The Sonic Frontiers series was designed to further artistic diversity on the UA campus. The concerts fostered creative exchange between music professionals, UA students, faculty and staff, and the Tuscaloosa community through performances and class visits by world-class performers of avant-garde jazz.
The concerts were sponsored by UA’s New College, Capstone International, The College of Arts and Sciences, the Blount Undergraduate Initiative, the UA School of Music, the Ferguson Center, the department of Race & Gender Studies and Creative Campus.
The series featured the following events:
Monday, February 27: Harris Eisenstadt and his critically acclaimed quintet Canada Day lead off Sonic Frontiers in concert at the Ferguson Center Theater.
Wednesday, March 21: Saxophonist Jack Wright, the “Johnny Appleseed of free improvisation,” visted a New College seminar and performed a community-outreach solo concert.
Friday, April 6: Bassist and composer Trevor Dunn’s Endangered Blood quartet from New York performed in the Ferguson Center Theater. Dunn is known for his work with the rock band Mr. Bungle, but Endangered Blood is his avant-jazz project featuring internationally acclaimed musicians Jim Black on drums and Chris Speed and Oscar Noriega on saxophone.
Monday, April 23: A public screening of eminent ethnomusicologist Steven Feld’s 2009 documentary film about Ghanaian musician, inventor and visual artist Nii Noi Nortey, “Accra Trane Station: The Music and Art of Nii Noi Nortey”
Wednesday, April 25: Nii Noi Nortey, the acclaimed saxophonist and saxophone inventor from Accra, Ghana, offered a two-day residency involving a concert of solos, duos and trios with Dewar and renowned Japanese-American percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani at the Ferguson Center Theater. Nortey’s visit included four class visits at UA in the School of Music and New College.