A “Concerto for Violin and Jazz Trio” opens the 2017/18 Masterworks Series


September 22nd, 2017

Composer, Matt Catingub

MORETTI: “I’m Steve Moretti. I am a drummer, percussionist and producer. Gosh, I’ve been doing this Symphonic Pops world now with Mr. Catingub for almost 20 years. Prior to the symphony stuff with Matt we were in Rosemary Clooney’s band for the last four or five years of her life and played with a variety of artist and aside from doing that I do some producing in a variety of styles of music. Recently, Matt and I started our own orchestra in Macon, Georgia, the Macon Pops.”

Award winning percussionist and producer, Steve Moretti is returning to the Omaha Symphony this weekend, opening up the Masterworks Series with a newly composed piece by American composer, Matt Catingub, “Three Shades of Blue” a concerto for violin, jazz trio and orchestra which features the composer, Catingub as the pianist.

CATINGUB: “I’m here, ostensibly as the piano player, that’s it. I was honored to be asked to compose this concerto by Steve and Amy a few years ago, so we are here presenting it with one of our favorite orchestras in the world, the Omaha Symphony. My background, I am mainly a jazz musician, a pop musician, a conductor of pops for almost 20 years.

Amy Schwartz Moretti is the violinist featured in the concerto this weekend.

SCHWART- MORETTI: “I’m always interested to see what the new concertos are for any instrument, but for violin especially, since I’m a violinist. As a classical artist, I see the future of our music being much more collaborative of what is happening actually in American culture.”

The piece is classically crafted including the composers influences of jazz, romanticism, and so much more.

CATINGUB: “To me an arranger is, you’re composing anyway. You are writing intros and backgrounds and stuff, so you are still composing and I’ve done a lot of composing in the jazz world and big bands, so this was kind of a natural extension of that especially since I had been working with pops orchestras. I was very familiar with the symphony now, with the orchestra and the instruments I had to work with. If truth were to be told when they asked me to produce this, I had ten I ideas pop in my head, and I thought, “This is going to be fun!”, because I don’t get a chance to do this that much. You mentioned how the first movement is romantic and yeah, let’s face it we wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for Debussy and Ravel, and of curse, that is what my influences were in this type of piece.”

Schwartz-Moretti started working with Maestro Thomas Wilkins early on in her career.

SCHWARTZ-MORETTI: “I just adore him, he’s one of the best people on the face of this earth. I met him early on in my development, I must’ve been 13 or 14. I was doing a competition up in Richmond, VA and I ended up winning the competition so I interacted with him then, it was with the Richmond Symphony. Then, years later when I got my first job, it was with the Florida Orchestra, and that is where he was the resident conductor.”

Catingub and Moretti have appeared frequently on the Omaha Symphony’s Rock Series.

MORETTI: For me this is fun because this is on a classical series, so this is an acoustic performance. I think playing this piece in that respect has been really fun for me, getting to really enjoy the hall in a different way. I was getting so distracted, I kept screwing up because I was just enjoying it so much and just listening. I was like “Oh, crud! I get to play here!” I was just enjoying the moment, honestly,

CATINGUB: ”Yeah, I was a little mesmerized at our first rehearsal. I sat there and thought, “There’s not a single microphone up here”, and I’m hearing today, I was listening to the air move. And to echo what Steve was saying, Omaha, the symphony here and the musicians and the staff are some of our favorite people in the world, and I’m not just saying that to blow sunshine. We boast about Omaha everywhere we go.”

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