February 17, 2017

New Music Concert March 2 Features Guest Composers Ben Allison, John Mayrose

Guest composers Ben Allison and John Mayrose will bring elements of jazz and electronic music to Sonoma State at the Faculty Composers Concert on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 pm in Schroeder Hall.

Allison is a bass player, composer and band leader who draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole. His visit is part of a three-day residency that includes a concert March 3 with SSU Jazz Combos and jazz forum March 1. For residency details call the music office at (707) 664-2324 or email Jazz Program Director Doug Leibinger

Mayrose, who has performed and premiered experimental works for classical guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, mandolin, banjo and MIDI guitar, will talk about his composing process at a composer’s forum at 1 pm on March 1. His recent TEDx talk about finding musical inspiration in natural phenomena can be viewed here.

The program also includes classical and avant-garde pieces and the premiere of Violin Sonatina by Brian S. Wilson. Guest performers include Ben Allison and his band Think Free, saxophonist Drew Whiting, pianist Kristie Janczyk and violinist Matthew Vincent, along with jazz faculty Doug Leibinger, trombone and Kasey Knudsen, saxophone, and the SSU Faculty Woodwind Quintet - Kathleen Reynolds, flute; Laura Reynolds, oboe; Roy Zajac, clarinet; Rufus Olivier, Jr., bassoon; and Ruth Wilson, horn.

Tickets are $8 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Department of Music concerts are free of charge to SSU students with ID. For more information, call the Box Office at (707) 664-4246.

Wednesday, March 1, 1:00 p.m. GMC 1029
Jazz Forum: Ben Allison and Think Free

Ben Allison talks to Jazz majors about Artist Advocacy and Composition. Free, seating is limited. Email for info.

Wednesday, March 1, 1:00 p.m. GMC 2052
Composer's Forum: John Mayrose

John Mayrose talks to Composition majors about his music. Free, seating is limited. Email for info.

Thursday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. Schroeder Hall
Faculty Composer’s Concert

Music by Ben Allison, John Mayrose, Will Johnson, Kasey Knudsen, Doug Leibinger and Brian S. Wilson
Tickets $8 and free to SSU students. (promo code SSUStudent)


Brian S. Wilson - Klezmer Overture for woodwind quintet (SSU Faculty Woodwind Quintet)
John Mayrose - Random Access for alto saxophone and electronics (Drew Whiting, alto saxophone)
John Mayrose - Down river to the rhythm of rowers for electric guitar and electronics (John Mayrose, electric guitar)
Brian S. Wilson -Violin Sonatina World Premiere (Kristie Janczyk, piano and Matthew Vincent, violin)
Will Johnson - Keyboard piece (Will Johnson, keyboards)
Jazz selections composed by Doug Leibinger, Kasey Knudsen, & Ben Allison to be
announced from the stage. (Kasey Knudsen, saxophone, Doug Leibinger, trombone; Think Free: Ben Allison, bass, Kirk Knuffke, cornet, Steve Cardenas, guitar & Allan Mednard, drums)

Schroeder Hall at Sonoma State University is in the Green Music Center located two miles east of Highway 101 on Rohnert Park Expressway.



John Mayrose - Random Access for alto saxophone and electronics

The title Random Access reflects the process used with random access memory (RAM) in computer hardware, whereby all incoming data can be stored, and small chunks of data can be retrieved regardless of the order in which it was stored. Similarly, in Random Access, all of the input from the live saxophonist is stored in the computer’s RAM. As the piece progresses, short samples of the performer are retrieved and reordered to create new contrapuntal lines. The piece begins with a simple duet between the live saxophone and the reordered material, but gradually evolves to a large orchestra of sampled saxophones. While the title may imply that the retrieval process is random, it is anything but random — the input from the saxophone is precisely scripted and all electronic sounds created live.

John Mayrose - Down river to the rhythm of rowers for electric guitar and electronics

Down river to the rhythm of rowers is a controlled improvisation for electric guitar and electronics (Max/MSP). The work demonstrates the unusual aural phenomenon of a sound’s anonymity when the attack is removed. Throughout the work, the volume of the guitar fades in shortly after the string is plucked. The sounds pile up through a series of delays with a very high feedback. There is no processing in the piece; everything you hear is produced live with the guitar.

Brian S. Wilson - Klezmer Overture

Klezmer Overture for Woodwind Quintet was commissioned and premiered in 2015 by the Timm Wind Quintet of Lousiana State University. The melodies are primarily newly composed material with motives evocative of klezmer with a couple of liturgical quotes. It begins with a slow introduction before giving way to a strict sonata-allegro form. It is an engaging and fun piece!

Brian S. Wilson - Violin Sonatina

The Violin Sonatina is a short three movement work which explores mixed meters and bitonality.  



BEN ALLISON, bass, composer, band leader

In a career that spans nearly 30 years, bassist/composer Ben Allison has developed his own instantly identifiable sound, solidifying an international reputation as one of the leading voices of his generation. Known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves and hummable melodies, Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole. With his groups The Ben Allison Band, Think Free, The Easy Way Trio, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the world, winning fans and building new audiences with an adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected. Recent performance highlights include Carnegie Hall (New York City), Teatro Manzoni (Milan, Italy), Thatro Roberto Cantoral (Mexico City, Mexico), Central Park’s SummerStage (New York, NY), Auditório Ibirapuera (Sao Paulo, Brazil), The Capitol Theater (Salt Lake City, NV), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, CA) and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England).

JOHN MAYROSE, composer, electric guitar

John Mayrose’s compositions have been performed throughout the world and at festivals including the CBDNA conference, SEAMUS, Electronic Music Midwest, Boston Early Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Aspen Music Festival by, among others, Michael Mizrahi, Duo 46, Chatterbird, Fireworks Ensemble, Pulsoptional and several university wind and percussion ensembles. Mayrose has received prizes from the Percussive Arts Society and the ASCAP Morton Gould Award. His music is recorded on New Amsterdam, Fugu Fish and Classic Concert labels. An active performer on guitar and electric bass, he is a founding member of Pulsoptional, a new music ensemble and composers collective based in Durham, North Carolina. Recordings by Pulsoptional are on Innova and Fugu Fish labels. Mayrose holds degrees from Duke University (PhD in Music Composition) and the University of South Carolina (BM in Guitar Performance). John Mayrose is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

DREW WHITING, saxophone

Drew Whiting’s diverse musical interests have led him to perform with symphony orchestras, big bands, new music ensembles, salsa bands, improvisation collectives, chamber ensembles and solo recitals of traditional and contemporary saxophone works throughout the United States. An advocate for new music, he has worked with composers such as Betsy Jolas, Erik Lund and Pauline Oliveros, and has performed more than twenty world premieres of compositions by established and emerging composers. An accomplished chamber musician, Drew was awarded 1st Place at the 2012 MTNA National Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Cerulean Saxophone Quartet. Whiting is a Lecturer of Music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and holds degrees from Michigan State University College of Music (BM and MM) and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (DMA). Drew’s teachers include Joseph Lulloff and Debra Richtmeyer. Drew is a Yamaha Performing Artist and performs exclusively on Yamaha saxophones.


Known for passionate performances with impeccable acuity for color, textural balance and keen attention to detail, Kristie Janczyk is one of today’s young prolific American pianists. Playing since the age of three, Kristie is sought after around the world as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. She is consistently praised for her inspiration and flair by communicating the energy and musical impulses in the pieces, as well as for presenting programs full of confidence and passion that underscore her love for the piano. Kristie recently received her Doctorate in Music with a specialization in Collaborative Piano from Arizona State University. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a Master’s and Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance both under the direction of Alfred Mouledous. Kristie is represented by Dominique Moralez with M Artist Agency.


Violinist Matthew Vincent began his musical studies at age seven and made his first public appearance at New York’s Steinway Hall at the age of nine. During his formative years, Matthew was exposed to musical opportunities that would eventually convince him to abandon all other interests for the sake of pursuing his passion – the violin. A truly gifted performer with musical versatility, Matthew is praised for his singularly beautiful tone and wonderful vibrato. Matthew has made several solo appearances, and has participated in numerous orchestras, chamber groups, competitions and festivals in North America, Europe and the Far East. Of particular note, Matthew recently performed with noted cellist Misha Quint at Carnegie Hall as part of the InterHarmony Internationales Musik-Festival. Matthew holds a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University under the tutelage of Danwen Jiang. He received his Bachelor of Music and Arts degrees from Southern Methodist University, where his primary teacher was former Dallas Symphony concertmaster Emanuel Borok.





Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928