CSO and Music Hall Selected for Filming and Live Recording of All Without Words Live, a World Premiere Multimedia and Multidisciplinary Production of Justin Morell’s Jazz Trumpet Concerto
Presentation to Feature the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Original Performers from the All Without Words Album, Including Grammy Award-Winning Artist John Daversa on Trumpet, Tal Cohen on Piano, David Chiverton on Drum Set; Singers and Instrumentalists from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Dancers, and a Gallery Exhibition of Art by Artists from The Art of Autism
CINCINNATI, OH (July 20, 2023)—The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Music Hall have been selected by The Boundless Arts Foundation for the filming and live recording of a new, large-scale multimedia and multidisciplinary presentation of composer Justin Morell’s jazz trumpet concerto, All Without Words on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Composed as a tribute to Morell’s nonverbal autistic son, Loren Morell, and recorded and released as an album in 2021, All Without Words was inspired by Loren’s spontaneous vocalizations and evolved into a work for solo trumpet, orchestra, rhythm section, and chorus. The CSO presentation is an expanded production of the original concert version and will feature the CSO; original performers from the album, including Grammy Award-winning artist John Daversa on trumpet, Tal Cohen on piano, and David Chiverton on drum set; singers and instrumentalists from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music (Coral Gables, FL); dancers; and a gallery exhibition of art by artists from The Art of Autism created to represent the music. The entire audience experience will be filmed to be used in a feature-length video program.
“What began as a mission to celebrate neurodiversity became an opportunity for me to connect with my son and hear his voice in a way I had not before,” said Morell. “The music is born of intense emotion—sometimes painful and sometimes joyful—and of hope for a compassionate future where all people are loved and respected for their humanity.”
Morell, a genre-crossing composer and guitarist and Associate Professor of Musical Composition at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, began writing a piece about his son Loren and his personal experiences loving someone on the autism spectrum prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. He listened to his son’s singing and vocalizations, recorded them, and later transcribed two different segments of a melody which ultimately became the main theme, Loren’s theme. As the composition evolved, Morell created an artistic expression of Loren’s theme through soaring trumpet solos lines, with each of the resulting 11 variations on the theme reflecting a unique moment in Morell’s life with his son, the journey of learning how to connect with a child who has difficulty with aspects of communication, and the triumph of what may seem to others as the smallest of successes. John Daversa, multi-Grammy Award-winning artist, trumpeter, and Chair and Professor of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, was quickly identified as a partner for the project.
The composition was recorded for the 2021 album, All Without Words: Variations Inspired by Loren, released and presented as The John Daversa Jazz Orchestra featuring Justin Morell. To broaden awareness and involvement with the project, Morell and Daversa also connected with talented autistic artists from The Art of Autism in California, many of whom have the ability to see colors or symbols around music. The artists listened to the recording of All Without Words and created unique pieces of art in response to the music. The interpretation by artist Angela Weddle later became the album cover art.
“John and I have been friends forever and have collaborated on countless projects, and I was honored to write this piece as a feature for him. There is no more sensitive, expressive, profound musician than John, and I knew he would bring unparalleled life to this music. I also know we shared a vision about the mission and how to expand its reach to include the larger autism community, including working with extraordinary visual artists from The Art of Autism—each of whom offered their own beautiful interpretation of Loren’s theme,” said Morell.
“The mission and music of All Without Words continues to touch us all on deeper and deeper levels. What a gift it is to ‘sing’ this beautiful narrative through the voice of the trumpet, as this is a human story of unconditional love, deep compassion told directly from the heart,” said Daversa.
Transformed by award-winning director and video artist, Milcho, the All Without Words Live experiential presentation with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on September 20, 2023 will be the world premiere of an expanded production that embraces staging, light, color, and multiple artistic disciplines. The CSO presentation will include the addition of dancers as well as a gallery exhibit by artists from The Art of Autism. The entire audience experience, including foyer activations and performance in Cincinnati Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium, will be filmed.
“Having been involved with All Without Words from the recording stages of the album to the different multi-layered chapters of this heartwarming project, it’s a humbling honor to be given the opportunity to create this highly emotional, visually stimulating live concert experience. My goal is for all of us to ‘see’ the music, ‘be’ the music, and take those emotions with us after we leave Music Hall,” said Milcho.
“We are delighted to present All Without Words Live,” said Kent Savage, President of The Boundless Arts Foundation. “It’s an honor to support this collaboration between CSO, Justin Morell, trumpet soloist John Daversa, the Frost School of Music and creative director Milcho, as the musical work is transformed into a large-scale multi-disciplinary expression of parents’ love for their autistic son. The artistic elements—sound, light, dancing, and staging—converge to take the audience on a powerful and emotional journey while honoring the spirit of the son who cannot speak.”
“This project resonated with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on many levels,” reflected Jonathan Martin, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “The story of Justin Morell’s journey with his son is inspiring, and the organic collaboration between talented artists from different and important artistic disciplines for All Without Words aligns with our mission and vision. We are honored to partner with Justin Morell, John Daversa, and the Frost School of Music to present the live performance and filming of the piece for Cincinnati audiences.”
Tickets to All Without Words Live with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are free and available beginning Thursday, July 20, 2023. Seating is general admission and advance registration is highly encouraged. Seats can be reserved online at cincinnatisymphony.org, by phone at 513-381-3300, or in-person by visiting the Box Office at 1241 Elm Street, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Justin Morell is a composer, guitarist and music educator whose work crosses genres between classical and jazz styles and is featured on several acclaimed recordings including the recent Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra. He is an associate professor of music composition and theory at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Justin’s multimedia work includes notable contributions to Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can, Lifetime Original Movies, TV sitcom The Naked Truth, and The Lion King-San Francisco production.
John Daversa is a multi-Grammy Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated trumpet player, composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, and educator. He is world-renowned for his dynamic and emotive style of trumpet and EVI playing, along with imaginative, genre-bending compositions and arrangements. Daversa is Chair of Studio Music and Jazz at Frost School of Music, University of Miami, and an active educator. John Daversa is a Schilke Music Artist and a Burglund Artist.
Milcho is a Miami based multi–award-winning director, video artist, speaker and mental health advocate. Throughout her 30-year career in the entertainment industry, she has worked with major television networks as well as directed countless music videos for the Latin and Anglo markets. For almost a decade, Milcho sat on the board of directors of the Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy/Grammys, where she served as Governor, VP & President until terming out in 2022. She is currently the Director & Creative Director for Savage Content. In Spring 2023, Milcho was selected by the Boundless Arts Foundation to direct All Without Words Live.
THE BOUNDLESS ARTS FOUNDATION
Founded in 2020 by serial entrepreneur, inventor, investor, and philanthropist, Kent Savage, The Boundless Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes the joy, education, and pursuit of the arts. Its mission is to re-imagine the presentation of the arts across the world by creating opportunities for content creation, curation, and distribution and for learning about and experiencing the joy of arts, developing strong creative communities, and building meaningful connections.
Led by a team of art enthusiasts and board of directors from diverse backgrounds, The Boundless Arts Foundation is committed to serving and empowering artists and their communities through a wide array of programming, funding, and collaboration, including educational workshops, artist awards and recognition, fellowships, scholarships, grantmaking, and other artist support programs. Throughout its journey, The Foundation has supported musicians, artists, organizations, and community-based projects in the realm of the arts.