Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trombonist Martin McCain and Pianist Artina McCain on 'Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures for Bass Trombone' on Kairoi Music

Dr. Martin McCain and Dr. Artina McCain

Prior to “Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures for Bass Trombone” on the new Kairoi Music label, trombonist Martin McCain released a JazzBonez recording, “Watch It!” and appeared in the film, “Fighting With Anger”. For pianist Artina McCain, “Trombone Czar” is the second of three CDs scheduled for release in 2012. The first was a Longhorn Music recording of spirituals, “I, too” on which she was accompanied by soprano Icy Simpson. Kairoi Music plans a December 1, 2012 release “Artina McCain: Preludes at the Piano, Rachmaninov & Debussy”; Kairoi Music KM 102 (2012).

The very first time we played this disc, we realized the music was highly listenable. The combination of bass trombone and piano serves these Russian Romantic compositions well.  Many hearings later, we continue to enjoy this CD and we can recommend it without reservation.

Trombone Czar” features five tracks recorded live at three locations, including three recorded live at KMFA 89.5 Public Radio in Austin Texas. The program opens with Andante, Op. 64 of Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977). The composer's widow founded the Tcherepnin Society, whose website is, after his death. The Society tells us Alexander Tcherepnin's international music research and performances earned him the nickname “Musical Citizen of the World.”

The following track is “Arioso for King Rene” of Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). The third track isConcerto No. 2” of Alexei Lebedev (1924-1993). Sergei Rachmaninov's “Vocalise” is fourth and “Concerto No. 1” of Alexei Lebedev ends the program.

Known for his musical expression and warm sound, trombonist Martin McCain’s career as a musician spans an impressive scope of genres. A third-generation musician, he maintains a versatile performance schedule. As a soloist, Dr. McCain has appeared with numerous ensembles and performs recitals throughout the country and abroad. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on Austin’s 89.5 KMFA and Tucson’s 90.5 KUAT Classical radio stations. McCain has performed as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival and Eastern Trombone Workshop on several occasions. He is a founding member and leader of the highly acclaimed, award-winning jazz trombone ensemble, JazzBonez, who has been featured at several major conferences including the International Trombone Festival and the Eastern Trombone Workshop. As a chamber musician, Dr. McCain is also a founding member of the Minor 4th Trombone Quartet. As an orchestral musician, McCain performs with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra and has also performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Brazos Valley Symphony, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and San Antonio Opera. As a jazz musician, he has performed with the Vendetta Big Band, Monster Big Band, Contemporary Works Jazz Orchestra and other commercial touring bands. McCain’s 2012-2013 performance season includes appearances in Kentucky, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and China as well as performances at the 2013 Eastern Trombone Workshop and International Trombone Festival.

An active member of the International Trombone Association, Dr. McCain serves as the Events Coordinator for the ITA website and state representative for the ITA TAPAS (Trombone Artists Performing for Amateurs and Students) Project. He also writes CD reviews for the “Audio Visual” column of the quarterly Journal. A promoter of music education in the public schools, McCain is the co-director for “Raise The Bar” a concert series dedicated to educating young classical music audiences. McCain has taught in the Austin, Round Rock, and Eanes Independent School Districts and is in demand as a clinician. Dr. McCain was selected to choose the All-State bass trombone repertoire for the state of Texas and presented a performance clinic at the Texas Bandmaster’s Association Convention in San Antonio. As a scholar, McCain contributed four articles for the New Grove Dictionary of American Musicians. In 2012, McCain founded his own record label and publishing company Kairoi Music.

Dr. McCain joined the faculty at Texas State University in 2010 where he directs the Trombone Choir, Jazz Trombone Ensembles, and Jazz Lab Band as well as maintaining an active performing trombone studio. Under his direction, the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles have been invited to perform at the Big 12 Trombone Conference and Texas Music Educators Association Convention on numerous occasions.  Since his arrival, McCain has been responsible for hosting over a dozen of the worlds greatest trombone artist teachers and is the founder/director of the Texas State Trombone Symposium. McCain has also served as an adjudicator for the Yamaha Xeno Tenor Trombone Solo Competition, the Edwards Bass Trombone Solo Competition, Fort Worth Trombone Summit Quartet Competition and the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble on several occasions.

Dr. McCain holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A. and M.M.) and The University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.). His primary teachers are Nathaniel Brickens, Marta Hofacre, Greg Luscombe and Loy Hetrick. He has also received instruction from Charles Villarubia, Stefan Sanders, Doug Yeo, Randy Hawes, and Charles Vernon.

McCain was a prize - winner at the International Trombone Festival and Eastern Trombone Workshop competitions as a soloist and ensemble musician. Dr. McCain can be heard on his debut EP ”Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live!” the JazzBonez album “Watch It!” and the Willie Nelson movie, “Fighting With Anger”.

Artina McCain enjoys an active career as a solo and chamber performer, adjudicator, teacher, and presenter. Dr. McCain has performed nationally and internationally in Italy, San Antonio, Dallas, Cleveland, and the Czech Republic. This summer, Dr. McCain and soprano Icy Simpson released a debut CD of Black Art Songs and Spirituals through University of Texas at Austin's Longhorn Records. She also regularly tours with her husband Martin McCain, bass trombonist and Texas State University professor. Dr. McCain's performances have been broadcast Chicago's 88.5 WHPK and on Austin's KMFA 89.5 Pianoforte program as both a soloist and chamber musician. Excited about bringing classical music to a broader audience, McCain has performed in many chamber concert series across Texas.

As a teacher, she served on the keyboard faculty at Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music, University of the Incarnate Word and currently on faculty at Huston-Tillotson University. Dr. McCain is also an enthusiastic supporter of young musicians. She has coached at the Austin Chamber Music Center, Cleveland Institute of Music Summer Chamber festival and appeared as guest artist at the Ennis Arts Commission summer concert series and maintains a private studio of students. 

McCain's research interests are in audience building and performance injury. A strong advocate of performance injury prevention. She has presented various lecture/performances at universities and music teacher associations conferences on Muscle Activation Techniques. Her research presentation "Classical Music: The Silent Hall", was a top prize winner among multidisciplinary presenters at the national black graduate students conference.

Dr. McCain graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Music with Dr. Carol Leone. At the Cleveland Institute of Music she obtained a Masters degree where she was awarded the Lecture Recital Club Scholarship. She completed her Doctorate degree at the University of Texas at Austin with renowned pianist Anton Nel

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