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Don't Blink


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Don't Blink


 

An Eco-Suite for Jazz Ensemble

Made possible by a grant from Chamber Music America and with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 
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The Story


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The Story


How do you portray in music what it feels as a child discovering you will never enjoy the spectacle of passenger pigeons in flight? Or the anxiety of knowing your own daughter may miss your experience of hiking a glacier if global warming continues at its current rate? What in music can convey the awesome wonder of standing in silence among the redwood giants, or the unexpected excitement of meeting a monk seal during a morning swim? These and other powerful emotions I have tried to explore in this suite of vignettes composed specifically for the Ben Kono Group, made possible by a 2013 commission from Chamber Music America: New Jazz Works Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant. Rather than the usual jazz fare of love, loss and betrayal, I envision a narrative of mankind’s often testy relationship with his environment realized through the unusual use of woodwinds in a jazz quintet setting. The concept began as a collection of melodic fragments, some inspired by my four year old daughter's pianistic excursions. Some of these melodies had ecological themes attached to them and I began to imagine a way to connect them together in an extended composition. For a more detailed description of the suite and to listen to individual tracks of our newly recorded work, please navigate to the SUITE section of this website. For booking, adding your email to our newsletter, or just letting us know what you think, please visit the CONTACTS section. Thanks for looking and listening!

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The Ben Kono Group


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The Ben Kono Group


Ben Kono: woodwinds and composition

Pete McCann: guitars

Henry Hey: piano and fender rhodes

Kermit Driscoll: bass

Satoshi Takeishi: drums and percussion

 


PRESS

Mr. Kono, a versatile woodwinds specialist — he’ll play tenor saxophone, clarinets, flutes and oboe here, along with English horn — has a gleaming new album, “Crossing” (Nineteen-Eight), that establishes his style as a bandleader-composer: cosmopolitan and unflappable, with a feel for rallying his sidemen. —Nate Chinen, New York Times
This potent sextet outing by composer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Kono unfolds like separate chapters of a novel, each revealing something about it’s author. —Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times, April 2011
“Kono is one of the stal­wart ses­sion men on the New York scene, from Broad­way to the stel­lar big bands of Darcy James Argue and John Hol­len­beck...Kono places an empha­sis on melody, and is a real crafts­man, shift­ing his lovely lines through dif­fer­ent tex­tures and har­monies, com­bin­ing sec­tions that seem like bits of songs into larger forms and never los­ing track of where he has come from and where he is going.”—The Big City Blog
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Live


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Live


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