Recently returned from several years in the United States and Mexico, acclaimed young New Zealand composer Jasmine Lovell-Smith presents her world premiere of Cerulean Haze (for jazz octet and ensemble) in Vox Fem, written especially for The Jac and Stroma.
Jasmine says of her work:
“I'm currently very interested in bridging the divide between the art worlds of jazz and concert music, so composing for this combined, cross-genre ensemble has been a great experience.”
Jasmine also has a fascinating tie to the #125suffrage story:
“Kate Sheppard was the second wife of my great-great grandfather on my dad's side, William Sydney Smith. He and his first wife (Jennie Smith) and their daughters were all involved in the women’s movement and were friends with Kate Sheppard (known to the family as ‘Auntie Kate’) through those circles. The Smith family ran a printing business, and were also involved in the publication of The White Ribbon, the first newspaper in New Zealand to be ‘owned, edited and managed by women’. William Sydney Smith and Kate Sheppard were both widowed and later got married.”
Jasmine says it's an inspiring legacy to be connected with. “I think that growing up in a feminist family may be part of the reason I've ended up participating in two aspects of music that are very male-dominated: jazz and composition. I never felt that my family had a limited idea of what I could do based on my gender, and they encouraged me to pursue both passions.”
MORE ABOUT VOX FEM
Stroma is renowned for championing bold musical voices. We are proud, for our next concert, to celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage with the works of six of New Zealand's and Australia's most visionary female composers. Vox Fem on Thursday 25 October at Hannah Playhouse is an evening of dynamic and diverse new works by Jasmine Lovell-Smith, Sarah Ballard, Alison Isadora, Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, Eve de Castro-Robinson and Lisa Illean.
You can expect a high-octane, cross-genre, cross-cultural collaboration between Stroma and leading Wellington jazz octet The Jac, soprano Barbara Paterson and a quartet of players of traditional Indian instruments.
“As a founding member of Stroma, I’m proud of how many fabulous works by female composers we’ve performed over the past 18 years,” says Bridget Douglas, Principal Flute of the NZSO and Stroma. “What better way to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Kate Shepherd’s suffrage achievement than with a concert profiling new works by Australasian female composers.”
Stroma is also thrilled to be returning to the Hannah Playhouse after our sold-out, groundbreaking season of Mechanical Ballet at the New Zealand Festival earlier this year. It will be another night of music that is: “Hypnotic. Mesmerising. Fascinating. Confronting. Astounding. Amazing.”
BOOK NOW for VOX FEM, 7.30pm, Thursday 25 October.