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Getting Jazzed about Classical Music


Get ready for a mash-up of classical and jazz. Multi-talented conductor Matt Catingub is bringing Classically Jazzed to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), Nov. 3 and 4. He tells us why it’s fun “jazzifying” classical music and why he thinks independent radio like CKUA is so important.

Catingub wears many hats in the musical world beyond that of conductor. He’s a composer, arranger, vocalist and saxophonist. He even wrote the music and was a musician on the Grammy-winning soundtrack for the George Clooney film Good Night, and Good Luck. He’s travelled the world conducting and performing, and now he brings his unique musical viewpoint to Calgary.

Classically Jazzed features Catingub’s original work “Three Shades of Blue,” a concert for violin, jazz trio and orchestra.

“I’ve always been interested in bringing the worlds of classical and jazz together and with this work I think I was successful!” he says. “Also, it is a showcase for one of my dearest friends and most brilliant violin soloists, Amy Schwartz Moretti.”

He says he’s looking forward to his performances with the CPO.

“It’s awesome to see and hear the audience reaction to hearing melodies they may have known for years, not knowing they are from classical composers,” he says. “There’s a fun minor ‘educational’ component to this that always brings a smile to my face.”

The evening includes well-known favorites that have been arranged in a much jazzier fashion.

“It’s fun to get to hear some familiar melodies and themes placed in new and rather hip settings,” he says. “And hearing and seeing their orchestra get a little loose is always intriguing.”

Catingub says he applauds CKUA as radio also willing to bend boundaries and fearlessly explore exciting new genres of music.

“My hat is off to you folks at CKUA for allowing listeners to be able to hear and zero in on music that has always been traditionally hard to get out and have heard,” he says. “Streaming music on the internet is one thing but what is missing are the important back stories and the information on the music you are hearing that only outlets such as CKUA can bring to the listener!”

Classically Jazzed is on, November 3 and 4, at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary.