URI concerts: Guitarist Steve Lin plus Jazz Series begins


Concert Guitarist Steve Lin will make his first appearance at the University of Rhode Island for a solo concert on Sunday, April 15, starting off a busy week at the university that also includes the first two concerts of the URI Spring Jazz Series on Tuesday, April 17 and Friday, April 20.

All three concerts will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Admission is $10 general public, $5 students for each event, with tickets available at the box office starting 45 minutes before the concert.

The program for Lin’s concert Sunday at 7:30 p.m. reflects his varied interests and will include a mix of classical and new works. Lin has commissioned and premiered pieces from a number of modern composers, and Journey into Desire, which he commissioned from Lei Liang, is included in this concert, along with two Chinese folk songs and two Filipino serenades. The other works are: Un Sueno el la Floresta by Agustin Barrios, El Sueno de la Razon Produce Monstruos by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV-998) by Bach, and Libertango, Tanti Anni Prima, El Muerte del Angel by Piazzolla.

Lin, who earned his Master’s degree at Yale School of Music and his Bachelor’s degree at New England Conservatory, is currently studying for a doctorate from NEC under Eliot Fiske while living on the West Coast, so this return visit to our region is a treat for local music lovers. An award-winning performer, Lin has concertized throughout the United States, Italy, the Philippines, and Taiwan. He is acclaimed by Classical Guitar Magazine as “a confident player with a powerful sound, quick hands, and a solid musical memory” and praised by American guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk as a performer who “plays with an innate and uncommon elegance”. He is a recording artist for VGo Recording with two released albums, currently working on a third one.

Lin founded the Boston Guitar Project, which organized over 20 community and educational benefit performances annually, and now in the San Francisco Bay Area, he continues reaching churches, libraries, and schools through the South Bay Guitar Society and his own outreach initiative. He teaches guitar at San Jose State University, Northern California School of Music, and Canon Music School, and also maintains a private studio.

The URI Spring Jazz Series opens on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a concert featuring Eric Hofbauer’s student quartet performing Charlie Parker tunes, and a combo doing standards. Hofbauer’s group, calling themselves the "Free Bird Project,” will do modern and post-modern interpretations of Parker (nicknamed Bird) pieces: Driftin' on a Reed, Constellation, Relaxin' at Camarillo, Dewey Square, and My Little Suede Shoes. Hofbauer says, “The group name is a nice little play on words because they are doing these freely interpreted versions of Parker tunes, hence the 'free bird'. We are not, as much as the play on words might hint at it, playing the music of Lynard Skynard.” The group consists of Jake Davenport, guitar, Brendan Moore, piano, Dylan LaGamma, bass and Matt Gilmette, drums. In addition, the Barboza/Medeiros Combo, a student ensemble team-coached by URI Music Masters Degree candidates Kyle Barboza and Mark Medeiros, will perform standards from the Great American Songbook.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the B101 Big Band directed by Jared Sims will bring their big sound to the concert stage. While the exact play-list was not available, Sims says they will perform some slightly more contemporary repertoire this semester, which will include an arrangement of the standard "Good Bait" written for them by Sims “that features a very fun saxophone soli section”, and an arrangement written for the band and two vocalists by Alex Lee-Clark – a cha-cha that is a rendition of How Insensitive. A funk tune written by Sims may be included in the program, among other pieces. Sims promises, “It's jazz, so there will be a lot of improvised soloing and a lot of fun energy!” The band’s vocalists are Mikaela Nelson and Marina Ferri, who are both graduating this year.

The Spring Jazz Series will continue with concerts on Tuesday April 24 and Thursday April 26. The URI Standards Combo, the URI Thelonious Monk Ensemble, and The World Jazz Ensemble will perform, as well as the C100 Big Band, and the URI Percussion Ensemble.

The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website www.uri.edu/music.


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