SUCCESSFUL EVENING OF AMERICAN JAZZ

Senior Fulbright Scholar, jazz conductor and performer Tom Smith had a very successful JAZZ CONCERT – with the NATIONAL RADIO BIG BAND of Romania (as a tribute to Bucharest native Peter Herbolzheimer). The performance included pieces by: Ch.Parker, D.Gillespie, N.Washington, P.Herbolzheimer a.o.The event took place at the Grand Concert Hall of the Romanian RAdio Broadcast, on Tuesday, Feb.18. The concert was broadcast live on the Romanian National Radio Broadcast and was also recorded.Thought has been given to produce a CD following this concert. As a conductor as well as trombone soloist, Tom Smith was rewarded with standing ovation by the general public, as well as by the members of the big band itself, on stage.

The audiences in Romania (where jazz music has big numbers of fans in a category of highly educated people, of all generations) have had a chance to enjoy a number of concerts for the past months due to Professor Tom Smith, while he has been in this country as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. Tom’s performances have been just superb – as a conductor of the music student’s big band of the the Bucharest National University of Music as well as in cooperation with the NAtional Radio Broadcast jazz musicians, and others. Tom Smith has brought a standard of performance to these groups,which is indeed admirable.

Let it be said that, like on several previous occasions, Tom Smith was introduced, at the concert on Feb.18, by Romania’s most prominent expert in and presenter of jazz – Florian Lungu, who has revealed the accomplishment and top-level qualities of this American jazz performer, conductor and professor, Tom Smith, and repeatedly emphasized te privilege that Romanian conservatory students, professional jazz performers and lovers of jazz have, due to Tom Smith’s activity in Romania as a Fulbright senior scholar, for a whole academic year. It was Florian Lungu who has also contributed reviews in some of Romania’s newspapers – e.g. in a very popular daily, Curentul, on Tom Smith’s successful activities in Romania and the broad impact he has, the difference that he makes.

It should be added that Tom Smith not only brings home among Romanians an idea about American jazz quality in a most direct, tangible way, through rigorous training (and not just by hear-say and recorded music), but he does his best to teach and inspire in the sense of instoring principles of discipline and cooperation which are the expected behaviour in the US. He has a very special involvement in this sense, trying to bring over a full awareness of principles of professional /-artistic/action to Romania, a country of considerable richness from a cultural poin t of view,as well as richness of talent – but which still has a way to go, in order to recover from effects of a long isolation. There is certainly a cultural difference between a Latin world and an Anglo-Saxon one – in general: the passionate and high-quality artist in Tom Smith makes him a very productive bridge in a profound Fulbright spirit.

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