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Mark Flugge: Home

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Friends, please join us on Sunday, June 4 at 3 pm for the Fourth Annual Mark Flugge Memorial Jazz Concert! This free concert celebrates his musical and educational legacy; it is in Mees Hall at Capital University. Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra will give concert premieres of new big band arrangements of Mark's pieces Soiree (John Fedchock), February's Promise (Mark Lopeman), Mi Zai (Chas Baker), and Dear Bill (Paul Ferguson), as well as the ever-delightful Beatrice the Cat (Kim Pensyl). Stan Smith and I will premiere his arrangement of Erika Kristen for flute and guitar. Other performers on the first half include Abhik Mazumder; Lucas Holmes' combo with Bradley Mellen and Maxwell Button; Rachel Sepulveda with Jon Eshelman; Danny Bauer; and the 2017 Mark Flugge Jazz Award Winner Julian Dittmer with Adam Fischer and Will Ash. Before the concert, please check out the new display of Mark's CDs with commentary at Capital's Blackmore Library, courtesy of Capital Librarian Steve Long.  Looking ahead, we have decided to mix it up a bit: the Fifth Annual Concert will be January 21, 2018 at 3 pm in Mees Hall!

 

In November 2016, the Mark Flugge Memorial Fund released the CD A Chamber Jazz Christmas: Mark Flugge Remembered.  It has been enthusiastically received; copies are for sale in Mees Lobby on June 4th, along with Mark Flugge Remembered: Jazz Originals & Standards (2015), Waltz into Madness (Lisa's 2012 release, which includes Mark's music); Sacred Jazz and Spirituals (2008); In Love, In Blue (2007); Familiarity (2003); and February's Promise (2002).  

 

In January 2017, Mark's extensive CD collection was donated to Capital's Blackmore Library and named the Mark Flugge Memorial CD Collection. It consists of 650 recordings, mostly jazz.  The CDs are available to be checked out for local circulation. 

 

In April 2017, jazz piano major Julian Dittmer became the third recipient of the Capital University Mark Flugge Jazz Award.  Julian is the student of Capital jazz piano professor Erik Augis; we are delighted to recognize Julian on June 4, and feature his combo in this concert.   Previous awardees are trumpeter Steven Jacobs (2015) and bassist Marty Quinn (2016).  Congratulations, Julian!

 

Release date TBA/soon: Capital University Saxophone Professor Michael Cox’s new CD, including Flugge compositions Compassion for All, Yarneck, Familiarity, and Soiree.  Recorded in New York City, mixed in Panama City.  

 

Please mark your calendars: the Fifth Annual Mark Flugge Memorial Concert will be on January 21, 2018 in Mees Hall!  A new arrangement by Andy Frederick may be premiered at the concert by the PANdemonium4 Flute Quartet, featuring "Ahmad", "The Letter", and "Samba Fantasy".  

 

In Spring of 2018, Lisa Jelle will be focusing on her new solo flute CD in the Mark Flugge Remembered series, featuring recent big band arrangements of his tunes with a solo flute part, new chamber arrangements of his pieces, and a few tracks from the archives of Lisa and Mark's performances.  The working title is Bolling and Beyond: Jazz-Inspired Flute.  Lisa Jelle: Mark Flugge Remembered. Release date is TBA, hopefully in time for the 2019 Memorial Concert.  

 

Another long-term project in the works is The Mark Flugge Songbook, which will include lead sheets of Mark's top tunes for gigging musicians.  Please contact me at ljelle@capital.edu for suggestions on titles to include or other input.  The main goal is to keep these great tunes in the repertoire of local musicians, and inspire them to create new forms of the pieces.  

 

That’s all for now- I hope to see you at local live music events soon! 

 

Lisa Jelle

Mark Flugge Memorial Fund, Director

 

 

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Part of pianist Mark Flugge’s legacy was his Chamber Jazz Series of concerts held at the Columbus Firehouse and the Columbus Museum of Art, and the series included a handful of memorable holiday concerts. Just in time for the holidays, the Mark Flugge Memorial Fund recently released A Chamber Jazz Christmas: Mark Flugge Remembered, a collection of Christmas tunes mostly drawn from Chamber Jazz shows at the Columbus Museum of Art between 2007 and 2011. Flugge is joined in quartets by performers including Derek DiCenzo, Chris Berg, Joe Ong, Dave DeWitt, and Dave Weinstock. The album is now available here in CD and digital formats from CDBaby. Keep reading for my thoughts on the album, which functions well as a locally-minded Christmas gift, but even better as a seasonal snapshot of the virtuosic talents of one of Columbus’ finest musicians.

One of the most striking qualities of A Chamber Jazz Christmas is the breadth of material, styles, and moods covered in its 13 tracks, all arranged by Flugge. The quartet versions range from relatively straightforward interpretations to sometimes surprising arrangements, but all are imbued with Flugge’s warm and inventive vision and technique. “Rudolph in Havana” kicks off the album with Flugge playing Cuban patterns over spirited percussion from Ong before DiCenzo’s melody and solo on the guitar add some Christmas rock flavors to Rudolph’s flight. Next are two Vince Guaraldi tunes from A Charlie Brown Christmas: The subdued “My Little Drum” is guided by Flugge’s effortlessly expressive melody and solos and features subtly cheery steel drums from DiCenzo, while “Linus and Lucy” charges forward with Flugge’s two-handed agility before slipping into a sleek jazz groove. “What Child Is This” is the only live solo piano piece on the album, and is a thrilling seven-minute voyage through classical and jazz styles.

“Jingle Bells” here pulses with a New Orleans stomp courtesy of the rhythm section of DeWitt and Weinstock, and Flugge and DiCenzo jam in the forefront. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is arranged in the style of a particular famous cool jazz standard with a unique time signature, and the result is a supremely classy treat, with inspired solos by Flugge, DiCenzo (on guitar) and Ong (on drums). Flugge gives “Blue Christmas” a treatment that feels heavy and light at the same time, as there is a sticky blues feel but Flugge and company approach their parts with finesse. “Sleigh Ride in July,” one of two solo piano outtakes compiled here, is a jolly stroll with a contemplative side. Flugge teases with holiday standard “Here Comes Santa Claus” before the quartet sets into a gentle swing that showcases the entire ensemble. After a passionate take on “The First Noel,” the collection comes full circle with “Rudolph,” where Flugge this time has arranged the classic using the changes of a soul jazz classic, and the band is ready for the friendly groove!

A Chamber Jazz Christmas: Mark Flugge Remembered is highly recommended, for those looking for a new twist on holiday tunes, piano jazz fans, and all who appreciate standards artfully reimagined by top-notch musicians. Stay tuned and visitmarkflugge.com for details on the next Flugge Memorial Concert on June 4th, 2017, as well as purchase info for previous albums.

message from Michael Webster, 12/25/16

 

Leone had told me what a wonderful musician Mark was, but I hadn’t actually listened until a couple of evenings ago when I was baking some banana bread for the holidays.  I said to Leone, “What shall I listen to while I’m baking" and she said “How about the Mark Flugge Christmas album Lisa sent.”  I was looking forward to easy baking music and was just floored by what came out of the speakers from the first moment to the last.  Such invention, such variety, such soul, such technique - I was flabbergasted, astonished, and uplifted.  
 
By creating beautifully engineered and packaged albums such as this, you not only honor Mark’s memory, you bring great joy to anyone who listens.  You know that orchestral musicians get pretty burned out on Christmas music, but this was different.  Mark’s take on each of these tunes was a journey into the imagination, far afield from the elevator music to which we have become so accustomed.  
 
Being a reed player, my heroes when I was growing up were two totally different sax players - Charlie Parker and Paul Desmond, whose music hit the airwaves not so long ago when Dave Brubeck died.  Desmond and Brubeck would have loved Mark’s take on Take Five and I did too, but if I had to choose a favorite (and I don’t, because each track is a favorite - but I will), it would be Greensleeves.  I can’t even put into words how deeply it moved me.
 
So, I wish you a Happy Christmas, with all of its innuendo.  May your memories of Mark remain strong forever, and I thank you for sharing his artistry with me and many others.
-Michael
The Mark Flugge Memorial Fund continues to support commissions, the Mark Flugge Jazz Award and the Annual Memorial Concert at Capital University, and any other related worthy projects which share his music and love of jazz and teaching with the wider community.  Please contact me with requests for music or other helpful suggestions.  Thank you for your support and friendship! -Lisa Jelle, Director of the Mark Flugge Memorial Fund, 501(c)3 Nonprofit 

 

Mark's CDs are now on sale through

Lisa Jelle, iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com, etc.  

 

A Chamber Jazz Christmas: Mark Flugge Remembered (2016)

Mark Flugge Remembered: Jazz Originals & Standards (2015): 2-CD set

Waltz into Madness (2012): Seven of Mark's compositions, arrangements, and performances, with flutist Lisa Jelle

 Sacred Jazz and Spirituals (2008):  A Service and CD with First Community Church Chancel Choir, featuring several of Mark's arrangements and performances, directed by Ron Jenkins

In Love, In Blue (2007): Solo Piano; Rhapsody in Blue, Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, Fats Waller, Johnny Hodges, and more

Familiarity (2003)Standards, originals, and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"; also featuring Gene Bertoncini and Michael Moore.  This is NEWLY BACK IN PRINT!! contact Lisa Jelle to purchase your copy.

 February's Promise (2002): jazz quintet original compositions, including Time's Horizon; February's Promise; The Borderland; Drivin' the Bus; The Letter; Autumn's Waltz; Soiree; Beatrice, The Cat; Around Every Corner; and Blessings. With Doug Richeson, Dave DeWitt, Dave Weinstock, Dane Richeson, Kim Pensyl, and Randy Mather.


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Beloved jazz piano virtuoso, teacher, and composer Mark Flugge passed away May 11, 2014 after a 22-month battle with a debilitating hearing disorder.  It was his fondest wish that his music would live on; this site is now dedicated to remembering his beautiful spirit and sharing his amazing music.


The purpose of the non-profit Mark Flugge Memorial Fund is to further Mark's musical and educational legacy.  Major goals include the dissemination of Mark's recordings and sheet music, the establishment of the Capital University Mark Flugge Jazz Award, the continued performance of Mark's compositions and their arrangements in the widest possible variety of ensembles and venues, and the Annual Mark Flugge Memorial Concert.  Please sign up for this website's mailing list to receive updates on music releases, publications, performances of Mark's music including the Annual Memorial Concert, and the Mark Flugge Scholarship.