Northwestern Press

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Paulsen Quintet to premiere two works

Friday, May 19, 2017 by GEORGE VANDOREN Special to The Press in Focus

Peter Paulsen had his own “Chair Suite” and “Concrete & Firelies” by the quintet’s saxophonist Jonathan Ragonese in mind when he assembled his quintet. Both works contain composed ensemble sections as well as improvised sections calling for almost conversational interaction among quintet members.

The Peter Paulsen Quintet presents the world premiere of these two works in the next “Jazz Upstairs” at Miller Symphony Hall, May 19. The group will play two sets. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The concert also features arrangements of jazz standards that will highlight each of the group members in a variety of formats.

Paulsen is Principal Bass of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Principal Bass of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent jazz player in the Philadelphia area. He teaches bass and jazz theory at West Chester University.

He has received three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts composition grants and a PEW Fellowship in Composition.

Paulsen has released five critically-acclaimed CDs of his compositions, “Three-Stranded Cord,” “Tri-Cycle,” “Change of Scenery,” “Goes Without Saying,” and “A Few Thoughts.”

Ragonese is a New York-based composer-arranger-saxophonist. He has performed with David Liebman, Steve Rudolph, Tim Warfield, and Steve Wilson. His works have been performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Museum of Modern Art, and Carnegie Hall.

Other group members include Dr. Chris Hanning, percussion; Ron Stabinsky, piano, and John Swana, Electronic Valve Instrument and brass.

Hanning performs with the Bethlehem Bach Festival Orchestra, the Philadelphia contemporary music ensemble Relâche, and for NFL films. He is Professor of Percussion at West Chester University. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Royal Albert Hall.

Stabinsky recently released “Free for One,” his debut album. He has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, and festivals in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Romania. He is a member of Relâche.

Swana has performed with the Mingus Big Band and the Dave Holland Big Band. He has also performed and-or recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, and Phil Woods.

Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall Box Office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715