“The Marciac Suite” of Wynton Marsalis
The UNCG Spartan Jazz Collective is a collaborative septet of faculty and students, founded in 2012 to function in the mentorship tradition of the bands of Art Blakey, Miles Davis, and Horace Silver. Faculty members Steve Haines (bass), Brandon Lee (trumpet), and Chad Eby (saxophone) mentor a rotating cast of students in bandleading, arranging, and rehearsal technique, while focusing on specific jazz artists for each semester. Previous artists studied have included Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Max Roach, and Billy Strayhorn, among many others. Student members for spring 2018 are saxophonist Ariel Kopelove, trombonist Jacob Bruner, pianist Sean Mason, and drummer Sarah Gooch.
“The Marciac Suite” of master trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis is dedicated to the small town of Marciac, France, and the international jazz festival which has taken place there since 1978. Written in 1998 and set in 13 distinct movements, the suite is a tour de force of lyric beauty, orchestrational complexity, and above all, positivity and swing. The UNCG Spartan Jazz Collective is the first group outside of Mr. Marsalis’ own ensembles to be granted permission to perform this currently unpublished work, and they are grateful for the support of Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center in this endeavor.