2008-2009 News

End of Semester Scene

Join us as we present three separate performances to celebrate the end of the semester.  On Sunday, May 3,student jazz combos Orthonormal Basist and T. Milk will perform at 2pm in the Friedmann Room at the Campus Center.  The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble will give the world premiere of "Into the Light" by L. Frank Newton as part of their Buckley Recital Hall performance on Monday, May 4 at 8pm.  On Wednesday, May 6, student combos Black CoffeeHQLA and Reservoir Cats will perform at 7:30pm in the Friedmann Room of the Keefe Campus Center.  All students have been working really hard to be ready, and wish to play for large audiences.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

Jazz@Schwemm's Final Performance

The fourth and final performance in the Jazz@Schwemm's series will take place on Tuesday, April 21 at 9pm in the Backroom of Schwemm's Coffee House.  It will feature the Open Sky Trio (Jason Robinson-woodwinds, Eugene Uman-piano, and Bob Weiner-drums) plus two student combos,HQLA and the Reservoir Cats.  This free performance is open to the public.  Please drop in and support live music!

Faultlines presents Raw Materials

On Friday, April 17 at 8pm in Buckley Recital Hall, Raw Materials in concert.  Pianist Vijay  Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa  perform original material.  They will also present a performance workshop at 3:30pm in Room 7 of Arms Music Center on the same day.  Please contact Series Curator Prof. Jason Robinson for more info:  (413) 542-8208.

Jazz@Schwemm's Spring Semester Line-up

Join us for four consecutive Tuesday evenings to hear our own students plus local professionals perform their music in our performance series.  Each performance starts at 9pm and will feature a professional group and a student group.  The line-up looks like this:
March 31:  Yusuf Salim Memorial Project and student combo Telepathic Milk
April 7:      Flava' Evolution and student combo Black Coffee
April 14:    Miro Sprague Duo and student combo Orthonormal Basist
April 21:    Open Sky Trio and student combos Reservoir Cats/HQLA
Performances are free, please support live jazz and good food!

Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century

A yearlong festival encompassing a variety of concerts, workshops, lectures, and panel discussions. The artists embody some of the most creative, exciting, and provocative directions in contemporary improvised music. Highlights of the Spring 2009 schedule include a concert and workshop byRaw Materials, the award winning duo of pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonistRudresh Mahanthappa, a concert and workshop by the critically acclaimedCosmologic, a workshop featuring legendary saxophonist Kidd Jordan, a roundtable discussion celebrating the life and music of violinist Leroy Jenkins, an internet-based "telematics" concert featuring performers in multiple locations accross the United States, and more.  Click here for festival website.

Dave Pietro to Perform at Amherst!

Alto Saxophonist Dave Pietro will headline a group playing at Amherst College on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8pm.  Amherst College Jazz Combos will play with Dave to open the concert, and Dave will play the rest of the concert with his own group.  This is a benefit concert for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

End-of-Semester Concerts!


It's a busy time around the Music Department.  There are two combo concerts and do know that there are performances daily from now through the very end of the finals period featuring all our musicians from all the genres.  Our Jazz Combos will perform on two separate nights-Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7:30pm (Reservoir Cats and Dots Product) and then on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7:30pm (Black Coffee and Telepathic Milk).  Both performances are in the Friedmann Room of the Campus Center and are free.

Jazz Ensemble:

The Jazz Ensemble will present their end-of-semester concert on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 8pm in Buckley Recital Hall.  Joining them will be musical guests "The Maine Saxophone Project" directed by local saxophonist Bill Street.  This will be an exciting evening filled with adventurous music.  Please do come out and support all the live music possible-it's a great way to get a study break!  You can visit the MySpace page of our guests by clicking on:  http://www.myspace.com/usmsupersax



Ann Maggs will highlight the final Tuesday evening, Nov. 18 Jazz@Schwemm's performance.  With Ann will be Freddie Bryant '87 (guitar) and pianist/scholar Andy Jaffe (plus Andy's son Marty, bass).  Join us for this exciting event where the music is indeed "best consumed live". 


Visiting Professor Jason Robinson has put together an exciting series of performances, clinics and discussions that will detail the current state of the music we call jazz and/or Improvised Music.   For more information and to view the entire Faultlines offerings, please click here.



The Fall Line-up for the annual series Jazz@Schwemm's has been posted.  Four consecutive Tuesday evenings will feature live jazz starting at 9pm.  Oct. 28 will feature EJQ (Eclectic Jazz Quartet) and AC Combo the Reservoir Cats.  Nov. 4 will feature the Daniel McGeeney '08 Group and AC Combo Black Coffee.  Nov. 11 will feature our Visiting Professor Jason Robinson and his group along with AC Combo AC. 

Jazz Ensemble Concert

Join the AC Jazz Ensemble for their Homecoming Weekend Concert on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7:30pm in Buckley Recital Hall.  A special appearance by Alum Jazz Combo Blue Nomads will add to the music of Bill Holman, Miles Davis, Count Basie and Matt Harris presented by the Jazz Ensemble.

Jazz Combos to Perform

Immediately following the Amherst vs Williams Football Game, Amherst College Jazz Combos will play for the festivities in the Cage.  All four combos will share the time, and we encourage all alums to bring their instruments/voices  and sit in with us.

Jazz Ensemble Concert!

Join the AC Jazz Ensemble for their Family Weekend Concert on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 8:30pm in Buckley Recital Hall.  Guest Artist Frank Newton will join the ensemble in music of Bill Holman, Matt Harris, Hoagy Carmichael, Count Basie and more.  Free for AC and Five College students.

Auditions for Jazz Ensemble and Combos

Any student interested in Jazz Ensemble and/or Combo participation will need to audition-a relatively fast and certainly painless experience!  Information will be posted outside of Office 216 with a sign-up sheet and available times to schedule your audition.  A piece will be posted that we will want you to prepare.  The piece is also posted at the link to the left, or you can click here.  Vocalists interested in either a combo or the jazz ensemble should prepare a standard to use as their audition piece.  Ability to sing part or all of the audition piece is a plus.  We look forward to hearing you-at any level of prior experience that you have-upon your return and arrival to campus.  Be in touch with Bruce Diehl with any questions.  (bpdiehl@amherst.edu, 413-542-8308).

Jazz Jam session-Sunday, Aug. 31

Join returning and new students alike in our first jazz jam session of the year.  We will feature our fine jazz piano teacher, Eugene Uman, as our special guest.  All items of need (amps, microphones, music, etc.) is provided, and we will also have good food. 

We'll kick it at 9:30pm in room 7 of the Arms Music Center.  Bring your friends and your axes!