HANK LEVY LEGACY BIG BAND
Tickets: $10/$5 students
Hank came of age in the 1940s, when big bands crisscrossed the country playing one-nighters, and when people in Baltimore and other cities regularly went out dancing in nightclubs and ballrooms. Levy was part of this milieu (he attended the Navy School of Music during his three-year hitch) and took full advantage of it in his later career as a teacher, composer, and bandleader. A Baltimore native, Hank graduated from Baltimore City College, where he led his first band, then attended several colleges, including an unhappy year at the Peabody Conservatory. Hank didn't receive a university degree until he arrived at Towson State College in 1968, where he was forced to earn one in order to teach there. He was mostly a musical autodidact, schooled in experience. In 1953, Hank played baritone saxophone in the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra for for six months, which led to a lifelong friendship with Kenton.
Levy spent the 1970s and 1980s building the jazz band at Towson Univ . Hank was interested in giving jazz what he called "a kick in the rear end" by using odd meters like 5/4, 7/4, 9/4 and 13/8, and by employing unusual harmonies and voicing. His music was considered difficult to master but rewarding to play by the many bands with which he was associated. Hank wrote a number of large scale compositions, including his Opus for Overextended Jazz Ensemble, which was premiered by the Balto. Symphony Orchestra im 1971.