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MP3 Chamber Jazz Ensemble - JAZZ: Big Band

Modern Jazz for a mixed 10-piece Ensemble

7 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Big Band, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo

Composers Wil Swindler and Stephen Smith founded the Chamber Jazz Ensemble in 2004 to continue the tradition of Gil Evans'' mid-size ensembles in the framework of modern jazz. Serving a style and function unlike that of a "little big band," the group truly is a chamber ensemble seeking a subtle, cool sound that balances between jazz and modern art-music. The unique instrumentation of 3 woodwinds, 2 trumpets, trombone, french horn, and traditional rhythm section, creates a versatile tone pallete from which the group''s leader/composers create a vast array of sounds and styles.

Their first self-titled CD was recorded in Feb 2006 at Pedernales Studios in Austin, TX. It is an excellent documentation of the sound and style developed by the group during their year tenure at Copa Bar and Grill in Austin, TX. It features all original compositions by Wil Swindler and Stephen Smith. The band memebers are a collection of Austin''s finest jazz players including the composers, Eddy Hobizal, Elias Haslanger, Kyle, Thompson, Paul White, Andy Langham, Utah Hamrick, John Mills, Joey Colarusso, Pat Murray, and John Vander Gheynst.

Meet the Composers:

Wil Swindler graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2001. While at UNT, he studied jazz composition with Paris Rutherford and Neil Slater, saxophone with Dr. Eric Nestler and Jim Riggs, and played lead alto in the 1:00 Lab Band. In 2000, Wil saw one of his original jazz compositions recorded for the band’s yearly CD release. As a member of the band in 2001, they recorded four more. His other activities at UNT included composing and arranging for the Jazz Bones as well as many Dallas-based bands. In the summer of 2000, Wil was accepted at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles where the performance of his symphonic jazz piece “Vantages,” received praise when reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. The following summer Wil returned to LA as a commissioned composer to write a piece to be conducted by John Clayton at the Hollywood Bowl.

After college, Swindler spent 2 years in New York City honing his craft with teachers Manny Albam, Jim McNeely, and Dave Pietro. He was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop and also played with a number of top jazz groups such as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band and Bill Warfield’s New York Fusion Ensemble. After a move to Austin, TX in 2003, Wil co-founded the CJE and served as musical director for vocalist Kevin Ahart. Wil currently resides in Longmont, Colorado. He is a member of the Denver-based 9th and Lincoln Orchestra, the Boulder based group Onda, and the Colorado Jazz Ensemble. He leads his own groups, the Wil Swindler Quartet and the Wil Swindler Elevenet.

Stephen Smith is a trombone player and composer living in Austin, Texas. He received his Bachelor''s degree in Jazz Studies with an emphasis in arranging from the University of North Texas in December of 2002. He was a member of the world famous University of North Texas One O''clock Lab Band in 2000 and 2002. Stephen has had four original compositions recorded on three One O''clock Lab Band albums. He can be found playing on three Two O''clock Lab Band albums as well as two non-University of North Texas jazz albums.

Smith was first runner up in the International Trombone Association''s Frank Rosolino competition in 1999 and 2000. He is a founding member of Slide Tradition, a jazz trombone ensemble and winner of both the International Trombone Association''s "Kai Winding" award and the Eastern Trombone Workshop''s "Capital Bones" award in 2000. Stephen is also the winner of the "Best Original Composition" Downbeat Magazine student award in 2003, the ASCAP Foundation''s Young Jazz Composer award in 2004 as well as The Airmen of Note''s Sammy Nestico award in 2004. He has had the privilege of playing throughout the United States, in Europe and Japan, as well as performing with a multitude of great musicians. He was also on Maynard Ferguson''s final tour in the summer of 2006 serving as trombonist and arranger.

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