Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tulane Big Band and Combo Concerts, Nov. 29th and 30th.

November 29th in the Recital Hall at Dixon is the "combo concert." November 30th, 8:00p.m. in Dixon Theater is the Jazz Orchestra and "Friday" Combo.

When I first started doing these things, there were only two combos (the Tuesday Band and the Friday Band) and I directed them both, as well as the jazz orchestra, and I used to put them all on the same concert. When the combo program expanded (there are now five of them, with additional directors Jim Markway, Jesse Mcbride and John Dobry, and we hope to add a sixth "trad jazz" combo next semester) the program got too long, so we split them up over two nights.  The focus in the small bands varies, according to who's directing. John Dobry's band, for instance, often showcases original compositions or unusual instruments (this year violinist Tanya Huang is featured; if you've seen the tv show "Treme," you'll recognize a character based on her). Jesse Mcbride's two bands tend to play a lot of repertoire by New Orleans modern jazz composers like Harold Battiste, Ellis Marsalis, and James Black. Jim Markway's group plays more 'traditional' modern jazz material like you'd find in the "Real Book."

My own "Friday Band" has always been kind of the "A" band. It was the first 'for credit' small band at Tulane when we launched the Jazz Performance Studies Program, and it's continued to feature the more accomplished, advanced players. Every year I'm convinced the new version is the best ever, but this year the band has taken a quantum leap forward into serious-good territory, as has the Jazz Orchestra.

We'll be featuring  music by John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Mary Lou Williams, Count Basie, Miles Davis, and Sammy Nestico, as well as appearances by guest clarinetist Colin Kemper and guest vocalist Mimi Mcmurray. Admission is free. You should be there.

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