Peter Apfelbaum + The Collective
Grammy-nominated composer and avant-garde jazz titan Peter Apfelbaum takes the stage with university of nevada, reno faculty jazz ensemble The Collective.
APRIL 26, 2018, 7:30PM // OPENING CONCERT
Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building
All about jazz magazine... with high praise for the renowned avant-garde jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist peter apfelbaum, has written...
"There's no denying the deep musicianship of apfelbaum’s genre-mashing ambition as he blends jazz with a host of world music influences to form a powerfully grooving sound."
Born in berkeley, california in 1960, apfelbaum started playing drums at three, taking up piano and saxophone in elementary school and forming his first band at age 11.
A product of the berkeley schools' pioneering jazz project, apfelbaum began performing professionally while in his early teens. in 1977 — his senior year at berkeley high — he formed the 17-piece "hieroglyphics ensemble" as a vehicle for composing and exploring non-traditional musical forms. the ensemble included fellow bhs classmates, some of whom would later move to new york and achieve recognition in their own right, including saxophonist Joshua Redman. the band released their self-produced debut album, pillars, in 1979 and began to attract international attention for their unique mix of elements of world music with the aesthetic of the jazz avant-garde.
Apfelbaum put the 17-piece group on hold during the mid-‘90s, forming a sextet comprising hieroglyphics musicians and acoustic bassist john shifflett. the group became Apfelbaum’s working unit for the next few years. in 1998 he moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he soon formed a New York version of his sextet, featuring Josh Roseman (trombone), Charles Burnham (violin), David Phelps (guitar), Patrice Blanchard (bass) and Dafnis Prieto (drums).
Apfelbaum toured Europe with several NY-based groups over the next few years, including joe bowie’s Defunkt big band, Steven Bernstein’s millennial territory orchestra, kamikaze ground crew, and the groove collective.
In 2002 he joined phish front man trey anastasio’s band, with whom he would play four sold-out u.s. tours and appear on the david letterman show and the tonight show, among others.
In 2003 Apfelbaum Formed The 11-piece New York Hieroglyphics, Adding To The Personnel Of His New York Sextet A Second Guitarist, Viva De Concini, And Four Original Hieroglyphics Members Who Had Moved East: Peck Allmond (trumpet, Reeds), Tony Jones (tenor Sax), Jessica Jones (alto And Tenor Sax) And Norbert Stachel (baritone And Bass Sax, Flute). The Band Played Two Sold-out Nights At Nyc’s Jazz Gallery, And Other Local Gigs Followed. Apfelbaum Had Recommitted Himself To The Idea Of Having A Large Group Of Like-minded Musicians To Write For And Perform With, And The Band Went Into The Studio To Record A Cd Of Apfelbaum Compositions, "it Is Written", Released In 2005. The Band Toured Europe In 2006 And Has Performed At The 2006 Monterey Jazz Festival And High Sierra Music Festival, As Well As At Freight & Salvage And Other Prominent West Coast Venues.
2012 Saw The Birth Of Sparkler, The Fulfillment Of Apfelbaum’s Desire To Create A Band That Would Focus On Heavy Dance Grooves And More Song-oriented Material. Featuring His Goddaughter, Natalie Cressman (trombone/vocals) And Longtime Colleague Will Bernard (guitar), The 5-piece Band Played Shows In Nyc And California Before Heading Into The Studio To Record Tracks For An Upcoming Album.
In Addition To The New York Hieroglyphics And Sparkler, Apfelbaum Continues To Perform Regularly With The Dafnis Prieto Si O Si Quartet And Sextet, Steven Bernstein/henry Butler And The Hot 9, Omar Sosa Afri-lectric Quartet And Sextet. He Also Often Performs Solo Or In Duet With Percussionist Josh Jones.
His Music Has Been Performed By The Kronos Quartet, The National Swedish Radio Orchestra Of Stockholm, The Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra, Harry Belafonte, Kamikaze Ground Crew And The Trey Anastasio Band. His Work Recorded By Other Artists Includes “pillars” (dave Ellis - In The Long Run), “when I Close My Eyes” Aka “theater Piece” (ann Dyer - When I Close My Eyes) And “peter’s Tune” (peck Allmond - Kalimba Collage).
As A Distinguished Alumnus, Apfelbaum Was Commissioned By The Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble To Write A New Piece For The Award-winning Band That Premiered At Oakland’s Renowned Jazz Club, Yoshi’s, With Apfelbaum Conducting. Apfelbaum Has Also Worked With Cecil Taylor, Nana Vasconcelos, Charlie Hunter, Joseph Jarman, Bill Laswell, Steve Kimock, The Chicago Children’s Choir, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Levon Helm And The Late Jim Pepper.
"I Feel That One Thing I Have In Common With Others In My Generation, Like Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob, Graham Haynes, Josh Roseman, Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard, And Medeski, Martin And Wood Is That We See The Dance Music Of Our Time (or "groove" Music, As Mmw Calls It) As Having Potential For Creative Development."
"At No Point In The Process Of Composing Have I Made A Conscious Decision To Incorporate African Elements Or, For That Matter, Any Other Cultural Or Stylistic Elements. I Just Write And Build And Adjust The Shape Of It All. My Vocabulary Reflects The Fact That I Started Life As A Drummer And Was Trained As A Sub-teenager In Jazz Theory, Blues, Gospel Music. As A Teenager I Was Inundated With Jazz, African And Latin Music, Was Involved In Group Improvisation On A Regular Basis, Listened To A Lot Of 20th Century Classical Music, Worked In R&b, Reggae, Blues, Latin, African, Jazz, Funk, Middle Eastern And Indian Bands, And For As Long As I Can Remember, Have Been Fascinated By How Sounds Fit Together."
Awards & Commissions
2007 Chamber Music America New Works And Presentation Award "Aural Histories"
2002 Jazz Composers Alliance Julius Hemphill Composition Award "Shotgun Bouquet"
2000 Donaueschingen Music Festival, Germany "Shotgun Bouquet"
1991 Winner - Downbeat Critics’ Poll Big Band Deserving Wider Recognition (Peter Apfelbaum And The Hieroglyphics Ensemble)
1991 Grammy Nomination "Candles And Stones"
1990 Rex Foundation Ralph J. Gleason Award For Creative Excellence
1990 Kronos Quartet "Lanterns And Cathedrals"
1988 Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra "Jodoji Brightness"
Peter Apfelbaum Kicks Off The 2018 Reno Jazz Festival Alongside The Acclaimed University Of Nevada, Reno Faculty Jazz Ensemble, The Collective. The University Includes An Impressive Jazz Faculty Of Seasoned, Professional Musicians And Educators Who Are Actively Involved In Performing, Composing And Recording. The Collective, Known As One Of The Most Creative And Distinctive Jazz Ensembles In The Western United States, Features Pianist Adam Benjamin, Bassist Hans Halt, Drummer Andrew Heglund, And Saxophonist Peter Epstein, And Has Released Four Cds (north, Boats, Balance, Once And Again).
Adam Benjamin Is A Grammy-nominated And Critically Acclaimed Pianist, Keyboardist, Composer And Writer Based In New Orleans. Recognized As A “rising Star In Jazz” In Downbeat’s Critic’s And Reader’s Polls For Six Years Running, His Unmistakable Sound Crosses Stylistic Boundaries And Challenges Traditional Notions Of Jazz. He Is A Founding Member Of Grammy-nominated Kneebody, An Electric Quintet Widely Recognized As One Of The Most Unique Ensembles In Jazz Today.
Hans Halt Began Playing Professionally In Buffalo, Ny, And Later Moved To The San Francisco Bay Area Gaining Experience Playing With Top Bay Area Musicians, Including Mark Levine And Pete Escovedo. Since Moving To Nevada In 1985, Halt Has Been An Active Performer And Composer, Including With The Afro-cuban Jazz Group No Comprende, The Ed Corey Trio, And The Collective. He Also Performs With The Reno Philharmonic And The Reno Jazz Orchestra.
Since Moving To The Reno-tahoe Area In 1996, Collective Member Andrew Heglund Has Performed With Jazz Artists Lee Konitz, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Bud Shank, Ravi Coltrane, Robin Eubanks, And Fred Hersch. He Also Performs With The Reno Jazz Orchestra And The Ed Corey Trio; The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra And The Discover Music Percussion Ensemble. Dr. Heglund Is An Active Clinician/adjudicator In The Northern Nevada And Northern California Areas And Organizes The Annual Northern Nevada Day Of Percussion.
Saxophonist Peter Epstein Is Director Of Jazz Studies At Unr. He Began His Career In 1984 In Portland, Oregon Where He Apprenticed With Resident Musicians Nancy King And Glen Moore. After Four Years Of Studying Jazz And Various World Music Genres At California Institute Of The Arts He Moved To New York City And Has Appeared On More Than 30 Recordings. Epstein Has Toured In More Than 20 Countries With Artists Including Bobby Previte, Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, Michael Cain, Miroslav Tadic, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Mike Stern, Steve Coleman, Jim Black, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, Kadri Golpalnath, And Many Others. As A Leader, He Has Released Four Albums. He Holds A Bfa In Jazz Performance From Cal Arts And A Master’s In Music From Unr.