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The 76th Season of Concerts 2017–2018
The Westerlies
The Songs We Sang: American Vocal Music of the 20th Century

April 29 at 3:30
West Building, West Garden Court

The Westerlies is a New York-based brass quartet composed of four childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” take their name from the prevailing winds from the west to the east. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.

In this program, The Westerlies trace the sound of the twentieth century through a variety of American vocal traditions. From the songs of Charles Ives to the spirituals of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, The Westerlies reimagine the stylistic intricacies, physical techniques, diction, and textures of the American voice through the expressive palette of their own musical language. In celebration of International Jazz Day, The Westerlies premiere a quartet of pieces by Duke Ellington, adapted for brass quartet by members of the ensemble, performing this new arrangment in Ellington's hometown on his birthday.

Photo by Sasha Arutyunova

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