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Banks Sapnar | “Red Braid”

Trumpeter and Composer Banks Sapnar Releases

Red Braid, Featuring the Temple University Jazz Band and

Director Terell Stafford

Red Braid is Available Today on Digital Platforms

via BCM+D Records

Red Braid Will be Released on CD on April 26 on the Album Labyrinth with Billy Childs’ Composition Labyrinth and

Bill Cunliffe’s Piece Rainforests, Which Both Feature

the Temple University Studio Orchestra

On April 26, BCM+D Records, the official record label of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, will release Labyrinth, an album that was conceived as a way to document an outstanding performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in April 2023. That performance centered around Billy Childs’ Labyrinth, a piece that Temple University commissioned to highlight the Temple University Studio Orchestra and two phenomenal faculty artists, Terell Stafford and Dick Oatts. Bill Cunliffe’s Rainforests was also commissioned by the Boyer College at Temple University to engage similar forces, keeping the same large ensemble and expanding the faculty group to a sextet with Bruce Barth, Mike Boone, Justin Faulkner and Tim Warfield.

With two powerful pieces already on the program, Red Braid, available today on digital platformsprovided a bit of an interlude by featuring the Temple University Jazz Band, a subset of the larger Studio Orchestra. Including Red Braid in the concert and on the album showcases a composition written by a Boyer College student and Temple University Jazz Band member, Banks Sapnar.

Sapnar says Red Braid represents the love, joy and comfort that all of the amazing people in his life bring to him, and how that inspires him compositionally. Inspired by a masterclass from bassist and composer John Clayton, Sapnar arranged the composition for the Temple University Jazz Band (TUJB) in one obsessive week, before bringing it into rehearsal to read.

“This piece was first performed at the TUJB winter concert at the Temple Performing Arts Center, then shortly after at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall for the band’s set at the Jack Rudin Jazz Championship,” Sapnar says. “In the weeks leading up to the competition, the tune was workshopped and experimented with before becoming the final version it is today. Much of my musical inspiration for this arrangement came from some of my favorite big band composers such as Maria Schneider and Bob Mintzer, my love of modern American choral music, as well as modern jazz composers such as Pat Metheny, Billy Childs and Keith Jarrett.”

Sapnar notes that the piece is full of life that represents the creative spirit of the band as a whole. Sapnar also says he’s extremely grateful to renowned trumpeter and Boyer College Director of Jazz Studies Terell Stafford for the opportunity to hear and develop Red Braid, and for “believing in my music, pushing and encouraging me, and giving me the opportunity to share my original music on these amazing stages.”

Boyer College faculty Dick Oatts and Bruce Barth are Sapnar’s mentors at Temple, and Sapnar says “they do an outstanding job of fostering an environment that is endlessly supportive to creativity and new ideas.”

Banks Sapnar · Red Braid

BCM+D Records · Digital Release Date: March 15, 2024

Labyrinth · CD Release Date: April 26, 2024

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