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Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Asia
October 7, 2008

Instructor: Loren Schoenberg & Andy Hunter

Go to almost any of the major jazz clubs in New York, and look at the audience. Very likely you will see persons from various Asian countries in rapt attention. What is the draw for Asians to jazz?

But the connections between jazz and Asia go beyond the audience. Musicians such as pianist and big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi (Japan), Chicago-based bassist Tatsu Aoki (Japan), alto saxophonist Sadao Watanabe (Japan), or multi-reed instrumentalist Fred Ho (China) all were drawn to American jazz. And Duke Ellington, the greatest composer and band leader in jazz history, in 1966 recorded “The Far East Suite” as a reflection of his impressions after his orchestra was dispatched to the Middle and near East by President Kennedy in 1963.

Explore more fascinating cultural and musical correlations with Loren Schoenberg & Andy Hunter.

Award-winning trombonist, composer and arranger Andy Hunter comes out of a lineage of study with Robin Eubanks and Conrad Herwig. Born in the small town of Grayling, Michigan (located half way between the uniquely named cities of Paradise, Michigan, and Hell, Michigan), he has since lived in Cleveland and Shanghai, and since 2004 has called Brooklyn, New York home. Recent distinctions include winning the 2006 Eastern Trombone Workshop's National Jazz Competition in Washington, D.C., the 2005 "Antti Rissanen International Jazz Trombone Competition" in Helsinke, Finland, the International Trombone Association's jazz trombone competition in 2002, the Detroit International Jazz Festival's Most Outstanding College Soloist award for 2001, and Downbeat Magazine's jazz composition competition in 1997. He was also in the finals of the Thelonious Monk Jazz competition in 2003. As both a sideman and a leader, his performing, composing, and arranging can be heard on numerous recordings and in a wide variety of musical styles (see discography). With these and other bands, he has traveled to perform in concerts and festivals in many diverse locations, including much of Europe, Russia, Asia, North America, and some of South America. In New York, he is a busy freelance musician, and performs regularly with the Mingus Bands, the Dave Binney Big Band, the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, Ochun, Wayne Gorbea, Spoke, and his own quintet.

Over the past decade, an earnest desire to share the truly international music of jazz with wider and wider audiences has found him as an advisor and M.C. for jazz festivals in China, as a jazz educator at colleges and schools on four continents, and as a host on Hang Zhou and Shanghai's recently launched jazz station, Soulfire Radio. Over the past 8 years he has introduced more than a dozen musicians to the quickly growing jazz scene in China who have gone to live there for some period of time; many of them still reside in China today. Within the last year alone his music has brought him to Russia, Poland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Panama, Argentina, China, and Korea.

Andy Hunter holds a M.M. in Jazz from Rutgers university, a B.Mus. from Oberlin Conservatory, and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. He also holds a B.A. in Chinese from Oberlin College. For a current performance schedule, please check the Andy Hunter myspace page by clicking here.

Some of the musicians he feels honored to have performed or recorded with include: The Saturday Night Live band, The Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Orchestra, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, The Drifters, Slide Hampton and the World of Trombones, Billy Hart, Marcus Belgrave, Cui Jian, Dave Binney, Michael Mossman, Robin Eubanks, Conrad Herwig, Dave Kikoski, Monday Michiru, Alex Sipiagin, Ralph Bowen, Jonathan Blake, Frankie Negron, Kenny Davis (both the bassist and the trumpeter), Peter Dominguez, John Fedchock, Bobby Ferrazza, Leslie Gore, Terry Gibbs, Wendell Logan, Ernie Krivda, Nils Landgren, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Dick Contino, Dennis Mackrel, Tito Nieves, Hugh Ragin, Adalberto Santiago, Yomo Toro, Greg Bandy, Donald Walden, and Dan Wall.

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