Concordance Project | Rendez-Gnu

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Jazz: Crossover Jazz World: Asian- Southeast Moods: Instrumental
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by Concordance Project

A global rhythmic fusion of instrumental classical and jazz styles.
Genre: Jazz: Crossover Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wooden Boxes
4:09 $0.99
2. Rendezvous
3:49 $0.99
3. Transcend
3:44 $0.99
4. The Drum
3:11 $0.99
5. Dorian's Dream
5:31 $0.99
6. Stan's Tune
4:03 $0.99
7. Hosu for Solo Piano (feat. Bang Lang Do)
10:39 $0.99
8. Preachin' to the Choir
3:51 $0.99
9. Meditation for Solo Trumpet (feat. James Sherry)
3:10 $0.99
10. Interbeing
5:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Inspiration for Rendez-Gnu comes from composer John Rapson, as well as from my brother trumpeter Ed Sherry, musicians Patricia Morehead, Jeff Agrell, Paul Faatz, Amy Dunker, Christopher Lobingier, Stan Wilkerson, Elisa Koehler, biologist Richard Cowart, geologist Dale Easley, and pianist Bang Lang Do. My musical influences include Kevin and Allan Dean, Dave Douglas, Ed Hoffman, Langston Fitzgerald, Hugh Masekela, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and Louis Armstrong, as well as the Sherry Family Band. I was fortunate to work with John Rapson's Johnson County Landmark, the top jazz ensemble at the University of Iowa, over two years and serve as their guest director for two concerts. I wish to specially thank the JCL musicians for their willingness to record this project. I also want to thank organizational wizard Linda Ressler and her sister, improvisation guru Amy Ressler, for their inspiration and support. Ironically, we were teaching together at their summer camp, Frogwarts, when this recording was made.

Each tune on this album represents a special point in my musical growth. Wooden Boxes was the first tune I ever wrote, after years of telling myself I was not a composer. Two titles, Transcend and Preachin’ to the Choir can be interpreted any way you like. Transcend came to me after many hours listening to Dave Douglas and John Zorn. Preachin’ to the Choir is a tribute to an idol, Horace Silver. These tunes are based on a clave pattern, central to Latin dance music. The term rondo has many musical meanings, one deriving from a medieval poetic form containing a main phrase repeated several times, separated by longer episodes. Ronde also means a dance in which the dancers move in a circle. These tunes alternate their rhythmic style, thus the title Ronde (or Rendez). Gnu also has several meanings, including “crossover,” but here is meant as a tribute the 1976 Kenny Wheeler recording Gnu High. I also have a fascination for Bluegrass (or Nu-Grass/Gnu-Grass) and have performed Wooden Boxes in this style several times.

Stan’s Tune was co-written by my friend from Stan Wilkerson. We taught together in the Baltimore Public Schools. Stan convinced me that it is possible to teach improvisation to 5th-graders. All these tunes were conceived as exercises for improvisers. Dorian’s Dream is a tune I did in a band with drummer Chris Peterson.

Two songs by Canadian composers Patricia Morehead and Howard Bashaw are included. Bang Lang Do performed Hosu for Solo Piano across Canada, as the winner of a national completion. Patricia Morehead transcribed Meditation as a gift to James Sherry. The ConCorDance Project has premiered and performed several of her works across the United States.
The musicians on this project, Jeff Miguel, Grace Leong, Blake Shaw, and Carlo Kind all have bright musical futures ahead. They were a pleasure to work with and much of the beauty on this album of simple tunes comes from their skill and good taste. Bang Lang Do added in the exoticism of the Guzheng and the meditative sound of the mindfulness bell. Her choice of three beautiful Vietnamese melodies adds a global, and universal dimension to this album. Rendezvous and The Drum are love songs. Interbeing, a term used by Thich Nhat Hanh, might refer to the integral inter-connectedness and co-existence of all things.

James Sherry

The ConCorDance Project

James Sherry, flugelhorn and trumpet
Bang Lang Do - guzheng, bell, wood block, piano
Jeff Miguel - tenor sax
Grace Leong - keyboard
Blake Shaw - acoustic bass
Carlo Kind - drums, cajon
Chris (CP) Peterson - drums

The ConCorDance Project

Like many chamber ensembles the ConCorDance Project presents masterworks in the classical tradition. Unlike most other groups however, there is much flexibility in instrumentation and programming. With pianist Dr. Bang Lang Do at the core, ConCorDance has presented sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms, augmented by violinist Wes Luke, and trios of contemporary composers with trumpeter Dr. James Sherry. ConCorDance is releasing Rendez-gnu, a CD of Sherry’s original jazz composition and is active in commissioning new works for small ensemble. They have a partnership with composer/oboist Pat Morehead, 2003 Chicago Tribune “Musician of the Year” and founder of CUBE Ensemble Chicago.

ConCorDance has undertaken theatrical productions as well, including works with dance and narration, including Incite Insight with the University of Dubuque Ensemble Theater Company, The Snowman, Alice in Oz, Musical Spooktacular, Requiem for Peace, Wiley and the Hairy Man, The Soldier’s Tale, Peter and the Wolf, Snoopy, Carnival of the Animals, and Anthony Plog’s Animal Ditties, a jazz-influenced setting of Ogden Nash’s poems. Many of these have been collaborations with Amy Ressler, theatre professor and Artistic Director of the Great Midwestern Educational Theatre Company.

With the underlying principles of flexibility and collaboration, ConCorDance promotes and presents free improvisation as well as hybrid styles, including concerts with the Chicago Latin Jazz All-Stars, Argentina’s Los Pinguos, Madison Soundpainting Ensemble, the Unstrung Heroes Bluegrass Band, and MICE (Multimedia Improvisational Computer Ensemble). Concordance is exploring collaborations with The Orchid Ensemble, which blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond.

ConCorDance and its members are active in community music and using music as a tool to improve society. They have presented at conferences, such as the MayDay Colloquium - Music Education as Social, Cultural, and Political Action, College Music Society National, International Society for Improvised Music, International Trumpet Guild, and countless school shows across the nation to children through programs such as Young Audiences of Washington, DC, Young Audiences of Maryland, Community Concerts (a Columbia Artists Affiliate), and ArtsTrek, a program of the Dubuque Symphony. They are actively involved in leadership positions on the boards of the Dubuque Arts Council and the Dubuque Multi-Cultural Center, and have served as artists in residence in public schools in Baltimore, Chicago, and Dubuque, Iowa, where the ConCorDance Ensemble is based. Their website ( lists resources and serves as a forum for those interested in community involvement through music and the arts.

In 2016, the ConCorDance Project released the recording Rendez-Gnu, a selection of contemporary jazz originals. More information can be found at ConCorDance is accepting bookings. For more information contact James Sherry at

The album cover features a painting with no title by Nguyen Quynh. The cover layout was designed by Zoe Muehleip, using a font created by Zaffar Sabbir. I am indebted to John Rapson and his jazz students, the members of the band, for their help in crafting many of these arrangements. John Svec engineered the recording in his studio in Iowa City.



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