Pianist/composer/arranger Laurence Hobgood will be performing with his trio at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 14th. Mr. Hobgood will be spending two and a half days in residency with Fryeburg Academy student musicians. During his stay Laurence will teach a series of Master Classes. He will provide instruction and feedback to both student instrumentalists and vocalists on an individual, small group, and ensemble basis. The students will also have the opportunity to work on some of Laurence’s original compositions, providing a unique experience to interact with the composer. The concert on the 14th is a culmination of the residency, featuring Mr. Hobgood’s trio as well as many of Fryeburg Academy’s student musicians.
Laurence Hobgood has enjoyed a dynamic and multi-faceted career. In addition to twenty years of arranging for and collaborating with renowned vocalist Kurt Elling, the multiple Grammy-nominee and Grammy award-winner has also written vocal arrangements for a number of other prominent musicians such as Jackie Allen, Alicia Miles, and Regina Carter. He has been described by Dave Brubeck as “one of the most incredible pianists I have ever heard.”
Mr. Hobgood’s relationship with Kurt Elling began in 1993. The young singer sat in (against all precedent) with the Ed Peterson Quintet. The group, which played every Monday at the storied Green Mill in Chicago’s Uptown, was known for its challenging repertoire and completely open and experimental approach. Mr. Hobgood had been a member of the band for some time at that point; when it was announced that Kurt Elling was going to sit in with the band, genuine surprise and some instinctive trepidation were quickly replaced by relief, then respect. The growing friendship soon evolved into the start of a true collaboration.
In 1994 Hobgood helped Elling produce what became 1995’s “Close Your Eyes,” the first of six records for the iconic Blue Note label, all Grammy-nominated. The Chicago Tribune honored them as 1995 Chicagoans Of The Year in the Arts. In 2001 Mr. Hobgood received his own Grammy nomination for his arranging on “Flirting With Twilight.” He has performed both with Elling and his own trio at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Birdland, Chicago’s Symphony Center, as well as the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals, including Montreaux, North Sea, Monterey, Newport, and many others. He has played and/or recorded with Jon Hendricks, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Clark Terry, Bob Mintzer, and Buddy Guy, to name a few.
Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $10 for students. For those interested in providing additional support for this project we are offering benefactor tickets for $50. These tickets provide access to a pre-show hors d’oeuvres reception where you will have the opportunity to briefly meet Mr. Hobgood, and for every two Benefactor tickets you purchase, you will receive one of his signed CDs. The Laurence Hobgood residency is funded in part by our friends at Green Thumb Farms, Hannaford, Hunting Dearborn, North Conway Music Center, and Norway Savings Bank.
The Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center is located at 18 Bradley Street, Fryeburg, Maine on the campus of Fryeburg Academy. Order tickets online at www.fryeburgacademy.org/tickets or call the box office at 207-935-9232.