The David Liebman Big Band

  • The David Liebman Big Band

    • Friday, March 2, 7:30 PM
    • KHAC Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Rd.

    NEA Jazz Master David Liebman and his big band under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane’s death and honor the 60th anniversary of Wayne Shorter’s career, as well as perform some of Liebman’s compositions orchestrated by world-class arrangers, at a special concert on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Road in Cincinnati.

    David Liebman will give a pre-concert talk at 7:30 pm, followed by the performance. Tickets are $20.


    As well as the featured concert, Liebman and his accomplished band members will present a Master Class for Cincinnati Public Schools high school students on March 2nd at 3:30 pm at Kennedy Heights Arts Center.

    Event sponsors are: Cincinnati Public Schools, Seta Music and Jazz Alive.

    This project follows The David Liebman Big Band’s successful 2017 tour of the northeastern United States that included university and festival performances, masterclasses, and clinics, which culminated in sold-out sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Jazz @ Lincoln Center.

    Liebman’s Grammy ̶ nominated big band is comprised of top-shelf New York City musicians and has been recording and performing in major jazz performance spaces and universities around the United States for almost twenty years. The big band’s carefully constructed performance sets feature “Lieb” on:

    • TRANE – several iconic Coltrane masterworks arranged specifically for him by renowned arrangers/orchestrators.
    • WAYNE – selections from the acclaimed 2014 DLBB CD A Tribute to Wayne Shorter (MAMA/Summit Records) featuring Shorter masterworks as arranged by Swedish orchestrator Mats Holmquist.
    • MORE – Liebman’s compositions in stunning settings by renowned orchestrators, many of which have been recorded by the DLBB since 2001.

    Liebman’s place in the jazz pantheon has been galvanized by his connections to many jazz legends. His profound contact to the Coltrane legacy is documented by his several years of recording and touring with Coltrane colleagues Miles Davis and Elvin Jones. His connection to Wayne Shorter and Coltrane was demonstrated in a concert by Liebman & Shorter in Tokyo, Japan, in July 1987 that commemorated the 20th anniversary of Coltrane’s death. They performed five Coltrane masterworks with Richie Beirach, Eddie Gomez, and Jack DeJohnette. It can be experienced on the Tribute to John Coltrane-Live Under the Sky CD on Columbia Records and the DVD available on Image Entertainment.

    David Liebman was awarded America’s highest jazz honor when he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011. Liebman has shown an ability to play in any style of jazz, especially on what has become his instrument of choice, the soprano sax. In addition, he has been a strong advocate of the music, having founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), an organization dedicated to bringing together educators and students from jazz schools worldwide.

    In the 1970s, Liebman came into his own, founding Free Life Communication, a cooperative of several dozen young musicians that became an integral part of the fertile New York “loft” jazz scene. He soon found a spot as saxophonist/flutist in drummer Elvin Jones’ group, and then was hired by Miles Davis. Liebman played on Miles’ last two recordings before the trumpeter’s temporary retirement in the late 1970s, Get Up with It and On the Corner.

    At the same time, Liebman was also exploring his own music, beginning a long relationship with pianist Richie Beirach in the group Lookout Farm. In 1977, he toured internationally with pianist Chick Corea followed by forming the David Liebman Quintet, featuring guitarist John Scofield. In 1981, he founded Quest, a group that remained active with varying members until 1991 and has reunited in recent years. Since the early 1990s he has led a quartet/quintet and in 2000 he founded the Dave Liebman Big Band under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad. His work has continued to move in many unusual directions, with projects ranging from Puccini arias to overdubbed solo recordings, from adaptations of jazz standards to world music and fusion. In all, it demonstrates Liebman’s insatiable curiosity and innovation.

    Throughout his career, Liebman has been keen to work on the international jazz scene, playing with influential European musicians such as Joachim Kühn, Daniel Humair, Paolo Fresu, Jon Christensen, and Bobo Stenson; collaborated with the WDR Rundfunkorchester in Cologne (Germany), Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands), Klangforum (Austria), and the Ensemble Intercontemporain (France).

    In addition to serving as IASJ’s artistic director, he is presently artist-in-residence at the Manhattan School of Music and lectures at universities and clinic settings all over the world. He also has received performance and teaching grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Canadian Arts Council. Additional educational activities include publishing instructional books and DVDs such as Self Portrait of A Jazz Artist; A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody; and Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound.

    Since 1973, he has consistently placed among the “Top Three” in the DownBeat Critics Poll in the category of soprano saxophone; other awards include an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Finland and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France.

    Almost all of the members of The Dave Liebman Big Band have been with Dave since 2000 or longer. Their accomplishments include performing for decades with Quincy Jones, Tito Puente, Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bob Mintzer Big Band, and several other iconic ensembles. The Dave Liebman Big Band under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad has released four CDs and one DVD:

    • Beyond the Line (2003) – OmniTone Records (Grammy™ ̶ nominated)
    • LIVE . . . As Always (2010) – MAMA/Summit Records
    • Tomorrow’s Expectations, featuring arrangements by
    Arnon Palty (2013) – Jazzis Records
    • A Tribute to Wayne Shorter (2014) – MAMA/Summit Records
    • DVD: LIVE . . . As Always (2011) – MAMA/Summit Records

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