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Upcoming Dates
  • May 17, 2024 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Ended
  • $10

A handful of Greensboro’s most highly skilled, professional, popular and accomplished musicians have been working together for more than a year to offer a concert of Claude Bolling’s crazy classical/jazz “crossover” music. This music took the world by storm 50 years ago, topping the classic Billboard Music charts for more than 10 straight years, from the early 1970’s into the mid-1980’s. Since 1973, when “The Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano” first hit the American charts, the international world of virtuoso musicians began lining up, asking that French jazz pianist, Claude Bolling, write a suite of music for each of them, mixing their virtuosity with a jazz trio. Among those renowned musicians was concert flautist, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Bolling’s most significant collaborator and spirited nudge. After Bolling and Rampal recorded the first “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano”, Bolling wrote jazz suites for Trumpet (“Toot Suite” for Maurice Andre), Violin (“Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano” for Pinchas Zuckerman), Guitar (“Concerto for Classical Guitar” and “Picnic Suite” for Alexandre LaGoya), Cello (“Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano” for Yo-Yo Ma), and Chamber Ensemble. But Rampal would not be forgotten. In the 90’s, encouraged by Rampal, Bolling wrote a “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano No. 2”.

Bolling wrote film scores for dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1970’s and 80’s, including the film “California Suite” which is another one of Bolling’s popular performance suites. Most recently, his solo piano piece, “Temptation Rag” was featured in the film “The Joker” when actor Joaquin Phoenix performs an iconic dance on an urban staircase.

Bolling’s music is incredibly popular for musicians to play and music lovers to hear. His adoration for Duke Ellington, and friendship with Oscar Peterson informs his affinity for traditional jazz piano, before bebop hit the jazz scene in the 1950’s. Yet his improvisational licks are harmonically and melodically experimental in his later work. Every single musical piece has a twinkle of humor, or deep luxurious passion, can be a little funky or sweet, and sometimes have serious power. It’s very challenging to play for even the most skilled solo musicians. But the music isn’t entirely classical. And it isn’t entirely jazz.  It’s a lot of both but not too much of either. It’s incredibly accessible and exciting for everyone who gets to experience it. It’s a concert that might just make you jump out of your seat and yell “Hot Damn!” That’s what we do in some rehearsals!

Claude Bolling passed away in 2020 in France. His legacy has been gifted to us. High school students, university students, and the most highly skilled professionals around the world have been performing Claude Bolling’s music for the past 50 years. You can find some of them on YouTube. But very few have attempted to create a program of 24 Claude Bolling pieces from SEVEN of his jazz suites, including the ENTIRE “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano” and the “Picnic Suite” for Flute, Guitar and Jazz Piano. Wait ‘til you hear Claude Bolling’s arrangement of “New York, New York”. You may hate that song but try to reserve your judgement for Claude Bolling’s arrangement. Made a believer outa me.

We are doing this in Greensboro, North Carolina.

All 24 pieces will be ready for public appearance in September of 2024.

But on May 17th – we will be performing 18 of these pieces in front of an audience for the very first time.

You don’t want to miss this!

The Greensboro Bolling Ensemble is Stephanie Lindley (piano), Brian Blauch (flute), Gavin Douglas (guitar), James Armstrong (trumpet), Paul Foster (bass), Pete Dennis (drums).


Presbyterian Church of the Covenant

  • 501 South Mendenhall Street, Greensboro, North Carolina 27403, United States

  • In-person
  • All ages
Phone Number
  • 336-987-4793
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