Miller Theatre's Jazz Series Opens With Luciana Souza & Vince Mendoza's Big Band Celebration Of Brazilian Jazz

Grammy-winner Luciana Souza is one of jazz's leading singers and interpreters.

By: Sep. 08, 2022
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Miller Theatre's Jazz Series Opens With Luciana Souza & Vince Mendoza's Big Band Celebration Of Brazilian Jazz

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts kicks off its 2022-23 Jazz series with Luciana Souza & Vince Mendoza, Storytellers with All-Star Big Band, Saturday, October 15, 8:00 P.M. at Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets starting at $25; Students with valid ID starting at $10.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "Luciana Souza and Vince Mendoza released their album Storytellers in 2020. A celebration of Brazilian jazz scored for big band, we've been waiting eagerly to share it with New York audiences ever since. There is something so special about hearing a big band perform live, and with the amazing Luciana Souza and Vince Mendoza, I know this is going to be a memorable evening." From Luciana Souza: "Both Vince and I are extremely excited to perform this music with such an extraordinary group of musicians in New York at Miller Theatre. To hear these beautiful Brazilian songs and Vince's arrangements played by improvisers of this caliber is beyond a dream for us. We really feel this is a concert not to be missed."

Brazilian-born Luciana Souza is one of the most important singers of her generation, and "her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries" (Entertainment Weekly). She joins forces with another Grammy Award-winning artist, Vince Mendoza-one of the most versatile composer/arranger/conductors of the last two decades-for Storytellers, a special collaboration featuring beloved songs by Brazilian composers such as Antônio Carlos Jobim, Chico Pinheiro, Guinga, and Gilberto Gil, performed with a big band of extraordinary musicians.

Luciana Souza, vocals
Vince Mendoza, conductor and arranger
All-Star Big Band

Chico Pinheiro, guitar
Scott Colley, bass
Dave Pietro, alto saxophone
Steve Wilson, alto saxophone
Adam Kolker, tenor saxophone
Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone
Scott Robinson, baritone saxophone
Carmen Staaf, piano
Michael Davis, trombone
Robert Edwards, trombone
Marshall Gilkes, trombone
Jeff Nelson, trombone & tuba
Tatum Greenblatt, trumpet
Tony Kadleck, trumpet
Brian Pareschi, trumpet
Terell Stafford, trumpet
Rogerio Boccato, percussion
Ulysses Owens Jr., drums

(Artists and program subject to change)

About the Artists

Luciana Souza, vocals

Grammy-winner Luciana Souza is one of jazz's leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Souza's work transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles. She has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Guillermo Klein, Bobby McFerrin, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and many others. She has been a prominent soloist in important new works by composers Derek Bermel, Osvaldo Golijov, Rachel Grimes, Angelica Negron, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Patrick Zimmerli, performing with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and A Far Cry. Souza has twice been named "Female Jazz Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association (2005, 2013).

Souza has been releasing celebrated recordings since 2002 including her six Grammy-nominated records: Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Her critically acclaimed ninth recording for the Sunnyside label, The Book of Longing, presents her settings of poems by Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Christina Rossetti. She began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial.

Souza spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music, where she received a bachelor's degree in jazz composition. She earned a master's degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music.

Vince Mendoza, conductor/arranger

Vince Mendoza has been at the forefront of the jazz and contemporary music scene as a composer, arranger, conductor, and recording artist for the last 25 years. He has written scores of compositions and arrangements for big band and extended compositions for chamber and symphonic settings, and his jazz composing credits include some of the best modern instrumentalists and singers in the world today. His commissions include compositions and arrangements for the Turtle Island String Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Metropole Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl, West Deutsche Rundfunk, the Czech National Symphony, and the BBC. Mendoza's music has been featured at the Berlin Jazz Festival and he has performed frequently at the Monterey, Montreux, and North Sea Jazz Festivals.

Mendoza's recordings include Epiphany, featuring his compositions played by the London Symphony Orchestra. El Viento: The Garcia Lorca Project and Jazzpaña further push the boundaries of jazz and flamenco music. His 2011 solo release, Nights on Earth, features his own compositions arranged for small and large ensembles, with guest appearances by Luciana Souza, Malian vocalist Tom Diakite, and musicians from Spain, Africa, and Brazil. Mendoza's Grammy-nominated big band release Homecoming celebrates his compositions for the WDR Big Band in Köln, Germany. His trumpet concertino "New York Stories" and his "Concerto for Orchestra" commissioned by the Czech National Symphony weave his individual approach to jazz rhythms and instrumental colors through a grand symphonic tapestry. Mendoza's arranging has also appeared on the albums of artists Björk, Gregory Porter, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Robert Glasper, Bobby McFerrin, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Sting, and Joni Mitchell. He has received six Grammy awards and 34 nominations and was recognized as "Best Composer/Arranger" by Swing Journal's critics poll in Japan.

Mendoza is the Composer-in-Residence with the West Deutsche Rundfunk in Köln. He is also the Conductor Laureate of the Netherlands Metropole Orkest, of which he was Chief Conductor for nine seasons. In addition, he has appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic, as well as other orchestras throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, and the U.K.