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September 15, 2011

Acclaimed Jazz Pianist to Perform Sojourn Suite at Wheaton College

The Wheaton College Conservatory of Music presents jazz pianist and composer Bradley Williams in a concert titled Sojourn at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 16.

Williams, a guest lecturer in jazz piano and jazz voice in the Conservatory, will perform as part of the Faculty Recital Series.

In his latest album, Sojourn (2011), Williams pairs his piano trio and a string quartet in a set of twelve original movements. The mood of the set ranges widely from melodic, Debussy-influenced textures to driving swing, and modern jazz and samba waltzes.

ChicagoJazz.net describes the project as “a compelling and refreshing recording with a strong sense of nostalgia for the days when melodies and strings were the norm, not the exception.”

In addition to his long-time trio partners, bassist Dan DeLorenzo and drummer Mike Schlick, Williams will be joined by the Hawk String Quartet. The ensemble is noted for its jazz-oriented work with vocalist Kurt Elling and composer/saxophonist Jim Gailloreto. Chicago vocalist and composer Jade Maze will perform with Williams as well.

Bradley Williams is well-known in Chicago for his jazz work with visiting luminaries Sheila Jordan and Joe Henderson, as well as long associations with Chicago mainstays Von Freeman and Art Hoyle. Williams has developed a reputation for sensitive accompaniment and creative arranging for vocalists, and his artistry has complemented a host of Windy City talent, including Spider Saloff, Shelley MacArthur, Eden Atwood, Jackie Allen and Amy Jill.

Williams has toured internationally with his own modern jazz variety show, The Original 21st Century Review, a multi-horn, multi-vocalist ensemble performing classic and original jazz compositions.

In late 2010 he composed, orchestrated and recorded with “Letter from a Birmingham Jail Cell” with Chicago’s City Lights Orchestra. The composition is a symphonic tone-poem backdrop for Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous missive.

Friday evening's performance takes place in Barrows Auditorium, located in the east wing of the Billy Graham Center at 500 College Avenue in Wheaton. Tickets are available only at the door and cost $10 for general audience and $5 for students and seniors over 60, and free admission for children 18 and under. For more information, call the Conservatory of Music at 630.752.5099.