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OURBIGBAND logoAt tonight’s concert, OURBIGBAND celebrates the music of the late, great, Maine composer, and educator Steve Grover. 

OURBIGBAND seeks to keep alive the tradition of the big band jazz orchestra and through collaboration with today’s finest jazz performers and composers, strives to bring new, creative, relevant music to our community and beyond. Past collaborators and featured guests include Dave Douglas, Ben Allison, Matt Ulery, Frank Carlberg, Matt Wilson, Curtis Hasselbring, Kendall Moore, and Greg Abate. OURBIGBAND is comprised of instrumentalists, composers, bandleaders, educators, and like minded musicians who give generously of their time and talents, and take quite seriously the charge to keep the tradition alive while championing the music of today.

About Steve Grover

Steve GroverGrover was the elder statesman of the Maine jazz scene, a beloved figure with outsize influence on several generations of musicians through his work as a professor at UMaine Augusta, co-leading the Maine Jazz Camp, teaching lessons privately and at schools throughout, and mentoring musicians through his own bands.

Over more than a dozen records, he recorded with modern jazz heavyweights such as Lenny Breau, Chris Speed, George Garzone, Aaron Goldberg, Ben Street, and his frequent collaborators in the Steve Grover Trio, Tony Gaboury and David Wells. His best known record, the 1994 setting of Wallace Stevens, The Blackbird Suite, won the Thelonious Monk Institute composition award, the most prestigious international award in jazz.

Jazz: An American Art Form

The seeds of “jazz” and its derivative musics have been scattered globally throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  While a defining characteristic of jazz is its ability to adapt to the sounds and traditions of world cultures (as it was forged in the furnace of world cultures) , jazz is, at its roots, an American art form. A unique and ever-evolving cultural narrative, imbued with affirmations of joy and progress, jazz music has always sent a message of hope and  inclusion. The music not only influenced the likes of Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Gershwin, but also paved the way for rock n roll, R&B, hip hop, and the pop music of today.

While this music and culture has spread throughout the world, has played a role in the evolution of civil rights, has brought improvisation and Black American Music to the concert halls and the conservatory, jazz seems to suffer the most here at home, where it so blossomed in its youth. It seems most prudent at this juncture in the American cultural and political landscape to be working towards bringing a music synonymous with freedom once again to the fore. 

When: Sunday, March 1, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm; doors open 7:00 pm
Where: Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, ME
Tickets: $15 advance, $20 day of show,  $10 for students all ages and SPACE members.

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Call for info or to reserve: (207) 828-1310

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