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Husson University Presents a Free Concert

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: The Gracie Theatre at Husson University, 1 College Circle, Bangor, Maine

For more information: 207-941-7888 ; gracietheatre.com

Teaching the Eye to Hear: Musical Reflections on Henri Matisse’s “Jazz”

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BANGOR, MAINE – October 12, 2016 – The Matisse Jazz Project, a free multi-media concert event, will be at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre on Thursday, October 13 with two performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The concert is part of ARTober, a month-long celebration of arts and culture in Bangor.

The Matisse Jazz Project is a musical concert inspired by the iconic cut paper collages of Henri Matisse, a leading figure in modern art. The collages were published in 1947 in a book called “Jazz.” The 20 pieces composed by pianist Christopher Bakriges and performed with violinist Stanley Chepaitis correspond to each of the Matisse Jazz cutouts and his writings.

“What makes this concert exciting is the interdisciplinary involvement,” said Jeri Misler, managing director of the Gracie Theatre. “There will be art students on stage creating their own scissor cut-outs during our daytime performance. The evening performance will feature improvised choreography inspired by the music and Matisse artwork projected on a huge screen. This is a one-of-a-kind concert.”

Matisse viewed jazz music as a “chromatic and rhythmic improvisation” that evoked rhythmic and repetitive structures broken up by unexpected inspirations. Matisse wrote, “There are wonderful things in real jazz; the talent for improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience.” The Bakriges/Chepaitis collaboration creates a unique and stunningly touching virtuosic homage to Matisse’s legacy.

In 1941, the 72-year-old French artist underwent cancer surgery. He did not think he would survive. Matisse was ill, bedridden, and unable to pick up a paintbrush. He found, however, that he could maneuver scissors through prepared sheets of brightly colored paper. He referred to this technique as “painting with scissors.”

Among his first adventures with paper cutouts was a book called, “Jazz” which Matisse prepared in 1942 and published in 1947. The book contained twenty color plates as well as his written thoughts. Both the text and the cutouts inspired the musicians to make what they refer to as “musical reflections on Matisse’s work.” From their perspective, Matisse used the energy of jazz to entice the art world to “teach the eye to hear.”

More information about the concert can be found by calling the Gracie Theatre box office at 207-941-7888 or visiting GracieTheatre.com. The concert is a gift of the late John Kilgore, Jr., whose love of music contributed to similar concerts at the Gracie. Admission to both performances is free. Donations are being accepted and will be returned to the Kilgore fund to help make future concerts possible.

This show is another example of the slate of exciting entertainment that the Gracie Theatre is bringing to Bangor over the next eight months. Information about other upcoming performances is available at the theatre’s website, Facebook, or by calling the box office. Tickets range in price from $15.00–67.00 depending on the fees and the show.

Completed in October of 2009, the Gracie is Husson University’s center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, the Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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