Jazz trombonist, transcriber to debut works

imageBrent Wallarab, the lead trombonist and arranger for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, will debut seven new arrangements with the Rick Holland-Evan Dobbins Little Big Band at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Wallarab is “one of the most accomplished writers and arrangers in the country today,” said Holland, an assistant professor of music at SUNY Oswego. “I just think he’s the very best at what he does.”

What Wallarab does includes transcribing, researching, editing, advising and playing for the Smithsonian Institution. He was appointed the specialist in jazz for the institution, where he has transcribed more than 300 works for jazz orchestra from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Gil Evans and Sy Oliver.

He has donated more than 100 of these transcriptions to SUNY Oswego’s music program, Holland said.

Wynton Marsalis has tapped Wallarab to transcribe for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the center’s Essentially Ellington education program. Wallarab also has rehearsed, guest conducted and soloed with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.

His group, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, is starting to get national attention through its performances and two releases, “Heart & Soul: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael” and “Happenstance,” Holland said. “With all his other talents, you can’t forget he’s a marvelous trombone player,” Holland noted.

Holland and Wallarab have known each other for more than a dozen years and share an interest in developing new arrangements for jazz orchestra. For Wallarab to choose SUNY Oswego and his band to debut these pieces is “a real honor and opportunity for music lovers to hear work created by a master,” Holland said. “It’s really exciting.”

The concert is sponsored by SUNY Oswego’s Office of Continuing Education and the college’s music department.

Tickets for the concert featuring Brent Wallarab with the Rick Holland-Evan Dobbins Little Big Band cost $12 ($10 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). For information and reservations, contact the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or tylerbxo@oswego.edu.

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(Posted: Mar 16, 2005)