The 2022 Whale & Jazz Festival Series continues on Sunday, July 24 at 5 pm with the Erik Jekabson Quintet performing in a Concert for Peace and Unity.
The 2022 Whale & Jazz Festival Series continues on Sunday, July 24 at 5:00 p.m. with the Erik Jekabson Quintet. The prolific Jekabson is a premier northern California musician, composer/arranger and educator who performs sensitively on both trumpet and the softer-toned flugelhorn. The outdoor concert is set for the JAMI Amphitheater at Gualala Arts. Tickets for this concert are available at EventBrite.com.
Jekabson also teaches a wide variety of students and has led the Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley for many years; he is considered by both music writers and jazz aficionados as a “singular and powerful northern California musical force.”
The quintet, led by Jekabson, includes stellar Bay Area virtuosos Charlie Gurke, baritone and alto sax, Smith Dobson, vibes, tenor sax and drums, Colin Hogan, piano and drums, and Owen Clapp, upright acoustic bass.
According to Festival Music Coordinator Fred Adler, who will emcee, “this ‘Concert For Peace and Unity’ will showcase ‘artistry in melody and counterpoint.’ Counterpoint is the creatively thrilling, simultaneous weaving together of two or more musical lines or melodies. Heard as a whole, they fit together impeccably. Musical unity!”
Concert highlights will include a performance of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, “Send in the Clowns” from “A Little Night Music” and Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim’s dream-fantasy piece “Somewhere” from “West Side Story”. John Lennon’s “Imagine”, performed as a hymn for Peace and Unity in today’s divided world of anxiety and strife, will be included. A reworking of “Gualala”, composed by Jekabson for a previous Whale and Jazz concert, will be presented.
Additionally, the gorgeous and remarkable musical composition “Cristo Redentor” (Christ the Redeemer), written by jazz pianist Duke Pearson, will be performed as a symbolic hymn of secular beauty, in order to summon peace, love, healing and inclusion. This masterwork was inspired by, and named after, the universally adored, 98-foot high statue of Christ that stands proudly on the summit of Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado Mountain. Arms outstretched, the statue welcomes all of humanity and all of life on Earth. Rio’s “Cristo Redentor” statue has been referred to as one of the “seven modern wonders of the world.”
Jekabson has released eight recordings which include both intimate combos and also multi-instrumental large ensemble performances of his own intriguingly-layered compositions. He has arranged for vocalist Ani DiFranco and for the San Francisco Symphony and the BBC Radio Orchestra. He toured with the historic and legendary Illinois Jacquet Big Band in 1998, and has appeared on both the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman as part of a larger ensemble of musicians.