Two-time Grammy Award nominee John Fedchock will be performing with the Empire Jazz Orchestra Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Carl B. Taylor Auditorium on the campus of Schenectady County Community College.
Fedchock is a trombonist who played with the Woody Herman Band back in the 1980s and has been leader of the John Fedchock New York Big Band since 1992.
“John really became well-known with the Woody Herman Band, and along with being the trombone soloist, he became Woody’s chief arranger and wrote a lot of the music that the Herman band played,” said Dr. William Meckley, Dean of the SCCC School of Music and director of the Empire Jazz Orchestra. “His own band is one of the biggest in the country, and this is the first time he’s played here.”
Fedchock’s appearance is part of EJO’s Jazz Masters Series. Meckley said he contacted Fedchock through his own web site and got the response he was looking for.
“We have a guest artist every spring, and I’m very happy that John agreed to perform with us,” said Meckley. “He’s very well-known in the jazz world. I have friends who know him personally and they speak very highly of him.”
The EJO will open Tuesday night’s show at 8 p.m., and Fedchock is expected to play at least seven of his own songs during the second half of the show. Meckley expects the concert to last around 90 minutes.
“We’re going to play some historical music, some pieces by Benny Carter, Gerry Mulligan and Tadd Dameron, and we’re also premiering a new piece by a local composer, Phil Allen,” said Meckley. “The piece is called ‘In Remembrance of.'”
Allen, an Indianapolis native who moved to Rensselaer from Colorado Springs in 2014, is a valve trombonist and has played locally with the Blue Sky All-Stars and the Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Band.
Fedchock was born in Cleveland in 1957 and studied the trombone at Ohio State University and the Eastman School of Music. He joined the Woody Herman Band in 1980, seven years before Herman passed away at the age of 74. As a member and arranger of Herman’s band, he earned Grammy nominations in “Best Instrumental Arrangement” for “50th Anniversary Tour” and “Woody’s Gold Star.” Before he died in 1987, Herman said of Fedchock, “he is my right hand man. He’s a major talent.”
After forming his own band in 1992, Fedchock was signed by MAMA and Reservoir Music labels and produced five CDs, all earning praise from the New York Times and JazzReview.com
.The Empire Jazz Orchestra is a professional jazz ensemble in residence at SCCC. It was founded in 1992 and dedicated to the performance of quality ensemble music from all eras of jazz. Meckley serves as the conductor, and the band includes SCCC faculty members as well as some alumni, including Brett Wery, Brian Patneaude, Cliff Brucker and Keith Pray. The band currently has 19 members according to Meckley.
‘Empire Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Music Series’
WHERE: Carl B. Taylor Auditorium, Schenectady County Community College, Schenectady
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday
HOW MUCH: $20 for the general public; $6 for non-SCCC students, free for SCCC students, faculty and staff with college ID
MORE INFO: www.sunysccc.edu/music/ejo2
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