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Jazz Mass: A fusion of heaven and earth

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Saturday, June 13, 2015 (PDT) @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Seattle Choral Company

William Chapman Nyaho, piano
Tess Altiveros, soprano
Donald Skirvin, composer
Talvi String Quartet
Seattle Choral Company

Steve Dobrogosz – Mass, scored for choir, piano soloist and strings
Bob Chilcott – The Making of the Drum, scored for choir, marimba and percussion
Donald Skirvin – Curve of Gold, scored for choir, soprano solo and piano

Our season ends with African drum rituals and an exciting jazz-inspired choral mass that crosses comfortably from classical to jazz and gospel. The music is classical, and intended to be approachable at the same time.

Steve Dobrogosz is an American pianist and composer based in Sweden whose career spans several decades and ranges in style from classical to jazz and pop. Dobrogosz grew up in Raleigh, NC, and later studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In 1978 he moved to Stockholm, Sweden, and began a fruitful musical career there amid the city’s vibrant jazz scene. His “Mass,” which appeared in 1997, was premiered by Gary Graden and the St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir. It is an exciting jazz-inspired choral mass that crosses comfortably from classical to jazz and gospel. It will performed for the first time in Seattle.

Paired with Steve Dobrogosz’ modern-day “Mass” will be a very different choral work, also based on a sacred ritual – “The Making of the Drum” – an exuberant and rhythmic cantata for chorus and percussion, based on African rituals associated with drum making. Former King Singer, Bob Chilcott, composed “The Making of the Drum” using the poetry of Caribbean poet Edward Kamau Brathwaite. The work is a celebration of how the living spirit of the drum is brought to life.

Seattle resident Donald Skirvin wrote “Curve of Gold” for choir, piano, and soprano soloist in 2003 and revised in 2015 on texts by the American poet Sara Teasdale. The work is dedicated to SCC Conductor Freddie Coleman and Assistant Director Scott Kovacs, and will receive its world premiere on this concert.

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