I call it the Super Energy Shot for Band Clinic and I can come to your school and give a master class and work shop at a very reasonable discount. Because of my relationship with Conn-Selmer, you get an a woodwind workshop and clarinet specialty master class at a very reasonable price. My master classes include ensemble blending, tone, attack, articulation, legato exercises, scale and arpeggio worksheets, musical interpretation, improvisation and collaboration. I have given master classes and workshops at Newton South High School, Wheaton College in Norton, MA, The Academy of Music Dance and Art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and at the Boston Conservatory.
See my artist bio at: http://centerstage.conn-selmer.com/en-us/artist-information/centerstage/artist-roster/todd-brunel/You have much on your plate as an educator and sometimes inviting a guest artist to come in and work with your kids is a real blessing. Lets collaborate! Let me know what repertoire you're working on and what your concerns are with your woodwinds. Get me as much relevant information as you can and I will customize a workshop and clarinet and saxophone section masterclass for your needs. My workshops are designed for blending your serious students with the ones who might not take it very seriously and getting them to work together as a functional team. Do you have students that will be auditioning for District or All State auditions? I specialize in helping students to unleash their potential and have fun!
Crosswinds: Six duets for flute and clarinet by Richard Applin
Todd and Orlando feel very strongly about championing this profound work for many reasons. First it's great, second, they coached with Professor Applin on this piece until they got it right according to his wishes, both at the composers home and in the recording studio. Both interchanging lines make leaps and bounds in their respective ranges, taking turns exchanging solo lines and accompaniment. The two part writing constantly weaves and explores harmonic extensions with tension and release, crafted by years of musical explorations. There are downright Ellintonian references as well that bring out playfulness and noire like intrigue. Professor Applin's tireless exploration of music and various musical mediums truly comes to life in Crosswinds. Unfortunately professor Applin passed away after a long fight with cancer before hearing the final edits of Todd and Orlando's studio recording. The musician community in Boston has lost a true master artist and champion of creative musical exploration.
III Molto Tranquillo
V Laid back, but not too slow
Premiere Rhapsody for solo Clarinet by Claude Debussy
Originally written as a contest piece for the Paris Conservatory in 1910, the Premiere Rhapsody for solo Clarinet has been a beloved main stay in the clarinetists' repertoire for over a century. In his subtle use of color, timbre and nuance, Debussy gives the clarinetist tremendous challenges technically, musically, physically and emotionally. It is on one hand such a subtle and delicate piece and at the other, a powerful tour de force. To get away from the “contest” and get into the pure musicality at hand, American clarinetist Atilio Poto once described the Rhapsody as a “Flowing dream with rich subtle variants that guide the dream-scape as the story unfolds”.
It is clear that Debussy's influence on jazz is very strong with his mixture of diatonicism, chromaticism and modal harmony, in particular his use of pentatonic scales. For instance, the first real flowing line for the clarinetist, is in two parts. At first its clear that Debussy is using a minor pentatonic scale and then in part two of the phrase, as the line ascends, he adapts a flat 9. As the phrase builds there is a powerful C going to a D#, a sharp 9, but in his usual defiant musical sensibility, breaks from the minor mode by returning to the parallel major at the end. Of course he also beautifully uses augmented intervals just to stretch the build up and tension with a musical question. Using a strong major-minor feel would clearly bring up 'the blues' as a way of embracing much of Debussy's sentiment for the Rhapsody. Even at the end of the piece, his use of the #9 (D# E G triplet) and subsequent wailing run, could be the original influence for the ultimate orchestral jazzy riff- the very beginning of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
2015 was an incredibly exciting year. At the end of it, the Eric Hofbauer Quintet was listed again on two separate blogs as both the top ten best classical music recordings of 2015: http://www.theartsdesk.com/classical-music/best-2015-classical-cds and the best jazz recording of 2015: http://www.birdistheworm.com/bird-is-the-worm-best-of-2015-albums-6-10/
On January 9, we went into Rotary Records in W Springfield to work with our friend Warren Amerman. the results I'm sure will be amazing. Opal Ensemble was just awarded grants from the Arlington and Lexington Cultural Councils to do two separate programs and Paul, Anne and I are thrilled! The Arlington concert will take place at noon at Arlington Town Hall on February 19 and feature a world premiere by our friend David Owens. The Lexington Concert will happen on April 16. More details about our concerts and sites and sounds of Opal Ensemble, please visit us online at: http://opalensemble.com/
*Photograph courtesy of Kevin Cummings of Cummings Photography and the Framingham Patch.
On at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, I'll be performing a jazz version of the Rite of Spring, transcribed and re-imagined for quintet by guitarist Eric Hofbauer. Yes...a jazz quintet version of the Rite on it's 100th anniversary! The performance will feature Eric Hofbauer on guitar, Junko Fujiwara on cello, Jerry Sabatini on trumpet, Curt Newton on drumset, and Todd Brunel on clarinet and bass clarinet. Our rehearsals have been filled with excitement and astonishment as we re-invent possibly one of the most exciting and controversial works of the 20th century.
The Meltdown Incentive, a group that fuses theatrics and music will present a show called 'Stuck in a Lenny Bruce Time Warp', exploring the stigma around "colorful" language, on at the American Repertory Theater's Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge. World renowned percussionist Ra-kalam Bob Moses joins the ensemble as special guest for the performance. The Meltdown Incentive is: Delvyn Case on piano, Rob Bethel on cello, Ed Broms percussion and bass, Todd Brunel clarinets and the amazing Sara Bielanski, vocalist.
Please visit my calender page for more information about these events and more.
I hope you can make one or both of these concerts and I look forward to seeing you there!!!
FEB '13: I was saddened to learn about the recent passing of jazz musician and composer Butch Morris. Back in the 90's I had the good fortune of working with him in New York and doing a series of concerts with our ensemble at Context. It was a time of profound growth for me, I'll never forget Butch telling me that I needed to come up with my own warm up routine and stop copying someone elses.
I learned so much from him, Rest In Peace Butch, the world will miss you!
This photo features bass clarinetist Joe Albano, Junko Fujiwara cello, violinist Jonathan LaMaster and Butch Morris up front.
Back in 2005 I helped put a group together for Butch that we called, "The New England Skyscraper conducted by Butch Morris". It was a big and beautiful ensemble that featured many local Boston area musicians and some from NYC. We are in the planning phase now, but we will most certainly do a tribute concert for Butch very soon....
Musaner: Once Upon A Time, "One of the most picturesque, intensely vivid albums of the year" New York Music Daily.
"Trust me this album is going to knock you out." Marc Myers Jazzwax.com
"The polished folk-fusion ensemble plucks stories and spins them into musical gold" John Holland, Voices To Hear.
Our new critically acclaimed sophomore release, "Once Upon A Time" features some of our most richly evocative music yet. Scroll to the media player below to hear "Two Way Ticket Across the Black Sea". Click HERE to get to CD Baby where you can download the album and listen to to more samples.
The John Tchicai Tribute concert at the Lily Pad was a beautiful and moving event. See new Youtube videos on my home page
featuring Eric Hofbauer guitar, Jacob Williams double bass, Kurt newton drums Jerry Sabatini trumpet,
Charlie Colehase alto sax and Todd Brunel on bass clarinet.
Gordon Jacob Trio movement 1 and 'Improvisation' by Mel Powell featuring pianist Paul Carlson, myself and violist Anne Black live at the First Parish Church Summer Concert Music Series in Lexington, MA. Click the media player below to hear these works and many others.
Photo featuring Garrison Fewell, Todd Brunel, Jim Hobbs, Forbes Graham and John McClellan from our recent show at the Lilli Pad in Cambridge.
The Rock Flint Contemporary Ensemble had a great time at the Thing In the Spring Festival in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Click to the Youtube link to see and hear: http://youtu.be/Kg79C90DnYc
X Fest Orchestra at the Brecht Forum directed by Saxophonist Ras Moshe in NYC was an amazing happening which featured Junko Fujiwara, Kit Demos, Walter Wright, Bonnie Kane, Shayna Dulberger, Chris Welcome, Daniel Carter and other new friends!
Pianist Paul Carlson, violinist Morgan Scagliotti and I just after our concert at the Newton Free Library. An all clarinet program that featured works by Daniel Gregory Mason, Schubert, Charles Turner, Leonard Bernstein, Roy Harris and Khachaturian, Eubie Blake and of course a contemporary improvisation!
Matthew Ray's Connecting the Notes show on WZBC was a blast. I've just added the recording of Garrison Fewell and I it's some incredible spontaneous music making...enjoy!
Check out a new FREE download: Abime Des Oisseau with Electronics on my recordings page. Sample it in the media player below.
New Music: Vortex Live now available at CD Baby and itunes. Click on the image below.
The Vortex Live features:
Todd Brunel clarinets, Rob Bethel cello, Esther Viola oboe, Andrew Hickman tenor sax (tracks 1 and 4),
Dave Maxwell piano, Kevin Frenette guitar, Junko Fujiwara cello (track 7),Yael Bat-Shimon violin (track 8),
Jonathan LaMaster violin (track 6),Tom Hall tenor sax (track 2), Geni Skendo flute and shakuhachi (track 8),
Daryl Shawn guitar (track 6), Matt Davignon drum machine (track 7), Blake Newman double bass,
John McClellan drums.
The Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music has been awarded a 2011 grant from the Somerville Arts council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
supporting "Sound particale 47" was a great time.
Read Jon Garelick's review right here: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/music/110109-variable-density/
A new cd by Sonic Sanbox is now available, featuring Forrest Larson on electronics, David Brown on didgeridoo and percussion and Todd Brunel on bass clarinet and clarinet. Turbulence Part Four can be heard in its entirety, right here on the media player. We will be performing in support of our new album, 'Turbulence' at the next Vortex Show on November 5, 8:00 at Outpost 186, a show that will also feature guitarist Ben Miller as he makes a stop on his east coast tour.
I'd like to Introduce a new studio recording that I recently did with singer songwriter
Andy Pratt, called 'fools' from the album " All That Glitters" which you can listen
to right here on the media player below.
Many thanks to Warren Amerman at Rotary Records.
VOD Festival gets into the Boston Phoenix 'Bos Picks'. Read the article here
Improvisation workshops and Clarinet and Saxophone lessons!
Registration starting Now.
New Location: The Somerville Armory
Flexible times and rates apply.
Musaner's first European tour was a tremendous success. We performed in Milano and in Zurich to incredibly enthusiastic audiences. They gave us standing ovations, clapped and danced to our music and showed us so much appreciation. We knew we'd touched many hearts. A big thanks to Ara Sarkissian, my good friend and the artistic director of Musaner.
With me In this photo are percussionist Fabio Pirazollo and bassist Blake Newman. Grazie Milano! Danke Zurich!
The Vortex Series For New and Improvised Music
2010 grant recipient from the Cambridge Arts Council
and the Massachusetts Cultural Council!
Clickhere to get to the Vortex blog.
Abime des Oisseaux with electronics.
See the Youtube video below that captures some of the recording process.
Great new music website from Kalvos and Damian In the House!
Click the link and scroll down to August 19, 2009, show #555: CLICK HERE
Click on theRecordings page for links to such sites as Innova Recordings,
CD Baby and Itunes or order cds directly through the mail, by filling out the order form.