Arts & Culture

UK Trumpet Professor Jason Dovel Releases New CD

photo of CD cover of "Ascent" by Jason Dovel
Jason Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet in UK's School of Music, has recently released his second solo CD, "Ascent: New Music for Trumpet," on the New Branch Records label. The CD contains eight new works for trumpet, including four composed by Dovel.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2016) Jason Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet in the University of Kentucky School of Music, has recently released his second solo CD, "Ascent: New Music for Trumpet," on the New Branch Records label. The CD contains eight new works for trumpet, four of which were composed by Dovel himself.

The first piece on the disc is the title track, "Ascent," written by Dovel this year for two piccolo trumpets. It features forceful dissonances, incisive rhythms and a sense of building, upward motion. Stephen Campbell, principal trumpet of the Lexington Philharmonic, collaborated with Dovel for this selection.

The second track, "Concerto for Trumpet," was originally written for trumpet and wind ensemble by composer Michael Mikulka. This concerto lightheartedly weaves between classical and jazz; sometimes virtuosic, other times expressive. 

"Sony Cycle for Unaccompanied Trumpet" was written by 2016 UK alumnus Michael Cotten for his senior recital during his time as Dovel's student in the UK Trumpet Studio. This five-movement work captures an essence of the dramatic art of storytelling. Told in five parts, the cycle attempts to depict an old man telling a story of two lovers. Each movement has both a title and incipit which helps advance the narrative.

The fourth piece on the CD, "A Stroll Through Kalavryta," is another original composition by Dovel. This piece is written about the small town of Kalavryta (Kalavrita) in the mountains of Achaea, Greece. This small town is in a picturesque setting even though it holds a tragic history that includes the 1943 "Greek Holocaust" in which most adult men in the village were massacred by the German army. The town's natural beauty, combined with its quaint yet lively downtown commercial district, inspired the composer to write this piece. The work is dedicated to Gerassimos Ioannidis, George Babarakos and Christina Barlogiani, who organize the "Exploring Brass in Greece" workshop that is often held in Kalavrita. Dovel has organized the "Study Abroad in Greece" experience through UK Education Abroad through this Greek workshop.

Frederick Beck's "Vocalise" for unaccompanied flugelhorn was composed in 1977 and was a supplement to the International Trumpet Guild Journal.

Dovel also recorded James Grant's popular "Stuff," the first of four recital pieces commissioned by and dedicated to 78 adventure-seeking tubists representing 30 states and three countries, who fearlessly joined the 2001 Solstice/Equinox Commissioning Consortium.

The final two pieces on the CD were both written by Dovel. "Multiphonics Etude" is an unaccompanied trumpet solo that features the use of the extended technique of multiphonics. The "Baroque Trumpet Suite" is based on five ricercata found in Girolamo Fantini’s 1638 treatise, "Modo per Imparare a sonare di tromba." Originally, these were unaccompanied monophonic solos intended to be played by trumpet alone. In this new piece, the solo natural trumpet plays mostly the original Fantini melodies with new material played by the supporting quartet. The piece was written to allow the Baroque natural trumpet to perform in the modern brass quintet. The UK Faculty Brass Quintet performs this final selection of the CD.

In addition to Stephen Campbell and the UK Faculty Brass Quintet, "Ascent" also features the talents of UK doctoral student Robert Jeter, who provided piano accompaniment to Mikulka's "Concerto for Trumpet" and Dovel's "A Stroll Through Kalavryta."

"Ascent" is currently available through CD Baby and will soon be available through Itunes, Spotify and most other online retailers. The CD was recorded, engineered and mastered by UK alumnus Dave Henderson, owner of DBHSound Recording Studio in Lexington.

Dovel joined the UK School of Music faculty in 2013. His debut solo CD, "Lost Trumpet Treasures," was released in 2014 by Mark Records, collaborating with pianist Edward Neeman. The International Trumpet Guild Journal wrote, "On every track, Dovel's and Neeman's nuanced, stylistic interpretations and technical mastery are on full display." The American Record Guide described the "Lost Trumpet Treasures" as "spectacular" and praised Dovel's "full tone and terrific technical skills," while the Brass Herald lauded the CD as "well-conceived and well-performed."

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue