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Tuesday July 29, 2014
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Andrew Bishop

 

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simply to survive. In our postmodernist times, eclecticism in the defense of music is no vice, but few have managed to do so many things so well as Andrew Bishop.

Bishop began his musical training in his native town of Wichita, Kansas, and after graduating with degrees in saxophone and composition from Kansas State University, he moved to Ann Arbor to pursue his doctorate at the U-M School of Music. I cannot remember any new graduate student whose arrival was so well noted in the local community. He was soon acknowledged, quite simply, as the best tenor sax man in town — he also doubles on soprano sax and clarinet — and his broad musical talents were sought out by leaders of local bands. He became a permanent member of the Bird of Paradise Orchestra (now the Paul Keller Orchestra), contributing as both a player and a composer, and began to lead his own combos as well. But Bishop feels equally comfortable playing in any jazz style, and so he can also be found every Sunday afternoon playing with Phil Ogilvie's Rhythm Kings, working on arrangements from the first two decades of jazz. For most musicians this would be enough. Bishop, however, is also well known in classical circles as one of the best young composers in the country. He now holds a doctorate in composition and teaches at Albion College. He has garnered prizes and commissions; his larger works have been performed by the Albany and Chicago symphonies, among others; and his duet Accents of Eccentricity was recorded by percussionist Steve Houghton.

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