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Orion Ensemble Offers World Premiere Jazz Piece, Pianist Miguel de la Cerna to Conclude Season, 5/9,13


As the concluding concert of its 2011–12 season-Chamber Treasures Meet Chicago Jazz-The Orion Ensemble presents "All That Jazz!" featuring a world premiere by guest pianist Miguel de la Cerna, a Fauré quartet and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Performances are May 6 at Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, May 9 at Roosevelt University's Ganz Memorial Hall in Chicago and May 13 at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva.

This concert exemplifies the season's theme, beginning with the "chamber treasure," Gabriel Fauré's Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15, which demonstrates the charm and reason, the serene grandeur and the sincere humanity of Fauré's music, press notes state. The first movement Allegro is full of lush modulations and a wealth of textures and colors. The second movement is playful and imaginative, the third is a harmonically rich binary song, and the finale is a fast but substantial classical sonata form. 

The program's world premiere commission by Chicago jazz musician Miguel de la Cerna, who also will perform with Orion, represents "Chicago jazz" by covering various eras of the genre. Describing the four-movement piece, entitled Livingston 8 – A Fantasy, de la Cerna said, "I decided to use the music of my life, growing up and living on the South Side of Chicago from 1960 until today. The piece is a jazz, blues, gospel, funk improvisation fantasy written for a traditional chamber ensemble."

Bridging these two pieces, chronologically and aesthetically, is George Gershwin's American classic Rhapsody in Blue, here arranged for clarinet and piano by Timofei Dokshitser.

Miguel de la Cerna, a Hyde Park native, is a multifaceted pianist, conductor and music director. He is most known for his jazz arrangements for singers but is also accomplished in classical music and musical theatre. Miguel has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and he received critical acclaim for his arrangements and direction of Dee Alexander's Tribute to Nina Simone and Dinah Washington at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Miguel was featured pianist and arranger for the Eldee Young Quartet, which made extensive tours of Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. 

Performance and ticket information
The Orion Ensemble's "All That Jazz!" concert program takes place Sunday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston; Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Roosevelt University's Ganz Memorial Hall, 430 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago; and Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, 227 East Side Drive in Geneva. Single tickets are $26, $23 for seniors and $10 for students; children 12 and younger are free. A four-ticket flexible subscription provides a 10 percent savings on full-priced tickets. For tickets or more information, call 630-628-9591 or visit

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