PORTLAND — OURBIGBAND, a 17-piece jazz ensemble made up of musicians from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portland celebrate the music of the late Maine jazz great Steve Grover. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at the SPACE Gallery and is co-presented by the Portland Conservatory of Music’s Dimension in Jazz.

OURBIGBAND, a 17-piece jazz ensemble, celebrates the music of the late Maine jazz great Steve Grover in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at the SPACE Gallery. Submitted photo

Grover was a beloved figure who influenced generations of musicians. He was a professor at UMaine Augusta, co-led the Maine Jazz Camp and taught widely, mentoring musicians through his bands. He recorded more than a dozen records with jazz heavyweight like Lenny Breau, Chris Speed and George Garzone. His best-known record, the 1994 setting of Wallace Stevens, The Blackbird Suite, won the Thelonious Monk Institute composition award, the most prestigious international award in jazz.

At the March 1 concert, OURBIGBAND will perform new arrangements of Grover’s work, originally written for smaller jazz groups. Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, OURBIGBAND strives to keep alive the tradition of the big band jazz orchestra, while also championing the music of today.

Sam Renshaw, VP A&R, Parma Recordings, said, “… OURBIGBAND grabbed my attention from the first time I saw them — they’re equal parts adventurous, creative and crisp, and above all they operate with the utmost musicality and feeling. Like all great jazz artists, they have both a reverence for the past … and an eagerness to experiment and subvert traditional forms. … It’s no small feat to organize, rehearse and direct a big band ensemble, especially in this day and age, and it’s rare to see one that is as fun and engaging as this one. … Do not miss this group if you have a chance to see them!”

Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite, or at the door: $15 advance, $20 day of show, $10 for SPACE members and students.  Call for more information or to reserve: 207-828-1310. SPACE Gallery is at 536 Congress St.

For more information, visit portlandconservatoryofmusic.org.


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