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Jazz at Princeton University Presents World premiere of Pianist/Composer Billy Childs' Rejoice

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Jazz at Princeton University presents world premiere of Rejoice, newly commissioned work from internationally renowned pianist/composer and multiple Grammy winner Billy Childs


Childs joins Princeton students for performance 

on Saturday, May 13  


"...chops, nuance, composing, arranging, and all—(Billy Childs is) a musical royal flush if ever there was one."—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz


Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, presents the world premiere of pianist/composer Billy Childs' Rejoice, a new work commissioned by Princeton and performed by Princeton's 18-member Creative Large Ensemble with special guest Childs.  In addition, the group will perform Childs' piece Do you Know My Name (commissioned by Michigan State University and premiered in January 2016), as well as arrangements of Childs' music by Grammy Award nominee Darcy James Argue. Childs and Mahanthappa will also perform as a duo. The performance is on Saturday, May 13, 8 p.m. in Alexander Hall's Richardson Auditorium. Admission is $15, $5 students. For tickets call 609-258-9220 or visit


"Billy Childs is one of the most interesting composers working on the scene as he is able to engage multiple genres simultaneously," says Mahanthappa. "His ability to traverse a broad scope of music is truly unique, far reaching, and ultimately vital to the future of jazz as an art form and music in general."


The Creative Large Ensemble includes alto saxophonists Alex Laurenzi and Nick Ng; tenor saxophonists Diego Aldarondo and Soon Il Higashino; bari saxophonist Anna Meadors; trumpeters Matt Hetrick, William Grear, Conor Fitzpatrick, and Lucas Makinen; trombonists Rajeev Erramilli, Kyle Groves, and Michael Stambler, plus bass trombonist Kyle Goldman; vocalist Allison Spann; guitarist Michael Delgado; pianist Phillip Yoon; bassist Sean Decker; and drummer Russell Burton.


Pianist and composer Billy Childs has emerged as one of the foremost American composers of his era, perhaps the most distinctly American composer since Aaron Copland—for like Copland, he has successfully married the musical products of his heritage with the Western neoclassical traditions of the 20th century in a powerful symbiosis of style, range, and dynamism. A native of Los Angeles, Childs grew up immersed in jazz, classical and popular music influences.  He studied under Robert Linn and Marton Lauridsen at USC before being discovered by trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard, with whom he embarked on a successful performing and recording tour.  He has recorded and/or performed with J.J. Johnson, Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis ad many others.


Childs Is also an in-demand composer.  He's been commissioned by ensembles including the Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Kronos Quartet, Ying Quartet, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, among others. Childs has earned 13 Grammy nominations and four Grammy Awards, as well as winning a Chamber Music America Composer's Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, as well as the music award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Map to the Treasure, his acclaimed 2014 tribute to Laura Nyro, featured Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, Alison Kraus, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Lisa Fischer, Susan Tedeschi, Rickie Lee Jones, Shawn Colvin, Becca Stevens, Chris Potter, brian Blade, Steve Wilson and Jerry Douglas.


As a pianist he has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Renee Fleming, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, the Kronos Quartet, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, The Ying Quartet, The American Brass Quintet and Chris Botti. His latest release is 2017's Rebirth.


Jazz at Princeton University serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form.  Our goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and

emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of this program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects.

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