The Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency at Knox College brings world-renowned jazz artists to campus for a week of intensive and collaborative jazz activities with Knox College students, culminating in a free public concert at the historic Orpheum Theatre. This year features the Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield Quartet.
New York-based alto saxophonist Caroline Davis and Paris-based pianist Rob Clearfield first met on the Chicago creative music scene, quickly finding common ground. They are both prolific composers and performers and their joint-led project Persona - named after the radically inventive Ingmar Bergman film -features a rhythm team of bassist Sam Weber and drummer Jay Sawyer.
In the movie Persona, an actress plagued by muteness is put in the care of a nurse who begins to take on the characteristics of her charge. The underlying narrative of the film raises the questions of whether there are two separate characters or one character with two personalities. Or perhaps these two characters share one common consciousness. The band Persona's sound is the melding of Davis and Clearfield's unique musical identities inspired by these complex themes.
In 2018, Caroline Davis won the Downbeat Critic's Poll "rising star" in the alto saxophone category and Caroline's third album, Heart Tonic, received much critical acclaim on NPR, the New York Times, and DownBeat. Rob Clearfield has released eight recordings of his original music, "In our very noisy world, pianist-composer Rob Clearfield's music arrives as a kind of balm." (Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune)
Their visit to Knox for the Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency is part of their album release tour for Anthems, a diverse collection of pieces representing the brilliance that can be achieved when two minds work as one.
Artists: Caroline Davis, Rob Clearfield, Sam Weber, Jay Sawyer