NWSA Music Faculty Concert series continues with rousing jazz trio, plus Zivkovic, Bowers and Ford

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Feculty member Jim Gasior playing the pianoMIAMI--- The second of four Music Faculty Concerts “609@609,” by New World School of the Arts faculty members, continues with artist teacher of flute and current New World Symphony Fellow,Melanie Lançon performing Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Trio with Jim Gasior on piano, Alex Berti on double bass, and Rodolfo Zuniga on drums. This concert will include special guest performers from The Miami Percussion Project: Chad Patrick, Lizzie Galvan, and Jennifer Jimenez performing innovative and groundbreaking works of Zivkovic, Bowers, and Ford.

The NWSA Music Faculty Concert “609@609” takes place at the First Presbyterian Church of Miami. 609 Brickell Avenue, Miami on Monday, November 4, at 6:09 PM. This hour-long concert series is free and open to the public. More information about the event at 305-237-7855.  

Additional NWSA Music Faculty Concert “609@609” presentations are scheduled for Monday, January 20, 2014, and Monday, March 10, 2014, at the First Presbyterian Church of Miami. 609 Brickell Avenue, Miami. Musicians and repertory will be announced at a later date.

Jim Gasior NWSA's Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies, holds a BM (1992) in Studio Music and Jazz Performance and an MM (2002) in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami. As the director of NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble, Jim has led the group to numerous national successes including performing/competing at the Essentially Ellington competition numerous times. The ensemble was also selected to perform at IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) conference in New York City,Toronto, and Los Angeles. Many of his students have been awarded Downbeat Student Music Awards as well as honors such as selections to GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Bands of America, and other nationally renowned groups. The Jazz Ensemble and Combos have recorded eleven CDs, under his production anddirection. Jim is a successful jazz and commercial pianist, composer and arranger with performance credits with Kelly Clarkson, Ben Vereen, Jose Feliciano, Little Richard, Smokey Robinson and Jane Oliver among others.

AlexBerti, Alex was born in Venezuela where he began his musical studies at the age of five. He joined the Venezuelan Youth Symphony Orchestra as a Double Bass player, and two years later, one of the most prestigious orchestras in South America: the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. With the Simon Bolivar, Alex had the opportunity to tour and perform in several of the most important concert halls of the world, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, Teatro de la Opera in Madrid, UNESCO Hall in Paris,Teatro Colon in Argentina, Teatro Heitor Villalobos in Brazil, and Teatro Teresa Carreño inCaracas. In 1991 became principal Double Bass of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra where he served until he moved with his family to the United States in 1995. Through his extensive musical career, Alex has had the opportunity to participate in recognized international music festivals, like Tanglewood, Montpellier, and Trinidad, and to share the stage with personalities, like Placido Domingo, Yo Yo Ma, Montserrat Caballet, Eduardo Mata, and Arturo Sandoval, among others. Alex is a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, an active jazz player, and the Founder, Music Director and Conductor of the Doral Conservatory Symphony Orchestra.

Melanie Lançon is the newly appointed Principal Flute of Central City Opera in Colorado and is performing as Guest Principal of Seattle Symphony for the 2013-14 season. She is currently based in Miami as a Fellow with the New World Symphony.  Having previously served as Principal of the Baton Rouge Symphony, additional past engagements include Pacific Symphony, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

In addition to her performance experience, Melanie is recognized as a passionate music educator.  She has given guest lectures at Louisiana State University and was a Featured Artist and Masterclass Instructor at the 2005 Louisiana Flute Society Convention. While living in Chicago and Houston, she developed outreach programs for both elementary and college level students. She is currently Artist Teacher of Flute for New World School of the Arts at Miami-Dade College. A native of Louisiana, Lançon received her Master's degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and earned her Bachelor's degree with honors from Northwestern University, where she won the 2002 Concerto Competition.

Elizabeth Galvan has two percussion performance degrees from the University of Miami and the Manhattan School of Music, respectively, and recently received an Artist’s Diploma from the University of Miami.  She holds adjunct percussion faculty positions at many area schools, including Miami Dade College, Miami Arts Charter School and Florida Christian School.  She recorded as a soloist on Ney Rosauro’s CD, “Early Mallet Works.”  Elizabeth currently lives in Miami, Florida and is active as both a chamber and solo performer.  Elizabeth is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Jennifer Jimenez graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Music in music education and percussion performance from the University of Miami’s Frost School ofMusic.  Mrs. Jimenez is currently the magnet music director for South Miami Sr. High School of the Arts, a program in which both the band and percussion students are award winning.  She is a certified adjudicator for Florida Bandmaster’s Association in percussion.  Mrs. Jimenez currently performs professionally with the Miami Wind Symphony and Greater Miami Symphonic Band.  She has also been a featured soloist numerous times throughout Miami and is an on call percussionist for the Miami Symphony.

ChadPatrick received percussion performance degrees from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.  He currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Miami Dade College and New World School of the Arts.  Chad is a sought after freelance musician for groups including Brass Miami, Miami Wind Symphony and other various ensembles.

New World School of the Arts (NWSA) is Miami’s premiere eight-year arts conservatory. Music students receive one-on-one instruction from accomplished musicians and grow throughdisciplined guidance and training as they develop their personal style and repertoire. Through its educational partnerships, NWSA’s audition-based programs, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, offer the high school diploma as well as the BFA and BM college degrees. Areas of concentration in Music include:composition, performance, instrumental, piano, strings and voice. New WorldSchool of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature in 1984as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.  

The Miami Percussion Project (MPP) is South Florida’s most recent contemporary music ensemble focusing on the performance and education of important percussion literature.  Its’ members are comprised of performance artists, teachers and educators in the region thathave a strong passion for the advancement of 21st century music.  The group offers inspiring concerts with varied repertoire from “Ragtime” to “Raging Beats, “ connecting to audiences through master classes, lectures and performance workshops

PHOTOS: Jazz pianist Jim Gasior. Photo courtesy of NWSA