Explore the Life and Music of Miles Davis

Grammy-Nominated John Hasse and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

Explore the Life and Music of Miles Davis

During the 20th Anniversary of the Castleton in Performance Season

Castleton, Va. (Oct. 15, 2016)—Grammy nominated music historian Dr. John Hasse will be joined by members of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) Octet as they perform and discuss the life, times, and music of Miles Davis Sunday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. Dr. Hasse’s presentation recounts Davis’s life, struggles against racism, convention, and his own demons, richly illustrated with photos, audio, and video clips, some of which have never before been seen in the United States. His talk will be followed by a performance of some of Davis’ most famous works by the SJMO Octet, including On Green Dolphin Street, Fran Dance, Love for Sale, So What, and Blue In Green.Tickets for the Castleton in Performance (CiP) 20th Anniversary concerts range from $20 to $40, and the performance will be held in the Theatre House (663 Castleton View Road, Castleton, Va.), an intimate, state-of-the-art, 140-seat proscenium theatre. There will be one intermission. Call the Box Office at 540.937.3454 or visitwww.CastletonFestival.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Nine-time Grammy award winner Davis became the dominant jazz figure during the second half of the 20th century, with Rolling Stone Magazine naming him “one of the most important musicians” of that time. During his 50-year career, Davis constantly evolved as an artist, exploring a series of styles that included bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz-rock fusion. He and his bands created dozens of musical masterworks, earning the esteem of fans, critics, and musicians around the world.

“We see Miles Davis as one of the greatest American trumpeters ever,” said Dr. Hasse. “Miles is someone who transformed the aesthetic a number of times, whose sound on his instrument became a unique aural trademark, instantly identifiable, and came to dominate jazz during the second half of the 20th century more so than anyone else. His importance goes far beyond jazz, for he was one of the great American musicians, period.”

“Miles Davis was a revolutionary jazz artist, forever American music of all stripes,” said Burnett Thompson, director of CiP. “It is a pleasure to host a night in his honor, enhanced by the spectacular SJMO Octet and Dr. Hasse’s unique perspective.”

“Davis’ jazz influence has surely touched many lives,” said Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Maazel. “We’re honored that the SJMO will be here to share his music with us as part of the 20th anniversary season of CiP.” In 1997 Maazel and her husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, converted the once-overlooked chicken house into today’s Castleton venue, one of the most exquisite performance spaces in the world.

The two-time Grammy-nominated Hasse founded the SJMO in 1990 through appointment by the U.S. Congress, and now serves as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Today, the SJMO is the orchestra-in-residence at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The jazz program combines the SJMO, jazz collections and archives, education, and exhibitions to provide a comprehensive jazz experience for everyone. Octet musicians for this musical performance include Tom Williams, trumpet; Charlie Young, alto sax; Scott Silbert, tenor sax; Tony Nalker, piano; James King, bass; and Ken Kimery, drums.

Not only was Hasse inspired by jazz—he inspired jazz giants. Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, and Tony Bennett wrote forwards for Hasse’s influential books about jazz, and The Washington Post called Hasse, “Duke Ellington’s best biographer.” As a curator at the Smithsonian, Hasse has helped build the world’s largest museum collection of jazz history, and also founded Jazz Appreciation Month, celebrated nationally and in 40 countries.

A list of overnight accommodations in the area can be found on the Castleton website. However, during the off season, there are also rooms available on the grounds. Cottage and home rates range from $100 to $650/night, and include access to world-class amenities, such as the spa (large heated lap pool, Turkish steam room, Finnish sauna), bowling alley, petting zoo, six miles of hiking trails, and tennis courts. To inquire about booking, please contact Connie Payne at540.577.8820 or castletonfarmretreat@gmail.com.


Castleton Theatre opened in June 1997 with concerts by Maestro Maazel, the eminent cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, and David Finckel, and virtuoso pianist Yefim Bronfman.  Subsequent concerts featured flautist Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Emanuel Ax, tenor José Carreras, Chinese traditional musicians Wu Man and Ma Xiaohui, the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, baritone Nathan Gunn, opera star Denise Graves, pianist Chris O’Reilly, guitarist Pepe Romero, principal members of the New York Philharmonic, and dozens of other celebrated artists of the last two decades.

Following these successes, Maestro Maazel and his wife resolved to establish the Castleton Festival, a summer opera training festival for emerging singers, orchestral instrumentalists, and conductors.  During this period, Mrs. Maazel developed a unique and wildly popular acting training studio for opera singers. Ranked by the New York Times as among the top 10 festivals in the country, the program endured for seven extraordinary years, culminating in the summer of 2015 and capped by an educational partnership with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Now, the monthly CiP events continue throughout the fall and spring, as will the Educational Outreach programming that furthers Castleton’s mission of nurturing the arts in the lives of children through in-school programs. Visit www.CastletonFestival.org for a complete schedule and visitor information.


Photo Cutline:  The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Octet performs Miles Davis classics alongside jazz historian and SJMO founder Dr. John Hasse at the Castleton Theatre House on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m.


Press Contact: Marc Apter, 301-904-3690, marca@castletonfestival.org

Contact Apter for advance interviews and additional photos




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