Press Releases

Jon Faddis Performs "Porgy & Bess" With Purchase Jazz Orchestra

Date Released: 3/25/2010

Todd Coolman conducts the April 8 concert at at 7:30 PM, Performing Arts Center. Tickets $20.

Trumpeter Jon Faddis will perform the Gil Evans/Miles Davis classic version of George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess” as  solo guest artist with the Purchase Jazz Orchestra on April 8 at 7:30 PM at the Performing Arts Center Purchase College.  Tickets $20.  Box Office 914-251-6200 or online at


Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is renowned as one of the most important musicians of the 20th century and his collaboration with arranger Gil Evans over four sessions in 1958 created one of the greatest adaptations of this folk opera for a jazz orchestra.  Evans adaptation was for a brass heavy pianoless ensemble featuring arresting tonal colors that made judicious use of  tuba and woodwinds.  It has a lively rhythm section for “Gone, Gone Gone.” And a brilliant scaled down seven note motif for “Summertime” and a dramatic climax to “My Man’s Gone Now.” 


As a trumpeter Faddis summons and sustains searing, stratospherically high notes with his instrument, and also masterfully captures enchantingly soft, achingly thoughtful melodies.  He evokes the voices of Armstrong, Davis, Eldridge and Gillespie in his music.


A member of the Purchase College faculty, Jon Faddis is a composer and educator, who possesses full command of his instrument.  He demonstrates a range that is virtually unparalleled today.  His friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie said, “he is the best ever—including me.”


Faddis began playing the trumpet at eight. He impressed Gillespie at the Monterey Jazz Festival when he was 15 and was invited to sit in with him at the famed Jazz Workshop in San Francisco and began a lifelong friendship. 


After graduating from high school in Oakland California, Faddis went to New York where he joined Lionel Hampton’s Band as a soloist and later performed with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band at the Village Vanguard.  He made his debut at 18 at the New York Philharmonic with the Charles Mingus Band.


 Two decades later, after countless recordings, tours, and appearances in the United States and internationally, Jon Faddis became conductor and music director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.  He has since toured multiple times for the State Department and played for presidents at the White house and royalty abroad. He has subsequently led many other bands including his own John Faddis Jazz Orchestra and has performed with symphony orchestras.  He admires traditional jazz yet embraces innovation and change in order to create exceptional music with some of the best emerging talent in unexpected ways.   


The Purchase Jazz Orchestras performs big band jazz from all eras and is comprised of  students from the renowned Jazz Program at the Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatory of Music.


Conductor Todd Coolman is a Grammy Award winning jazz bassist who heads the Jazz Program at Purchase College and performs regularly with jazz luminaries James Moody, Ahmad Jamal and others.