Clarinetist Jason Marquez who just earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at the Andrews University in Michigan, USA is all set for a return engagement at Manila Pianos Saturday, July 29, 2023, at 7 p.m.
Manila Pianos is located along Paseo de Magallanes,Magallanes Village, Makati City.
He will be accompanied by pianist Dingdong Fiel.
Last June 17, Marquez surprised local music aficionados with a rarely played program for clarinet so varied and wide-ranging it left an audience asking for a repeat performance for those who missed it.
A highly revealing opener was Bela Kovacs’ Sholem-Alekhem, rov Feidman, a Philippine premiere of Kenji Bunch’s Cookbook (2004) and with cellist Job Polvoriza doing a sensitive part in Robert Muczynski’s Fantasy Trio, Op. 26 (1969).
His musicality was evident from the very beginning.
On top of that, he had a way of explaining his repertoire which made enjoyment easy for the first-timers in this all-clarinet program. “I decided to incorporate music with popular influences such as jazz, pop, Latin, bebop, and more. I aimed to offer a refreshing departure from the traditional 17th-18th century repertoire commonly heard in recitals. I wanted to present something fun and accessible to those who may not be as familiar with classical music. My hope was that this diverse selection would spark curiosity in first-time audience members and encourage them to attend more classical music concerts in the future, “ he pointed out.
Still, the Copland concerto and Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm were the evening’s beautiful highlights.
The audience roared their approval at Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm. “It is a marvelous arrangement by James Cohn that beautifully captures the essence of simplicity, joy, and exceptional artistry,” he enthused.
Marquez plays on a B-flat Tradition model clarinet by Buffet Crampon.
Before acquiring his instrument, his professors noticed that his previous clarinet was getting in the way of his growth as a musician “After successfully raising the necessary funds, my clarinet teacher and I embarked on a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Ann Arbor, Michigan to meet with a Buffet Crampon clarinet dealer who also happens to be the 2nd/bass clarinet player for the Detroit Opera Orchestra.”
He distinctly remembers the dealer presenting approximately 20 different clarinets from various models by Buffet Crampon for him to try. “We meticulously narrowed down the options to three clarinets which I took home to playtest for a few weeks. This trial period allowed me to thoroughly assess and evaluate each instrument before making my final decision.”
In addition, his clarinet teacher ordered several clarinets from Royal Global for him to playtest. “I had the fortunate opportunity to test these clarinets at the Howard Performing Arts Center which is our on-campus concert hall. My teacher recorded and attentively listened to how the clarinets sounded and projected within the concert hall setting. Based on the evaluation, we ultimately made a final decision on the clarinet that I am currently using.”
Pianist Dingdong Fiel admitted it was a tough repertoire they played at Manila Pianos. “It was a very challenging program but definitely worth it.”
Marquez sums up his Andrews University schooling: “My overall experience at Andrews University was amazing. I had the opportunity to meet incredible musicians whom I am proud to call my friends. The professors were dedicated and showed genuine care for their students. My clarinet teacher, Jason Gresl, is an exceptional and dedicated educator. The lessons and coaching sessions I had with him were some of the best in my musical journey.”
(By insistent public demand, Manila Pianos will present Jason Marquez with Dingdong Fiel and cellist Job Polvoriza in a repeat performance on July 29,7 p.m. For tickets, call 09065104270 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)