Sister Act: Canadian guest artists bring Juno-award-winning music to Dartmouth's student jazz ensemble, February 8

Photo: (L-R) Christine and Ingrid Jensen. Courtesy of the artists.

HANOVER, NH—For its Winter Carnival Concert, which for 38 years has been a joyous high point of that Dartmouth weekend celebration, the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble has often reached southward, pulling in guest artists like Arturo O'Farrill and Gregorio Uribe to channel the music of the Caribbean and Latin America.

This winter the jazz group reaches north, bringing in the internationally acclaimed Canadian sisters Christine and Ingrid Jensen, whose music often echoes the luminous beauty of their childhood landscape of British Columbia. The concert takes place Saturday, February 8, 8 pm, in the Hop's Spaulding Auditorium. Tickets are $10, $5 for Dartmouth students.

The concert features the compositions of Montreal-based jazz saxophonist/bandleader/composer Christine, whose big-band album Treelines (“in the footsteps of Gil Evans, Thad Jones and Maria Schneider…a unique voice”—Jazz Times) won the 2011 Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards) for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, along with Quebec’s Opus Award for “Jazz Recording for the Year.”Wrote Downbeat magazine,"Christine Jensen's music feels of the moment yet timeless; big-band clichés are avoided, but beauty is paramount.... The cumulative impact is more than impressive; it's moving."

Along with Christine, the Coast will also be joined by Ingrid, an acclaimed New York-based jazz trumpet/flugelhorn player (wrote NPR's Marian McPartland, “Ingrid plays…with all the brilliance and fire of a true virtuoso, following the spirit of the muse as she creates...warm, sensitive, exciting and totally honest"); and Christine's husband,saxophonist/clarinetist Joel Miller, whose 2012 album won a Juno Award and was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by the Ottawa Citizen and La Presse.Christine and Ingridarrive on campus a week prior to the concert to rehearse with the Coast some four hours daily, visit Dartmouth classes and coach student musicians.

Raised in a music-loving family in British Columbia, Christine and Ingrid both left for college, Christine at McGill University in Montreal and Ingrid at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Christine went on to collaboratewith a diverse array of musicians and, while still a student at McGill, to contribute compositions to Ingrid’s Juno-nominated debut album, Vernal Fields. She's been called “an original voice on the international jazz scene…[and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers” (Toronto Globe and Mail); and her music has been performed by ensembles around the globe, including the Frankfurt Radio BigBand, Germany; the UMO Big Band, Finland; and the McGill Jazz Orchestra, Montreal; as well as by her own 18-member Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra.

After graduating from Berklee in 1989, Ingrid moved to New York and soon established herself as a leader and soloist in a wide array of musical genres. Her three CDs for the Enja label and her latest CD, At Sea, won Juno nominations. Her performances as a leader and featured soloist have taken her around the world from Canada to Japan, Australia, South America, South Africa, and the Caribbean and to almost every country in Europe and Scandinavia. She can be heard as a soloist with the Christine Jensen Orchestra, her own quartet and quintet formations, Project O, Nordic Connect and a number of other New York-based bands. She has received rave reviews and a strong reputation among critics and peers. Some of the many musicians she has performed and or recorded with include Dr.Lonnie Smith, Terri-Lynn Carrington, Geri Allen, Geoffrey Keezer, Billy Hart, George Garzone, Chris Connor, Victor Lewis, Clark Terry, and Dr. Billy Taylor, Corrine Bailey Rae (on NBC's Saturday Night Live), Peter Frampton, Madeleine Peyroux (as part of atribute to Billie Holiday that included bass legend Ron Carter and piano virtuoso Mulgrew Miller) and Esperanza Spalding.She has performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra often over the past 10 years, including during the ensemble's Hop appearance in 2006.

From New Brunswick, Miller ("passionate and creative, melodic yet exploratory" –Downbeat) recorded his first album, Find a Way, in 1996, ("His solos are supremely melodic—think of Stan Getz, or of John Coltrane at his most wistful…a terrific debut CD"—Toronto Globe and Mail), won the 1997 Grand Prix Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and has performed across North America, Mexico, Europe, Japan and India and on national broadcasts in Canada and Sweden. He has won praise for his five subsequent CDs and for his work on Christine's Treelines. "Miller played with a terse decisiveness throughout the set, letting spaces linger for all they were worth between deftly clustering cadenzas and confidently rippling postbop passages," wrote Lucid Culture, and jazz superstar Dave Douglas called him "a breath of fresh air and one of the great pleasures of the Montreal scene."

Directed by valve trombonist and arranger Don Glasgo, the Barbary Coast is the student jazz ensemble of Dartmouth College. Composed almost entirely of non-music majors, the ensemble specializes in the music of the African-American and Afro-Caribbean jazz traditions. Through a highly respected series of extended residencies and concerts, the students in the Coast enjoy outstanding opportunities to learn from and perform with some of the finest jazz artists in the world. The Coast performs a mainstage concert during fall, winter and spring terms. Depending upon student leadership, members of the Coast may also participate in jam sessions or form popular “spin-off” combos. The wide-ranging repertoire of the ensemble extends from original compositions and arrangements by its director and students within the group to works by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson and various contemporary jazz composers, from the Afro-Latin jazz of Arturo O’Farrill to the Afro-Colombian jazz funk of Gregorio Uribe, from the New Orleans jazz of "Big Chief" Donald Harrison to the Big Band Funk of Joe Bowie and the out-of-this-world compositions of Sun Ra. Based on its wide-ranging repertoire, many of the distinguished guest artists who have done residencies and performances with the group have proclaimed the Barbary Coast “the most eclectic college jazz ensemble in the country.”


About the concert

About the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble

About the guest artists

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Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble with Christine and Ingrid Jensen

This Dartmouth jazz group is joined by Montreal-based jazz saxophonist/bandleader/composer Christine Jensen and her sister, the acclaimed New York-based jazz trumpet/flugelhorn player Ingrid Jensen (“all the brilliance and fire of a true virtuoso”—Marian McPartland, NPR). Raised in a music-loving family in British Columbia, the two have won numerous accolades for their work together, including Christine’s big-band album Treelines (“in the footsteps of Gil Evans, Thad Jones and Maria Schneider…a unique voice”—Jazz Times), which won a 2011 Juno award for Jazz Album of the Year.Don Glasgo, director

Saturday, February 8, 8 pm

Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH

$10, Dartmouth students $5, general admission

Info:, 603-646-2422

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Founded in 1962, the Hopkins Center for the Arts is a multi-disciplinary academic, visual and performing arts center dedicated to uncovering insights, igniting passions, and nurturing talents to help Dartmouth and the surrounding Upper Valley community engage imaginatively and contribute creatively to our world. Each year the Hop presents more than 300 live events and films by visiting artists as well as Dartmouth students and the Dartmouth community, and reaches more than 22,000 Upper Valley residents and students with outreach and arts education programs. After a celebratory 50th-anniversary season in 2012-13, the Hop enters its second half-century with renewed passion for mentoring young artists, supporting the development of new work, and providing a laboratory for participation and experimentation in the arts.


Rebecca Bailey, Publicity Coordinator/Writer

Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College