Jazz from Broadway
April 18, 2020 | 7:30 PM
This year's offering of jazz will highlight scores originally composed for Broadway musicals, now interpreted and arranged for the jazz idiom. The RCMS Jazz Quintet will be grounded by Minneapolis pianist Steve Gilbertson and will add woodwind sounds to the standard rhythm section. We will also premiere a new composition by Robert S. P. Gardner, titled “3Mornings.”
Steve Gilbertson is a jazz pianist from Minnetonka, Minnesota. He was drawn to music at an early age, beginning classical studies at age 6 and taking up jazz in his teen years. He was particularly drawn to not only the creative aspects of jazz, but also the collaborative nature of the art form.
Steve studied jazz piano at Drake University in Des Moines and lived in Des Moines for a number of years following graduation. During this time, he taught piano and played with several groups including the Des Moines Big Band and also played for various shows and traveling theatrical productions.
Steve relocated to the Minneapolis area in 2007 and since returning has played with numerous groups in venues throughout the Twin Cities, including the Dakota and the Artists’ Quarter. Steve remains an active freelance musician in the jazz, gospel, and rock styles.
His greatest musical inspirations are his mother and older brother, as well as jazz piano greats Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Brad Mehldau. Mentors/teachers have included Jan Erickson, Scott Miller, Don Bates, Andy Classen, and Laura Caviani.
Robert S. P. Gardner
Robert S.P. Gardner has studied music theory, composition, and bass playing at Augsburg College, jazz arranging at Indiana University, and band arranging and bass pedagogy at Northwestern University.
Further studies include composition and arranging with Frederic Douglas Norman, staff arranger for Mercury Records and the NBC Orchestra, and Danny Holgate of the Manhattan School of Music.
He holds an M.A. in Fine Arts/Integrated Arts Education from University of Montana’s Creative Pulse program, and an M.A. in Religious Studies, Philosophy and Literature from Indiana University. In 2010 Mr. Gardner was chosen as an inaugural member of the Composer Teaching Artist Training Program with the American Composers Forum. Since arriving in Rochester in 1991, he has been active as a full-time educator as well as a freelance bassist, composer, and arranger. His works have been performed locally by Rochester Chamber Music Society, Choral Arts Ensemble, Children’s Dance Theatre, SEMYO, Sonata Singers, and St. Paul City Ballet. Mr. Gardner currently serves as Chair of Fine Arts at Rochester Lourdes High School.
Simon Harding is a professional musician, educator, and composer/arranger with a love for all
things saxophone and flute. His inspiration began at age seven, hiding in his bedroom listening
to Mozart, and brought him all the way to Coastal Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a concentration in classical saxophone. During a mandatory performance project, Simon developed an intense passion for jazz sax, beginning with Michael Brecker.
Following graduation, Simon attended the College of Charleston to focus on his new found love
of jazz and to earn an Artist Certificate. While there he was selected as one of seven U.S. guest artists to perform with the San Salvador Big Band and the El Salvadoran National Youth Orchestra at the Teatro Presidente. He was also part of the top jazz ensemble at C of C which performed at the first ever Georgia Twilight Jazz Festival. There he was awarded “Outstanding Soloist.”
As a freelance saxophonist, Simon has worked with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, The O.J.’s, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Ben Folds, and Elise Testone of American Idol. He was also a regular member of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, and the Darius Rucker Big Band when he resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
Simon shares his passion for music education through his co-founding of the Low Country
Saxophone Camp with good friend Jonathan Kammer, and through masterclasses and clinics
at universities, high schools and middle schools all over the country.
Simon now resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa and works at Tenor Madness saxophone shop as well as
teaching jazz at Wartburg College.