Jazz@First Series – Beatlejazz, featuring Kim Pensyl
Sunday, November 27 @ 2pm | First Unitarian Church

Series Sponsor: Al Harris

John Lennon and Paul McCartney created unforgettable melodies that helped define music of the 1960s. Trumpeter Kim Pensyl joins the Phil DeGreg Trio in reimagining some of their classic songs as instrumental jazz pieces. The arrangements lend a new jazz twist to familiar melodies.

Kim Pensyl is a prolific jazz recording artist, composer and arranger who was twice named one of Billboard’s Top-20 Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Year. A pianist and trumpeter, he has had four Top-10 albums on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart. He has recorded with jazz legends such as Toots Thielemans, and modern greats like Joey Calderazzo and Bob Mintzer. He has performed at such esteemed jazz venues as The Blue Note and Blues Alley and toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra and Acoustic Alchemy. He has more than 100 published works recorded and over 150 compositions and arrangements in his catalog.

Kim performs around Cincinnati and Central Ohio in various groups with Phil DeGreg, Rick VanMatre, and many others. He is a member of the Blue Wisp Big Band, Pat Kelly’s Psycho Acoustic Orchestra, Hank Maunter’s Masterworks Orchestra, Carmon DeLeone’s New Studio Big Band, and the Samba Jazz Syndicate. Kim is an associate professor of jazz studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and is very active is his college teaching and program development, including the new Commercial Music Production program launching in the fall 2012. Kim writes and performs with the Faculty Jazztet and guest artists at CCM, like Dave Liebman, Arturo Sandavol, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, Terri Lyne Carrington, Rufus Reid, John Clayton, and Mulgrew Miller among others.

In March of 2010 a new sax quartet composition was premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance conference in Georgia. A new three-movement brass quintet composition was premiered at the International Trumpet Guild conference in Sydney, Australia in July of 2010. Tim Anderson premiered “Pastoral Serenade” a composition for trombone and piano, in the fall of 2010 at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Recent recordings include a CD entitled “Melodious Monk” with Kim Pensyl and Phil DeGreg on Summit Records in 2011. The CD features the brilliant compositions of Thelonious Monk, portraying an old master in a new light. “Three Voices”, a new recording of jazz standards featuring wonderful performances by Rusty Burge on vibes, Michael Sharfe on bass, and Kim on flugelhorn, was also released on Summit Records, March 2012. In addition to performing on those recordings Kim also engineered and mixed the CDs. Kim is also working as a freelance engineer and has engineered, mixed, and mastered several other jazz recordings set for fall 2012 and early 2013 releases.

Learn more about Kim Pensyl on his website: http://kimpensyl.com.

Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. A graduate of Yale and the University of North Texas, he toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1980’s, and has 10 CD’s to his credit as a leader. For 13 years he accompanied many national and international jazz artists in the house trio in Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club. He has been on staff with the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1983, and has performed and taught in Europe and South America.

Phil DeGreg is the retired Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts study grants. In 2008 he was awarded a 4 month Fulbright Fellowship as a lecturer in Brazil.

His text “Jazz Keyboard Harmony” is a practical text for teaching jazz harmony for all musicians, and is used all over the world in universities and for private study.

Learn more about Phil DeGreg on his website http://phildegreg.com.

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania”, which is a term that describe the intense fan frenzy directed toward the British band. The phenomenon began in 1963 and continued past the band’s breakup in 1970.

The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, with Stuart Sutcliffe initially serving as bass player. The core of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison went through a succession of drummers, most notably Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in late 1962. They acquired the nickname “the Fab Four” as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the “British Invasion” of the United States pop market. From 1965 onwards, the Beatles produced what many consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (commonly known as the White Album, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969).

After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers of varying lengths. McCartney and Starr, the surviving members, remain musically active. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001.

Biography from MyEnglishPages.com.