N.O. Music Alive Ensemble present “Jazz meets Classical”

Under the direction of violinist Rachel Jordan, the Music Alive Ensemble, a unique ensemble of Classical and Jazz musicians will perform in New Orleans for the first time in since hurricane Katrina. The concert takes place on Sunday, May 25, 2008 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center Recital Hall (Lakefront Campus). Principally sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, admission is free but RSVP is suggested. Jordan said, "The selected tunes are my love notes to New Orleans."

This unique ensemble has put together a dynamic program of classical music influence by Jazz and Jazz music with roots that lead back to Classical. Mike Esnault has written a piece, "Creole Dance" specifically for Music Alive. This work features Congas and String Quartet, something quite unique and so New Orleans. Other works are to include Stephanie Jordan singing the Chick Corea's jazz piece "Spain, " and the hymn "Going Home", set to the music of Antonin Dvorak's 9th Symphony. Dvořák was interested in the Native American music African-American spirituals heard in America. Upon his arrival in America, he stated: "I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them."

The dynamic list of performers include; Jonathan Bloom, percussion; Mike Esneault; Peter Harris, bass; John Jones, drums; Alvin Fielders, piano; Suzanne Lefevre, viola; Kent Jordan, flute; Kidd Jordan, saxophone; Marlon Jordan, trumpet; Rachel Jordan, violin; Stephanie Jordan, vocals; Ivana Radakovich, cello; and Amy Thiaville, violin. Like New Orleans these Great Musics and Musicians meet again at common ground in this beloved City.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was set up to be the nonprofit owner of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Jazz Fest ( - with a mission to sow the seeds of our unique culture for generations to come. Its goal is to make sure that the festival's proceeds would be redistributed into the local community. The Foundation's mission is "To promote, preserve, perpetuate and encourage the music, arts, culture and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities."
To that end, the Foundation has developed numerous programs and assets and is the prime sponsor of this event.

Rachel Jordan, a Professor of Violin at Jackson State University has served as adjunct faculty at Xavier University, Southern University, and Dillard University. She was a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. Ms. Jordan received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with the great Berl Sernofsky. Rachel is a founding member of Music Alive Ensemble, a chamber ensemble based in New Orleans integrating classical and jazz music along with other art forms; she is also a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas.

Pianist/Composer/Orchestrator Mike Esneault's early studies began with two influential mentors, renowned clarinetist Alvin Batiste and composer/arranger Dr Bert Braud. Esneault received a Bachelor's of Arts from LSU and then later continued his music studies at North Texas University. Esneault has established a prolific career as a composer/arranger for various mediums, including television, motion picture, and live concerts as well as compact disc recordings.

Brought in specifically for this performance is Ivana Radakovich, born in Belgrade ex. Yugoslavia. She began study of the cello at the age of 9. She studied at Peabody Conservatory of music with Steplou Votes and received a Master's degree at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. Ms. Radakovich participated in many festivals. Her special interest is in contemporary music. Her participation in the Darmstaad Festival of Contemporary music lead to her study with Francis Marie Uitti and Arditti Quartet. Since 1991, she has been working in the Peal Orquestra Sinfonica de Sevilla.

Suzanne LeFevre, a native of Wisconsin, began her formal education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Music. She holds a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma from Yale University. Suzanne has led an active orchestral career and chamber life music life, which has involved playing in numerous orchestras and ensembles in the US, as well as Europe, including: Principal Viola of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant Principal Viola of the Charlotte Symphony, Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Granada Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, and New Haven Symphony. Suzanne has spent the summers participating in the Grand Teton Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Madison Chamber Music Festival, and Colorado Music Festival. After spending 20 months in Antwerp Belgium, in 2005, Suzanne moved to Houston Texas, where she is currently a member of the Houston Grand Opera, and Mercury Baroque. She is also a member, as well as personnel manager, of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.

Amy Thiaville received her Bachelor of Music degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with the late Vartan Manoogian, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Symphony. At Yale, she earned her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance. After finishing her studies, Ms. Thiaville moved to New Orleans upon receiving the title of Assistant Concertmaster in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She earned the title Concertmaster shortly thereafter. She has performed as soloist with the LPO including Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Vaughan Williams Lark Ascending, and Mozart Symphonie Concertante to name a few. Thiaville is also one of the founding members of Music Alive Ensemble. Amy is a member of Houston's River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and has been on the Loyola faculty since 2006.

Edward "Kidd" Jordan is an American jazz saxophonist and music educator from New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing a music degree at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he relocated to New Orleans. He taught at Southern University at New Orleans from 1974 to 2006. He has performed and recorded with a wide selection of musicians in styles ranging from R&B to avant-garde jazz, including Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, William Parker, Alvin Fielder, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ellis Marsalis, Cannonball Adderley, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor.

Stephanie Jordan performed the national anthem along side Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and guitarist Jonathan Dubose at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. She has appeared live on NPR Talk of the Nation, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland among others. Her latest performances have focused on the Big Band sound, performing with The Stephanie Jordan Large Band, Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra. Jordan has also been inducted as a member of the New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Stars for 2008.

Trumpeter Marlon Jordan was one of the "Young Jazz Lions" who were signed, recorded and promoted on major record labels in the 1980s. He recorded three impressive LPs for Columbia from 1998 to 1992, For You Only, Learson's Return, and The Undaunted, and one for the Arabesque label entitled Marlon's Mode in 1997. His latest album, Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan, You Don't Know What Love Is announces the return of an exceptional trumpeter.

Kent Jordan's is one of New Orleans’ most prominent jazz musicians. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and New Orleans' Center for the Creative Arts. Jordan played and recorded with the groups Jasmine and the Improvisational Arts Quartet before cutting two critically acclaimed Columbia albums in 1984 and 1986. His third Columbia album (1988's Essence) is his strongest, revealing him to be a capable soloist and composer. Since then, Jordan has toured extensively with jazz drum legend Elvin Jones and continues to show the jazz world that he is one of the most creative musicians around.

Peter Harris was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Scholarship at University Of New Orleans. He received his Masters of Music from the University of New Orleans in May 2005. He has played with Herlin Riley, Germaine Bazzle, Lillian Boutte, Loren Pickford, Nicholas Payton, Leroy Jones and many others. He is currently playing with Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, John Boutte, and Shannon Powell.

John Jones is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his musical journey on the drums at the age of eight and has been performing professionally since he was twelve. In 2006, John received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Southern University. The following year, John was encouraged to audition for the Louis Armstrong Quintet program at the University of New Orleans. He was accepted into the LAQ program under the direction of Steve Masakowski and Ed Peterson and is currently working towards his Master’s Degree. John is also presently studying with renowned jazz drummer, Troy Davis.

Alvin Fielder is one of Mississippi’s hidden jazz treasures. From his early days as a student with Ed Blackwell in 1951 and his founding work with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) in 1963, Fielder has remained tr

write your comments about the article :: © 2008 Jazz News :: home page