Jon Metzger Completes New Recording
Associate Professor and Artist in Residence Jon Metzger has completed work on a new recording of award-winning composer Doug Richard's Ben Seni Variations for 80-piece orchestra and nine jazz soloists at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Written to celebrate the new Jazz Studies program at Hacettepe State University in Ankara, Turkey that Metzger helped start through his service there in 2009 as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State, the massive, 30-minute piece is based on the Turkish folk song Ben Seni Sevdugumi and is scored in a modern jazz concerto grosso style.
The recording brought together renowned artists from around the world including jazz soloists Armenian Ara Topouzian (playing the Kanun, a Middle Eastern laptop harp), Russian bassist Victor Dvorkin, Turkish drummer Emre Kartari and his wife Ayca Gunduz Kartari, and Austrian drummer Howard Curtis with Americans, trumpeter John D'earth, saxophonist Skip Gailes, pianist Bob Hallahan, guitarist Adam Larabee, and vibist Metzger, accompanied by the Montreal-based Ensemble Appassionata and the VCU Symphony Orchestra.
Metzger was featured prominently in a lengthy exchange with the two drummers in "the most striking set of variations," according to reviewer Clark Bustard of the NewMusicBox. Following the recording, the entire collection of musicians stayed to premiere the work before a full house at VCU's Singleton Arts Center. The recording is scheduled for a future release on Summit Records.