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Westfield’s Patterson Library hosts intimate jazz concert with Bruce Johnstone
Monday, February 24, 2014

Westfield’s Patterson Library hosts intimate jazz concert with Bruce Johnstone

Carousel Strings with Bruce Johnstone on saxophone.

Saxophonist Bruce Johnstone, accompanied by SUNY Fredonia’s unique Carousel Strings, will present an intriguing combination of jazz standards and ballads, Latin jazz and even a few original pieces at an intimate concert on Saturday, March 1, at 3 p.m. at Patterson Library in Westfield.The concert is free and open to the public.

The 11-member ensemble, comprised of musicians hand-picked by Johnstone, director of Curricular Jazz at the School of Music, gives audiences the rare treat of hearing jazz played by strings with the backing of a rhythm section. The New Zealand-born Johnstone has toured the world and played with jazz icons including Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson.Carousel Strings consists of four violins (Stephen Minor, Lucas Denies, Virginia Croft and Cassity Warnecke), one viola (Katharine Allen), two cellos (Avishai Afec and Brandon Codrington), piano (Ian Liedke), bass (Scott Gergelis and Emma Garcia), drums (Cody Lockley) and guitar (Mark Bamann). Hannah Stanek-Chu, a freshman Vocal Performance major from Williamsville, will be the featured vocalist on some selections.

In the last four years ago, Johnstone’s Carousel Strings has enabled string musicians to double their style exposure, which increases employment options and also gives Music Education majors experience in creating similar ensembles. Concerts that the ensemble gives in Western New York also demonstrate the variety of music that the School of Music is creating, Johnstone added.

“I’ll be doing quite lot of talking throughout the program, which is generally not done in a classical concert. I’ll talk about the tunes, the composers, the original compositions that we perform and what the influence was behind them,” Johnstone explained.

Exposing student musicians to new audiences is a big part of each Carousel Strings performance, and Johnstone will introduce each musician and tell a little bit about his/her background. An informal musician meet-and-greet will also be held in the library’s Octagon Art Gallery following the concert.

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