Noah Baerman and Friends, a six-piece ensemble featuring piano, trumpet, alto saxophone, euphonium, bass and drums, will debut a jazz composition commissioned in part by the Guilford Performing Arts Festival. The piece, called Cliff Palace, is part of a larger body of work dedicated to former band member Claire Randall, who was murdered at the age of 26 in a domestic incident.
Noah Baerman is a pianist, composer and educator who has spent much of his recent career composing and performing “message music,” exploring themes of social justice and community engagement, disability (he has an incurable connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) and the American foster care crisis (he’s a foster parent). Noah has released 10 CDs and published 10 instructional books and was a 2008 recipient of a New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation. He was the recipient in the music category of the Guilford Performing Arts Festival’s inaugural Artists’ Award. His festival band is an extraordinary collection of musicians: Nadje Noordhuis on trumpet, Kris Allen on alto sax, Kate Ten Eyck on euphonium, Henry Lugo on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums.
Check out this trailer for Noah’s most recent album, The Rock and the Redemption, which features the vocals of Claire Randall, to whom his festival piece is dedicated.