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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Claudia Quintet will perform in concert Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's ongoing Jazz at Bucknell series. This is the group's first concert following the release of their new album, "September."
Formed by drummer and composer John Hollenbeck in 1997, the Claudia Quintet continues to explore the edge without alienating the mainstream, proving that genre-defying music can be for everyone and amazing audiences from Alabama to the Amazon.
The Claudia Quintet includes Chris Tordini on bass; Matt Moran on vibraphone; Red Wierenga on accordion; and Chris Speed on clarinet and tenor saxophone.
Over the past decade, the group has released six CDs that are critically acclaimed worldwide and whose appeal extends well beyond, as well as including traditional jazz audiences.
Their seventh album, "September", pays homage to a time of year when Hollenbeck seeks the isolation and creative focus of artist residencies. Each piece on the album has a date followed by a title, and the oldest of them, "12th: Coping Song," harks back to the nightmare events of 2001.
The experience "has stuck with me," writes Hollenbeck, "so much so that I realized I cannot think or see or write down a date in September without those memories coming back to me." He finally got the idea "to write music that was somehow tied to other days in September in the hope of trying to rework and transform the traumatic residue through composition.
"I am especially interested in how, through the simple non-violent act of composition, one can help oneself become a better person, deepen one's connection to humanity, and create work that can soothe and heal," he says.
The Jazz at Bucknell series presents international modern masters and young visionaries, showcasing the entire tradition of jazz, from standards to the avant-garde, with an eye on artists who continue the innovative tradition of the music with their personal approaches to sound, style and composition.
The fall concert series, all of which will be held in Bucknell Hall, includes the Ece Goksu Quartet on Oct. 23; Jeremy Siskind's "Finger-Songwriter" Project with Nancy Harms and Lucas Pino on Nov. 6; and the Bucknell Jazz Christmas concert with Steve Rudolph and Friends on Dec. 4.
The spring concert schedule includes the Kate McGarry Duo on Jan. 29; the Eastman Jazz Quartet on Feb. 26; the Matt Mitchell Trio with Chris Speed on March 5; and Jason Moran and the Bandwagon (co-sponsored with the Weis Center) on April 17.