John Vanore & Abstract Truth LIVE! Celebrating 40 Years of Jazz at Widener

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John Vanore musical performer

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About John Vanore and Abstract Truth

In 1981 John Vanore formed a uniquely instrumented big band. Having toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra and performing in many big band settings throughout the ‘70s John had and continues to have a strong place in his heart for the power and energy that is part of the big band. But his real passion is for improvising. The prospect of melding those concepts into a new and innovative ensemble led to the development of a unique 12 member large ensemble. As homage to his inspiration to pursue music, Oliver Nelson, John named the group Abstract Truth. Nelson was an innovator and the charge for this new group was to innovate.

The ensemble premiered on December 9th, 1981 and now 40 years to the day we celebrate this unique group. With an unusual instrumentation the mission of the band was to capture the intimacy of the small group, where the soloist is dominant, with the power and excitement of the big band. By design the ensemble is like a small group with a lot of brass. The inclusion of French horn alone separates Abstract Truth from the many traditional big bands, prompting noted jazz critic Thomas Conrad to describe the band as “the cult big band for big band junkies.”

The group's first official recording, Blue Route, charted in the Downbeat Readers Poll and was selected one of the Top Six jazz recordings by CD Review Magazine.

Performing in the December concert with John will be two of the original members of the band, Kevin Rodgers – trumpet, and Michael Mee – saxophone. The performance will feature arrangements from several of the Abstract Truths recordings including several from the Stolen Moments recording that honors Oliver Nelson. The jazz press has praised the recordings of Abstract Truth.

“The intriguing trumpeter pushes expressive possibilities in the realm of big band culture, armed with a progressive attitude, yet also with clear roots in tradition and timeless musical values.” —Josef Woodard, Downbeat Magazine

Hauntingly beautiful…well crafted…stirring orchestration…edgy…swinging." —Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times

Contact Info

Dr. Iain Moyer

Director of Athletic Bands & Music Programs Recruiter