Scheherajazz Features Music Ensembles

May 31, 2018

May 3, 2018 By David Meany
Graphic: Scheherajazz

Eastern Washington University’s Music Department will present an innovative concert collaboration between its distinguished Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band as they perform the U.S. premiere – and only the second performance worldwide – of a lost work known as Scheherajazz.

The first-ever concert celebrating EWU’s music students and faculty will take place at 7:30 p.m., ThursdayMay 31, at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, in downtown Spokane.

The two EWU ensembles are combining during the current spring quarter to prepare for the concert. Scheherajazz is a classical/jazz version of the famous orchestral masterpiece Scheherazade composed by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888. Scheherajazz was created in the 1950s by American bandleader Skip Martin. While it was recorded for an LP, the piece was never performed live, and the sheet music has since been lost. This original recording can be accessed on YouTube.

In 2016 Scheherajazz was transcribed from the original LP by Klaus Wagenleiter. It was later performed live by the orchestra and jazz band at the University of Bern, Switzerland, conducted by Wolfgang Pemberger. EWU reached out to both Wagenleiter and Pemberger with a description of the project and they agreed to share this new arrangement of Scheherajazz with Eastern.

In addition to the Scheherajazz concert, the audience will experience a unique performance with a rare violin made in Italy by Joseph Guarnerius, or “del Gesu,” in 1736. The del Gesu is owned by an EWU alumnus who restores violins and has been active with the music department.

Admission is $20 for the general public, $5 for students and free for students who present their EWU I.D. Proceeds will benefit the EWU Orchestra and Jazz Ensembles.

Tickets are available at The Fox box office. Call 509.624.1200 or go to foxtheaterspokane.org. Also visit ewu.edu/music. To make arrangements for access accommodation, please call 509.359.2241 by Monday, May 28.

The project is led by EWU faculty members John Marshall, director of the EWU Symphony Orchestra and Jenny Kellogg, director of the Jazz Ensemble.