Jazz Night with the Maestro pairs conductor’s “musical alter ego” with a string ensemble

A rare pairing of jazz guitar fused with a nine-piece string ensemble and guest soloists will happen on Friday, May 11 when Glacier Symphony presents “Jazz Night with the Maestro.” John Zoltek, Music Director and Conductor of the Glacier Symphony, will plug in his electric guitar and dive into his “musical alter ego” for this show featuring his original tunes, arranged for jazz combo and strings. For the show, the O’Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Center in Whitefish will be transformed into “Z” jazz club with cabaret seating at tables and refreshments available at a no-host wine bar.

Proceeds from the concert will support “Youth Music Experience” an outreach and education program that provides Flathead Valley youth an opportunity to experience symphonic music. The audience will be treated to a short video on the subject during intermission. 

Joining Maestro Zoltek onstage will be a jazz combo consisting of Don Caverly, on stand up bass and Jeremy Reinbolt, on drums and percussion. As a long time classical composer, Zoltek has written many works for symphonic orchestra. For this show, he has written new arrangements of his jazz compositions for this unique ensemble. Some of the titles include We Dance from the Ocean, Spring Morning Muse, Obelisk, Iberian Veils, Panoplies, and many more.

Additional guest musicians from the Glacier Symphony include Marty Weimer, trumpet; Dave Lawrence, trombone, Mark Holston, conga, and an ensemble of nine strings. “I call the group ‘Zoltek’s Cosmic Hammer Orchestra’ or ‘ZOCHO,’ for short. It will be a fun night of cool but edgy jazz explorations!”  

Maestro Zoltek’s musical journey began like many aspiring young musicians with private lessons and school programs. His interest in classical music began after attending a school concert with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. 

“For me, this was one of those golden inspirational moments that first opened my eyes and ears to larger musical possibilities. I still remember my very first symphony experience.”

Although Zoltek has sustained a busy career as Music Director of Glacier Symphony, as a classical composer, and as an occasional guest conductor in Canada, South America, and Europe, he still enjoys practicing, writing and performing in the jazz fusion idiom. 

“Even though I have been a guitarist for over 50 years now I am still far from a mastering this instrument. But I’m still working on it! Its so much fun for me!” he finishes. 

Tickets for this must-see night of jazz fusion are $30 for mezzanine seats overlooking the band, $49 for cabaret table seating on the main floor, and reserved tables also available. Buy tickets online at www.gscmusic.tix.com or call (406) 407-7000.Sponsors for this concert are Southport Capital of Bigfork, and Urology Associates of Kalispell.

Susan Estes