2020 GPAF Donn Trenner Artists’ Award in Music
Tim Miller photo
“[Invisible Cities] Humanity, Memory & Decay: A Suite for Jazz Nonet”
Hagner’s suite was inspired by the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, in which imagined 13th-century conversations take place between the explorer Marco Polo and the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. Their poetic discussions of 55 fictitious cities offer timely perspectives on culture, memory, the health of society and the nature of human experience. In addition to Hagner on saxophone, the musicians will be Elliot Bild (trumpet), Elijah Thomas (reed), Isaac Levien (bass), Chris Lewis (reed), Nick Lombardelli (trombone), Ben Turner (guitar), Will Gorman (piano) and Zak King (drums). Our Artists’ Award in music this year was named for Donn Trenner, a noted jazz pianist and arranger who lived in Guilford (and with whom Hagner coincidentally performed). Thank you to an anonymous donor for funding this award.
About Skyler Hagner
Skyler Hagner, a Guilford native, is a composer, arranger, woodwind player and educator. He’s a member of the prestigious BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop and has written for the BMI Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Wesleyan Flute Fest Orchestra and the William Patterson Big Band, among others. He’s performed with the Michael Feinstein Big Band, Lil Kim, Bobby Rydell, Ray Drummond, Robin Eubanks, Norman David and the Eleventet, and many others. He’s been an adjust professor of woodwinds at the University of New Haven.