The Domino Summer Jazz Concert is promising world class talent in a one-of-a kind location – Taché Hall’s historic auditorium.
The jazz concert, set for 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21, is the highpoint of the University of Manitoba’s annual jazz camp – a camp that allows students to spend a week training and working with local and international jazz instructors.
Over the last few years the concert has been hosted by Smartpark and held in the Max Bell Centre. But this year the concert is taking on the Project Domino theme and that means a change of location as well.
"It’s an opportunity to host the concert in Taché Auditorium, which hasn’t been used in a long time, and to allow the audience to experience the auditorium before it has been fully renovated as a performance space," associate vice-president (administration) Alan Simms said.
"Taché is coming up to 100 years old and lot of interesting concerts and performances have taken place in the auditorium, and a lot of people have experienced performances in the auditorium so this will give them a chance to see it again."
Project Domino will see over a dozen faculties and departments find new homes on the Fort Garry Campus. But the watchword of the project is renewal and that means that buildings like Taché Hall, which is currently a student residence, are being renovated and put to new uses. In the case of Taché Hall it will become home to the Marcel A Desautels Faculty of Music and the School of Art. The auditorium will be refurbished as part of that change, becoming an up-to-date sound stage with theatre seating for over 400 people and home to the Faculty of Music’s marque performances.
"It’s a wonderful fit to bring that summer jazz concert to the future home of the Faculty of Music," Simms said.
Jazz studies director Steve Kirby can’t wait to get into the auditorium.
"Even just walking up to the building gives me the tingles," Kirby said. "The sound of the hall is bound to be better, it’s more contained. I liked Max Bell, I did, but it was hard to control the sound there."
"And I’m just anxious to get into this building. Even with the need for renovations it’s a beautiful hall, it’s all wood, it’s set up nicely, I mean you could record in there. It’s set up good for that."
Inside the auditorium, Kirby doesn’t see the nicks in the paint job or the scuffs on the floor. He sees it filled with people.
"Imagine this place with 650 people in it?," Kirby said. "It’s going to be great."
Talent at the concert will include New York trumpet player Avishai Cohen, Julliard Jazz Orchestra conductor Victor L. Goines, Wynton Marsalis Septet member Wycliffe Gordon, Kirby, jazz vocalist and U of M instructor Anna-Lisa Kirby, Winnipeg jazz talent and U of M faculty member Larry Roy and pianist and U of M student Will Bonness.
Kirby said a new addition this year will be the Oceanic Jazz Orchestra, which will kick off the first half of the concert. The orchestra includes the cream of Winnipeg’s jazz talent and taps stellar players from the popular and classical community as well.
"The Oceanic Jazz Orchestra performs orchestrated folk songs from around the world," Kirby said. "So we’re going to give the audience a bit of organized music for the first set and then for the second set we’re going to do what we do best, just wing it."
The Taché Hall location will mean a break with one summer jazz concert tradition – you won’t have to bring your own lawn chair – seating will be provided in the auditorium.
Work on renovating Taché Hall will likely begin in 2010 – after the University of Manitoba constructs a new residence building, the one new building which will be going up under Project Domino.
For more information on the Domino Summer Jazz Concert, click here.