piece string ensemble conducted by Rick Wilkins, playing string arrangements by Murley and Reg Schwager. Last year he released two new recordings as a co-leader, DMBQ Live and Day and Night with his former teacher, David Liebman.

Murley is also featured on the recent Bravo! DVD release Solos ĺ─ý The Jazz Sessions, a 39-episode music performance/profile series that spotlights unaccompanied performances by some of the legends and young stars of the jazz world.

In his York U showcase concert, Murley will be featured in a variety of settings ranging from duo to septet. He will be joined on stage by his fellow faculty members, Music Department Chair Barry Elmes on drums, Oscar Peterson Chair Ron Westray on trombone, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and Jim Vivian on bass. Guest artists, pianist David Restivo and alto saxophonist Tara Davidson round out the ensemble.

The eveningĺ─˘s playlist includes original compositions as well as jazz standards. Murley will premiere new arrangements of his compositions dedicated to his native Maritime roots and the Bay of Fundy region. Complementing this material will be his adaptation for jazz septet of the traditional Celtic melody Shule Agra.

Murley is an alumnus of Yorkĺ─˘s Music Department, where he currently heads the jazz studies area. His November 17 concert is the second of five performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature cellist Mark Chambers (Jan. 19), pianist Michael Coghlan (Feb. 2) and jazz drummer Barry Elmes (Mar. 2).

What: Mike Murley headlines York Universityĺ─˘s Faculty Concert Series
When: Tues. November 17 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: single tickets $15, students & seniors $5 | series tickets: three-concert package for $30
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dorothy de Val in York U Faculty Concert Feb 10

Dorothy de Val is 'Flirting with Mr. Darcy' in the York U Faculty Concert Series

Toronto, January 28, 2009: British music specialist Dorothy de Val steps into the spotlight with her English country dance music ensemble Playford's Pleasure in Flirting with Mr. Darcy, the third performance in the Faculty Concert Series of York University's Music Department. Revisit romance with an evening of lighthearted dance music from the age of Jane Austen in York's Tribute Communities Recital Hall on February 10.

Playford's Pleasure are inspired improvisers, putting a delightful modern spin on popular tunes of bygone times. Pianist de Val, fiddler Stephen Fuller and York music instructor, flautist Barbara Ackerman will perform songs from the era of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. The program includes pieces issued by the renowned 17th-century music publisher John Playford as well as works by Henry Purcell, Nathaniel Kynaston and a host of anonymous composers.

Playford's Pleasure will be joined on stage by The Regency Dancers, led by York graduate student, dance historian and caller Karen Millyard. The dancers will perform to the live music for several numbers including The Physical Snob (c.1800) Grimstock (1652), Shrewsbury Lasses (1765), and The Fandango (1774).

Thanks to the published instructions in dance collections and manuals of the day, English country dance is one of the earliest re-creatable social dance forms. The style is rooted in the 17th-century gentry and courts of England and France. The tunes themselves were derived from everything from ballads to operas, with a wide variety of styles spanning sweet and melodic, to melancholic, to lively and rhythmic. Though it may be more than 300 years old, the music - and the flowing, graceful social dances set to it - remain accessible and engaging to contemporary audiences. Toronto has a number of thriving clubs with monthly dances and concerts, where traditional performance mingles with the new.

"It's been said that if you can walk and you know your left from your right, you already know the basics of English country dance," said de Val. "And with the caller giving directions, dancers don't need to rely on memorization. This helps account for the art form's continuing popularity."

De Val's research into British folksong revival introduced her to Millyard and Toronto's English country dance community two years ago. She formed her trio Playford's Pleasure shortly after.

De Val studied piano in Toronto with Boris Berlin and Pierre Souvairan and graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music performance program in London, England. Appointed to the College's internationally renowned Museum of Instruments, she began performing on the collection's fine harpsichords and early pianos. Her research on the folk music revival in England in the early 20th century includes publications on the scholar and collector Lucy Broadwood and the composer Percy Grainger. She taught at the Royal Academy of Music and at the University of Oxford before joining York's Music Department, where she is professor of musicology.

What: "Flirting with Mr. Darcy"
- Dorothy de Val headlines the York U Faculty Concert Series
When: Tues. February 10 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students & seniors $5
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

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