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Susquehanna Life

Bucknell Jazz Band Premieres New Work Nov. 21

Nov 20, 2014 10:41AM ● By Erica Shames

The Bucknell University Jazz Band will premiere a new work by Jonathan Ragonese Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

The world premiere concert is free and open to the public.

"Now in our sixth year of commissioning new music from established and emerging jazz composers, we can't wait to share the energy of Jonathan's new work, written specifically for our Bucknell students," said Barry Long, Associate Professor of Music and University Arts Coordinator.

"A young, New York-based artist originally from the Harrisburg area, Jonathan's an emerging talent with an extremely bright future. Working with him has been a wonderful experience for our ensemble," he said.

A composer-arranger-saxophonist, Ragonese is a native of New Cumberland, Pa. He has lived in New York City for six years, where he completed his undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Bob Mintzer, Steve Wilson and Garry Dial, and his Master's in Composition studying with Michael Patterson, Jim McNeely, David Noon and Nils Vigeland.

As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with local and international performers Terell Stafford, David Liebman, Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, JD Walter, The Harrisburg Symphony and Stuart Malina, Steve Rudolph, Steve Wilson, Jimmy Heath and James Moody.

As a composer his works have been premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, The RighteousGIRLS, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Solar Winds Quintet, and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra.

Ragonese has served on the faculty of the West Chester University Summer Jazz Institute and The Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Camp. In 2013 he created and conducted a four-week music-focused summer program for pre-school aged students at The Children's Learning Center in NYC; his educational endeavors continue to broaden with lectures and writings.

His debut release, Ardent Marigolds, a duo album with pianist Steve Rudolph, was released in November 2013 on R&L Records. 

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