Kamloops Symphony to play tribute for Kamloops-born jazz clarinetist

Symphony to play tribute

The Kamloops Symphony will be performing its first concert of the 2023-24 season, titled Rhapsody in Blue, featuring a tribute to prolific Kamloops-born jazz clarinetist Phil Nimmons.

Nimmons was a jazz clarinetist, composer and educator born in Kamloops, and the KSO’s performance will serve as a celebration of his 100th birthday in June of this year.

Nimmons studied clarinet at the Julliard School in New York and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

According to the KSO, Nimmons composed over 400 pieces of music in various genres, including film scores, music for radio and television and classical chamber and large ensembles.

He co-founded the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto in 1960, and developed the jazz performance program at the University of Toronto.

The performance, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Sagebrush Theatre, will also include guest artists soprano Rachel Casponi and pianist Daniel Clarke-Bouchard.

Casponi is a performer, director and educator with music degrees from the University of Windsor and University and the University of Western Ontario, who will be performing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and George Gershwin’s Summertime with the KSO.

According to KSO, Casponi has worked with BC’s North Peace Community Choir that she led at their Carnegie Hall performance.

Casponi is a regular performer with the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops, director of local choirs and teaches for the Kamloops-Thompson School District and the Kamloops Symphony Music School.

Pianist Clarke-Bouchard will perform Piano Concerto in D Minor by Florence Price, one of the first female African-American composer to achieve success in her lifetime during the 1930s and 1940s, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Clarke-Bouchard is an award winning pianist from Montreal who has performed with the Montreal Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal.

Tickets to Rhapsody in Blue are available at Kamloops Live! Box Office.

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