New music for Chamber Jazz Ensemble


Pianist Michael Jefrey Stevens can be heard around Asheville playing jazz in its many incarnations, but he also shines brightly as a composer. With his Mountain Chamber Jazz Ensemble he draws on elements from jazz, classical, rock, Latin and other styles to create sophisticated original music. The ensemble will play at White Horse Black Mountain, on Sunday, Feb. 5.

The Chamber Jazz Ensemble draws upon the area's accomplished jazz and classical musicians.

The Mountain Chamber Jazz Ensemble gives equal weight to composed and improvisational facets of the music. Style and textures can vary considerably between compositions, but the overall result is a rich, complex musical statement that embraces the avant-garde of both classical and jazz along with more traditional sounds.

At any given show, the onstage group can vary from eight to 13 players who are drawn from a pool of more than 20 regional jazz and classical players. The sound, in addition to Stevens’ piano, is built around a bowed string section, percussion, brass and woodwinds. In the Chamber Jazz format the composer also frequently spotlights singing.

Stevens was recently awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council, Madison Arts Council and the Asheville Area Arts Council. He will use the grant to fund a studio recording of the Mountain Chamber Jazz Ensemble.

Mixing jazz, classical

Who: Chamber Jazz Ensemble

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $10 advance, $12 door