Sunday, November 19, 2023 | 2pm
First Unitarian Church (536 Linton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
JAZZ@FIRST: SNIDERO + STRINGS
Join alto saxophone giant Jim Snidero as he recreates his critically acclaimed recording "Strings" in the glorious acoustics of First Unitarian Church. You won’t want to miss this special afternoon as Snidero performs with the Phil DeGreg Trio and StringSource’s 12-piece orchestra featuring some of Cincinnati’s finest string musicians, all conducted by CCJO artistic director Eric Lechliter.
Complimentary wine and cheese at intermission are included with your ticket.
Jazz@First Series Sponsor: Al Harris
About the Artist: Jim Snidero, alto saxophone
Grammy award-winning alto saxophonist, composer and author Jim Snidero encapsulates what is both unique and compelling about jazz. Hailed as an “alto sax virtuoso” (Downbeat) with “mind-boggling” improvisation skills (The Guardian), he has amassed over 12 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music presenting acoustic jazz of the highest caliber, including his 2021 album Live at the Deer Head Inn (Savant), receiving a 5 star masterpiece review in Downbeat magazine.
Growing up in Camp Springs, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, Snidero immediately fell in love with jazz as a teenager. He studied with jazz giants Phil Woods and David Liebman, and was a member of the famed One O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas. After arriving in New York in 1981 at age 23, Snidero first appeared on the jazz radar when he joined Brother Jack McDuff’s band, recording two albums with a jazz great. That proved to be the first of many notable sideman stints including The Mingus Big Band, Eddie Palmieri, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Frank Wess, Sting and Frank Sinatra, among many others.
Snidero became a leader on record with On Time (Toshiba/EMI 1984), the first of 25 notable dates that he would record under his own name. An early highlight was Blue Afternoon (Criss Cross,1989), deemed one of the best jazz records in history in The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History Of The Music In The 1001 Best Albums. And his album Strings (Milestone, 2003/Savant 2022), which he both composed and arranged for a string ensemble and hailed a “masterpiece” (San Francisco Guardian), is considered one of the very best of the genre.
Over the past 15 years, Snidero has been with the highly-regarded Highnote/Savant label, resulting in multi-year placement in the preeminent Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll. Highlights from his Savant catalog include the critically-acclaimed Far Far Away with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Project K with Dave Douglas and the above-mentioned Live at the Deer Head Inn.
In 1996, Jim Snidero revolutionized jazz education by penning the first of three Jazz Conception book series (Advance), cementing his place as the best-selling jazz author of his generation, then continued his contributions with "The Essence of the Blues" (2018) and "The Essence of Bebop" (2020), considered a masterwork in jazz education. He is on the faculty at The New School, and was a visiting professor at both Indiana University and Princeton University.
About the Artist: StringSource, strings
Kanako Shimasaki is the owner and lead violinist of StringSource: a chamber ensemble of the finest musicians in Cincinnati, providing premier musical performances. The musicians have performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Kyoto City International Foundation and the BBC Proms, among others. Learn more at stringsource.com.
About the Artist: Phil DeGreg
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 1980s and has 10 CDs 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.