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Nick Grondin | SongTeller - The Jazz Orchestra Project

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Experimental Big Band Moods: Instrumental
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SongTeller - The Jazz Orchestra Project

by Nick Grondin

Bright colors and sonic textures abound as Downbeat and ASCAP award-winning jazz guitarist and composer Nick Grondin animates the wide-ranging stylistic and timbral palette of the 20-piece jazz orchestra on his debut CD.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Les Touches de piano
10:16 album only
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
10:10 album only
3. Mingus
9:28 album only
4. The Shifter
9:20 album only
5. Open Waters
10:05 album only
6. The Shorter Night
8:09 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
26-year old composer, arranger and jazz guitarist Nick Grondin creates uniquely imaginative works for small and large jazz ensembles and is now releasing his first CD, SongTeller - The Jazz Orchestra Project. Leading a new generation of young jazz performers and composers, guitarist Grondin blends rock, folk and flamenco influences with contemporary jazz forms, creating bold new works for groups sized from septet to full big band.

His effusive, carefully designed pieces for jazz orchestra recently received some prestigious awards: the 2008 and 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards for the compositions titled Mingus and The Shifter. In 2008, Grondin also won the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for his arrangement of Strawberry Fields Forever and in 2007, he also won the Downbeat award for Best Extended Jazz Composition for Les Touches de Piano.

All of these compositions are featured on the new release. In 2008, Grondin founded the Nick Grondin Jazz Orchestra and with help from the 2008 and 2009 ASCAP Awards, he financed the recording of his pieces with the NGJO. SongTeller - The Jazz Orchestra Project, was born.

On SongTeller, bright colors and sonic textures abound as Grondin animates the wide-ranging timbral palettes of an 18-piece jazz orchestra as well as a 10-piece ensemble, with added harp, voice and percussion also illuminating the sonic journey. Grondin conducts the four jazz orchestra pieces and performs two on guitar.

Grondin sees composing and improvising as two sides of the same coin: “It’s about shaping the experience shared by the audience and the performers, so that by the end of the night, we feel like we’ve arrived at a new place together,” he says.

Nick Grondin’s large ensemble pieces have been performed by Boston’s New England Conservatory Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, France’s Paris Universities Big Band, Minnesota’s Macalester College Mac Jazz Big Band, the University of New Hampshire Big Band, Oregon’s Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, New Hampshire’s Seacoast Big Band and Boston’s 9-piece NEC Jazz Composers’ Ensemble. In addition, Grondin also leads the Nick Grondin Group Septet, which performs regularly in the Boston area; this group is working on another album to be released sometime in 2010.

Already an active and sought-after educator, Grondin has been a guest artist and clinician with community and collegiate big bands and has taught classes and coached ensembles at the New England Conservatory Preparatory and Continuing Education School. He has also given guest lectures on his music at the Summer Youth Music School in New Hampshire as well as at Harvard University.

The Lee, New Hampshire native received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies with a focus on Composition from Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music in May 2008, where he studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Frank Carlberg, Allan Chase, Michael Gandolfi and Ken Schaphorst. He also participated in innovative master classes with such legends as Dave Holland, John Hollenbeck and Jim McNeely. Nick’s Bachelor of Arts Degree is from Macalester College located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Before coming to Boston, Nick attended the Edim School of Modern Music in Paris, France for two years, allowing him to take excellent advantage of the European center for jazz and world music. There, Grondin absorbed as much live music as he could, often hearing three or four concerts per week. He was exposed to the finest Parisian jazz players, as well as Indian, Eastern European, North and West African music and Argentinean Tango, which equally gave him perspective and appreciation for his roots in American blues, folk and popular music.

An experienced performer and composer, Nick has presented his music to enthusiastic audiences throughout the United States and Europe, including France, Germany and Spain. Nick received his first guitar at age 13 and soon began playing lead guitar in blues and rock bands. However, his love and curiosity for improvisation eventually led him to a greater fascination with jazz.

Nick began his development as a jazz player and composer while studying at Macalester College, where he began writing works for small jazz ensemble and big band. An additional passion for French language and culture led him to the Paris, France sojourn, where he spearheaded his own jazz trio and performed his Concerto for Jazz Guitar with the Big Band des Universités de Paris. When not playing or composing, Nick also loves cooking French-influenced meals such as steak au poivre. Nick also adores traveling throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the United States.



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