Diane Moser Quintet

In 1999, I formed a quintet along with trombonist Ben Williams, for the purpose of exploring new works for small ensemble. Based on the same idea as the Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band, we began with a monthly residency at the Gaslight Pub and Brewery in South Orange, (Nov 1999 to Nov 2000). Members of the quintet as well as guest composers brought in their compositions to be “work shopped” and performed. Since that time, it has evolved into the Diane Moser Quintet with several different personnel configurations for different projects, and continues to perform new works by its members.

The Diane Moser Quintet Personnel

Trombone-Ben Williams
Bass- Mark Dresser, Andy Eulau, Ken Filiano
Drums-Gerry Hemingway, Mike Sarin, Scott Neumann, Barbara Allen
Woodwinds-Marty Ehrlich, Anton Denner, Bob Hanlon
Trumpet-Rob Henke
Guest Artists:
Woodwinds: Ed Xiques, Tom Colao, Marty Fogel, Chris Speed, Greg Wall, Rob Middleton
Bass-Chris Meyers, Kevin Ray
Drums-Greisha Alexiev, John O’Brien

Music for the Last Flower

In 2003, I received a commission from Chamber Music America through their New Works: Creation and Presentation Program and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to create a new composition for my quintet. The result was “Music for the Last Flower” a 50 minute suite inspired by the James Thurber book “The Last Flower” (written in 1939 as a protest to the invasion of Poland) an anti-war story and a plea for peace. The work is in 6 movements and spans from free and structured improvisation in many musical styles (Contemporary/Jazz/Latin).

Personnel:
Diane Moser-piano/composer
Mark Dresser-bass,
Gerry Hemingway-drums
Marty Ehrlich-alto sax/clarinet
Ben Williams-trombone.

“MUSIC FOR THE LAST FLOWER” AWARDS

American Music Center’s (now known as New Music USA) CAP Recording Grant/Mary Flagler Charitable Trust –for the Diane Moser Quintet “Music for the Last Flower “ (Oct 2011)

Meet The Composer –Creative Connections Grant-for performance by The Diane Moser Quintet on the Modern American Composers Series, Burgdorff Cultural Center and workshops at Columbia High School, (Diane Moser and Gerry Hemingway) (Maplewood, NJ Sept. 2005)

The American Music Center’s Composers Assistance Program- to assist in the final creation of the score for “Music for The Last Flower” (2005)

Chamber Music America’s 2003-2004 “New Works: Creation and Presentation” Awarded this grant to compose and present an extended work for my quintet “Music for The Last Flower”

Performances:”Music for The Last Flower”

New Music in Bryant Park (NY, NY July 25, 2014)
CD Release Performance Cornelia St Cafe (NY,NY Feb 27,2014)
Cornelia St Café (NY,NY Sept 2012)
“7th Annual New Jazz Series Off The Edge of the Page ” (Austin, Texas June 2008)
Modern American Composers Series-along with the music of Gerry Hemingway Burgdorf Cultural Center (Maplewood,NJ Sept 2005)
World Premieres:
Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair (Montclair, NJ Dec 2004) and Renee Weller Recital Hall (NYC,NY Dec 2004)

Recordings

The Diane Moser Quintet-Music for the Last Flower-Planet Arts Records (recorded 2012, released Jan 31 2014)
Looking Forward, Looking Back-Twin River Records (recorded April 20th, 2001, released April 2002)
(please go to the music page for more info)

“Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket”

Created and directed by Dennis Connors, Ashcan Films 2009, 18 mins
Music composed by Diane Moser and performed by the Diane Moser Quintet

In August of 2009, photographer and film maker Dennis Connors asked me to compose and record music for this film. The film documents the kinetic energy and wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket, an incredibly talented visual artist with severe autism.

My compositional process involved transcribing sounds and rhythms from the film, mostly from Alex, his favorite music (pop, rhythm & blues) with the last composition in the film based on the triumph of his art over his autism, and the joy he feels when creating his art.

Containing interviews with art experts and a community of supporters, the film brings into sharp focus the notion of what artistic communication and the creative impulse is all about.

This is a very powerful film and it has been shown in festivals all over the world, on public television and embraced by the autism community.

Personnel:

  • Diane Moser — piano and compositions
  • Andy Eulau — bass
  • Scott Neumann — drums
  • Rob Henke — trumpet
  • Ben Williams — trombone

Highlighted Awards, Festivals, Television and More

(2010-2011)
Golden Palm Award for Best Educational Film: Mexico International Film Festival (2011)
CINE Golden Eagle Award for film maker Dennis Connors (2010)
Directors Choice Award Black Mariah Film Festival (Feb 5 2010)
Best Documentary NYC Downtown Short Film Festival (April 2010)
Berkshire International Film Festival
– Best Short Film
– Best Emerging Film Director for Dennis Connors
Tulsa United Film Festival –  
– Best short documentary
Williamsburg Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY)
-Outstanding Achievement Award

Official Selection:

International Festival of Films on Art (Montreal)
LA United Film Festival
LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood
Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival  (Montreal, Canada)
Mexico International Film Festival
Hollywood Cinema Film Festival
New Filmmakers
Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival
San Francisco United Film Festival
NYC Picture Start Festival
Spirit Quest Film Festival
Twin Rivers Media Festival
New Jersey International Film Festival (Finalist)
DocuFest Atlanta
NewDoc Filmmakers NYC
Chicago United Film Festival
WILLiFEST
New York United Film Festival
Sprout Film Festival: Nashville, TN & The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY,NY

Public Television: NJTV-NJ Docs (New Jersey Public Television) WBGH Education Foundation World Channel.Org (Boston and National Programing), WTTW11 Chicago Public Television and more.

It is now available for sale from Sproutflix.org
For more information see the “Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket” Facebook page.

Musical Performances:

Caldwell College: The Music of Diane Moser and Ben Williams and the music from the film “Breaking Boundaries:The Art of Alex Masket”Series with Guest Tenor Saxophonist :Rob Middleton (Caldwell, NJ Feb 2011)

Looking Forward, Looking Back

After a year and a half of developing and presenting new music for small ensembles (Nov 1999–April 2001), our core group emerged, and we decided to do a live recording of our material. Three of us contributed music to this performance/recording: Bob Hanlon, Ben Williams and myself. We performed/recorded at the Burgdorf Cultural Center (Maplewood, NJ) in April 2001, and we returned for another performance and cd release in 2002.
(For more info please go to the music page on this website)

Other Highlighted Performances and Projects

“Birdsongs for Eric” A 20-minute suite based on the flute improvisations of the iconic Jazz musician and composer, Eric Dolphy and the birdsongs from his native California. Commissioned and premiered for the Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound Celebration Series, May 30th, 2014, at Memorial Auditorium, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. The featured performers were: Diane Moser-piano, Anton Denner-flute, Marty Ehrlich-flute, Howard Johnson-bass clarinet, Ken Filiano-bass and Michael Sarin-drums. A second performance of this piece occurred July 25th, 2014 for the New Music in Bryant Park Series (Bryant Park, NY, NY) in partnership with Chamber Music America, featuring the Diane Moser Quintet with Diane Moser-piano, Marty Ehrlich-alto sax, clarinet, flute, Ben Williams-trombone, Andy Eulau-bass and Michael T.A. Thompson-drums.

Caldwell College Concert Series featuring the music from “Breaking Boundaries:The Art of Alex Masket”,
and selections from “The Birdsong Project” and “Music of the Spheres”, (Caldwell,NJ Feb 2011)

Caldwell College Concert Series-featuring vocalist Tina Marsh, (Caldwell, NJ Oct 2006)
Trumpets Jazz Club- featuring vocalist Marcelino Feliciano (Montclair, NJ Feb 2006)
“House of Monk”-a project exploring the music of Thelonious Monk -The Goat (South Orange, NJ 7&8/05 )
Uptown Cafe (Kingston,NY, August 2003)
Barron Arts Center (Woodbridge,NJ August 2003)
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark, NJ, May 2002 )
Trumpets Jazz Club (Montclair,NJ March 2001)
Blues and Roots Jazz Series (West Orange,NJ June & July 2000)
Gaslight Pub and Brewery (South Orange,NJ Nov 1999-Nov 2000 (monthly appearances/in residence)