Saturday Salons: Sinatra and American Art Song

Saturday Salons

Saturday Salons: Sinatra and American Art Song

Sat · September 30, 2017

3:00 pm

$20.00

An afternoon of American music—songbook standards, Walker’s originals, and melodies made famous by Frank Sinatra.

A song— the profound marriage of music and words, a vessel for emotion, romance, grief, joy, praise, protest, and beauty—might be humankind’s greatest achievement. From the blues, to folk tunes, to Mahler’s song cycles, to the American Song Book, the tradition is rich beyond measure. Sinatra knew all this intrinsically. A concert like this, one celebrating his ideals, is really about the profundity and mystery of song. Standards like Our Love is Here to Stay and Lush Life are a continuance of the melodic and harmonic richness of classical art song plus the added richness of the blues. And Jeremy Walker’s original compositions draw that link plainly—jazz as an expansion of musical possibilities not limited by category. Tesfa Wondemagegnehu leads the evening’s program with fellow vocalist Clara Osowski and pianist, Jeremy Walker.

Tesfa Wondemagegnehu
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Director of Choral Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, previously served as the conductor of The Radio Choir from American Public Media and manager of APM’s Choral Works Initiative, in St. Paul, MN. As a high school teacher, he was named Orange County Public School’s Teacher of the Year and received the Macy’s National Magic of Teaching Award. He led his choirs in performances at state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Florida Music Educators’ Association, and most recently presented a clinic at the 2015 American Choral Directors Association National Conference.

Wondemagegnehu is widely in demand as a guest conductor and lecturer. He has performed, presented workshops, and conducted honor choirs across the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Costa Rica.

Tesfa Yohannes Wondemagegnehu holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Memphis.​
Clara Osowski
Clara Osowski
Hailed for her artistry and “rich and radiant” voice (Urban Dial Milwaukee), Clara Osowski is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. Select opera credits include Ruth, (Pirates of Penzance), Venus (Venus and Adonis), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), and Cavalier Ramiro (La finta giardiniera). She was a 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Upper-Midwest Regional Finalist, the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, and recently named the runner-up in the 2016 Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Scholarship Competition. In 2017, Clara was the winner of the Houston Saengerbund Competition and became the first ever American prize winner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff's International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germny. Clara received her Bachelor of Musical Arts degree with emphasis in Voice from North Dakota State University in 2008, and Master of Arts Degree in Voice from the University of Iowa in 2010.

Clara’s passion for contemporary music is exhibited in the song-cycles she has premiered by numerous composers with the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa, and her most recent collaborations with Linda Kachelmeier (Stars), Jeremy Walker (Alma Gentil), Linda Tutas Huagen (Gjendine’s Lullaby), Paul Rudoi (Midnight Songs) and James Kallembach (St. John Passion and Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams). As a recitalist, she recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song masters, including Graham Johnson, Bernarda Fink, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, Irwin Gage, and Richard Stokes.

Active also as an educator, Clara has given masterclasses and convocations at several universities, including Syracuse University, Muhlenberg College, Concordia College, and North Dakota State University. She was also the guest artist in residence at Indiana State University's 50th Contemporary Music Festival celebrating the music of Libby Larsen. Clara currently studies voice with Emma Small of Minneapolis and aspires to be as kind and as generous as Emma.
Jeremy Walker
Jeremy Walker
Jeremy Walker is a prolific composer and pianist who started playing the saxophone at age ten in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN. He was the founder of the club Brilliant Corners – voted by Downbeat magazine as “One of the 100 Great Jazz Clubs Worldwide,” and co-founder of the non-profit organization Jazz is NOW!– which launched with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet and surprise guest, Itzhak Perlman.

In 2003, City Pages voted Walker “Best Local Impresario” for his “community-conscious” programming. Turning to piano and composition in 2005, Walker earned recognition including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study grant, and collaborations with TU Dance and Zenon Dance Company. He has performed with Vincent Gardner, Marcus Printup, Ted Nash, Ron Miles, Matt Wilson, JT Bates, and other notable musicians. In addition to commissions, Walker has written over 70 compositions for his bands: Small City Trio, Boot Camp, BOXCAR featuring Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and Anthony Cox, The NOWnet, and The Bootet.

In 2014, Walker released his most ambitious recording to date: 7 Psalms. The album was released in March 2014 on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon and was listed in Star Tribune as one of the 2014 albums in the Twin Cities Critics Tally with Walker listed as one of the “Jazz Heros” in Jazz Police.

In October 2014, Minnesota Orchestra named Walker Curator of the new Jazz in the Target Atrium series at Orchestra Hall bringing together national musicians with the regional Atrium Jazz Ensemble.
Venue Information:
The Dunsmore Room at Crooners
6161 Hwy 65 NE
Minneapolis, MN, 55432