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Miles Ahead


Tue 22 Jul 2008, 8:00pm–10:15pm

Where: Wellington Town Hall, 111 Wakefield St, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $38.00
  • Students: $12.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: rdfoxtrombone

A Musical Tribute to Jazz Icon, Composer/Arranger - Gil Evans.

Featuring The New Zealand School of Music Jazz Orchestra musical director Rodger Fox.

From the USA International Acclaimed Jazz Trumpeter - Clay Jenkins
And from New Zealand acclaimed Classical Guitarist - Matthew Marshall

The project will feature the famed Gil Evans arrangements as performed by Miles Davis on the Miles Head and Sketches of Spain recordings and two tracks from the Gil Evans plays Jimi Hendrix recording.

The concert will feature The New Zealand School of Music Jazz Orchestra under the musical direction of New Zealand’s leading jazz artist Rodger Fox in concert with American jazz trumpet artist Clay Jenkins and New Zealand’s award winning classical guitarist Matthew Marshall.

The Gil Evans trust has supported this project by allowing Rodger Fox and The New Zealand School of Music Jazz Orchestra to use the original arrangements penned by the late great GIL EVANS.

This is the first time these arrangements have been performed in New Zealand and is a honour for the New Zealand School of Music Jazz Orchestra.

For further information please contact: Rodger Fox at or phone (021) 143 3526.

Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media
ECMS Collegiate Instructor in Trumpet

Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, bringing him to the forefront of the jazz performing and teaching arenas.

Clay's experience as a performer began at an early age playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the "Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps."

Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. It was at this time that he studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.

Since moving to Rochester, NY to join the Eastman faculty in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States (especially NYC and LA) and abroad. Clay continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member (the trumpet section has included trumpet artists Snooky Young, Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Byron Stripling, and Bijon Watson).

Clay's solo recordings include Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, and Matters of Time. Additionally, his ensemble with co-leader Kim Richmond has released three recordings: Range, Look at the Time, and Crossweave. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall, Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Harold Danko, Rufus Reid, Ray Brown, Joe La Barbera, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Eric Reed, Gary Hobbs, Rich Perry, Bill Perkins, Bill Cunliffe, Gary Anderson, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Karrin Allyson, and Miki Coltrane. His most recent recording project is with Eastman colleagues Jeff Campbell and Rich Thompson on their newest Trio East recording, soon to be released.

Clay attended the University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University) where he earned his bachelor's degree in music theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie. He received his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood, and currently studies with Uan Rasey. Prior to joining the faculty at Eastman, Clay held teaching positions at The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, California Institute of the Arts, Colburn School of Performing Arts, and The Foundation for the Junior Blind.

Clay plays a Besson trumpet and represents this company as a performing artist.


“Matthew Marshall is a supremely talented guitarist – a New Zealand treasure.” - Capital Times (NZ)

"Marshall delivered each piece with considerable musical refinement.” - Musical Opinion (UK)

“Matthew Marshall very successfully built the performance to a joyous finale.” - Classical Guitar (UK)

“… a stunning performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.” - Daily News (NZ)

Matthew Marshall is one of New Zealand’s leading classical guitarists. He was a prize-winner in the 1988 Young Musician of the Year Competition and a recipient of an AGC Young Achievers Award and the UDC/Rotary Young Musicians Prize in 1989. He also won prizes in the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London in 1990, Australia/New Zealand Foundation Awards in 1991 and 1995 and a NZ-France Friendship Award in 2006.

Matthew has performed throughout Europe, Asia, America, Pacific Islands, Australasia and even Easter Island! He has also given over 70 concerto performances in New Zealand, Mexico, Russia and Germany including appearances with the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, the Guanajuato and Michoacan Symphony Orchestras in Mexico and the Kemerovo Philharmonic in Russia.

Matthew has been recording for Radio New Zealand since the age of 17 and has recorded nine CDs for solo guitar, chamber music and with orchestra. He is also an advocate for contemporary New Zealand music, with more than 40 works written for or premiered by him including five concertos and numerous solo and chamber works.

In 2005 Matthew performed in Iceland, Germany and Australia and gave a critically acclaimed solo recital in the Purcell Room at the Royal Festival Hall, London. In 2006 he performed in Australia, New Caledonia and USA and in 2008 will be releasing a new CD featuring music by New Zealand composers. 2008 will also see Matthew touring Argentina, Mexico, USA, Spain and the UK.

In 2006-2007 Matthew was Professor and Director of Music at Dartington College of Arts (UK) and from 1996 to 2006 he was Head of the Conservatorium of Music at Massey University. He is currently Visiting Professor of Music at the University of Plymouth (UK) and Head of Classical Performance at the New Zealand School of Music.

Sought after as a teacher, Matthew Marshall has given masterclasses at the Conservatorio Nacional de Mexico, the Mannes College of Music New York, the Gnessin Academy of Music Moscow, the Queensland Conservatorium Brisbane, the Canberra School of Music, the Dartington International Summer School UK, and many others. He is also founding Director of the Centre for Guitar Studies at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, a research centre dedicated to the guitar, its music, performers, composers and repertoire.

Matthew studied in New Zealand and England with William Bower, John Mills and Gordon Crosskey and in New York with David Leisner.

Biography – GIL EVANS
Born Ian Ernest Gilmore Green, his name was changed early on to Evans, the name of his stepfather. His family moved to Stockton, California, where he spent most of his youth. After 1946, he lived and worked primarily in New York City.

Between 1941 and 1948, he worked as an arranger for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. Evans' modest basement apartment behind a New York City Chinese laundry soon became a meeting place for musicians looking to develop new musical styles outside of the dominant bebop style of the day. Those present included the leading bebop performer Charlie Parker himself. In 1948, Evans, with Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, and others, collaborated on a band book for a nonet. The group was booked for a week at the "Royal Roost" as an intermission group on the bill with the Count Basie Orchestra. Capitol Records recorded 12 numbers by the nonet at three sessions in 1949 and 1950. These recordings were reissued on a 1957 Miles Davis LP titled Birth of the Cool.

Later, while Davis was under contract to Columbia Records, producer George Avakian suggested that Davis work with any of several arrangers. Davis immediately chose Evans. The three albums that resulted from the resulting collaboration are Miles Ahead (1957), Porgy and Bess (1958), and Sketches of Spain (1960).

Another collaboration from this period, Quiet Nights (1962) was issued later, against the wishes of Davis, who broke with his then-producer Teo Macero for a time as a result. Although these four records were marketed primarily under Davis's name (and credited to Miles Davis and the Gil Evans Big Band), Evans's contribution was as important as Davis's. Their work coupled Evans's classic big band jazz stylings and arrangements with Davis's solo playing. Evans also contributed behind the scenes to Davis' s classic quintet albums of the 1960s.

From 1957 onwards Evans recorded, under his own name, Big Stuff (1957, aka Gil Evans & Ten), Out Of The Cool (1960), and The Individualism Of Gil Evans (1964). In 1965 he arranged the big band tracks on Kenny Burrell's Guitar Forms album. Evans was quite warm to Latin and Brazilian music. 1966 he recorded a 'special' Latin album with his orchestra, Look To The Rainbow, for the Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto. Evans toured extensively during 1972-87, performing frequently in European concerts and festivals, and traveling twice to Japan, once with Jaco Pastorius.

For a man of his generation and training, Evans was surprisingly open to new directions in popular music. In the 1970s, following Davis and many other jazz musicians, Evans worked in the free jazz and jazz-rock idioms, gaining a new generation of admirers. Evans had a particular interest in the work of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. It is believed that Hendrix's 1970 death made impossible a scheduled meeting with Evans to discuss having Hendrix front a big band led by Evans. In 1975, he released an album of his arrangements of music by Hendrix.

In 1986, Evans produced and arranged the soundtrack to the film of the Colin MacInnes book Absolute Beginners (film), therefore working with such contemporary artists as Sade Adu, Patsy Kensit's Eight Wonder, The Style Council, Jerry Dammers, Smiley Culture, Edward Tudor-Pole, and, notably, David Bowie. In 1987, Evans recorded a live CD with Sting, featuring big band arrangements of songs by and with The Police.

In the early 1980s the Gil Evans Orchestra was booked into the Sweet Basil jazz club (Greenwich Village, New York) by jazz producer and Sweet Basil owner Horst Liepolt. This turned out to be a regular Monday night engagement for Evans for six years and also resulted in the release of a number of successful albums by Gil Evans and the Monday Night Orchestra (produced by Horst Liepolt). One of these albums, Bud and Bird, won the Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band in 1989.

Evans died in the same Mexican city as Charles Mingus.

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