Archive for October, 2017

The Victoria Jazz Orchestra Presents Oliver Nelson’s Peter and the Wolf

October 24, 2017 1 comment


peter and the wolfJoined by Tony Genge on the Hammond organ, the Victoria Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music of Oliver Nelson, including selections from Nelson’s reworking of “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev (from the 1966 album featuring Jimmy Smith) on November 11 at Hermann’s Jazz Club on View Street in Victoria. 
Island Jazz interviewed VJO director Monik Nordine about the project and her work with the VJO.


1. Monik, why did you choose this material?

I chose this material for a number of reasons.  Mainly I love Jimmy Smith and I love the sound of the Hammond organ of the 1960’s.  I love Oliver Nelson’s writing.  And I absolutely love their collaborations.  And so, I felt I had no choice but to present this material.  Given that Tony Genge is now living in Victoria and plays the Hammond Organ like nobody’s business it just fell into place.
2. In your press release you commented that the music is not politically suggestive in any way.  What did you mean? 
The original libretto was propaganda aimed at children in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s.
The adaptation by Oliver Nelson has no narration and is not intended to be an allegory of any kind.  I am, however, hoping to have a narrator simply to provide a story line to the music.  The great Russian composers seem to have had an ability above all others to convey (in metaphorical terms of course) a tale which takes the listener on a voyage.  “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky for example, or many of the works by Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky.  It is actually a coincidence that The Russian Revolution took place 100 years ago in October; I didn’t think of this when I started the planning for this show.
3. Tell us about your work with the VJO.
The Victoria Jazz Orchestra has been a pet project of mine since June of 2013.  It is more or less a continuation of the Monday Night Big Band which I was a part of from 2001 until 2006.  When I moved to Victoria in 2011 I hoped that it would start again and when nobody else took it on I decided to give it a whirl.  Some of the Monday Night Big Band members are still with the Orchestra, such as our French horns Karen Hough and Marc Patsula.  We almost always have Tom Vickery with us on piano, although he will not be with us for this next show as Tony is our featured guest artist.  Tom Eadie is often with us on trombone and trumpet players Dave Flello and Marianne Ing were often with the Monday Night Big Band.
The library from the MNBB is in my office and I have been adding to it over the years with repertoire I find interesting such as the Coltrane Africa Brass arrangements which we performed with Ryan Oliver and now this Oliver Nelson material.
One of the thoughts behind the project is that unlike the classical music world, there are no jobs waiting for jazz musicians in symphony orchestras when they graduate from university.  There is a huge lack of infrastructure in the form of jobs and grant funding for jazz (a term that is the easiest one to use for this music, although many people have brought forward other names, such as: African American Music, North American Classical Music etc).  If there were well run and well funded jazz orchestras across North America players would have more to work towards with the decline in other areas of the industry.  So this jazz orchestra project has the potential to serve a higher purpose.
4. What can the audience expect from this performance? 
We are hoping that people are entertained by the funkiness of the Hammond organ and the power of the brass, moved by the swing and groove of the fantastic arrangements and perhaps even delighted by hearing the Prokofiev themes in this setting.
For information on tickets visit Monik Nordine’s web page.
Categories: Events
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