Center For the Arts CFA

Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble concludes 15th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchesta Weekend on Saturday April 30

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble concludes 15th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchesta Weekend on Saturday April 30

Wesleyan University's Music Department & Center for the Arts present the
Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble
Saturday April 30 concert to feature music from new double album
as conclusion of the 15th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend

Middletown, Conn.—Wesleyan University’s Music Department and Center for the Arts present a concert by the Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall, located at 50 Wyllys Avenue on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. The concert will conclude the 15th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend.

Vibraphonist, composer, and Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies Jay Hoggard '76 will present music from his new double album "Harlem Hieroglyphs" in celebration of 40 years since his Wesleyan senior recital in Crowell Concert Hall, almost to the day. At Wesleyan, the concert ensemble will feature saxophonist René McLean, pianist and organist James Weidman, bassist Belden Bullock, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff on drums. The additional personnel that recorded the double album included saxophonist Gary Bartz, pianist and organist Nat Adderley, Jr., and drummer Yoron Israel.

The new compositional direction that fascinates Jay Hoggard is toward an implicit narrative thread, such as that framed in the word “migrations.” This is the concept with which he created "Harlem Hieroglyphs," begun when he was on sabbatical from Wesleyan University last year, that takes a listener through “a spectrum of jazz—standards from musical theater to an extended form they call ‘rhythmic’ jazz,” said Mr. Hoggard. “All the jazz greats—Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson—they’ve all left their sonic hieroglyphs in the music we now play. Every composition on this record is an exploration of how I have come to think the way I do, and what has brought me to hear music from the angle that I do. What I call improvisation is spontaneous composition. It’s extemporization in the context of a compositional format. Any musical moment has these multiple layers—melody, harmony, and rhythm—and so you are manifesting in the middle of that, melodically and rhythmically, and reacting to the harmonic structure. That’s where the genius is in jazz. It’s like ten-dimensional chess: there’s melody, harmony, and rhythm identifiable parts, but then there’s all the rest—and it’s mystical.”

Admission for the performance by the Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble is $15 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, and non-Wesleyan students; and $6 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice, by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.

The 15th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend also includes the following free event:

Wesleyan Jazz Orchesta and Jazz Ensemble Concert on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. The Wesleyan University Jazz Orchestra, directed by Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies Jay Hoggard, and Jazz Ensembles, directed by Noah Baerman and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff, present an exciting evening of classic and contemporary jazz repertoire.

The Jay Hoggard Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble featuring pianist and organist Warren Byrd, bassist Belden Bullock, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff on drums, and Wesleyan graduate music student Sean Sonderegger on saxophone; will also be performing as part of the Spring Faculty Dance Concert "Storied Places" on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8pm in the CFA Theater, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown. The dance performances will feature choreography and direction by Chair and Associate Professor of Dance, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Environmental Studies Nicole Stanton, original composition and musical direction by Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies Jay Hoggard, narrative text by Chair and Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Professor of English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Center for African American Studies Lois Brown, and visual scenography and design by Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy L'Merchie Frazier. Admission for the Spring Faculty Dance Concert is $5 for Wesleyan students, and $10 for all others.  

In 2012, the Jay Hoggard Quartet performed the world premiere of his multi-part suite "Sonic Hieroglyphs from Wood, Metal, and Skin" as part of the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend. That quartet included James Weidman, Yoron Israel, and Santi Debriano, plus special guests including Anthony Braxton, Kwaku Kwaakye Martin Obeng, Marty Erlich, and Brandee Younger.

Other artists that have been featured in the past as a part of the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend have included the Noah Baerman Resonance Ensemble including Chris Dingman '02, Kris Allen, Melanie Hsu '13, Henry Lugo, Bill Carbone MA '07, Ph.D. Candidate, Latanya Farrell, Claire Randall '12, and Garth Taylor '12; the Oliver Lake Big Band including Josh Evans;  Mixashawn's "Ghostly Trio" featuring Pheeroan akLaff and Bill Arnold; Hugh Masekela; Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra; the Bennie Maupin trio with Buster Williams; Dr. Lonnie Smith with Jonathan Kreisberg; Cedar Walton; Tina Fabrique; the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra directed by Bill Lowe and Carl Atkins; the Phil Woods/Ted Rosenthal duo; and Bobby Hutcherson.

About Jay Hoggard
An Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies, Mr. Hoggard received both his B.A. and M.A. from Wesleyan University, and has been the director of the Wesleyan University Jazz Orchestra for the past 24 years. He majored in the renowned World Music program, and toured Europe and played at Carnegie Hall during his freshman year. In his junior year, he traveled to Tanzania to study East African marimba music. After graduation in 1976, he returned to New York City where he was proclaimed "the most dazzling new vibraphonist in jazz" by Robert Palmer  in The New York Times.

As a performer, Jay Hoggard has toured the globe to rave reviews. Noted journalist Owen McNally wrote "Jay Hoggard's artistry has a universal quality, an intellectual and emotional resiliency that makes it seem very much at home when creating something new and fresh in every genre, from the roots of African music to the outer reaches of the blues. He is not just one of the premier voices on vibraphone, but also one of the top-seeded instrumentalists and composers of the jazz world today."

Mr. Hoggard’s music has touched the hearts and souls of listeners around the world for over thirty years. He has performed in special concert collaborations with vibraphone masters Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente, and Bobby Hutcherson. He has recorded and toured with creative artists such as Kenny Burrell, Dr. Billy Taylor, Max Roach, James Newton, Hilton Ruiz, Oliver Lake, Bennie Maupin, Sam Rivers, Jorge Dalto, Terumasa Hino, Dwight Andrews, Geri Allen, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, Vishnu Wood, Chico Freeman, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sherry Winston, and Ahmed Abdullah; and was a guest artist with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band. He has accompanied singers, instrumentalists, and poets; and has performed with gospel, theater, dance, percussion, and orchestral ensembles.

Mr. Hoggard has performed in many of the finest venues throughout the United States, Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and Asia. He has performed in major venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Schomberg Center; jazz festivals including St. Lucia, JVC, Montreux, Mt.Fuji, Pori, Hartford, and New Haven; and colleges, universities, churches, galleries, libraries, and clubs around the globe. He has been featured on NPR and Pacifica Radio. National and international television appearances include ABC Times Square, CBS Sunday Morning, and BETJazz. He also led a quintet on an extensive tour sponsored by the United States government to North Africa, the Middle East and India.

Jay Hoggard has been honored and commissioned as a composer in various contexts. Jay was commissioned by Wesleyan University to compose "Joyful Swamp" and "Crossing Point" for Max Roach and percussion ensemble, and “Vibarimbala" for symphonic and jazz orchestras. In 2009, Mr. Hoggard was commissioned by dance troupe Sankofa Kuumba and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra to write "The Other Side of the Ocean" and "Let Me Make It Clear." Previously, he collaborated with choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson by composing "The Wisdom of the Baobob Tree," commissioned by Lincoln Center Out of Doors. And he was commissioned by the Hartford Festival of Jazz to compose "La Tierra Hermosa," dedicated to Tito Puente.

For more information about Jay Hoggard, please visit http://www.jayhoggard.com/.

About the Music Department
The Wesleyan University Music Department provides a unique and pioneering environment for advanced exploration committed to the study, performance, and composition of music from a perspective that recognizes and engages the breadth and diversity of the world's musics and technologies. As an integral part of one of the nation's leading liberal arts institutions, the department has enjoyed an international reputation for innovation and excellence, attracting students from around the globe since the inception of its visionary program in World Music four decades ago.

Recent annual music festivals in partnership with the Center for the Arts  have brought to campus a diverse array of artists, including Max Roach, Pete Seeger, Zakir Hussain (India), Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti), Boogsie Sharpe (Trinidad), and Hugh Masekela (South Africa).

A recording studio, a computer and experimental music studio, the Center for the Arts media lab and digital video facility, the World Instrument Collection (which includes the David Tudor Collection of electronic musical instruments and instrumentation), and the Scores and Recordings Collection of Olin Library (which includes the World Music Archives) offer many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

For more information about the Music Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/music/.

About the Performing Arts Series
The Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts features a wide array of world-class musicians, cutting-edge choreography, and groundbreaking theater performances and discussions. This season's upcoming concerts include the Connecticut debut of Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet on Friday, April 1, 2016.

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut