Principal Trombone – New York Philharmonic
The Juilliard School
Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr. As a high school student in San Rafael, California, and was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. Prior to joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montreal for one season. In addition, he has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall led by Pierre Boulez.
Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer. In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic as soloist was in world premiere performances of Melinda Wagner’s Trombone Concerto in February of 2007.
Mr. Alessi has been a guest soloist with the Lincoln Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily, Mannheim National Theater Orchestra, National Symphony of Taiwan, Puerto Rico Symphony, Hague Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Hartford Symphony. Mr. Alessi has also participated in numerous festivals, including the Festivale Musica di Camera in Protogruaro, Italy; Cabrillo Music Festival; Swiss Brass Week; and Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. He was featured in the 1997 International Trombone Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and the International Meeting of Brass Instruments in Lille, France. He is a founding member of the Summit Brass ensemble at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Tempe, Arizona. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing.
Mr. Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S. and internationally. As a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own), and the U.S. Marine Band (President’s Own).
Mr. Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including the recent Trombonastics, and a disc with New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith entitled Fandango; he also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label. His live recording of the Rouse Concerto with the New York Philharmonic can be heard on Volume II of the recent release, An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label. Three new recordings are scheduled for release in 2007: Return to Sorrento, on the Naxos record label, and two recordings on the Summit record label that feature Mr. Alessi with Columbus State University Wind Ensemble and the Imperial Brass Band. In addition, conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey recently recorded a piece written especially for Mr. Alessi, entitled Urban Cabaret with Mr. Alessi as soloist.
Mr. Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the Association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Recently, his recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Mr. Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Mr. Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records).
On December 1, 2015 Mr. Alessi launched www.alessimusicstudios.com an educational website aimed at helping trombonists, both students and professionals alike, in their preparation of orchestral excerpts. The site contains video tutorials on trombone performance, comments and annotated parts for the major trombone excerpts and the Orchestra “Machine”, the ultimate virtual symphonic orchestra to accompany trombonists in practicing excerpts.
Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his website, www.slidearea.com.
Guest Facutly – Bass Trombone
Brandt Attema is Professor of trombone at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe,. As well, Brandt is leading the bass trombone classes of the Codarts conservatory in Rotterdam and the Royal conservatory in The Hague together with Ben van Dijk. He is a steady member of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the New Trombone Collective and the international trombone quartet Slide Monsters. As a member of the Trombone Collective he is partly responsible for the bi-annual festival Slide Factory. In 2008 Brandt and harpist Astrid Haring were the first worldwide to form a bass trombone-harp duo. Since then more then 15 compositions were especially composed for their duo and they perform concerts all over the world. As a soloist and teacher he is a regular guest of international brass festivals. Between 1999 and 2019 he was bass- and contrabass trombonist of the Radio Filharmonic Orchestra of the Netherlands.
Simply considering the range of music that Marshall Gilkes has played over the course of his career, it would be easy to assume that the trombonist/composer is a musical chameleon, able to alter his sound to fit into whatever situation he finds himself. After all, it seems unlikely that an individual sound would be able to express itself in such diverse contexts as the lush impressionism of the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the unique Slide Monsters Trombone Quartet; or the fiery combustion of New York’s thriving Latin music scene.
But listen to the five albums that Gilkes has released under his own name – in particular his latest, a stunning set of compositions for the WDR Big Band named Always Forward– and it immediately becomes clear how the versatile trombonist can integrate myriad influences into a singular and distinctive voice. Gilkes combines the spontaneous invention of jazz with the elegant architecture of classical composition; straightahead swing with adventurous modernism; virtuosic technique with passionate emotion. It’s a rare combination that has made Gilkes an in-demand performer, composer, sideman, and clinician since his arrival in New York City in the late 1990s.
They’ve also garnered him accolades from critics, audiences, and peers alike. Most recently Gilkes received two Grammy Nominations for his album-Köln. Best Instrumental Composition and Best Jazz Large Ensemble Album. In 2003 Gilkes was a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and won the Rising Star category in DownBeat Magazine’s esteemed Critics Poll as well as “Best Trombonist” in Jazz Times 2018 Critics’ Poll. Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes has called Gilkes “compelling, harmonically intriguing and ferociously swinging,” while bandleader Maria Schneider refers to him as “one of those musicians who continually just drops my jaw and leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.”
While his musical career has taken him to stages around the world, including four years in Cologne (Köln), Germany, as a member of the WDR Big Band, Gilkes became familiar with travel long before a trombone ever touched his lips. Gilkes’ father was a trombonist and euphonium player and later conductor in the Air Force, which led the family from Washington D.C. – Gilkes was born on Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland – to New Hampshire, New Jersey, Alabama, Illinois, and Colorado.
It was his father’s influence that led Gilkes to pick up the trombone – apparently much earlier than he should have. Members of his father’s Air Force band recall their conductor, who by that time had decisively traded his trombone for the baton, suddenly keeping his instrument in his office. It seems his young son insisted on trying it out for himself, and was doing more harm than good.
That early experience laid the groundwork for Gilkes to study trombone in school once the music program started handing out instruments, however. While his early training was in classical music, Gilkes heard jazz from an early age through the Falconaires, then one of the Air Force’s premier jazz ensembles, and on his own initiative began collecting albums by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong. Gilkes ultimately entered the jazz program at the Juilliard School, though he continued his classical education in parallel, including studies with Joseph Alessi, the longtime Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic.
From the time he settled in New York in 1998, Gilkes spent the next twelve years working steadily as a sideman while honing his own highly individual voice. In the ensuing years he’s played and recorded with a staggering variety of artists and ensembles, including Richard Bona, Billy Cobham, and Edmar Castañeda.
Gilkes released his debut as a leader, Edenderry, in 2004 with a quartet featuring pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Matt Clohesy, and drummer Johnathan Blake. He followed that with the quintet recordings Lost Words in 2008 and Sound Stories in 2012. His latest two releases, Köln and Always Forward, team Gilkes with the German WDR Big Band, with whom he was a member from 2010-2013.
During his four years in Cologne, Gilkes worked with renowned soloists, composers and arrangers including Michael Abene, Vince Mendoza, John Scofield, Chris Potter, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, Patti Austin, Mike Stern, Ron Carter, and Maceo Parker. The influence of those experiences can be heard on Always Forward, which showcases vivid ensemble writing and arranging which marks the furthest evolution to date of Gilkes’ deft combination of his jazz and classical influences.
Those complex and memorable compositions have begun to attract notice from jazz festivals and educational institutions across the country and around the world, leading to invitations for Gilkes as a composer, bandleader and clinician. While he returned to New York in early 2014, life after his interlude in Germany has begun to once again resemble his childhood as an on-the-move military brat. He continues to work regularly with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and his own band while teaching and offering master classes at institutions around the world including the Banff Center, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the Brubeck Institute. Gilkes teaches trombone at Manhattan School of Music and an artist for Edwards Instruments.
Eijiro Nakagawa è nato a Tokyo nel 1975. E’ impegnato a suonare al fianco di alcuni dei migliori musicisti sia in Giappone che negli Stati Uniti.
Eijiro è anche un trombonista classico molto raffinato. Dal suo debutto solista nel 1996, eseguendo il David “Concertino” con la Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, è stato un grande successo quando si è esibito insieme al trombonista Yamaha, Alain Trudel. Eijiro ha anche avuto il privilegio di suonare e registrare con trombonisti d’élite come Joe Alessi, David Taylor e Jim Pugh.
Eijiro Nakagawa diventerà sicuramente una voce musicale di spicco in entrambe le parti del mondo.
FIRST TROMBONE TEATRO REGIO – TORINO
QUARTETTO ITALIANO DI TROMBONI
Alessi Seminar Auditors Coordinator
Vincent Lepape was born in Rouen 21 March 1972. He began his musical education in this city with Gilbert Moisand and pursued with Jacques Mauger before moving at the age of 16 to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. There he studied with Gilles Millière and also won First Trombone Prize and two First Chamber Music Awards in the class of Jean Douay. He perfected his training with Yves Demarle at the Paris National Conservatory of Music and received in 1992 an award for Excellence.
He collaborates with the most important orchestras such as the Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, the Paris Opera, the Opéra de Lyon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Palau de les Arts (Valencia) Moscow Orchestra, Orchestre de Lyon, Orchestre de Cluj (Romania), the Montecarlo Orchestra, Opera Naples, Andras Schiff chamber orchestra “Capella Andrea Barca.”
In 1994, he won the competition for solo trombone in the orchestra of the Royal Theatre in Turin (Teatro Regio Torino), founded by conductor Arturo Toscanini and directed since 2007 by Gianandrea Noseda. With this orchestra he has made several recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and Chandos and participates in numerous tours during which he played in important venues (Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, Dresda, Edimburg .. .).
In 2002, he interpreted the first Italian performance of “Symphony for Trombone and Orchestra” by Ernest Bloch under the direction of Alexander Anisimov.
Vincent Lepape is a founding member of the brass quintet “Pentabrass” created in 1998 with whom he has recorded four CDs – Suite Impromptu (SCM Records Italy, 2001), Fred Mills and Pentabrass Quintet (Mark Records Ny Usa, 2008), To Fred with Love, the World’s Finest brass Players pay Tribute to Fred Mills (AppleJazz Records, 2010) and a recording with the participation of Adam Frey. With this ensemble, he has participated in over 300 concerts in America, Asia and Europe, among others at the Moscow Conservatory, the University of Georgia (USA), at the Festival di Jeju (South Korea), the Festival of Cartagena (Colombia), the Stresa Festival (Italy), the Brass Festival in Limoges. The Pentabrass Quintet held for 9 years (2000-2009) the “Pentabrass Festival” featuring world famous soloists and an international brass faculty, featuring world-renowned trombonists.
In 2009, he participated with his quintet, alongside Mnozil, Spanish Brass, Epsilon and Belgian Brass at the European Brass Orchestra conducted by Sylvain Cambreling and chaired by Pierre Boulez.
In 2012, he also founded the “Quartetto Italiano di Tromboni” with Matteo De Luca (Suisse Romande Orchestra), Devid Ceste and Diego Di Mario (RAI orchestra). They appear in many concerts in Europe and hold several master classes.
He regularly performs as a soloist throughout the world (Brazil, Colombia, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany).
He participated on the CD “Trombonists Antoine Courtois play Jean-Michel Defaye” distributed by Harmonia Mundi (2015). He also recorded a solo with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in the last CD of Brigitte Fontaine” I have the honor of being “(Universal, 2013).
He was invited as soloist at the Mediterranean Trombone Festival of Marseille (July 2015) and the Lausanne Trombone Festival (February 2016). His first solo CD will appear soon on Summit Records (USA).http://www.summitrecords.com
Vincent Lepape teaches trombone at numerous courses and academies such as Trombone and Kitchen in Auch, Spanish Brass Academy, 33 ° Curso de Verao di Brazilia (Brazil), Brassurround (Spain), Caluire Course, MC Festival Pereira (Colombia) , Internship Evian Fiatti Festival Novara (Italy), Alsace trombone Festival.
An International teacher, he has taught since 2007 at the Pôle Superior Conservatory of Aosta Valley. Students taking courses come from all over Italy. Many of his students are teachers themselves in the most important Italian institutions. But his class also attracts musicians from France, the United States, Japan, Spain or Colombia. He was invited with his class to represent Italy at the International Trombone Festival 2012 in Paris and Strasbourg and also at the European Trombone 2013.
He is actively involved in the success of his students, who win many auditions and competitions in the best orchestras such as: Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Orquestra Amazonas Philharmonic Manaus, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa), KZN Philharmonic Durban orchestra, Teatro Regio Torino, Arena di Verona, Maggio Fiorentino.
Since 2011, Vincent Lepape is the artistic director of the festival MasterBrass Palazzolo sull’Oglio (http://www.masterbrass.it/) where he invites some of the biggest international trombone soloists (Stefan Schulz, bass trombone in the Berliner Philarmoniquer, Michel Becquet), and chamber groups. In this framework, he organizes an annual week of concerts around the trombone. Annually, a CD containing the best moments of the festival is recorded. The fourth CD from the festival is distributed by Editions Aldebaran, as will be the fifth edition.
He is regularly invited to participate in numerous juries and competitions, including those of the Lyon Conservatoire, Geneva Hem Hem Lausanne, International Competition Chieri, International Concours d’Aosta.
He plays tenor trombone legend AC420-R and alto trombone 131RI
VIBO VALENTIA CONSERVATORIO
Alessi Seminar Director of Trombone Choirs
Nicola Ferro graduated with highest honors in 2011 from the Naples Conservatory. He was raised in a musical family and began his musical studies on the piano. He later began studying trombone and in 1996 received his degree in trombone from the Salerno Conservatory. He has studied privately with world renowned teachers of the calibre of Ian Bousfield, Charles Vernon, Jacques Mauger, Andrea Conti, Early Anderson and many others. He has performed in Italy and on international tours with the Venice La Fenice Opera Orchestra, the Rome Santa Cecilia National Academy Symphony Orchestra, the Palermo Teatro Massimo Opera Orchestra, the Turin Teatro Regio Opera Orchestra, the Rome Opera Orchestra, the Naples San Carlo Opera Orchestra under the direction of Riccardo Muti, Michael Güttler, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Oren, Antonio Pappano, George Prêtre, etc.
He has participated in numerous nationally broadcast television productions on the RAI network. As a very prolific composer and arranger he has many CDs to his credit including “Psycoldelice 2008” with MEG, “I Signori Chonda” 2002-3 for Sony records, “Create” 2007, “Earth Games” 2012, “Caliente” 2013 (featuring Joseph Alessi) all for Summit Records. He has been commissioned works for trombone by Christian Lindeberg, Joseph Alessi, Jonathan Whitaker, Peter Ellefson, Massimo LaRosa. He has taught at the conservatories of Salerno, Matera, Cosenza and is presently Trombone Professor at the Vibo Valentia Conservatory.