Following the success of their season opener, a remount of the critically acclaimed production The War of the Worlds, Art of Time Ensemble curates another unique musical experience just in time for the holidays, bringing a 25-piece big band to life. The Big Band Show runs from November 30 to December 1.
The Big Band Show offers a rare chance to experience the power and beauty of a full 25-piece big band in an intimate setting with Art of Time Ensemble’s signature touch. Artistic director Andrew Burashko, exploring new territory, brings an incredible variety of rarely-performed music to Toronto audiences. Paying tribute to both classical and jazz music, and the relationship and history connecting the two genres, Burashko continues to collaborate with the country’s best performers to create dynamic pairings.
“With this show I’ve had a chance to combine three works I’ve wanted to share for years. I love the way these pieces speak to each other, illustrating the connection between classical and jazz music with the sheer force of big band sound,” said Burashko. “Showcasing this extraordinary range of music makes for a fun, colourful night that audiences will find incredibly accessible. The most exciting part might be the outstanding musical talent performing with us on stage.”
This original programme is made up of three pieces, which have never before been performed together. First on the bill is Igor Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto, originally commissioned by the American bandleader Woody Herman in 1945 and featuring virtuoso classical clarinetist James Campbell. The jewel in the program is Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, a reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker through the prism of jazz. Audiences familiar with the seasonal classic will be delighted by Ellington’s unconventional and swinging interpretation. Rounding out the slate is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 1, representing big band jazz as filtered through the creative mind of one of the greatest classical composers of the 20th century.
Art of Time Ensemble regulars John Johnson, Benjamin Bowman, Andrew Downing, Kevin Turcotte and Davide Di Renzo are joined by jazz giants Mike Murley, Al Kay, John MacLeod, David Occhipinti, Don Rooke and a who’s who of Canadian jazz artists. Bringing together internationally-acclaimed performers and some of Canada’s most talented artists, conductor Burashko unites classically-trained musicians with players from different musical worlds.
The Big Band Show will be on stage for two nights only at the intimate Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West). Tickets from $25 to $59 are available online at harbourfrontcentre.com, by phone at 416.973.4000 or in-person at the box office.