Simpson Writes and Premieres Jazz Piece for Washington Symphony

Assistant professor Kyle Simpson has written a new piece for the Washington Pennsylvania Symphony under the direction of Yugo Ikach. The piece is titled "Jazz Vignettes" and it premiered May 7 in the Symphony concert, "All That Jazz."

"This is a piece that is much like an overture, that presents main themes in an abbreviated style," Simpson said. "For 'Jazz Vignettes," I have put together themes from different types of modern jazz, and they fuse together to form a sort of jazz narrative." Citing influences like Pat Metheny, Steve Reich, Maria Schneider and Igor Stravinsky, Simpson added, "This is kind of the story of my life, told through jazz and orchestra." The piece was written for Symphony orchestra featuring a jazz quartet comprised of Simpson (trumpet), Dave Conner (bass), Alex Weston (piano), and W&J Drum Set Instructor Michael Berry (drums).