The New World Jazz Composers Octet
The NWJCO was organized over 11 years ago by Daniel Ian Smith as an aggregation dedicated to the performance of new music. It gave its first performances under the guise of the “Sanctuary Composers Forum” in tandem with the “Jazz in the Sanctuary” concert series run by Daniel which featured jazz and improvised music in the Boston area. The group garnered considerable attention after its first performance and word spread that this world-class ensemble was truly one of a kind. The ensemble quickly adapts to and personalizes the compositions that are written expressly for it. This type of ensemble is a dream come true for contemporary composers as opportunity for performances of new music are few and far between. Additionally, to have a group of ensemble players who are also stellar soloists is a rarity. The group has performed over 30 concerts to date and has been featured on WGBH radio, Ryles Jazz Club and the Berklee College of Music.
Composers who have contributed to this ensembles’ repertoire have included: Ted Pease, Bob Freedman, Edgar Dorantes, Richard Lowell, Dana Brayton, Matthew Nicholl, Fernando Huergo, Manuel Kaufmann, Ken Schaphorst, Joe Mulholland, Ken Pullig, Pablo Ablanedo, Jeff Friedman, Charles Bubeck, Sergio Brandao, Richard Grudzinski, Bob Pilkington and others. Most recently Michael Abene, the Grammy winning composer and leader of the GRP big band and WDR Band in Europe has expressed interest to contributing to the “book”.
The NWJCO has released 2 recordings on the Big and Phat Jazz Productions label. No Place to Hide was released in the fall of 2007. Transitions, is the most recent release (June 2010) and is currently garnering attention on the JazzTimes and All About Jazz websites.