Monday, June 29, 2009

An Evening to Remember.

I don't get out nearly enough to hear live music. On the bright side, when I do go out to hear music, it is typically incredible as it takes something really big to motivate me to juggle schedules and childcare. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing (and hearing) the Maria Schneider Orchestra with my friends Jeremy and Taylor. I wasn't very familiar with Maria Schneider before this concert, so when Jeremy emailed me to say he and Taylor were driving all the way from Kalamazoo, Michigan to go to the concert, I figured I'd better get in on the action. I thought I'd drag Scott along for the ride as well, knowing that he'd definitely be out of his element, but figuring getting exposed to new genres is good for everyone.

We started with a lovely dinner at Il Fornello. Lovely because of the company (who doesn't love great friends with good food?). Also, we were a little jazz geek/star struck because Maria Schneider was also having her dinner in the same restaurant. I'm sure the soprano sax player sitting directly to our left and the two trombone players sitting directly to our right from her orchestra enjoyed our dinner conversation, which consisted of a lot music discussion and chatter about how excited we were for the concert, and a lot of worshipping at the "alter of Maria". We were surrounded by greatness and didn't even know it! Taylor was disappointed that Ingrid Jensen was nowhere to be seen in the restaurant (and equally thrilled when we saw her on stage). I may or may not have taken a picture (flash off of course) of Maria Schneider. Yeah, I'm classy like that.
I'm not sure if I can describe in words the magic of Maria Schneider. Her compositions are more like musical paintings, textures, journeys unto themselves. She conducts her orchestra by swaying and dancing in front of them (I couldn't take my eyes off her). Her cues completely subtle, her quiet power harnessing the sound of 19 of New York's finest jazz musicians to create a force that pulls you forward in your seat and whispers to your very soul. At one point during a composition titled "Rich's Piece", I felt tears rolling down my cheeks, and as I wiped them from my face, I felt as if my chest might open up from the surge of emotion. I don't cry very often, so I was surprised, but in a sense, also relieved that I am still able to let out the pain I push down for Max, for myself.If you get a chance to hear the Maria Schneider Orchestra in concert, I highly recommend you take it. They don't perform outside of New York very often, so this was a real treat. I bought two of her cds at the show. If you would like to get your ears on some of her music, go to Artist Share (she isn't on itunes).

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