Tribute to the work of James Newton, professor emeritus of music, on May 20 at UCLA
For over forty years, James Newton has been one of the world’s most versatile and celebrated musicians. On Friday, May 20, UCLA will honor the eminent music teacher with “A Tribute to James Newton” at Schoenberg Hall at 8:00 p.m.
Newton was instrumental in the development of UCLA’s Global Jazz Studies program and has taught many students in the areas of jazz composition and styles, history, and music. ‘analysis. He is a legendary Blue Note performer on the jazz flute and was voted best flutist for a record 23 consecutive years in Pessimistic magazineInternational poll of critics.
As a composer in both classical and jazz styles, Newton’s music has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Ballet, the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Toino and all over the world. During his ten years teaching at the school, Newton was one of the music school‘s most popular and prolific teachers.
Friday’s concert will feature Newton’s sacred music, including performances by The image of the invisible and Elisha’s Gift performed by the Lyris Quartet. Aron Kallay, pianist, will perform Looking above, Joseph’s faith. by Newton Mass for four voices and chamber ensemble will also be executed; the play had its world premiere in Italy and its US premiere at Disney Hall in Los Angeles with Grant Gershon conducting the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
The final performance of the concert will be Newton’s arrangement of Amazing Grace. This spiritual hymn has its genesis in the world’s first human rights movement, the movement to abolish slavery. It has long resonated within spiritual communities and holds a special place in the African-American church. Newton was moved to mark the arrangement after President Barack Obama sang the hymn during a service for slain parishioners at Mother Emanual AME Church in Charleston in 2015. amazing Grace premiered at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston as part of Grace NotesNewton’s collaboration with renowned visual artist Carrie Mae Weams.
On Friday, Newton’s lavish arrangement of “Amazing Grace” will be performed by the Lyris Quartet with Eric Shetzen on double bass.
“The concert represents a wide range of my works in sacred music, which is very dear to me,” Newton said. “I was lucky enough to be an educator, but my true calling is to compose music to glorify God.”
The performance is free and open to the public. RSVP and find more details here.