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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Trio Actuel to perform Feb. 1

Media Contact:

For more information, Music Department, 401-874-2431

KINGSTON, R.I.—J anuary 17, 2008 — Come to the Trio Actuel concert at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. and you are guaranteed to hear music that you’ve never heard before. That’s because part of the trio’s unique performance style relies on improvisation, giving audiences an “in-the-moment” experience only possible in a live performance. The concert will be held in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall,105 Upper College Road on URI's Kingston campus. Admission is $8 for the general public, $2 for students, with seating on a first-come basis. The box office opens 45 minutes before the concert. Snow date is Sunday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. in the same location.

The concert, part of the acclaimed University Artist Series featuring guest artists and members of the URI Department of Music faculty, will present Boston percussionist/URI jazz faculty member Eric Platz, Chicago clarinetist/composer James Falzone, and Vermont accordionist/pianist/composer Jeremiah McLane. Individually, they are each master performers and teachers of their respective instruments. Together they form Trio Actuel whose eclectic repertoire includes traditional music from North Africa, France and the Middle East, jazz, original compositions, and a healthy dose of interactive ensemble playing. The members have been performing together in different contexts for more than 10 years and share a common artistic interest in different traditions of improvisation.

The trio possesses a unique sound that results from its intriguing instrumentation and its members’ diverse experience performing classical, jazz, folk, world, and modern improvised music. Audiences are likely to hear a concert program that blends acoustic jazz, French café music, neo-classical pieces and folk music drawn from worldwide sources. Dr. Robert Labaree, ethnomusicologist, faculty member at New England Conservatory, and founder of Intercultural Institute of Boston, has said: “There is a real conversation going on in Trio Actuel between the musicians, between the past and the present, and between cultures across time. It is heart-warming to witness.”

Individually represented on over 20 recordings, the trio has performed throughout the East Coast and midwestern U.S. In 2004, they were awarded a grant from the Hilary Swing Fund for Creativity. Recent performances have included concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a live radio performance on WNUR in Chicago, and a performance residency at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. They will also perform at the Club Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center in Cambridge, MA, on Jan. 31 the night before their Kingston concert.

Eric Platz regularly collaborates with musicians based in Boston, Chicago and New York City, and he has appeared on over 25 recordings. He has recently completed U.S. tours with Nashville-based singer/songwriter Adrienne Young and New York-based Americana artist Carrie Rodriguez. His two jazz trios, FourMinusOne and Fat Little Bastard, have performed at festivals, music clubs and concert venues across the U.S., and have each released two CDs. In addition to his performing career, Eric is a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island, Providence College, and the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he teaches drumset and hand percussion, coaches jazz ensembles, and lectures on the history of jazz and American popular music. Eric holds a Master's degree in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor's degree from Brown University. He is currently sponsored by Vic Firth drumsticks.

James Falzone has been featured on numerous public radio and television shows and has performed in concert halls and jazz clubs throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to the Allos Musica ensembles he directs, he is a pivotal ensemble member of the acclaimed French folk music group Le Bon Vent and Jorrit Dijkstra’s Flatlands Collective. He has appeared on over ten recordings as a guest artist and is featured on numerous other recordings including his most recent solo project, The Sign and the Thing Signified. In addition to his work as a performing artist, Falzone is a prolific composer in many genres and had several pieces premiered by the Rockford.

Symphony Orchestra in their 2005/2006 concert season. He has been awarded grants from the Chicago Cultural Center, the Hillary Swing Fund for Creativity and The Rotary Foundation and is currently on faculty at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where he teaches theory, composition, and world music. He is also the Resident Composer and Director of Music for Grace Church in Chicago. Educated at New England Conservatory in Boston, he has lectured and has presented masterclasses at numerous universities and was recently a visiting scholar at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Jeremiah McLane is musical director of Le Bon Vent, a trans-Atlantic sextet that introduces audiences to traditional French music and highlights the influence it has had on the music of New England. He is one of a handful of musicians responsible for the revival of traditional New England dance music, and the groups he founded in the early 1990’s, including the Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale, continue to perform throughout the U.S. and Europe. From his home in Sharon, Vermont, he has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Picolo Spoleto Festival, the Moab Music Festival, the St. Chartiers Festival (France), the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the Festival Memoires et Racines (Quebec). For the past fifteen years he has been on staff at numerous music schools including the Augusta Heritage Arts Center at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia, the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Workshop, at SUNY in Ashokan, NY, and the Swananoah Gathering at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

McLane has composed music for theatre and film, including Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of the Mind”, and received numerous grants and awards including the Ontario Center for the Performing Arts Meet the Composer Award, and the Vermont Council on the Arts Creation of New Work Grant. He has been composer in residence at schools in Vermont since 1998. He has released seven CDs, and his second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, was nominated by National Public Radio in their “favorite picks” of 1996. His fifth release, Hummingbird, received the French music magazine “Trad Mag” BRAVO award for 2003. McLane teaches world music, accordion and piano at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. He studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Dartmouth College among other schools, and completed his Master’s Degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music.

For more information, call the URI Music Department at (401) 874-2431.