Cover Art: Becky Song
Thirteen student bands chosen for a 2-day intensive professional recording session at Capitol Records
May 18, Valencia, CA—The Main Gallery at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was abuzz on Wednesday, May 18 at 12:30 pm as the 22nd edition of the CalArts’ annual jazz CD was released. Since 1990, the annual recording of innovative original work by students in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, produced by Capitol/EMI, has become an anticipated event and a model for similar projects around the world.
"It is miraculous that this wonderful partnership with Capitol/EMI has continued for so long," said jazz program director David Roitstein. "We are so very grateful for their consistent commitment to our students, and their support has had a tremendous impact on the lives of an entire generation of young, talented musicians. The experience in the studios at Capitol is an extraordinary time that everyone remembers forever."
To be included in the CD, CalArts’ composers and performers are invited to submit demo recordings of their best work to a faculty committee. This year, the first round produced 86 submissions representing an exceptionally broad range of musical styles and instrumentations. Twenty-five selected compositions were then performed in concert. From that performance, a committee selected the groups to record at Capitol. For 2011, over 50 different CalArts' musicians spent two days in the studio to record the 13 track disc.
“This was a real challenge—to record 13 different bands in just two days at Capitol meant there was little or no time for anything to go wrong. But all of the bands were up to the challenge and were thoroughly prepared, and as always, the engineering staff at Capitol, led by Charlie Paakkari, did an amazing job. We finished on schedule, and every one of the bands peaked in the studio,” comments Roitstein.
Each year, the CDs are distributed to jazz reviewers and radio stations, and at music and education conferences nationwide. At no charge, listeners can download all of the CalArts jazz recordings produced over the last 22 years as well as view and download the original cover art designed by CalArts graphic design students. The cover of the 2011 CD was created by BFA 3 design student Becky Song.
To access the archive go to: music.calarts.edu/jazzarchive .
After twenty-plus years of CDs, a roster of talented CalArts graduates has gone on to successful careers in music. Former students have toured and recorded with jazz masters such as Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Elvin Jones, Geri Allen, Jim Hall, John Scofield, Dianne Reeves, John McLaughlin, Arturo Sandoval and Brad Mehldau. CalArts students have become part of successful pop bands, including Beck, No Doubt, Macy Gray, The Calling, the Wallflowers, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Ozomatli, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Airborne Toxic Event and performed with Brian Setzer, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and many others.