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Release: Aug. 30, 2002


Standard AIR, a jazz trio from the University of Iowa School of Music, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Admission is free to the museum and to the performance.

The members of Standard AIR are Anton Hatwich, upright bass, Ira (John) Rapson, trombone, and Robert Paredes, clarinet. The group takes its name from the first initial of the three players first names: Anton, Ira and Robert. Rapson, who is known to local jazz fans as John -- which he has used professionally -- decided to use Ira, his given first name, to create the group’s name.

The acoustic trio concentrates on jazz standards that are sometimes neglected in the repertoire and on material that allows them to capitalize on their unusual instrumentation. “Bob plays both clarinet and alto saxophone, while I have six mutes that I choose from, giving us the option to make the color of our instruments as important to the performance as the melody and the harmony,” he said.

“The group was originally founded as a vehicle for us to just rummage through the standards book and play for our own enjoyment. And because we don't have a standard rhythm section, the context left a lot of room for everyone to solo with space to play very quietly and in every range of our instruments.”

Rapson said that the group hasn’t decided on a play list for Friday’s performance yet, “but I expect we’ll play Coltrane’s ‘Lament for Lonnie,’ Ellington and Strayhorn’s ‘Warm Valley,’ my own ‘Clara Pear,’ some standards and an individual solo number from each of the members.”

Hatwich is a graduate of the UI School of Music and a visiting faculty member at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon. He has performed classical, jazz and contemporary music with a variety of ensembles.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording “Dances and Orations” has been hailed as “one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time” in Jazziz and as “a conceptual and musical triumph” by Josef Woodard in the Independent. The CD scored 10 out of 10 for artistic merit in Grammophone magazine’s “Good CD Guide” for jazz recordings, which also called it “beautiful and unique.”

Paredes has been described as “one of the hidden greats of the American experimental tradition.” He received a doctorate in composition from the UI after studies with the experimental composer Kenneth Gaburo, and has been and Artist-in-Residence at several schools and organizations. He is an experienced jazz and studio musician, an accomplished Klezmer clarinetist and a former member of the Harry Partch Ensemble.

The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

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