Jazz at Holmes: The Kennedy Dream Suite; Saxquest Jazz Orchestra

Jazz at Holmes: The Kennedy Dream Suite; Saxquest Jazz Orchestra

Throughout the semester, enjoy free live performances by noted local and regional jazz artists at Holmes Lounge in Ridgley Hall on the Danforth campus.  Parking can be accessed at the Danforth University Center (DUC) parking garage.


A passionate believer in "The Rights of All," Oliver Nelson's music is provocative and powerful. Intensely original, his music encompasses some of the most beautiful melodies, lush harmonies and intense grooves ever written. His ability to infuse gospel blues, symphonic orchestrations, and straight ahead jazz is nothing short of remarkable. Sometimes his music hangs on a single note where the instrumental parts are so exposed it forces the listener to sit on the edge of their seat while other times his music is driving in a frenzy of mixed meter, poly-rhythmic excitement.

Saxquest Jazz Orchestra will perform several pieces from various times in Oliver Nelson's career.  As an ardent supporter of civil rights, Nelson's compositions were inspired by the changing times of the 60's as he witnessed it.  His composition I Hope In Time a Change Will Come is quite possibly the most beautiful heart-rendering melodies Nelson ever wrote, and on this performance will feature Ben Reece on soprano saxophone.  They will throw down on Emancipation Blues a grand and glorious gospel romp that shows Nelson at his spiritual best! You'll also hear several tunes from Nelson's groundbreaking 1961 Impulse! album The Blues and the Abstract Truth, widely regarded as one of the most significant recordings of the modern jazz era.

In addition to a few other surprises they will conclude the evening with a special performance of the entire The Kennedy Dream Suite. This is one of Nelson's most ambitious works. In the reed section you will hear clarinet, bass clarinet, flutes, oboe, English horn, and saxophones. In the brass section you'll hear colors from a mix of instruments with all kinds of different mutes. Composed of eight movements, each piece incorporates an audio/visual of The 34th President's oratorios on human rights as a prelude. 

Ben Reece - alto sax/woodwinds
Mark Overton - tenor sax/woodwinds
Joel Vanderheyden - bari sax/woodwinds
Dustin Shrum - trumpet 1
Danny Campbell - trumet 2
Jon Siddle - trombone
Adaron "Pops" Jackson - piano
Ben Wheeler - bass
Tony Barbata - drums


All tunes composed by Oliver Nelson and arranged by Mark Overton

Emancipation Blues
A Penthouse Dawn
Jazz Bug

Kennedy Dream Suite
     1. Let the Word Go Forth
     2. Genuine Peace
     3. The Rights of All
     4. Tolerance
     5. The Artists' Rightful Place
     6. Jacqueline
     7. Day In Dallas
     8. John Kennedy Memorial Waltz
Hobo Flats
I Hope In Time A Change Will Come

Co-sponsored by The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement