Jonathan Ragonese, saxophones and narration; Alex LoRe, alto sax; Kyra Sims, French horn; Jay Rattman, woodwinds; Russell Hall, bass; Mark Whitfield, Jr., drums; Dan Mitra, tap dancer
Jonathan Ragonese is a composer, arranger, and saxophonist who has lived in New York City for six years. He has concertized and recorded with outstanding performers such as Terell Stafford, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath, the Harrisburg Symphony with conductor Stuart Malina, Steve Wilson, and James Moody. His compositions encompass both fully notated works and improvisations, played by ensembles ranging from duos and trios to symphony orchestras. His Summergarden concert will feature the premiere of American Dialogues: Introduction. Mr. Ragonese writes, “Words, movement, and sounds all come together to enliven the possibilities of what is and what can be. Part historical documentation, part poetic prose, part musical meditation, part visual manifestation, this work is indeed the introduction for my own unforeseeable future; and the future, not being owned or understood by any one person, is indeed our future.”
The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Juilliard concerts are performed by members of the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Ansonia Quartet, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs. Mr. Sachs has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two stylistically different jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere.
Summergarden is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sculpture Garden may close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts start at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The Sculpture Garden closes at 10:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, and the Museum’s 54 Street entrance will open at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. The Garden Bar, located on the northeast end of the Sculpture Garden, features a selection of homemade snacks, draft beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages. In the event of rain, the Garden Bar is closed.
Summergarden is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.