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Certificate Recital: Adithya Sriram, Saxophone

Presented by Princeton University Music Department

Adithya Sriram ’24 (Saxophone) performs a senior recital.

Duke Pearson Jeanine

Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke Polka Dots and Moonbeams

Duke Ellington Sophisticated Lady

Tadd Dameron On a Misty Night

Oliver Nelson Hoe Down

Charlie Parker Bigfoot

John Coltrane Impressions

Adithya Sriram Frenetic Fiesta

Download PDF Program

 

 

 

JEANINE | Duke Pearson

“Jeanine” is a timeless jazz composition that epitomizes the essence of the hard bop era. Originally recorded in 1968 as part of Pearson’s album The Right Touch, the tune showcases Pearson’s knack for crafting memorable melodies and sophisticated harmonic progressions. An early cover of “Jeanine” appears on the Cannonball Adderley album Them Dirty Blues, recorded in February 1960. Pepper Adams’ solo on this song was the first baritone saxophone solo I had ever transcribed, and I am excited to be playing this song to come full circle on my recital.

 

POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS | Jimmy Van Heusen

“Polka Dots and Moonbeams” is an eternal classic in the Great American Songbook. The song was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke, and it perfectly captures the essence of romance and longing through its beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics. It was originally written in 1940, during a period of social upheaval and the looming threat of World War II. For many listeners, the song provided a much-needed escape from the tumult of the times and offered a glimpse into a world of dreams and enchantment where love reigns supreme. Personally, I fell in love with “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” after hearing it played by the late Roy Hargrove’s band on his album Family.

 

SOPHISTICATED LADY | Duke Ellington

“Sophisticated Lady is a masterpiece in the realm of jazz music, originally composed in 1933. The song emerged during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, a period marked by cultural flourishing and African American artistic expression. Composed by Duke Ellington, the song is filled with lush harmonies and poignant melodies, evoking a sense of longing and melancholy, showcasing his mastery in blending classical influences with jazz improvisation. As a baritone saxophonist, I consider this song a staple in my instrument’s repertoire and aspire to play it like the great Harry Carney, the original baritone saxophonist who played it in Duke Ellington’s band.

 

ON A MISTY NIGHT | Tadd Dameron

“On a Misty Night” by Tadd Dameron is an everlasting jazz classic that represents the essence of the bebop era while also transcending its boundaries. Composed in the mid-20th century, its relaxed melody and intricate harmonies make it a fascinating and enjoyable tune. Tadd Dameron and His Orchestra’s album, The Magic Touch, made this song popular. Another prominent figure, John Coltrane, also helped popularize this song, playing it with Tadd Dameron on the albums Mating Call and Side Steps and separately on Turning Point.

This song is one of the most “hip” ballads, especially the bridge, and I believe it fits perfectly in the baritone saxophone register.

 

HOE DOWN | Oliver Nelson

“Hoe Down” by Oliver Nelson is a quintessential piece in jazz, blending elements of traditional jazz with the dynamic energy of country and Western music. Originally featured on Nelson’s iconic album The Blues and the Abstract Truth, released in 1961, “Hoe Down” is a testament to Nelson’s innovative approach to composition and arrangement. Drawing inspiration from the cultural landscape of mid-century America, Nelson’s fusion of jazz improvisation with the rhythmic vitality of the hoedown dance form creates a captivating sonic tapestry that transcends genre boundaries. “Hoe Down” reflects the era’s experimentation with going across genres and the growing influence of folk traditions in jazz. Listening to this song for the first time, I was enthralled by how unique this tune was and especially intrigued to hear a baritone saxophone. I am sure this tune will uplift your spirits, just as it did when I first heard it.

 

BIG FOOT | Charlie Parker

“Bigfoot” is one of Charlie Parker’s lesser-known blues tunes in the bebop jazz tradition. Charlie Parker is widely considered one of the leading pioneers of bebop, and this is one of his many compositions that uses “Bird Blues,” his reharmonization of the original twelve-bar blues. Composed in 1947 and released in 1949 at the height of Parker’s career, “Bigfoot” was also known as “Drifting on a Reed,” “Giant Swing,” or “Air Conditioning.” I find this composition to be quite distinct from many of the other blues tunes I know, and a jazz concert wouldn’t be complete without a blues!

 

IMPRESSIONS | John Coltrane

“Impressions” is a jazz standard composed by John Coltrane. It is one of the most well-known modal tunes in the jazz genre and was recorded in 1961. The composition became popular during a time when modal jazz was gaining exposure. This iconic piece showcases Coltrane’s unique approach to improvisation. Impressions only has two chords based on Miles Davis’ classic So What, which allowed Coltrane to transcend conventional musical boundaries and explore new ideas. As a player, I am intrigued by how Impressions encourages soloists to explore, build, and reach for original ideas. I hope to showcase this in my performance.

 

FRENETIC FIESTA | Adithya Sriram

“Frenetic Fiesta” is an original tune I wrote, influenced by the Latin jazz idiom. This year, we had the honor of playing Latin jazz percussionist Dafnis Prieto’s music in Creative Large Ensemble. After listening to his compositions, I felt inspired to write a song in a similar style, blending driving rhythms, melodies that make you want to dance, and memorable chord progressions. Being heavily influenced by contemporary jazz, I added my own “flavor” to the music while still keeping the Latin jazz groove intact. I hope you enjoy listening to this tune as much as I enjoyed creating it!”


Adithya Sriram ‘24 (Baritone Sax) is a senior from Cary, North Carolina, majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with certificates in Applications of Computing and Jazz Studies. In high school, he was part of the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, one of NC’s premier high school jazz bands that has repeatedly qualified for the Essentially Ellington festival in NYC. At Princeton, Adithya is part of Small Group I and the Creative Large Ensemble and has studied under Rudresh Mahanthappa and Darcy James Argue, as well as Wayne Leechford and Aaron Hill in his hometown. Apart from music, Adithya enjoys playing tennis with Club Tennis, playing spikeall, watching television, and exploring different music.

 

Gabe Chalick ‘24 (Tumpet) is a senior from Naples, Florida, majoring in Art History with a minor in Jazz Performance. When he isn’t giving people the good fortune of being able to hear his delightfully lush trumpet sound, he can be found singing Billy Joel way too loud in the shower, running around campus blasting techno in his silly little earbuds, or reading Marx outside.

 

Isaac Yi ‘24 (Tenor Sax) is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger from Bergen County, New Jersey. He has always had a passion for the arts and draws his musical and artistic inspirations from various interdisciplinary sources. At Princeton, he is pursuing a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a certificate in Jazz Studies. At Princeton, he is also involved in multiple jazz, dance, cultural, and sports groups on campus and has studied music with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Darcy James Argue, and Ralph Bowen, as well as James Saltzman, Graeme Norris, Jeremy Manasia, and Jon Snell at the Manhattan School of Music. When not making music, he enjoys dancing, drawing, and spending time with loved ones.

 

Rohit Oomman ‘24 (Guitar) is a guitarist, composer, producer, and DJ from Brooklyn, New York, majoring in Economics.

 

Milan Shastry ‘26 (Alto Sax) is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science with minors in Statistics and Machine Learning and Music Performance. He plays alto sax in the Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group I. He is also interested in music production. Milan is currently working on a startup with some of his friends, and in his free time, he plays for Princeton Men’s Club Soccer and enjoys skateboarding.

 

Ryder Walsh ‘26 (Drums) is a sophomore majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the drummer in the Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group I

 

Charles Dutta ‘27 (Piano) is a first-year undergraduate from Tenafly, NJ, pursuing a potential major in the Philosophy Department and a Certificate in Jazz Studies. He is a member of the Small Group I and Creative Large Ensemble groups in Jazz at Princeton, led by Miles Okazaki and Darcy James Argue. He received an Outstanding Soloist award at the 15th Annual Charles Mingus Festival & Competition.

 

Ari Freedman, GS (Bass) is a fourth-year graduate student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. He has been playing bass since middle school and now plays in Princeton’s Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group 1.

 


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JEANINE | Duke Pearson

“Jeanine” is a timeless jazz composition that epitomizes the essence of the hard bop era. Originally recorded in 1968 as part of Pearson’s album The Right Touch, the tune showcases Pearson’s knack for crafting memorable melodies and sophisticated harmonic progressions. An early cover of “Jeanine” appears on the Cannonball Adderley album Them Dirty Blues, recorded in February 1960. Pepper Adams’ solo on this song was the first baritone saxophone solo I had ever transcribed, and I am excited to be playing this song to come full circle on my recital.

 

POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS | Jimmy Van Heusen

“Polka Dots and Moonbeams” is an eternal classic in the Great American Songbook. The song was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke, and it perfectly captures the essence of romance and longing through its beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics. It was originally written in 1940, during a period of social upheaval and the looming threat of World War II. For many listeners, the song provided a much-needed escape from the tumult of the times and offered a glimpse into a world of dreams and enchantment where love reigns supreme. Personally, I fell in love with “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” after hearing it played by the late Roy Hargrove’s band on his album Family.

 

SOPHISTICATED LADY | Duke Ellington

“Sophisticated Lady is a masterpiece in the realm of jazz music, originally composed in 1933. The song emerged during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, a period marked by cultural flourishing and African American artistic expression. Composed by Duke Ellington, the song is filled with lush harmonies and poignant melodies, evoking a sense of longing and melancholy, showcasing his mastery in blending classical influences with jazz improvisation. As a baritone saxophonist, I consider this song a staple in my instrument’s repertoire and aspire to play it like the great Harry Carney, the original baritone saxophonist who played it in Duke Ellington’s band.

 

ON A MISTY NIGHT | Tadd Dameron

“On a Misty Night” by Tadd Dameron is an everlasting jazz classic that represents the essence of the bebop era while also transcending its boundaries. Composed in the mid-20th century, its relaxed melody and intricate harmonies make it a fascinating and enjoyable tune. Tadd Dameron and His Orchestra’s album, The Magic Touch, made this song popular. Another prominent figure, John Coltrane, also helped popularize this song, playing it with Tadd Dameron on the albums Mating Call and Side Steps and separately on Turning Point.

This song is one of the most “hip” ballads, especially the bridge, and I believe it fits perfectly in the baritone saxophone register.

 

HOE DOWN | Oliver Nelson

“Hoe Down” by Oliver Nelson is a quintessential piece in jazz, blending elements of traditional jazz with the dynamic energy of country and Western music. Originally featured on Nelson’s iconic album The Blues and the Abstract Truth, released in 1961, “Hoe Down” is a testament to Nelson’s innovative approach to composition and arrangement. Drawing inspiration from the cultural landscape of mid-century America, Nelson’s fusion of jazz improvisation with the rhythmic vitality of the hoedown dance form creates a captivating sonic tapestry that transcends genre boundaries. “Hoe Down” reflects the era’s experimentation with going across genres and the growing influence of folk traditions in jazz. Listening to this song for the first time, I was enthralled by how unique this tune was and especially intrigued to hear a baritone saxophone. I am sure this tune will uplift your spirits, just as it did when I first heard it.

 

BIG FOOT | Charlie Parker

“Bigfoot” is one of Charlie Parker’s lesser-known blues tunes in the bebop jazz tradition. Charlie Parker is widely considered one of the leading pioneers of bebop, and this is one of his many compositions that uses “Bird Blues,” his reharmonization of the original twelve-bar blues. Composed in 1947 and released in 1949 at the height of Parker’s career, “Bigfoot” was also known as “Drifting on a Reed,” “Giant Swing,” or “Air Conditioning.” I find this composition to be quite distinct from many of the other blues tunes I know, and a jazz concert wouldn’t be complete without a blues!

 

IMPRESSIONS | John Coltrane

“Impressions” is a jazz standard composed by John Coltrane. It is one of the most well-known modal tunes in the jazz genre and was recorded in 1961. The composition became popular during a time when modal jazz was gaining exposure. This iconic piece showcases Coltrane’s unique approach to improvisation. Impressions only has two chords based on Miles Davis’ classic So What, which allowed Coltrane to transcend conventional musical boundaries and explore new ideas. As a player, I am intrigued by how Impressions encourages soloists to explore, build, and reach for original ideas. I hope to showcase this in my performance.

 

FRENETIC FIESTA | Adithya Sriram

“Frenetic Fiesta” is an original tune I wrote, influenced by the Latin jazz idiom. This year, we had the honor of playing Latin jazz percussionist Dafnis Prieto’s music in Creative Large Ensemble. After listening to his compositions, I felt inspired to write a song in a similar style, blending driving rhythms, melodies that make you want to dance, and memorable chord progressions. Being heavily influenced by contemporary jazz, I added my own “flavor” to the music while still keeping the Latin jazz groove intact. I hope you enjoy listening to this tune as much as I enjoyed creating it!”


Adithya Sriram ‘24 (Baritone Sax) is a senior from Cary, North Carolina, majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with certificates in Applications of Computing and Jazz Studies. In high school, he was part of the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, one of NC’s premier high school jazz bands that has repeatedly qualified for the Essentially Ellington festival in NYC. At Princeton, Adithya is part of Small Group I and the Creative Large Ensemble and has studied under Rudresh Mahanthappa and Darcy James Argue, as well as Wayne Leechford and Aaron Hill in his hometown. Apart from music, Adithya enjoys playing tennis with Club Tennis, playing spikeall, watching television, and exploring different music.

 

Gabe Chalick ‘24 (Tumpet) is a senior from Naples, Florida, majoring in Art History with a minor in Jazz Performance. When he isn’t giving people the good fortune of being able to hear his delightfully lush trumpet sound, he can be found singing Billy Joel way too loud in the shower, running around campus blasting techno in his silly little earbuds, or reading Marx outside.

 

Isaac Yi ‘24 (Tenor Sax) is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger from Bergen County, New Jersey. He has always had a passion for the arts and draws his musical and artistic inspirations from various interdisciplinary sources. At Princeton, he is pursuing a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a certificate in Jazz Studies. At Princeton, he is also involved in multiple jazz, dance, cultural, and sports groups on campus and has studied music with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Darcy James Argue, and Ralph Bowen, as well as James Saltzman, Graeme Norris, Jeremy Manasia, and Jon Snell at the Manhattan School of Music. When not making music, he enjoys dancing, drawing, and spending time with loved ones.

 

Rohit Oomman ‘24 (Guitar) is a guitarist, composer, producer, and DJ from Brooklyn, New York, majoring in Economics.

 

Milan Shastry ‘26 (Alto Sax) is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science with minors in Statistics and Machine Learning and Music Performance. He plays alto sax in the Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group I. He is also interested in music production. Milan is currently working on a startup with some of his friends, and in his free time, he plays for Princeton Men’s Club Soccer and enjoys skateboarding.

 

Ryder Walsh ‘26 (Drums) is a sophomore majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the drummer in the Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group I

 

Charles Dutta ‘27 (Piano) is a first-year undergraduate from Tenafly, NJ, pursuing a potential major in the Philosophy Department and a Certificate in Jazz Studies. He is a member of the Small Group I and Creative Large Ensemble groups in Jazz at Princeton, led by Miles Okazaki and Darcy James Argue. He received an Outstanding Soloist award at the 15th Annual Charles Mingus Festival & Competition.

 

Ari Freedman, GS (Bass) is a fourth-year graduate student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. He has been playing bass since middle school and now plays in Princeton’s Creative Large Ensemble and Small Group 1.

 


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