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Bassist, composer and UVa alumnus Kris Monson brings 'Suite for Charlottesville' to town

Bassist, composer and UVa alumnus Kris Monson brings 'Suite for Charlottesville' to town

The Charlottesville Jazz Society and WTJU will present a concert by the Kris Monson Ensemble at 8 p.m. Friday in the University of Virginia’s Brooks Hall. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m.

Monson, a bassist and composer, studied with Peter Spaar and John D’earth while double majoring in systems engineering and music at UVa. He recently received his master’s degree in jazz bass performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

Monson and his New York City ensemble will be teaming up with D’earth on trumpet and Jamal Millner on guitar to present the Charlottesville premiere of “Suite for Charlottesville,” a jazz reflection on the violent events of Aug. 11-12, 2017. He said, “The music in this suite is a reflection on our history and future as a community, presented via the great tradition of Black American Music.”

Monson organized his composition into four movements. The first movement, “Robert E. Lee Park,” is about the beloved city park where protesters gathered, and where a statue of Lee served as their rallying cry. The second movement, “The March,” takes a slow approach to the hatred that built and manifested in the march throughout the city.

“Shadows of the March,” the third movement, is a duet for bass clarinet and double bass, and it follows two voices mourning the events and trying to understand what happened. The final movement, “Emancipation Park,” is set in the present day and ends with a melody presented in unison, pointing to resilience and hope for a brighter future.

Tickets are free, and they’ll be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the door. For information, call (434) 249-6191 or go online to

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