‘The Sky Between Us’ touches home ground

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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The recent release of “The Sky Between Us,” – Jenni Brandon-Covert Ensemble – is the culmination of an international consortium of saxophonists from all over the world.

The Covert Ensemble was featured as part of the Troy Arts Council’s 2022 season and features Dr. Dave Camwell, associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies at Troy University.

Camwell said Covert Ensemble produces music that deliberately blurs the line between the classical, rock and pop worlds. Their ethos is centered upon musical virtuosity and beguiling visuals.

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“Covert Ensemble began in the COVID era, early 2021, and quickly escalated as a group recognized world-wide that incorporated classical and crossover elements as well as beguiling visuals,” Camwell said. 

He and Czech saxophone star Katerina Pavlikova made a series of popular music videos that have resulted in widespread acclaim, published works, and national tours of Canada, the United States, and the Czech Republic.

Proponents of new music, Camwell and Pavlikova, led consortiums of new works by Czech composer Martin Hybler, recording his double concerto “Aquarius” with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2022. Later that year, they led an international consortium of more than 30 saxophonists around the world to help create noted American composer Jenni Brandon’s newest work, “The Sky Between Us,” for two saxophones and piano, performed by virtuoso pianist Tingting Yao.

“This work will also be in concerto form, and Covert Ensemble expects to be performing with orchestras all around the world in the coming years,” Camwell said. 

Covert Ensemble’s recording of “Sky” was made during their most recent American recording at Rabadash Studios in Louisiana, and filmed by noted documentarian, Jonathan Schwartz,

Pavlikova has said working with Camwell has been a dream come true and she is looking forward to continuing their partnership. Working with Camwell is one of the highlights of her career, she said.

Camwell said sometimes things just come together and, to perform and record with the world-class talents of Katerina and Tingting, is very gratifying.

“Great art can be made anywhere now due to technology, and I am proud that Troy, Alabama, played a major role in bringing this new piece into the world,’ Camwell said.