The Williamsburg Music Center is proud to welcome back The Liberté Big Band on Thursday March 16th. Though the 17-piece big band has had a residency at The WMC since June 2016, this performance marks the beginning of a new will be era for The Liberté Big Band. Although the band will be performing in Williamsburg, Liberté-Anne Lymberiou will be leading from a distance; specifically from her native city of Montreal, This enigmatic and transcendent performance will see the following personnel take to the stage:
Zack O’Farrill: Drums and Conducting
Mat Muntz: Bass
Shakoor Sanders: Percussion
Piano: Guy Mintus
Trumpets: David Smith, David Adewumi, Mauki McGruder, Rachel Therrien
Trombones: Corey Wallace, Jesus Viramontes, Jen Hinkle
Saxophones: Nathan Bellot, Mercedes Beckman, Livio Almeida, Xavier Del Castillo, Larry Bustamante
Normally, this ensemble would perform with Liberté-Anne conducting from behind the piano. However, in a strange and unfortunate turn of events, after paying a quick visit back to family in Montreal, Liberté was forced by US immigration laws to remain in her native land. Having said this, Liberté-Anne has managed to find a silver lining in this shocking and absurd situation, and is now taking the time to pursue a research and composition project funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. As a result, the equally respected and never short of stellar pianist, Guy Mintus will take Liberté-Anne’s usual centre of stage.
Led by Liberté-Anne Lymberiou, this modern, multi-generational big band plays compositions by Lymberiou and her contemporaries. As it’s name would indicate, the band’s broad mission is to constantly perform new works while maintaining the all-encompassing creativity and communality of the jazz tradition. You’ll hear pieces ranging from Afro-Latin to free-jazz, bebop to funk, and lots more that even the bandleader has yet to anticipate.
Greatly influenced by Charles Mingus, Lymberiou captures the spontaneity and unpredictability of jazz through extended compositions. The moods of the music swing as much as the rhythms do, and inevitably move her audiences, both inside and out. It’s fair to say that Lymberiou has proved herself well, as four-time Grammy award-winning pianist, composer and founder of the NYC Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Arturo O’ Farrill proclaimed that:
“Liberté-Anne is the real deal. She exudes creativity, chance taking and originality. Her voice as a composer is unique and must be heard. She is one bad Mama Jama!”
This NYC based, 17-piece ensemble was formed in 2013 and since its establishment, the Liberté Big Band has continued to develop and succeed in the New York City jazz industry. In 2016, to outstanding audience appeal, it premiered its “Suite for heartconcerns” at The Cell Theatre and plans have now been set in place for the release of their debut album in the Fall of 2017. Since the summer of 2016, the band has held a monthly residency at the Gerry Eastman’s Williamsburg Music Center (considered by some a historic “hole-in-the-wall” of jazz since the 1980’s). There, the Liberté Big Band has presented a number of performances including collaborations with local fashion designers, pop-up shops and art networking opportunities.
Christopher Smith, Composer/Arranger/Trombonist, Montreal, Quebec:
“Big band is so impractical, so extravagant, so over the top — and in the case of The Liberté Big Band, so perfectly so. She’s representing Montreal in New York in a grand way.”
MORE ABOUT LIBERTÉ:
Composer, arranger, and pianist Liberté-Anne Lymberiou, a native of Montréal, is a 2015 graduate of the Jazz Performance Program at the City College of New York. While there, in 2013, she founded The Liberté Big Band, a 17-piece jazz orchestra comprised of stellar New York City musicians, and she composes the bulk of the music they perform. Greatly influenced by Charles Mingus, Lymberiou captures the spontaneity and unpredictability of jazz through extended compositions. Her wildly varying rhythms, melodies, and orchestrations inevitably move her audiences, both inside and out.
Lymberiou holds a bi-weekly residency at the Williamsburg Music Center with her orchestra. The Liberté Big Band also performs around the city, and have just successfully performed the world premiere of ‘Suite for heartconcerns’, a 40 minute multi-movement work.
In 2015, Lymberiou obtained an honourable mention for her piece “Candy Coated” in the first edition of the Emerging Composers’ Competition – Jazz in the Neighborhood (San Francisco/Bay Area), and first prize for “Fists Up, Fight Back!” in the 9th edition of the Komeda Composer’s Competition (Poland).
Lymberiou did all her schooling in vocal jazz, but studied piano and composition independently and intermittently with Arturo O’Farrill and Alison Deane. She is mostly a self-taught composer, big band orchestrator and arranger. At City College, she studied with percussionist Neil Clarke (Randy Weston, Harry Belafonte, etc.), who’s wealth of knowledge has greatly supported and enhanced her aesthetic. She looks to build structures and forms for big band with an African sensibility of rhythmic percussion ensemble performance, and trying to see how that can blend with western notation. Mr. Clarke is often featured as special guest in the Liberté Big Band, and holds a key role in Suite for heartconcerns.
Lymberiou has arranged for other bands in New York such as Dave Chamberlain’s Band of Bones, the Livio Almeida Dectet (LA10), and for saxophonist Steve Carrington. She has had her own compositions performed by ensembles like the Eco-Music Big Band, Carol Sudhalter’s Astoria Big Band, the Brooklyn College Big Band, and the Squeezebox Orchestra in San Francisco.