2019 ISJAC Symposium Presentation

Thank you for visiting my presentation at the 2019 International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers Symposium at UNC-Greeley.


  1. What's Up With That? University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble I 7:21


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“What’s Up With That?” is a composition that was commissioned for the University of North Florida’s “The Power of Transformation” capital campaign. In a fitting manner, I wanted the “power of transformation” to be reflected in my work through transformations of an existing composition and the cells used to create new melodies. Although the title “What’s Up With That?” references a rather contentious exchange in dealing with a professional issue, I thought that it was serve as an interesting title for this composition.


The melodic material for much of the composition originates from a series of three-note cells. More specifically, permutations of trichords found in measure one (C-D-E) and measure two (F#-G-A) are developed throughout the statement of the melody.


The trichords permeate the remaining statement of the theme, which is initially presented in octaves and then moves into a quasi-pointillistic texture in the bridge (listen at 0:25).

The three-note cells are then presented in a transparent contrapuntal texture as the backdrop for the soloist beginning at 1:40 of the recording. The following score excerpt begins at 2:23.

These cells are then developed throughout the “shout chorus” (at 2:35) and orchestrated in a traditional tutti ensemble manner, further unifying the composition. Basic four-note voicings (or five-note w/doubled lead) are distributed throughout the saxophones, trumpets, and trombones. Finally, a reprise of the theme begins at 6:04.

Shout Chorus


“What’s Up With That?” was recorded by the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble I on April Green. The recording features Barry Greene, UNF Professor of Jazz Guitar. Along with many of my compositions and arrangements, this work can be found at UNC Jazz Press. 


The performance of “What’s Up With That” was made possible with the help of students and faculty at the University of North Florida. Support for this presentation was provided by the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) at the University of North Florida.

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