When we received the Spoleto '14 lineup at the office a few days ago and started Googling all of the artists, one jazz act already stood out as a can't-miss: Norwegian saxophonist Håkon Kornstad.
A conservatory-trained, Norwegian Grammy-nominated tenor sax player who originally made it onto the map with a jazz-electronica band called Wibutee, he's currently pushing the limits of what a solo jazz performance can look like. Seriously, check out this live video he did for Music Norway:
Making liberal use of a loop pedal, Kornstad piles on layers of percussion and melody with his saxophone, also adding electronic flourishes and riffs on the flutonette (a flute with a clarinet mouthpiece) on the fly.
Oh, and did we mention he sings opera? Because he sings opera, too.
Kornstad will play Wed. June 4 at 5 p.m., Fri. June 6 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sat. June 7 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale starting Dec. 9 at spoletousa.org.
After seven months without an executive director, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra has named first trumpet player Michael Smith to the position. Smith, who will give up his first trumpet chair when he assumes his new role, is no stranger to the business side of music — he filled in as the CSO’s operations manager from 2010-2012, and was instrumental in negotiating the orchestra’s recent decision to break with the American Federation of Musicians union.
Smith first expressed interest in the position in October, after the CSO’s board had established a search committee and was seriously considering one other candidate. In the end, Smith was endorsed by the board unanimously.
"The CSO has been on a tremendous upward swing since 2010," Smith says. "Having said that, I firmly believe that our brightest days are ahead of us. The number one priority is to not only continue that trend, but raise the bar. We have the ability now to really work as a team, with all the members of the CSO family and our supporters working together to make a first-rate orchestra that serves its community like no other."