CalArts Capitol Sessions: The First 25 Years reunion concert features celebrated alumni of the inaugural CD including Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, James Carney and Darek Oles
The outdoor concert takes place at the Wild Beast Music Pavilion on the campus of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) on April 19 at 4 p.m.
Valencia, CA, (February, 26)—The Herb Alpert School of Music  at California Institute of the Arts  (CalArts) presents an outdoor jazz concert on Saturday, April 19, to mark the 25-year anniversary of one of the school’s most cherished traditions: the recording each spring of an original CalArts jazz album at the world-famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood. This production has been funded by Capitol Records since 1990 in an unprecedented long-term collaboration between a major recording label and a music school.
Part of the Wild Beast Concert Series, CalArts Capitol Sessions: The First 25 Years takes place at The Wild Beast Music Pavilion on the CalArts campus on April 19 at 4 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public. With open lawn seating, families are welcome and picnics encouraged.
The concert reunites celebrated alumni of the Institute’s Jazz Program who performed on the inaugural “CalArts Jazz CD” 25 years ago. They include saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Peter Epstein, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist James Carney and bassist Darek Oles. The alumni set will be preceded by an eclectic selection of new original compositions from the 2014 edition of the Capitol recording, performed by some of the brightest artists coming out of the Jazz Program.
The event will also include tributes to Capitol Studios staff, Capitol Records, and CalArts trustee emeritus Joe Smith who, during his tenure as President and CEO of Capitol/EMI Records, first set the collaboration in motion.
The CalArts Jazz CD produced at Capitol Studios has stood as one of the signature features of the Institute’s Jazz Program, helping to draw major talents to the program and serving as a professional springboard for graduating students as they begin their careers. The opportunity to work with top industry professionals in the iconic Hollywood studios—the site of recordings by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and the Beach Boys to OutKast, Mary J. Blige and Daft Punk—is an invaluable learning experience for CalArts students that is unmatched by any other music program in the country.
“Once our students record their music in a world-class professional setting, with world-class engineers, they just can’t wait to return,” says David Roitstein, chair of CalArts’ Jazz Program and producer of the Jazz CD. “The quality of the experience inspires them to keep elevating their own work.”
The headliners of the 25th anniversary concert bear out Roitstein’s observation—with each continuously raising his level of musicianship since playing on the 1990 CalArts Jazz album. Coltrane, Alessi, Carney and Epstein moved to New York, where they established themselves as part of the 1990s “downtown jazz” scene. Though not the first Jazz Program graduates to rise to prominence in New York, this group injected a distinctive CalArts sensibility to the scene that endures to this day—a musical perspective informed by deep exposure to world music traditions and experimental practices.
The spring 2014 season of the Wild Beast Concert Series will conclude with the annual CalArts World Music and Dance Festival, which takes place on the weekend of May 2–4.
CalArts Capitol Sessions: The First 25 Years
April 19, 4 p.m.
The Wild Beast Music Pavilion
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia CA 91355