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August 2009 Issue
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Blast from the past


Fans of Miles Davis will be able to relive some of his major works at the University of Adelaide this month, thanks to the talents of New York jazz maestro Ray Vega.

On his second visit to Adelaide in as many years, Vega will perform tracks from two of Davis's seminal jazz albums - Kind Of Blue and Porgy And Bess - as well as providing a public masterclass to University of Adelaide jazz students.

Joined by staff from the Elder Conservatorium of Music's Jazz School, Vega's 50th anniversary performance of Kind Of Blue will be held in Elder Hall on Friday 7 August as part of the Lunchtimes at Elder Hall concert series.

The following week (Wednesday 12 August) he will present a workshop to students as part of the Conservatorium's Masterclass series, which is open to the public for the cost of just $10.

Arguably the highlight of Vega's return to Adelaide will be the performance from Miles Davis's historic work Porgy And Bess, based on George Gershwin's opera. Part of the Evenings at Elder Hall concert series (Saturday 15 August), Porgy And Bess features the Elder Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra.

"Miles Davis changed the course of jazz music several times throughout his long career," said Dusty Cox, Jazz Saxophone Lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium and Yamaha Performing Artist.

"Miles's recording of Porgy And Bess gave him a forum in which to display his musical sensitivity and nuance within an extended ensemble and not in a typical small group. Davis had been a member of Charlie Parker's groundbreaking bebop quintet as a very young performer and the recording of Porgy And Bess couldn't be any further away from that musical format."

Dusty said Ray Vega's versatility would be important in these live performances.

"Ray is an incredibly well-rounded musician and trumpet player," he said. "He is experienced in many styles of music, which is why we are so pleased to have him here in Adelaide at the Elder Conservatorium with us. Ray has played jazz, classical music, Latin jazz, contemporary works, any and everything throughout his career."

Dusty said many music students in Adelaide would have the chance to learn from Vega during his two-week residency.

"Ray will conduct several workshops for all brass players, including classical and jazz brass students, and for area high school big bands. He will give lectures in jazz history and Latin music, and coach our ensembles, from small jazz ensembles to classical brass ensembles and more," he said.

"His extended residency is made possible by the Helpmann Academy. We are very grateful to them for helping our students and staff continue to grow musically and personally," Dusty said.

Story by David Ellis


1.10pm Friday 7 August

Tickets $7, available at the door from 12.30pm on the day of the concert.

To attend all lunchtime concerts from Friday 31 July to 13 November, purchase a Gold Pass for just $80 and save over 25% on the full price.


1.00pm-3.00pm Wednesday 12 August

Tickets $10.


6.30pm Saturday 15 August

Tickets $25 adults, $20 concession, $15 student.

For a special Family Ticket deal, contact the Concert Manager.

Elder Hall, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
For more details phone the Concert Office on +61 8 8303 5925, or email:

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Ray Vega performing at Elder Hall last year
Photo by Chris Hancock

Ray Vega performing at Elder Hall last year
Photo by Chris Hancock

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