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Human freedom, compassion, musical statements

azz is one of the most vital and ever-changing musics in the world. Jazz music has continually evolved since its birth nearly one hundred ago. The music has always had the ability to cut across both national boundaries and musical genres, revealing the unity among seemingly different cultures. There is a powerful relationship between tradition --  the continuity of culture -- and the creative freedom of innovation through the spirit of improvisation. I am proud to play a part in this true world music.

- Chris Bakriges

fiddleFunk is a program of compositions incorporating a cornucopia of idioms, from the Great American Songbook, to Bebop, Brazilian, and the global depth of the blues. fiddleFunk next performs at:

June 26, Blu Jazz Cafe, Akron, OH, 8PM [w/ Ricky Exton-d, Dave Morgan-b] More at: http://blujazzakron.com/show/fiddlefunk-06-26-2015/

June 27, Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland, OH, 4PM [w/ Oikos Ensemble's Cliff Aerie-s, Angela Lynard-v, & Alan Gleghorn-b & Rhythmpainter-d]

June 28, The Bop Stop, Cleveland Music Settlement, Cleveland, OH 7PM [w/ Paul Samuels-d, Glenn Holmes-b]

To learn about the Matisse in Music Program please click on to the following web page: http://www.stanleychepaitis.com/

Upcoming Matisse in Music concerts:

April 16, Borgia Gallery, Elms College, Chicopee, MA noon  

April 17, Kennedy Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA 8PM     More at:


April 18, 51 Main at the Bridge, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Middlebury, VT 8PM  More at:


June 27, Amistad Chapel, Synod UCC, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 7:30PM More at:


June 28, Middleburgh Hts Community Church, 7165 Big Creek Pkwy, Middelburgh Hts, OH 10:30AM


matisse jan17poster

Musical Refections on Henri Matisse's Jazz Series
Saturday, January 17th @ 7:30pm

You are invited to attend a splendid evening of jazz, (in which, as described by one concert goer, “you feel as if you are in a New York City jazz club, and can’t believe you are right here in Bristol”), in a performance by two extraordinary musicians, Chris Bakriges, the composer and pianist on the Baldwin grand and Stanely Chepaitis on jazz violin, as they present an evening of original jazz compositions entitled: “Musical Reflections on Henri Matisse’s Jazz Series.”

These original compositions were created when Bakriges came to appreciate that the late artwork of Henri Matisse was inspired and influenced by the then still young musical idiom of jazz.   Too ill to paint, but still able to maneuver scissors through prepared sheets of brightly colored paper, Matisse created art that he described as “painting with scissors.”  The artist referred to the ideas of rhythm and repetition with bursts of visual improvisation to create.  He appreciated in musical jazz “the talent for improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience.”

Bakriges and Chepaitis, each holding Ph.D.’s in their respective musical fields, have been founding members of a number of performance ensembles and both have performed internationally.  Their performances are characterized by experience and mastery, a joy in performance and finding the creative spark.  Rich in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic improvisation, and through live performance, such as on Saturday, January 17th in Bristol, the sound palette generously created by these musicians becomes part of the continuum of the ever-evolving invention that is jazz.  As the great jazz musician J. J. Johnson once said:  “Jazz is restless.  It won’t stay put and it never will.”

An elevated aspect of the performance of these particular original compositions is the joy a composer of original works experiences when creating in real time with another high level musician and sharing this work in the moment with a live audience.  This is the best possible experience for a musician.   This is the essence of jazz, - in which music is being created fresh before your ears, - and the audience necessarily becomes part of the music.

Bakriges and Chapaitis have performed this program “in front of” some of the original Matisse Jazz scissor cutouts at the Indiana University Art Museum during a Matisse Exhibit in the spring of 2014, a program the curator described as “the favorite program the museum has ever presented.  ”While Matisse originals will not be hanging in the WalkOver Gallery during the performance on January 17th, images of the work that inspired respective compositions, (technology permitting),  will be projected during the live performance of the original jazz compositions. 

Please share this information of a very special evening with folks who might be interested.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of performance.  Reservations and information may be found at (802) 453-3188 x 2 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Location: Walkover Concert Room  | 15 Main Street, Bristol - VT
Reservations: (802) 453-3188 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


jeremyallen bassIndiana University Museum of Art, 1133 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405

Works by Matisse from IU Collections
April 2–May 25, 2014
Special Exhibitions Gallery

The IU Art Museum’s complete suite of color plates from Henri Matisse’s Jazz is featured as a special addition to the exhibition Matisse, Life in Color: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art on view at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through January 12, 2014. When the prints return to Bloomington, they will be the centerpieces of their own special exhibition.

On Sunday, May 25, the final day of the exhibition I, along with bassist Jeremy Allen from IU’s Jacob School of Music, will perform the Matisse Project: Teaching the Eye to Hear, my compositions inspired by the scissor cuts of the 20th century's great colorist in a series he collectively called Jazz. Jeremy's credits are long and include working with Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler. The performance will also include historical interpreter John Moore reading excerpts from the artist's own words.

For more information and reservations contact the IU Museum of Art at 812-855-5445.



Musician inspired by Matisse's 'Jazz'


Origionally Published Wednesday, December 16, 2009 By CORI URBAN

CHICOPEE - The sick-bed "painting with scissors" paper cut-outs French painter Henri Matisse created before his death and the text that accompanied them when they were published in 1947 inspired Elms College music lecturer and artist-in-residence Christopher G. Bakriges - a pianist, composer and educator - to create a musical reflection on the work.

"Teaching the Eye to Hear: Musical Reflections on Matisse's 'Jazz'" is Bakriges' musical interpretation of the artist's visual images. His son, violinist David C. Bakriges, is featured on the CD.

The series of 20 Matisse plates, collectively called "Jazz," "really stimulated me to look at his composition, form and color and really respond to that in a musical way," Bakriges said. "I could see what he was doing in my mind's eye and really respond to it musically."

Read more: Musician inspired by Matisse's 'Jazz'


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Next Performance

The Matisse Project
on April 16, 2015 at 01.00pm
at Elms College
takes place in
17 days 6 hours

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