The Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra’s April 1 rendition of “Crescent City” was named one of the best jazz performances of 2016 by Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich.
Director of jazz studies Victor Goines conducted two of his works in the sold-out concert in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, which featured Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trumpeter Victor Garcia, and the Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra. Held as part of a year-long celebration commemorating the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, the April 1 program also included Goines’s 2009 ASCAP commission Benny: Then, Now, Forever.
In his review of 2016 Chicago jazz highlights, Reich said of the Bienen School event: “[Goines] outdid himself in presenting the Chicago-area premiere of his expansive tone poem 'Crescent City,' with Goines conducting and Branford Marsalis as saxophone soloist. The piece probed the psyche and spirit of New Orleans — hometown of both men — through color, motif and, of course, rhythm.”
In his original Tribune review of the event, Reich wrote that Goines “can write as well as he plays” and declared him “a composer of considerable subtlety and imagination.”
Photo: Branford Marsalis (left) and Victor Goines perform “Crescent City” in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on April 1, 2016. Photo by Elliot Mandel.