University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM Jazz Ensemble to Feature the Music of Frank Zappa in March 25 Concert

Release Date: 03-17-2008

Author: Jeffrey R. Wakefield
Phone: 802-656-2005 Fax: (802) 656-3203

The University of Vermont Jazz Ensemble will feature the music of Frank Zappa at a concert on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Maple Ballroom of the Dudley H. Davis Center. Alexander Stewart, director of UVM's Jazz Studies program, will lead the ensemble.

The concert is free and open to the public.

An iconic cultural figure whose career began in earnest in the 1960s and spanned 30 years, Zappa created a unique musical genre that combined satirical lyrics with a mix of rock, classical, and jazz idioms. In addition to writing songs for various incarnations of the band he is associated with, the Mothers of Invention, and performing with the band, Zappa composed music and directed films.

The Jazz Ensemble will play arrangements of 16 of Zappa's most recognized songs, including Montana, the Idiot Bastard Son, King Kong, Peaches en Regalia, the Grand Wazoo, and Uncle Remus.

The arrangements were written by Ed Palermo for the Ed Palermo Big Band of New York, which plays Zappa's music exclusively.

"In arranging Zappa's tunes for big band, Ed Palermo has thrown new light on his legacy while retaining the composer's original melodic and harmonic designs," the Washington Post wrote.

"The orchestrations are beautiful," said Stewart. "They preserve the feeling of the original tunes but find and exploit the jazz character that's in so much of Zappa's music."