“Impressions:” an evening of jazz featuring organist Jean-Willy Kunz on the Kotzschmar Organ and his jazz quintet.
The organ is often associated with the church, with an austere and codified musical repertoire, and with an audience from another era. Over the course of centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present, it has sometimes been a simple bystander in the history of music, but at others a key agent developing musical style. Now, in today’s era of cultural convergence and artistic crossbreeding, Impressions presents the organ in an atypical role as, accompanied by instruments with which it rarely associates, it embarks on a musical journey in search of original repertoire.
The musical kaleidoscope offered at this concert bears witness to the wide spectrum of the group’s respective musical influences, from the traditional dance music of eastern Europe, via klezmer, to jazz. The organ becomes a versatile and unifying instrument, capable of unexpected sonorities. Its rich timbres provide an ideally textured background for improvisations on the clarinet, saxophone, and trombone. With its large range it can rival the double bass in the low registers, and join with the percussion to complete the rhythm section of this extraordinary quintet.
Jean-Willy Kunz is the first organist in residence of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. In addition to playing both with the orchestra and in recital, he sees to the development and showcasing of the OSM’s Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique installed at Maison symphonique de Montréal.
Jean-Willy Kunz studied with Louis Robilliard and Mireille Lagacé, as well as at McGill University, where he earned a doctorate with John Grew. He has been a prize-winner at a number of organ competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition, where in 2011 he won third prize and the Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize.
Bio from jwkunz.com
Tickets: Reserved Seating $60, $40, $20
Seniors 65+ $58, $38, $18
Kids 12 and under FREE
Available at PortTIX and over the phone at 207-842-0800.
PortTIX Box Office: 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, ME; Hours: M-Sat (M-F Summer) 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm or at www.porttix.com