Guitarist Julian Lage Headlines SSU Music Season, Many Free Concerts on Tap

julianlage.jpgWhile there's little spending money to go around, you don't need much to enjoy great music at Sonoma State University. The music department's recently released spring lineup includes a residency by Santa Rosa guitar prodigy Julian Lage, original music from our prolific composer-professors and a multi-cultural celebration from the chorus and chamber singers. There is also a happy assortment of free student concerts to which the public is always welcome.

Most events take place in Music Education Hall, adjacent to the Green Music Center on the campus north entrance. For information or to buy tickets, visit or call the School of Performing Arts Box Office at (707) 664-2325.

Highlights of the season include:

Julian Lage In Residence, March 8-10 - At eight years of age, Santa Rosa native Julian Lage was the subject of a documentary about musical child prodigies. Now 23 and poised for a major career as a performing artist, the Boston-based jazz guitarist will be back to sit in classes and perform with the jazz bands. When Julian Lage emerged on the music scene 13 years ago, the young San Francisco Bay Area-based musician was not only deemed a guitar-playing prodigy, but he was also offered record deals on numerous occasions. Playing a unique style that melded blues, classical, folk and jazz influences, Lage decided to wait for the right moment to document his own music.

He chooses instead to become a sideman with established instrumentalists like Gary Burton and to collaborate with contemporaries such as pianist Taylor Eigsti. Along the way, Lage received recognition from musical luminaries, including Herbie Hancock and Béla Fleck, and patiently waited until he was ready to go into a studio with a band of like-minded players to realize his own musical vision.

Formerly a student of SSU jazz guitar instructor Randy Vincent, Lage released his first album, Sounding Point, in 2009. The album, which received a Grammy nomination, has been called the most striking--and sophisticated--premiere of a young instrumental artist and composer in years.

His schedule includes:

Concert with Classic Jazz Ensemble, Latin Band, and Contemporary Jazz Ensemble - 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 10. Ives Hall, Warren Auditorium
Suggested donation $15 for Mel Graves jazz scholarship fund.

Jazz Forum: Improvisation and Collaborative Composition, 1- 3:30 p.m. Wed., March 9, GMC 1029

For information about Lage's residency contact Doug Leibinger, Director of Jazz Studies, at

Trio Navarro: Spring Music - Sunday, April 24, 4 p.m. GMC 1028 - Seasonal flair by SSU's resident piano trio comprised of Roy Malan, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; and Marilyn Thompson, piano. Their third and final concert of the year will feature American composer Ned Rorem's "Spring Music," the A Minor Trio by Austrian pianist-composer Carl Frühling (Frühling means "spring" in German), and the E-Flat Trio by Beethoven, op. 70 no. 2. Tickets: $12 general; $10 SSU faculty, alumni and staff; $8 seniors; free to students of all ages with ID.

Faculty Composers Concert: Not A Royal Wedding Event, Friday, April 29, 7:30 p.m., GMC 1028 - Come out and celebrate original music with SSU's prolific composer-professors. The Faculty Jazz Ensemble will play tunes by Doug Leibinger, George Marsh and Brian Wilson, Jeff Langley will unveil some new ballads and trombonist Tony Collins will play Wilson's "The Avanti Feels Glued to the Road Even When Cruising at 100 Miles Per Hour!" winner of the International Trombone Association composition prize. Tickets: $12 general; $10 SSU faculty, alumni and staff; $8 seniors and students.

Chorus and Chamber Singers: A Multi-Cultural Celebration, Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m., Holy Family Episcopal Church, 1500 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park - The University Chorus and Chamber Singers embark on a musical journey that begins in America and spans the globe. The program features works by American composers and a wealth of exhilarating multi-cultural music. Jenny Bent will conduct. Tickets: $12 general; $10 SSU faculty, alumni and staff; $8 seniors; free to students of all ages with ID.

Free Concerts To Fit Every Schedule

A multitude of free student concerts rounds out the calendar - from vocal and instrumental solos to chamber music to conducted ensembles playing jazz, classical guitar, brass, string orchestra and musical theatre scenes. Concert times vary, with many events taking place during the noon hour. For a complete listing, visit

Parking passes are $2.50 for the day and may be obtained from the self-dispenser at the lot entrance, or from the Information booth at the campus entrances. Parking is free on weekends, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit

To purchase tickets call the School of Performing Arts (SPA) Box Office at 707-664-2353. Ask about group sales and family ticket packages. The SPA Box Office is located on the second floor of Ives Hall. Hours are Monday-Friday, 12-3 p.m. For more information or to buy tickets online, visit

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