Award-winning British trumpeter and composer Mark Armstrong joins the Oxford University Big Band to bring you a beautiful tale of love, tradition and spirituality - the premiere of his Solstice Suite. The four movement work features lyrics from The Sun Risingand A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day by John Donne, and takes an evocative journey from the summer to winter solstice. The movements (St John's Fire, An Autumn Storm, The Hunt, and Winter Solstice) vividly allegorize ancient cultural and religious traditions - pagan rituals, sacrifice, and the re-emergence of the Sun - as well as more recent end-of-year customs.
The OUBB is Oxford University's premier jazz ensemble. It performs extensively within the UK and regularly tours internationally, most recently to Barcelona, Spain (2006), Delhiand Mumbai, India (2007), and Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland (2008). It has entertained audiences comprised of everyone from students to British Royalty, and performs repertoire encompassing everything from classic standards to contemporary and original jazz orchestra material.
Mark Armstrong is one of the most sought-after musicians in Britain today, regularly appearing with Clark Tracey, Stan Tracey, Clare Teal, the BBC Big Band, and at BBC Proms. He is a previous winner of the BBC Big Band Competition Arranging Prize and current Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Royal College of Music. The performance will be conducted by Tanzil Rahman, a recently appointed director of the UK's highly acclaimed National Youth Jazz Orchestra.