Mike McGinnis plays Bill Smith's "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo" and his own "Roadtrip"

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mike McGinnis and Bill Smith (Jacob Garchik)

Clarinetist Mike McGinnis brings a large ensemble into the WNYC Studio to perform two pieces that blossom from the common ground where jazz and classical styles intersect.

The first is the mid-century modern masterpiece "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo," composed in 1956 by Bill Smith. Smith (aka William O. Smith) studied with Darius Milhaud, plays clarinet with Dave Brubeck, and has created a number of pieces that elegantly blend the sophistication of classic form and counterpoint with the swing and improvisation of jazz.

New York-based composer/performer Mike McGinnis has worked directly with Bill Smith to master Smith's Concerto, and Smith encouraged McGinnis to write a clarinet concerto of his own. The result is the second piece on this program, McGinnis's new "Roadtrip." McGinnis navagates the ensemble through a musical landscape full of adventures, surprises, and beautiful vistas.

David Garland welcomes McGinnis and his group (Matt Blostein, alto sax; Peter Hess, tenor sax; Barry Saunders, baritone sax; Brian Drye, trombone; Justin Mullens, French horn; Jeff Hermanson, trumpet; Jacob Sacks, piano; Dan Fabricatore, bass; Vinnie Sperrazza, drums) to the studio to perform and talk about these two lively, unusual clarinet concertos.

Bill Smith's "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo," 1st Movement, on WNYC's Spinning On Air

Bill Smith's "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo," 2nd Movement, on WNYC's Spinning On Air

Bill Smith's "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo," 3rd Movement, on WNYC's Spinning On Air

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