The Amherst College Department of Music presents Garden of Snakes, an original jazz composition thesis by Diego Ramos-Meyer '19, on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., followed by A Thousand Shapes, an original jazz composition thesis by Ella Yarmo-Gray '19, at 7:45 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.
Garden of Snakes
Garden of Snakes is a five-piece suite exploring African-American and Latinx jazz music. Born to a Costa Rican father and American mother, Ramos-Meyer grew up listening to music from a wide variety of traditions all over the Americas. This 10-piece ensemble, including flute, violin, trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone and congas, takes the audience on a journey through modern-day manifestations of traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms. From Herbie Hancock to Pérez Prado to J Dilla, Garden of Snakes has something to offer everybody.
A Thousand Shapes
Virginia Woolf writes in her novel To the Lighthouse, “Love had a thousand shapes.” In a five-piece suite, Yarmo-Gray explores the ways in which various forms of love can be encapsulated in music, particularly those that are nonromantic. The music is of the modern jazz idiom and is written for a six-piece ensemble that includes Yarmo-Gray on piano, Fumi Tomita on bass, Austin McMahon on drums, Will Fishell '20 on trumpet, Dean Gordon '22 on tenor saxophone and MacKenzie Kugel '20E on violin. This exploration takes the listener through a multitude of their own experiences with love, and introduces the possibility of many more.
This bilingual work grapples with the past, bearing witness to gender-nonconforming historical figures, La Monja Alferéz and The Publik Universal Friend. Puppetry and poetics lift up the lives of these trans ancestors in an exhilarating conversation honoring their genders and refusing to look away from their transgressions.
Praise for Publik Private:
“The infernal and the saintly collide in a bold intertwining of two adventures too wild to be fictional. Publik Private is a show that smashes the binary in more ways than one: out and passing, chaste and carnal, pacifist and warmonger, hero and villain, thwarted imperialist and well-intentioned gentrifier. With a wry smile, Eppchez dances between the polar opposites of these two trans lives, and joins them together in something tender, irreverent and all too human.” -Mary Tuomanen (Barrymore Award-winning playwright)