March 24, 2016
SMU’s Meadows Jazz Orchestra, led by Dylan Smith, will present an evening of big band favorites and contemporary jazz compositions in Dallas City Performance Hall on Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. Three distinguished guests and alumni will join the MJO: trumpeter/composer/arranger Akira Sato; recording artist/composer/producer Derrick Horne; and multi-instrumentalist/performer Kevin Butler.
The program will include such classics as the Count Basie Band’s I Thought About You, Charles Mingus’s Moanin’, and Four, recorded by Maynard Ferguson. Also featured will be several newer pieces composed by notable contemporary jazz artists, including Hang Gliding by Maria Schneider and John the III and Blues for Stephanie by the accomplished double bassist and ensemble director John Clayton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
“This concert caps a benchmark year for the MJO, and I’m honored to host three talented guest artists who have helped make our orchestra what it is today,” said director Smith. “Akira Sato served as the MJO director for many years, including my time in the orchestra as a master’s student, and has been a mentor to me as a jazz musician and ensemble director. Derrick Horne is an accomplished composer and performer who has served as the assistant director and rhythm section coach for the past two years and will soon graduate from Meadows with a double M.M. in composition and theory pedagogy. And Kevin Butler is one of the most versatile and talented performers I have ever met; his contributions to SMU and the Dallas music scene are exceptional.”
The event is the final performance in the Meadows School of the Arts’ 2015-16 Community Series of concerts at venues throughout Dallas. Launched in fall 2013, the series is designed to bring Meadows performances into the community, feature the work of talented students and engage new audiences at diverse venues in Dallas.
Dallas City Performance Hall is located at 2520 Flora St. in downtown Dallas. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students and educators. For tickets and more information, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787 or visit http://mcs.smu.edu/calendar/node/1417.
About the Performers:
Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Vancouver, Canada, guest artist Akira Sato moved to the DFW area in 1994 to pursue a career in music. A trumpet player and composer, he earned a master’s degree in jazz arranging at the University of North Texas, where he was a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band and the director of the Three O’Clock Lab Band. He taught at UNT and SMU and is active as a performer, composer and arranger; his works have been performed and recorded by professional, college and high school ensembles throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Derrick Horne’s career as a performer, producer, and session musician spans well over three decades and 600 released records. He has hundreds of credits on produced songs as an arranger, guitarist, pianist, bassist, organist, percussionist, vocalist, producer and more. He plays a wide variety of genres, including R&B, jazz, funk, pop Christian and country. He has collaborated on 12 Grammy-nominated records. He also wrote music and played on the Grandad Turner smooth jazz album My Friends My Fam, popular on iTunes in 2011. Horne has released nine records as a solo artist and has performed or recorded with numerous artists such as Lalah Hathaway, Frank McComb, Kirk Whalum, Chris Tomlin and Fred Hammond, among others. In 2004 he produced and performed music for the Summer Olympics with George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic. Horne is currently completing his double M.M. in music composition/theory pedagogy at SMU, where he also graduated summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree in music composition. His instructors include Robert Frank, Kevin Hanlon, Jack Delaney, Akira Sato and Lane Harder. He is author of the book How to Take Your Home Studio Worldwide (Yokebreaker 2014).
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Butler earned degrees from Baylor and SMU and is currently based in Dallas. He has held tuba positions in the Eastern, Round Top and Aspen Festival orchestras, and shared the stage with a number of artists including Mike Block, The Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet and Chicago. He performs regularly in the DFW area and maintains a teaching studio for talented young music students. A highly versatile musician, Butler plays with such diverse groups as The Free Loaders, The Brazen Brass 5, The 8th St. Orkestar, The End of the World Parade and the Sandaga Jazz Band, and he is a founding member of the Dallas-based world-fusion quartet The Obscure Dignitaries.
The Meadows Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Adjunct Assistant Professor Dylan Smith, is a 25-member dual group consisting of a traditional large jazz ensemble and a small jazz combo. The MJO explores the repertoire of the artists and traditions of the big band greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis and more. The ensemble also performs contemporary compositions, including compositions by members of the MJO. Guest artists have included countertenor John Holiday, bassist Lynn Seaton and saxophonist Dennis DiBlasio, among others. The MJO has also hosted notable master classes and ensembles, including the Count Basie Orchestra and the U.S. Air Force Dimensions in Blue, and performed at such venues as the North Texas Jazz Festival. For more information, visit https://www.smu.edu/Meadows/AreasOfStudy/Music/Ensembles/MeadowsJazzOrchestra.