I am thrilled to announce that we have been granted a commission to write an extended work for BKG to be performed sometime in 2014. Many thanks to Chamber Music America and the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation! More details to come...
Ben Kono Group at Shapeshifter Lab, 6/24/14
Ben Kono Group: Simon and the Monk/River of Fire
Numinous premiere: The Grey Land
The Grey Land is a monoopera that explores universal themes of humanity and identity through the intractable triumvirate of race, class, and power in American society. The Grey Land will integrate a variety of writings, archival and contemporary video footage, dance, set and lighting designs, as well as dramatic elements in order to advance a non-traditional narrative that will embrace the musical and social multitudes and “dichotomies of high and low, inside and outside, tradition and innovation” within black culture, fusing various African-American and other popular music influences within a contemporary post-classical musical language. Working with writer/director Isaac Butler, choreographer Edisa Weeks, electronic musician Michael Hammond, film and video artist Malik Isasis and Xuan Zhang, The Grey Land will ruminate and comment more specifically on the larger longstanding systemic societal, economic and cultural issues the various police shootings and protests since 2014 have brought to a wider public consciousness. The composition is scored for 1 Mezzo Soprano Soloist, 1 Narrator/Speaker and the 26 musicians of Numinous, approximately 65 minutes in length and eventually recorded for New Amsterdam Records after the premiere.
Jazz Composers Showcase
Jazz Composers Showcase Gala Concert
Ed Palermo Big Band CD release
Mastervoices with Orchestra of St.Lukes
Mastervoices and Orchestra of St.Lukes
Hye Seon Hong Big Band CD release
Ben Kono Group at Music Mountain
Miggy Miyajima Big Band recording
Sear Sound Recording Studios, New York, NY
Ben Kono Group@Pro Musica Joplin, MO
Corley Auditorium, Missouri Southern State University, 3950 Newman Rd, Joplin, MO 64801
The Group features long-time musical collaborators Henry Hey on piano and Fender Rhodes, Pete McCann on guitars, Ross Pederson on drums, Matt Clohesy on bass, and . In 2013 Kono was awarded the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to write and premier a suite for the Group entitled DON’T BLINK.
The appearance of the Ben Kono Group in Joplin is sponsored, in part, by Annette Thurston and Charles Keeter.
While in Joplin the Ben Kono Group will present a clinic for jazz students at MSSU and area high schools at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, 4/29/17. The public is invited to attend the clinic.
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students. Tickets can be purchased online (click on the Tickets section of this website) or from the Pro Musica office, 9:00-1:00 (call first 625-1822).