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EWU symphony orchestra, jazz band to perform U.S. premiere of ‘Scheherajazz’

UPDATED: Wed., May 23, 2018, 4:34 p.m.

Once-in-a-lifetime performances are few and far between, especially in Eastern Washington.

But a collaboration between the symphony orchestra and jazz band at Eastern will result in the U.S. premiere, and the second performance worldwide, of “Scheherajazz” on Thursday at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

“Scheherajazz” is a classical/jazz version of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” which was composed in 1888.

In the 1950s, American bandleader Skip Martin created “Scheherajazz.” The piece was recorded for an LP but never performed live, and, over time, the sheet music was lost.

But in 2016, Klaus Wagenleiter transcribed “Scheherajazz” from the original recording. The work then saw its world debut in a performance by the orchestra and jazz band at the University of Bern, Switzerland, conducted by Wolfgang Pemberger.

Eastern reached out to Wagenleiter and Pemberger, who agreed to share Wagenleiter’s arrangement for this collaboration.

If that weren’t enough, this concert will also feature a performance with a rare violin made by Joseph Guarnerius in Italy in 1736, which is owned by an EWU alumnus who restores violins and is active with the music department.

This collaboration is led by John Marshall, director of the symphony orchestra, and Jenny Kellogg, director of the jazz ensemble.


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