Excerpts from the world premiere of “Heaven and Hell” for tentet composed by Tom Varner will air on Jazz Northwest Sunday April 20 at 1 pm PDT on 88.5, KPLU and www.kplu.org. Recorded at this month’s Art of Jazz Concert at the Seattle Art Museum, the 13-part work was conducted by Mr.Varner who also played French Horn.

According to the composer, the “heaven” is being in the moment with his family here in Seattle, the “hell” is our planet’s last 6 1/2 years, and the piece is a reflection on that juxtaposition. He says it’s also a look back at the “extreme emotional state juxtaposition” of being New Yorkers on 9/11/01 while preparing to go to Hanoi in nine days to adopt their son Jack. He concludes, “In the end, it all worked out … we adopted our daughter Hope in ’04, moved to Seattle in ’05, and here we are, a Seattle family now.”

Musically, “Heaven and Hell” reflects his “love of Messiaen, Stravinsky, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus. It evolved into a wind octet plus bass and drums – a chamber group that can breathe together, improvise and play jazz and new music.”

The Art of Jazz Concerts are presented by Earshot Jazz, The Seattle Art Museum and KPLU on the second Thursday of each month. Next month’s concert on May 8 will continue the Seattle/New York connection and feature former Seattle singer Kendra Shank’s New York Quartet featuring pianist Frank Kimbrough. The broadcasts are recorded and produced by Jim Wilke for KPLU. The program is also streamed to the internet and available as a podcast after the airdate from kplu.org .

Listen to the audio preview below …

Earshot Jazz, KPLU