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Ineke van Doorn Marc van Vugt performed at the Thomas Chapin Memorial Concert New York

 

Date: februari 2008

LIFT OFF! REMEMBERING THOMAS CHAPIN (februari 13th 2008)
– CONCERTS MARK DECADE SINCE THE PASSING OF AVANT JAZZ MASTER –

New York, NY - Rarely in a musical movement has a player left an indelible mark on those with whom he collaborated and those listeners with whom he enthralled more than the late NYC avant jazz saxist, Thomas Chapin. To commemorate this gifted, multi-instrumentalist-composer and to mark the decade since his passing, two NYC concerts are planned by his widow, Terri Castillo-Chapin, with the help of Thomas’ many friends and musical colleagues. Entitled LIFT OFF! REMEMBERING THOMAS CHAPIN, the concerts will take place in NYC on Wednesday, February 13 at St. Peter’s Church at 6:30 pm (619 Lexigington Ave. at East 54th St. – admission free), and on Friday, February 15, 2008 at the Bowery Poetry Club at 8:00 pm (308 Bowery at Bleeker St. – admission $15).

In 1996 we recorded with Thomas and our group Vandoorn the cd 'President For Life'.

We planned to do some more recordings and Ineke worked on a piece of Thomas setting words to this beautifull song Hush-A-Bird. We never got the chance to play it with Thomas. In 1999 we recorded the piece with Vandoorn and the Zappp! stringquartet for the cd "Four Brothers". This cd is out of print now but you can listen to the song here: Hush-A-Bird.
You can find a series of unpublished pictures of our collaboration with Thomas in our Gallery.





Since his untimely death from leukemia in 1998 at the otherwise emerging age of 40, the music and playing of Thomas Chapin continues to be a highly influential and inspirational force to those who knew him and to those who continue to know him through his music and example. Even a decade after his death, a newly awakened school of disciples and a newfound generation of jazz enthusiasts of his unique and emancipated musical expression grow. Renowned downtown-saxophonist John Zorn, who performed and recorded with Chapin in the 90’s, recalls Chapin as “The real deal. A complete musician in every sense, he created work that was honest, imaginative, well crafted and cathartic. Putting himself into each and every note, he played with a rare and intense passion. His energy was absolutely astounding. He is sorely missed.”

The series title, LIFT OFF! REMEMBERING THOMAS CHAPIN, refers to what peers and critics said after Chapin passed all too quickly; that his brilliant career was taking off and he was just gaining altitude when he was “cut down.“ These concerts return to that moment and many of Chapin's core devotees will offer a musical salute.

The February 13th concert, “THOMAS CHAPIN: HIGHER AND HIGHER” will feature Chapin’s musical collaborators, including the original Thomas Chapin Trio members, bassist Mario Pavone and drummer Michael Sarin, performing with Frank Kimbrough, piano and Steven Bernstein, trumpet and slide trumpet. Soundpainter Walter Thompson traveling from Sweden, along with Paul Jeffrey, legendary tenor saxophonist and teacher-mentor of Chapin at Rutgers, will debut and direct The New Thomas Chapin Orchestra, a 15-piece big band featuring former members of the innovative, experimental ensemble The Walter Thompson Orchestra, of which Chapin was a member in the '90’s. Performing on February 13th will be: Alan Chase, Michael Blake, Michael Attias and David CasT on saxophones, Frank London, Steven Bernstein, Herb Robertson, Ron Horton, Steve Swell and Bob Hovey on brass, Rolf Sturm, Tomas Ulrich, Joe Fonda and Pablo Aslan on strings, and Hollis Hedrich on percussion.

Also on the program are Paul Jeffrey Ensemble with Mike Rabinowitz, bassoon, and John Colanni, piano; pianist Armen Donelian with Marc Mommaas, tenor sax; bassist Pablo Aslan’s Avantango with Oscar Feldman, sax, and Emilio Solla, piano; and Spirits Rebellious Quartet with Arthur Kell, bass, Saul Rubin, guitar, and Art Baron, trombone, representing Chapin’s Brazilian explorations; Dutch artists Ineke van Doorn, voice, and Marc Van Vugt, guitar; poet Steve Dalachinsky; and additional guests, speakers, plus films of Chapin.

The February 15th concert, “THOMAS CHAPIN: HIGHER STILL” continues to celebrate Chapin’s legacy with an interdisciplinary mix of poets, music ensembles, guest speakers and film clips of Thomas Chapin performances. Scheduled to appear is the Quartet of Mario Pavone and Michael Sarin, along with celebrated reedist Marty Ehrlich and trombonist Pete McEachern, playing some of Thomas Chapin’s most acclaimed Trio pieces. The evening showcases another legend, James Spaulding, offering an original tune for solo flute, “Time to Go”. Written for fallen heroes Dr. King and Malcolm X, Spaulding says, “Somehow the words remind me of Tom's leaving us at such a young and vibrant age. I believe, were Tom here, still amongst us, his musical achievements would parallel those of the most recognized of our peers.”

Others in the February 15th lineup include Paul Jeffrey, Walter Thompson and a reprise of the premiering New Thomas Chapin Orchestra; a poet-group with John Richey, Steve Dalachinsky, guitarist Robert Musso, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells and Josh Harris (former members with Chapin of Machine Gun); guiatrist Michael Musillami Trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller; multi-reed tone scientist Elliot Levin; and next-generation saxophonist Brett Ryan, who never met Thomas but has been deeply influenced by him. Ryan will perform the concert’s “LIFT OFF!” theme, a rocket-fueled 1991 original piece by Chapin, fitting the events' celebratory, upward-trajectory spirit.

Alto saxophonist and flautist, Thomas Chapin forged his name in music as a free expressionist. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and composer in the 80s and 90s, Chapin led a trio performing his own music playing in New York City's downtown scene and at festivals and clubs around the world. He was also an outstanding composer for larger groups, and sometimes augmented the trio with strings and horn ensembles. Thomas Chapin left behind a legacy of recognized albums and performances. The New York Times called him "one of the more exuberant saxophonists and bandleaders in jazz" and "one of the few musicians to exist in both the worlds of the downtown, experimentalist scene and mainstream jazz.”

Proceeds from the events will benefit Akasha, Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to preserve the musical legacy of Thomas Chapin (donate at thomaschapin.com/akasha.php), and the Jazz Foundation of America, a national non-profit whose Musician’s Emergency Fund provides financial assistance and support services for musicians facing illness or in crisis (jazzfoundation.org). These events are made possible in part by the generous support of Playscape Recordings, Downtown Music Gallery, AllAboutJazz.com and LiveWired NYC.

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