New Additions to the 2024 Cabrillo Festival “Music as Movement” Season: West Coast Premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ Trumpet Concerto and Composer Clarice Assad in Residence

This is an update to our 2024 Season Announcement, found HERE.

Santa Cruz, CA – May 30, 2024 – The Cabrillo Music Festival announces exciting new additions to its previously announced 2024 summer season lineup:

  • The West Coast premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ new Concerto for Trumpet, featuring Michael Sachs as guest soloist. This performance is a new addition to the festival’s innovative “Creative Coast” concert, joining Bora Yoon’s Parhelion (a world premiere) and Gabriella Smith’s Lost Coast on Saturday, August 10th, 2024 at 7:00 pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Subscriptions are on sale now, but single ticket sales begin June 4, 2024.
  • Composer Clarice Assad joining the 2024 Cabrillo Festival season in person as a composer in residence.

Wynton Marsalis’ Trumpet Concerto: A Journey Through Musical Emotions

The concerto is a wide-ranging exploration of the trumpet’s expressive potential. The first movement opens with a brash fanfare and contrasting lyrical passages, showcasing the power and beauty of the instrument. The second movement is a love ballad, featuring the trumpet in conversation with the oboe. The third movement delves into the music of the Afro-Hispanic diaspora, with Spanish and Latin influences woven into the trumpet’s virtuosic variations. The concerto concludes with a blues movement, exploring the roots of American music through call-and-response melodies. This conversation between different diasporas, musical styles, and cultural heritages connects with the 2024 Season theme “Music as Movement”. Across the entire lineup, Cabrillo Festival will present music that pushes boundaries, connects cultures, and reflects social change.

Marsalis writes that he was “honored” when Sachs approached him about composing a new trumpet concerto. The two musicians are of the same generation and share a deep connection to the trumpet and its lineage. Sachs’ appointment as principal trumpet of a revered orchestra at the age of 26 was “inspirational” to Marsalis, who saw it as a sign that “an important new voice” could emerge and carry on the “legacy of American orchestral trumpet playing at the highest level.”

Cabrillo Music Festival Music Director & Conductor, Cristian Măcelaru, who has a deep history of collaboration and friendship with Marsalis, expressed his excitement about adding this new piece to the lineup, stating, “Wynton Marsalis’s work is deeply connected to the history of American music. Every composition he creates is like an encyclopedia of American artistic development. Having the opportunity to present the West Coast premiere of his new Trumpet Concerto with a soloist of Michael Sachs’s caliber is a true privilege, and I believe it will be a highlight of the entire festival season.”

Clarice Assad Joins as Composer in Residence

The Festival also welcomes composer Clarice Assad as a composer in residence for the 2024 season. Audiences will have the opportunity to engage with Assad’s music in open rehearsals and the Festival’s Grand Finale concert, Passage, on August 11, 2024 at 7pm. Assad’s vibrant and engaging compositions, include her West Coast Premiere of Baião ‘N Blues, draw inspiration from Brazilian culture and dance.

About Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator, and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

About Michael Sachs

Praised by critics for demonstrating “how brass playing can be at once heroic and lyrical” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer), Michael Sachs is recognized internationally as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, author, and clinician. Celebrating his 36th season with The Cleveland Orchestra, he is the longest-serving Principal Trumpet in the orchestra’s history.

In addition to his orchestral duties, Michael Sachs is a sought-after soloist, having performed with leading orchestras around the world. An active chamber musician, he has collaborated with many distinguished artists.

About Clarice Assad

A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. Acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range, Assad has created a prolific body of over 70 works.

About the Cabrillo Music Festival

Cabrillo Festival is America’s preeminent and longest standing festival dedicated solely to new music for orchestra. As Joshua Kosman remarked, “an entire microcosm springs up around the proceedings, devoted not only to new music, but also to camaraderie and a shared sense of adventure that encompasses the musicians and the audiences alike… The festival’s welcoming warmth spills out beyond the confines of the hall.” [SF Chronicle, 2023]

An annual two-week event in Santa Cruz, CA, the Festival brings together a world-class orchestra of professional players, composers, and guest artists from around the world to present a series of concerts and free public programs celebrating new symphonic music by living composers, most of whom are in residence.

Contact: Steph C Sherwood or Steven Swartz 


Season subscriptions are on sale now, and single tickets go on sale June 4th at noon!

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