Sultry & Eccentric: The Music of James Grant – Celeste Shearer, Dena K. Jones
James Grant was immediately drawn to Shearer’s effortless command of technique, her sensitive and expressive playing, and her deep, intuitive musicianship, suggesting they record his works, and they did. Most of the music on this recording has been arranged for French horn from works originally composed for tuba or euphonium.
CELESTE SHEARER, Horn and DENA KAY JONES, Piano
with JIM SHEARER, Tuba
Celeste Shearer plays horn with the Roswell Symphony Orchestra and the Great American Trio. She was a member of the El Paso Symphony from 1984 to 1991 under the baton of Maestro Abraham Chavez, and she continues her association with EPSO today serving as a regular substitute. Celeste has also performed with the Lubbock Symphony, Las Cruces Symphony, Amarillo Symphony, and the New Mexico Philharmonia.
James Grant has been commissioned by individuals, choruses, chamber ensembles, and orchestras who have performed his music throughout the world. He is a past first-prize winner of the Louisville Orchestra competition for new orchestral music and, in 2002, was one of five American composers to win the Aaron Copland Award. Grant’s colorful musical language is known by musicians and audiences for its honed craft and immediacy, and his ability to compose music appropriate to specific levels of experience has found him working with groups ranging from professional orchestras, choruses, solo recitalists, new music ensembles, and ballet companies to community choruses, university choral and instrumental ensembles, and youth orchestras.
Dena Kay Jones has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Spain, Italy, France, Mexico, and Canada. She is a frequent performer of solo and chamber music at various venues within the El Paso, Texas vicinity, and is piano faculty, solo and chamber musician at the Orfeo Music Festival held annually in Vipiteno/Sterzing, Italy.
Sultry, as an expressive ballad in the spirit of the familiar jazz “torch song,” offers ample opportunity for the soloist to display warmth, melodic lyricism, and soul. Eccentric, on the other hand, requires considerable technical command as both the horn player and pianist are faced with quirky leaps, nimble runs, and a relentlessly eccentric rhythmic and melodic palette.