For over forty years, James Newton has been one of the world’s most versatile and celebrated musicians. The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will honor the distinguished music teacher with “A Tribute to James Newton” at Schoenberg Hall at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
Newton played a leading role in the development of UCLA’s Global Jazz Studies program and has taught many students in the areas of jazz composition and styles, history, and music. ‘analysis. He is a legendary Blue Note artist on the Jazz Flute and Critics’ Choice for Best Flutist for 23 consecutive years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll.
“Professor James Newton has had a major impact on our Global Jazz Studies program,” said Steve Loza, President of Global Jazz Studies. “He designed the proposal for the new program and the new structure.” He was also loved. “Professor Newton was one of the most popular and prolific teachers in the School of Music during his ten years of teaching. He left an indelible mark on our students, the academic quality and the artistic vision of the school.
As a composer in both classical and jazz styles, Newton’s music has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Ballet, the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Toino and all over the world.
Friday’s concert will feature Newton’s sacred music, including performances by The image of the invisible and Elisha’s Gift performed by the Lyris Quartet. Aron Kallay, pianist, will perform Looking above, Joseph’s faith. by Newton Mass for four voices and chamber ensemble will also be executed; the play had its world premiere in Italy and its US premiere at Disney Hall in Los Angeles with Grant Gershon conducting the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
The final performance of the concert will be Newton’s arrangement of Amazing Grace. This spiritual anthem has its genesis in the world’s first human rights movement, the movement to abolish slavery. It has long resonated within spiritual communities and holds a special place in the African-American church. Newton was moved to mark the arrangement after President Barack Obama sang the hymn during a service for slain parishioners at Mother Emanual AME Church in Charleston in 2015. amazing Grace premiered at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston as part of Grace NotesNewton’s collaboration with renowned visual artist Carrie Mae Weams.
On Friday, Newton’s lavish arrangement of “Amazing Grace” will be performed by the Lyris Quartet with Eric Shetzen on double bass.
“The concert represents a wide range of my works in sacred music, which is very dear to me,” Newton said. “I was lucky enough to be an educator, but my true calling is to compose music to glorify God.”
The performance is free and open to the public. RSVP and find more details here.