In partnership with Angel City Jazz, Piano Spheres, and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Grammy-winning faculty pianist Gloria Cheng launches her latest commissioning project: Root Progressions (named for a seminal jazz theory method). The intent is to bridge two genres steeped in experimentation and exploration—jazz and contemporary classical music—yet perennially divided by genre labels. Cheng invited six composer/improvisers: Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthony Davis, San Francisco pianist Jon Jang, Grammy-winning bassist Linda May Han Oh, Grammy-nominated Gernot Wolfgang, and our own Distinguished Emeritus Professor James Newton (global jazz studies) and multiple Grammy-winning Prof. Arturo O”Farrill (global jazz studies), to write solo works for her, and will lead a discussion and workshop with them, culminating in a school-wide jam session. The commissions were generously supported by UCLA Arts Initiative, Hugo and Christine Davise Fund, and the NEA, and will be premiered by Ms. Cheng in her recital that evening at Zipper Hall. Guest performers will be HASOM Director of Contemporary Jazz Ensemble Hitomi Oba, and Grammy-nominated pianist Fabian Almazan.
This event is supported by the Christine and Hugo Davise Fund.