Skip to main content

CONRAD TAO & CLAYTON-HAMILTON JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in JAZZ

Christopher Rountree, conductor

with Musicians from Wild Up

Sat Nov 16 | 8PM

Event details

Rhapsody in Blue is new again, 100 years later. The Soraya recreates the rarely performed original 1924 version of the rousing and raucous classic, originally composed by Gershwin for a jazz band, not the orchestral version more commonly performed. Conductor Chris Rountree leads the swinging ensemble, with Conrad Tao at the piano. The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra rounds out the evening with more charts from Gershwin and his contemporaries.

 

Sat Nov 16 | 8PM

Ticket prices

$44 - $99

Book tickets

CONRAD TAO & CLAYTON-HAMILTON JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in JAZZ

Christopher Rountree, conductor

with Musicians from Wild Up

Sat Nov 16 | 8PM

Media

About the Artist

Conrad Tao, piano

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer and has been dubbed “the kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music” by New York Magazine, and an artist of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times.Tao has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony. As a composer, his work has been performed by orchestras throughout the world; his first large scale orchestral work, Everything Must Go, received its world premiere with the New York Philharmonic, and its European premiere with the Antwerp Symphony, and he was the recipient of a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, for Outstanding Sound Design / Music Composition, for his work on More Forever, in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Caleb Teicher. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and was named a Gilmore Young Artist—an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation.

In the 2023-24 season, Tao makes his subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F major with James Gaffigan. He also re-unites with the New York Philharmonic to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17, following his curated program for them last season as part of the Artist Spotlight series, and is presented in recital by the Cleveland Orchestra. Meanwhile, he celebrates the 100th anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue, giving performances of the work at the Philharmonie in Berlin, the the Elbphillharmonie in Hamburg, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with Matthias Pintscher and the Kansas City Symphony. He has also written a new companion piece to the work commissioned by the Santa Rosa Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, and Omaha Symphony. His return engagements include performances with the Cincinnati Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and Seattle Symphony, whom he play-directs in Conrad Tao’s Playlist, weaving Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 into an adventurous program of Stravinsky, Purcell, Linda Catlin Smith, and Morton Feldman. As part of the celebration of Rachmaninoff’s 150th birthday, Tao brings Rachmaninoff Songbook to the 92NY and Germany’s Klavierfestival Ruhr, presenting a direct line from Rachmaninoff to the music of Billy Strayhorn, Harold Arlen, and Stephen Sondheim.

In a concert curated by Tao himself, Tao invites UK-based new-music collective Distractfold to make their NYC debut at Kaufman Music Center with the world premiere of Andrew Greenwald’s A Thing Made Whole VIII along with music by Jürg Frey, Hanna Hartman and Mauricio Pauly. This season also includes performances with dancer Caleb Teicher in the duo’s Counterpoint program, which synthesizes the two seemingly disparate artforms of piano and tap dance. More collaborations include a multi-city tour throughout the season with the Junction Trio, including a program of John Zorn, Ives, and Beethoven at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the trio’s Detroit debut, among many others.

In the 2022-23 season, Tao performed Mozart with the New York Philharmonic, for whom he also curated a program for their Artist Spotlight series, featuring collaborations with vocalist Charmaine Lee, and wind ensemble The Westerlies. Tao also made an appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom and the San Francisco Symphony, both as a soloist in Gershwin’s Concerto in F major at Davies Symphony Hall, and as a curator for their SoundBox series. In Washington, DC, he made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich with Dalia Staveska, and, following Atlanta Symphony’s premiere of his Violin Concerto with Stefan Jackiw in 2021, he appeared as soloist with the orchestra performing Ravel with Ryan Bancroft. After their successful collaboration with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Tao further re-united with Hannu Lintu to perform Tchaikovsky with the Naples Philharmonic, as well as returned to Finland to open the season with the Tampere Philharmonic and Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

A Warner Classics recording artist, Tao’s debut disc Voyages was declared a “spiky debut” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross. Of the album, NPR wrote: “Tao proves himself to be a musician of deep intellectual and emotional means”. His next album, Pictures, with works by David Lang, Toru Takemitsu, Elliott Carter, Mussorgsky, and Tao himself, was hailed by The New York Times as “a fascinating album [by] a thoughtful artist and dynamic performer…played with enormous imagination, color and command.” His third album, American Rage, featuring works by Julia Wolfe, Frederic Rzewski, and Aaron Copland, was released in the fall of 2019. In 2021, Tao and brass quartet The Westerlies released Bricolage, an album of improvisations and experiments recorded in a small cabin in rural New Hampshire in June 2019.

Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1994. He has studied piano with Emilio del Rosario in Chicago and Yoheved Kaplinsky in New York, and composition with Christopher Theofanidis.

“Rountree punches out rhythms as if they were going out of style. He emphasizes outsize emotions. He could probably get an audience to dance to the slowest movement Shostakovich ever wrote.”
– Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times

Christopher Rountree

32 year old conductor Christopher Rountree founded wild Up in 2010. He first fell in love with music playing bass in a garage band, trombone in a brass band, and watching the Berlin Philharmonic play Brahms and Bartok.

This year, Rountree makes his Chicago Symphony, LA Opera and Atlanta Opera debuts, returns to the Music Academy of the West and twice to the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series, conducts the Interlochen World Youth Orchestra on the New York Philharmonic’s 2016 Biennial, joins Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner with wild Up at the Laguna Beach Music Festival, and conducts Diavolo’s new show “L’Espace du Temps: Glass, Adams, and Salonen.” As a composer, his recent premieres and commissions include a new piece for The Crossing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a re-orchestration of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Foreign Bodies, a choral work for Bjork’s choir Graduale Nobili in Reykjavik, Iceland, and two new pieces for Jennifer Koh: a short theater piece on the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial, and a large scale concerto co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Jenny and wild Up.

Last year, Rountree founded an education intensive with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, continued an education partnership at the Colburn School, and taught “Creativity and Consciousness” at Bard College’s Longy School. He joined the production company Chromatic, conducted Opera Omaha performing John Adams’ “A Flowering Tree,” debuted on the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series, and started a three-year stint as guest conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

With his eclectic style and resume, he’s been tapped to curate and create events for contemporary art institutions including the Getty Museum, MCA Denver, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and UCLA’s Hammer Museum, where a long-running wild Up residency brought the group to national prominence.

Rountree is a seventh-generation Californian descended from the sheriffs of Santa Cruz county. He is a yogi, unpaid psychoanalyst, cutter of vegetables, storyteller, newfound gym-rat, burrito enthusiast, writer, composer, and teacher.

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

In 1985, Jeff joined bassist John Clayton and saxophonist Jeff Clayton to form the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Together with an all-star lineup of Los Angeles-based musicians, the big band received an enthusiastic response from reviewers and fans. It’s first recording, Groove Shop, was named by CD Review as one of the best recordings of 1990. It also earned a Grammy® Award nomination. Jeff received rave reviews for his dynamic drumming on Heart and Soul. David Badham of Jazz Journal International stated in his review: “This is one of the finest modern big band issues I’ve heard… This is undoubtedly due to Jeff Hamilton, a most driving and technically accomplished drummer.” Other releases include ABSOLUTELY!, EXPLOSIVE! featuring Milt Jackson and Shout Me Out (2000, Fable/Lightyear). From 1999-2001, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was named the in-residence ensemble for the Hollywood Bowl Jazz series.

More recently, the Orchestra released a very well-received live album, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG. And their latest release, The L.A. Treasures Project, has been nominated for a Grammy® Award in the BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM category!

Gallery

Related Events

The World Famous
Glenn Miller Orchestra
In the Holiday Mood

The World Famous
Glenn Miller Orchestra
In the Holiday Mood

Sat Dec 14 | 3PM
Lakecia Benjamin & Phoenix
Jazz Club

Lakecia Benjamin & Phoenix
Jazz Club

Thu Feb 6 | 8PM
Christian McBride & Ursa Major
Jazz Club

Christian McBride & Ursa Major
Jazz Club

Fri Feb 7 | 8PM
Sat Feb 8 | 8PM

Get Ahead of the Crowd.

Sign up below to be the first to find out about upcoming concerts, on sale dates, and presales.

Join the mailing list