For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com 

Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Presents

What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow
and Kyle Athayde Dance Party
Bands of the Swing Era

Saturday, March 2, 2019, 8pm — NEC’s Jordan Hall 
Rob Kapilow high-res photo | Kyle Athayde Dance Party high-res photo
Kyle Athayde video preview
Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present What Makes it Great? with Rob Kapilow and Kyle Athayde Dance Party in Bands of the Swing Era on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 8pm NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. This performance is generously sponsored in part by Amy and Joshua Boger. 

Tickets start at $30 and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at NEC’s Jordan Hall Box Office, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA.

This will be the 86th Celebrity Series performance for Rob Kapilow and 44rd presentation of What Makes It Great?®  since its Boston debut in 1997. This concert will be Kyle Athayde Dance Party’s third Celebrity Series performance with What Makes It Great?; they made their debut in 2015 with “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” The Music of Duke Ellington and were seen most recently in 2017 with “The Train in Classic Jazz.”

The swing era was the high point of jazz’s popularity with the public. These bands were rock stars—popular with multiple generations in a way that has never again been equaled. Parents and kids often danced to the same music (unimaginable today). Find out what makes the swing music in the ’30s and 40’s so unique as Rob delves into the works of famous bandleaders of the time including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw. 

Kyle Athayde is a New York-based composer, arranger, performer, teacher, and bandleader. A native of Orinda, California, Kyle plays vibraphone, piano, trumpet, and drums, bongos, congas, timbales, string bass, bass clarinet, sousaphone, and vocal percussion.  He is the leader, conductor, and principal writer for the New York-based big band, "Kyle Athayde Dance Party", a group acclaimed for its versatility in the wide scope of styles it performs and is the pianist for The New York Trumpet Ensemble.

Influenced by the music of J. S. Bach, Duke Ellington, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Eric Dolphy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Louis Armstrong, Igor Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, Olivier Messiaen, Art Tatum, and many others, Athayde composes and arranges music in a variety of genres, with an emphasis on jazz, classical, salsa, and electronic. While an undergraduate student at Juilliard, Kyle was heavily immersed in an inter-disciplinary arts environment which included dance, drama, and music, which provided him the opportunity to further develop and refine his programmatic approach to composition.

Athayde’s recent commissioned compositions and premieres include a double concerto for the New York Sinfonietta, a tone poem for Bobby Sanabria and The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra (the title track of their most recent album, ¡QUE VIVA HARLEM!), two pieces for choir and band for The University of Scranton’s performing ensembles, and music for the ending credits of the film "Diller, Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line."  He also arranged the music for the halftime show for the University of California at Berkeley Marching Band in their final performance of the 2013 season. Kyle is currently working on commissions for the Canadian Brass, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, Manhattan School of Music Trumpet Ensemble, and the San Francisco Conservatory Brass Choir.

Committed to inter-disciplinary educational outreach in the arts, Kyle has offered classes, clinics, lessons and masterclasses at schools, workshops, and camps in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Alaska.  A regular visiting faculty member of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, he recently developed and taught a class on video game music history and composition there, and directed the jazz band and a vocal hip hop class.  He is the Director of Curriculum at the Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, and regularly offers clinics and masterclasses to middle school and high school bands throughout Northern California. 

Kyle has a wide range of interests, and loves to teach and learn about a variety of subjects, which brings a wide stylistic variety to his music, as his diverse interests inspire his work.  A passionate fan of American football, the ruthless power and strategy of the sport influence his exciting writing style. An avid gamer, the music of these games has inspired some of his most unusual and engaging compositions.  

For more than 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear. As the Boston Globe said, “It’s a cheering thought that this kind of missionary enterprise did not pass from this earth with Leonard Bernstein. Rob Kapilow is awfully good at what he does. We need him.”

Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for more than fifteen seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his “Citypieces”, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University. The reach of his interactive events and activities is wide, both geographically and culturally: from Native American tribal communities in Montana and inner-city high school students in Louisiana to audiences in Kyoto and Kuala Lumpur, and from tots barely out of diapers to musicologists in Ivy League programs, his audiences are diverse and unexpected, but invariably rapt and keen to come back for more.

Kapilow’s What Makes It Great?® (WMIG) made its auspicious debut on NPR’s Performance Today more than 20 years ago, and with its accessible ten-minute format it quickly attracted a wide base of fans and followers. Snowballing in popularity, it developed into a full-length concert evening and was soon snapped up by presenters looking to build new audiences. What Makes It Great?® has sold out regular subscription series in places as diverse as Kansas City, MO, Cerritos, CA, as well as at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the National Gallery of Canada. The latest installment of WMIG concerts is now being presented by the Toronto Symphony, and will include Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Copeland’s Appalachian Spring.

In 2008, PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcast a special What Makes It Great?® show, bringing it to TV screens throughout the US; worldwide audiences were also able to see and experience Kapilow’s trademarked presentations when Lincoln Center inaugurated a series of WMIG video podcasts. Kapilow designed a series of WMIG events especially for teenagers, and, in 2005, he introduced them to thousands of middle- and high-school children in collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in a series that has continued on an annual basis and has been repeated around North America. 

About Celebrity Series of Boston  

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 80-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marian Anderson, Emanuel Ax, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Béla Bartók, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kirsten Flagstad, Renée Fleming, Dizzy Gillespie, Glenn Gould, Martha Graham, Herbie Hancock, Vladimir Horowitz, Diana Krall, Fritz Kreisler, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Ignace Paderewski, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubenstein, Andrés Segovia, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, and many more.

Now presenting orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, contemporary dance, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience – on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods – everywhere.

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2018-19 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Garbis and Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., Foley & Lardner LLP, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, The Peabody Foundation, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, and many others

celebrityseries.org

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