ITEA Gem Series No. 29 by Jordan Henry
Jordan Henry is a diverse composer who is passionate about arranging, audio recording and production, and teaching young musicians. As a composer, Jordan has written works for orchestra, big band, wind ensemble, various chamber groups, and a variety of other instruments. Jordan is a sought after music copyist and has worked with many notable composers, arrangers, and performers. Having studied music performance at University of Michigan (BM) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (MM), Jordan has performed with the Asphalt Orchestra (Bang on a Can), Disneyland All-American College Band (Anaheim), Scott Kettner’s Nation Beat, and Interlochen Academy Faculty Brass Quintet. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, and BargeMusic (Brooklyn). He was a freelance musician in New York City and Boston, where he performed with brass bands, orchestras, chamber groups, new music ensembles, and taught music in charter schools, churches, and community centers. He writes and records his own music, is skilled with production software, and plays tuba, trumpet, bass, guitar, and lots of percussion.
Find more about Jordan and his music at www.listenuphenry.com.
“Americana” is the third and final movement of Stand Alone for Solo Tuba (2009), a suite that was written for my own master’s recital at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Under the guidance of Professor John Stevens, I was able to blend many eclectic styles into this work, challenging myself as a musician, composer, and tubist. The term Americana is typically used to refer to cultural elements from the United States (like Elvis, the blues, Cadillacs), but I’ve always had an issue with the word because it over-simplifies what it means to be American. Millions of other people in South and Central America (and Canada and Mexico) are also Americans and heavily influence our own culture, especially in major U.S. cities and border states. My passion for Cuban and Brazilian music are most obvious in the rhythmic syncopations throughout the piece. I’m also a huge fan of altered scales in French Impressionism and jazz, which is clearly showcased by using whole-tone scales. A true hallmark of U.S. music is improvisation, and I encourage every tubist to attempt to make the multi-phonic section as improvised as possible.