Jazz concerts featuring international performers Camila Meza and Aaron Goldberg March 23–24 in Orono and Machias

Chilean jazz guitarist and singer/songwriter Camila Meza and pianist Aaron Goldberg will perform in jazz concerts March 23 at the University of Maine and March 24 at the University of Maine at Machias, sponsored by the Collins Center for the Arts in conjunction with the UMaine School of Performing Arts and gWatson Gallery in Stonington.

In addition to the 7:30 p.m. concerts at UMaine’s Minsky Recital Hall and the UMaine Machias Performing Arts Center, student workshops will be held at both universities in the afternoons preceding the performances. 

Tickets for adults are $30 for the UMaine concert, with free admission for K–12 students. The UMaine Machias concert is free. Additional information is online; to request a reasonable accommodation, write cca@maine.edu.

The concerts are part of the Collins Center for the Arts Jazz Series, created to bring internationally acclaimed musicians and experienced educators to the university campuses in Orono and Machias. Since its first concert in 2019, the Jazz Series has expanded to include performances at UMaine Machias and workshops for university and high school students in the Machias area. The series receives grant funding from UMaine’s Alton ’38 and Adelaide Hamm Campus Activity Fund, and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series.

“The Collins Center for the Arts has a long tradition of presenting jazz,” says Danny Williams, Collins Center for the Arts director. “From Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles to Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis, some of the greatest jazz players have performed on our stage. We’re happy to partner with the School of Performing Arts and the gWatson Gallery to bring the next generation of jazz musicians to students and audiences in Orono and Machias.”

Meza makes ambitious, lyrical music that combines progressive fusion post-bop and Latin American traditions. She has garnered widespread acclaim for her genre-crossing albums that apply her distinctive approach to jazz and pop standards as well as original pieces. She records for the Sony Masterworks label and performs in venues worldwide.

For more than two decades, Goldberg has regularly collaborated with such icons as Joshua Redman, Marsalis, Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane. He tours extensively with his own trio and records for Sunnyside Records. As an educator, Goldberg teaches at several universities and frequently travels as a clinician worldwide.

 In the Jazz Series workshops, which are open to university and area high school students, visiting musicians share their music in performances, listen to and play with student ensembles, and offer feedback and encouragement. 

“Our students love these concerts and go back home reinvigorated and ready to take their musicianship to the next level,” says Deb Maynard, director of the Jazz Band at Foxcroft Academy. “We love what the Jazz Series is making available to our students, bringing world renowned musicians to us.”

UMaine music faculty member Dan Barrett notes that guest artists working with the students “changes our program.” 

“The students see and hear things differently, and become more connected into the larger musical world,” says Barrett, who teaches low brass instruments, music theory and jazz courses. “It gives them an idea of how good they want to be in order to work as a musician, and it gives them creative ideas for their own playing, composing and improvising. And some of the students just become friends with various guest artists and stay connected down the road.”