By Michael Ray
With shining trumpet in hand, accompanied by an ensemble of string, percussion and brass musicians, composer Samantha Boshnack concluded her three-month residency at the 18th Street Arts Center, Friday April 13. Her new work was presented at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences’ Roth Hall during an evening performance.
Boshnack’s eight movement composition Seismic Belt was inspired by Ring of Fire. She is the eighth composer to conclude a Make Jazz Fellowship at the 18th Street Arts Center.
Sue Bell Yank, Director of Communications and Outreach for the 18th Street Arts Center explained that the center hosts multiple residency programs which include “local, national and international artists and curators,” and that the artist’s residencies vary from one to three months; with some lasting a full calendar year or more. “Most are visual,” she added.
Inside Roth Hall, Boshnack stood center stage; pianist Paul Cornish and Ryan Parrish (saxophone) were on one side and violinists Paris Hurley and Lauren Elizabeth Baba were on the other; behind them Dan Schnelle (drums) and Nashir Janmohamed was on upright bass.
“People need music” stated Boshnack, who had arranged the ensemble on a “leap of faith” though a network of contacts. According to the composer, with the exception of violinist Hurley, she did not know any of the musicians beforehand.
Boshnack’s Make Jazz Fellowship was sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation. The fully-funded residency provides a monthly stipend as well as a furnished live-in studio for the composer for three months. The fellowship enabled her to have “concentrate time” to compose, according to the musician.
Prior to the concert at Roth Hall, Bashnack presented a work in progress performance with the ensemble at the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles.
For more information on future performances visit: www.18thstreet.org.