8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory
2040 Addison Street, 2040 Addison Street
Called a “composer with great vision” by All About Jazz and praised for his “stunning virtuosity” by JazzTimes, flutist and composer Christian Artmann is celebrating the release of his new album The Middle of Life (Sunnyside, 2023) at the CJC. He’ll be joined by long-term collaborator and Sunnyside recording artist Laszlo Gardony on piano, recording artist and Berklee percussion chair Yoron Israel on drums and the CJC’s very own Jeff Denson on bass, as well as special guest Elena McEntire (New York City Opera, One World Symphony) on vocals.
Deeply centered in contemporary jazz but also reflecting his European roots and Buddhist faith, Artmann’s compositions transcend stylistic boundaries and “convey a perspective beyond boundaries—a singular story capable of including us all” All About Jazz. His approach to the flute is “a model of what is possible with jazz flute” The Flutist Quarterly, featuring a “fluid technique” and “crystalline tone” Jazziz.
Band Members & Instrumentation
Christian Artmann – flutes
Laszlo Gardony – piano
Jeff Denson – bass
Yoron Israel – drums
Special guest Elena McEntire – vocals
Flutist/composer and Sunnyside recording artist Christian Artmann is passionate about bridging musical boundaries and creating space for dialogue and understanding. Having grown up immersed in classical music in Germany and Austria, Artmann was invited to Aspen Music Festival as a teenager where he performed with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under world-renowned conductors Claudio Scimone and Lawrence Foster and gave solo recitals of Debussy, Hindemith and Bartók. Increasingly fascinated with composition and improvisation, he realized that jazz was his true calling. Following studies at Berklee College of Music, Artmann moved to New York where he released three recordings as a leader to critical acclaim: Uneasy Dreams (self-released 2011), Fields of Pannonia (Sunnyside 2015), and Our Story (Sunnyside 2018). JazzTimes applauded Uneasy Dreams for its “vision of confidence”, The National Flute Association Quarterly called Fields of Pannonia a “mythical journey in sound”, and All About Jazz praised Our Story for its “perspective beyond boundaries”. Artmann’s new album, “The Middle of Life”, was released this summer on Sunnyside Records and features all new compositions and arrangements. Reflecting on the album title, Artmann quotes a Buddhist poem: “’The world of dew is just a world of dew. And yet… and yet.’ What an amazing summary of our life condition! One fleeting moment in time, and yet so very valuable.” For more information, visit artmannjazz.com.
Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, pianist / composer Laszlo Gardony has been noted for his “fluid pianism” by The New York Times and two of his albums made DownBeat Magazine’s “Best of the Year” list. “A formidable improviser who lives in the moment” JazzTimes, Laszlo has performed in 27 countries and released 14 albums on the Sunnyside, Antilles and Avenue labels. He is a professor of piano at Berklee College of Music in Boston and on the faculty at Harvard University’s “Jazz Combo Initiative” program. Laszlo has performed and/or recorded with Dave Holland, Miroslav Vitous, David “Fathead” Newman, Bill Pierce, Don Braden, Randy Brecker, Eddie Gomez, Bob Moses, Victor Lewis, Yoron Israel, Christian Artmann, Avery Sharpe, The Wayfaring Strangers, and Mick Goodrick among others. For more information, visit LGJazz.com.
Yoron Israel‘s illustrious career includes eleven recordings as a leader and over 250 recordings as an accompanist. His latest project, New Dreams, has garnered much critical acclaim. Other notable works include This Moment, Visions and Basic Traneing. When not performing as a leader with his groups, “High Standards,” “Trio Plus,” or “Organic,” Yoron performs regularly with Laszlo Gardony, The Makanda Project, Jay Hoggard, and numerous other artists. He is also the Pastor of Music and Arts at Destiny Life Center International Church. Additionally, Yoron is the producer, and artistic director of the “Jazz in the Sanctuary – South Shore” concert series. Yoron has toured and recorded with such acclaimed artists as Sonny Rollins, Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver, Art Farmer, Abbey Lincoln, David Newman, Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Larry Coryell, James Williams, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, and Joe Lovano to name a few. Yoron is a world-class educator and currently serves as Chair and Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music. For more information, visit yoronisrael.com.
Elena McEntire has been praised for an “appealing dusky sound, smooth from the bottom to its powerful top” (Houston Chronicle) that is “perfect for conveying emotional power” (AllAboutJazz). Elena studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Austrian National Music University in Vienna. With strong roots in classical singing, Elena is a multi-faceted musician with a deep interest in chamber music, folk and jazz. She performed with the New York City Opera and at the Aspen Music Festival; with Romero Lubambo, Cyro Baptista and Fredricka von Stade at Herbst Theater; with Charles Neidich and Imani Winds at Jazz at Lincoln Center; and with Baz Luhrmann’s Ovation Award-winning La Boheme on Broadway. Elena performed and recorded several premieres including Arturo Rodriguez’ Pablo Neruda Songs, Stanley Grill’s Vignettes/Trees and In Their Flight, Zachary Wadsworth’s Spire and Shadow, and most recently, original music with the Christian Artmann Quartet on three critically acclaimed albums: Uneasy Dreams (2011), Our Story (Sunnyside 2018) and Middle of Life (Sunnyside 2023).
Jeff Denson is an award-winning bassist, vocalist, and composer who has released 16 albums as a leader or co-leader and toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Europe with both his own groups and others at some of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals such as the Village Vanguard, Birdland, The Kennedy Center, JVC Jazz Festival Paris, Montreal Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, and SFJazz, among many others. Jeff has worked with some of jazz’s finest artists such as Brian Blade, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Mike Stern, Charles McPherson, Billy Childs, Jane Ira Bloom, Craig Handy, Ingird Jensen, Dave Douglas, Walter Smith III, Kendrick Scott, Rachel Z, Omar Hakim, Gerald Cleaver, Anat Cohen, Warren Wolf, Leo Genovese, Etienne Charles, Edward Simon, Paul McCandless, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi, Dan Weiss, Lionel Loueke, Paul Hanson, Romain Pilon, Mimi Fox, and many others, and had an ongoing relationship with the legendary Lee Konitz for over a decade until his passing in 2020. Jeff’s work has been reviewed in many of the world’s leading periodicals including The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, along with many more international periodicals, and has been ranked in the DownBeat Rising Star Critic’s Poll 13 times in the Bass, Electric Bass and Male Vocalist categories, and was the First Place Winner of the 69th Annual DownBeat Magazine Rising Star Critic’s Poll for “Electric Bass” in 2021. Jeff is the Founder and President of Ridgeway Arts, Inc., a 501c3 arts nonprofit organization and the Dean of Instruction at the CJC. Learn more at jeffdenson.com
Proof of vaccination is no longer required for Covid-19. Masking is optional and masks are available upon request. The California Jazz Conservatory kindly requests that anyone feeling unwell refrain from attending in-person events of any kind.