News

Highlights from Earl’s professional activities (concerts, recordings, interviews, teaching, awards, etc.) are posted and archived here, as they happen.

 

  • The Arrangers Podcast (a show dedicated to insightful discussion about the art, craft, and business of music arranging and composition) posted a recent interview with Earl, on August 7th, 2020.
  • The release date for Earl’s sixth full-length studio album is set for February 5, 2021. More information will be posted here shortly.
  • Jazz-In-July was offered online this summer, from July 20-24. Earl taught piano master classes, theory, improvisation sessions. Go to their website…jazzinjuly.com, for more information about this annual summer program.
  • The Connecticut Office of the Arts honored Earl with a 2020 Artistic Excellence Award.  An announcement was made in the Hartford Courant on Feb. 11, 2020. Earl was the only musician singled out for this top-tier distinction.CT Office of the Arts
  • Earl was selected as Jazz Music Producer of the Year at the 17th annual Independent Music Awards in New York City on June 22, 2019.
    Independent Music Awards' "Winner" logo
  • At the onset of 2019, Earl made some difficult decisions to open up more time for composing. This included stepping down from playing piano with the New London Big Band each month.  The band will continue performing some of his music, including “Cow Tippin.” https://youtu.be/U59UqJzoByw
  • The UConn Jazz Faculty Sextet‘s debut performance took place on Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 2018, at the Infinity Music Hall in Hartford. Earl was joined by John Mastroianni – alto sax, Doug Maher – guitar, Gregg August – string bass, and Rudy Royston – drums. (Unfortunately, trombonist Sean Nelson had a Coast Guard band obligation in Washington, DC.)

  • This fall, The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra released “Suite 150,” a CD recording to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Earl was one of eleven Canadian big band jazz composers commissioned to write music reflecting some aspect of Canada or being Canadian. His piece, “Cirrus” is his musical depiction of the vast prairie skyline. “On the prairies, with no buildings or trees blocking the view, one is struck by the immensity of the blue sky we all share, and how disproportionately small we are beneath it.”  The recording is available at http://suite150.ca/suite150/.
  • A half-dozen previously unpublished big band charts have been added to Earl’s eJazzLines online catalog, and are now available for purchase.
  • After a two year search process, saxophonist John Mastroianni was hired at the University of Connecticut as an Assistant Professor in Residence. Earl and John will be working together to further build UConn’s jazz program and to develop its curricular offerings.
  • UConn student photographer, Garrett Spahn visited Earl’s Jazz Night at the Ballard jam session on Feb. 20th, 2018. The photos were published in UConn Today, and can be viewed at:
    https://today.uconn.edu/2018/02/all-that-jazz/
  • UConn Today also published an interview with Earl regarding his newly released album, “Open Borders.”  Here’s a link: https://today.uconn.edu/school-stories/open-borders-interview-professor-earl-macdonald/
  • Recent guest conducting has included the Vermont VMEA District VI H.S. Jazz Band (02/03/2018) and the MMEA-ED Jr. Jazz Band (03/10/2018).
  • Earl was a guest on Ken Laster’s WWUH radio program, “In the Groove.” You can listen to the program through the player below:
  • Earl’s new album, “Open Borders” was released on Nov. 21, 2017. For this project, Earl assembled a crack 10-piece band with soloists such as Josh Evans (trumpet), Lauren Sevian (bari sax) and Wayne Escoffery (tenor sax).  You’ll want to add this one to your collection.  Order yours today!
  • Cirrus,” a piece commissioned by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, was premiered on Nov. 19th, 2017 as a movement within “Suite 150 – A Big Band Portrait,” which includes contributions by eleven prominent Canadian jazz composers.
  • Another newly commissioned big band work, “By Our Love,” was debuted on Dec. 7, 2017 by the UMASS Amherst Jazz 1 Ensemble, directed by Professor Jeffrey Holmes.
  • Earl performed a quartet gig in New York City on Nov. 11, 2017 at the Ukranian Institute of America. His group included Felipe Salles, Henry Lugo and Winard Harper.

 

  • Several of Earl’s recent big band arrangements are now available for purchase through eJazzLines. More are on the way!
  • Earl is planning to compose a new series of educational jazz band charts for high school and middle school groups.
  • Join Earl and his UCONN Jazz students for the jam session at the UCONN Bookstore in Storrs Center, from 7 – 9 p.m., every Tuesday night while university is in session.

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