A promotional image for the Animal Mother, a jazz trio comprised of CCM alumni.

CCM Jazz Alumni Receive Glowing Review from the Washington Post

CCM alumni Matt McAllister (BM Jazz Studies, 2013), Josh Kline (BM Jazz Studies, 2015) and Jon Massey (BM Jazz Studies, 2012) have been making waves with their latest musical project, Animal Mother.

In a glowing review of the ensemble’s May 8th performance at the Twins Jazz Club and Lounge in Washington, DC, Washington Post contributor Michael J. West suggests, “(T)hese guys — unlike many declared jazz musicians — had mastered the music’s basic foundation before reimagining it.”

A self-described “garage jazz” band, Animal Mother formed at CCM in 2013 with McAllister on drums, Kline on tenor saxophone and Masey on bass. Initially conceived as an opportunity to practice free improvisation, the ensemble soon began to focus on McAllister’s original compositions. The band released its debut album, The Youth Will Rule!, last year and recently embarked on a tour of the Midwest.

Back at home, Animal Mother has been nominated two years in a row for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the “Best Jazz” category.

“Animal Mother deserves more ears,” West concludes in his review, “not least because they slyly suggest that they have even more musical ingredients than meet the ear.”

You can read the full write-up online at www.washingtonpost.com.

Learn more about the achievements of CCM’s students and alumni by subscribing to The Village News!
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Story by Curt Whitacre

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CCM Jazz Ensemble Wows Audiences With Jazz At Lincoln Center Debut

Professor Scott Belck and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s acclaimed Jazz Ensemble made its Jazz at Lincoln Center debut last week, kicking off this month’s CINCYinNYC activities. If you were unable to catch any of the ensemble’s three sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on May 6, you can enjoy video highlights courtesy of WCPO’s Matt Peiken here.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand also provided a recap of the evening and declared, “if the enthusiastic response of the sold-out crowd at Dizzy’s club is any indication, New York is in for a treat.” You can read her full review here.

CCM’s CINCYinNYC offerings continue at 7:30 p.m. this evening (May 12), as the 92nd Street Y presents the Ariel Quartet. You can learn more about that performance here.

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CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

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A New Sneak Peek at the Scenic Design of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of 'The Threepenny Opera.'

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of ‘The Threepenny Opera.’

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes this week with Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s epic musical The Threepenny Opera. Today, we are happy to provide a preview of the show’s set, courtesy of Alexandra Kuntz, a sophomore in CCM’s Scenic Design program and Assistant to Guest Scenic Designer John Arnone on this production.

Learn more about this dynamic new production, which features set designs by Tony Award-winner John Arnone.

“Set in the mid-19th century, Macheath (otherwise known as ‘Mack the Knife’) runs the town with his rag tag band of ruffians and gets what he wants,” Kuntz explains. “His latest want just happens to be Polly Peachum, daughter of the Beggar’s Lord of London (Johnathan Jeremiah Peachum), who doesn’t take too kindly to Mack the Knife’s interest in his daughter. Doing anything to keep them apart, Peachum uses broads, bribes and blackmails to get Mack out of the picture, while Macheath’s life hangs in the balance.”

This production contains mature subject matter.

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The Epic Theatre of CCM’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival resumes this month with a dynamic new production of the iconic musical The Threepenny Opera. Composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by dramatist Bertolt Brecht (adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein), The Threepenny Opera weaves the riveting tale of notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld. Weill’s innovative score invented a new form of musical theatre, leading the way for such shows as Chicago and Cabaret.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of this jazz-infused musical is directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and scenic designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John Arnone. The Threepenny Opera runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

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CCM Jazz Department Celebrates the Music of Stevie Wonder

Guest artist Clyde Brown. Photography by Malinda Hartong.

Guest artist Clyde Brown. Photography by Malinda Hartong.

Internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Clyde Brown joins CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band for a tribute concert to the legendary Stevie Wonder at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Corbett Auditorium.

Aptly titled “Songs in the Key of Life,” this concert features the soul of Stevie Wonder in an evening filled with such classics as “My Cherie Amour,” “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Higher Ground.” Hear the hits of this legendary musician brought to life as Clyde Brown joins the CCM Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Scott Belck and Dominic Marino, on stage in Corbett Auditorium for one night only.

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Have A Ball With Count Basie, CCM Jazz and Guest Artist Dennis Mackrel

CCM welcomes guest artist Dennis Mackrel on Nov. 13.

CCM welcomes guest artist Dennis Mackrel on Nov. 13.

On Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., the CCM Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band welcome guest artist Dennis Mackrel, drummer and band leader of the world famous Count Basie Orchestra for “Atomic Basie!”

This fun-filled evening features the hits of the Count Basie library and other swing era favorites that are sure to get the joint jumping, including “April in Paris,” “Corner Pocket,” Dennis Mackrel originals and more. CCM’s Scott Belck and Dominic Marino conduct.

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