Divas LiveGAMBIER, Ohio (October 25, 2004) The Gund Concert Series will present percussionist Sherrie Maricle and her all-female big band, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, on Thursday, November 4. The performance will be held in Rosse Hall Auditorium, starting at 8:00 p.m.
DIVA's repertoire draws widely on the history of jazz while including the progressive harmonies of contemporary music. Critics have praised the group for its great ensemble sound, impeccable section work, and inventive solos. The band has toured worldwide, performing in such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany, the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria.
Maricle's decision to found an all-woman jazz orchestra stems perhaps from an experience in the fourth grade, when she decided to play the trumpet but was told, "Girls don't play trumpets." The music teacher handed her a metal clarinet, which she quickly abandoned for the cello. Then she volunteered to fill an opening in the school band for a bass drum player.
Her aha! moment came at the age of eleven, when she went to hear Buddy Rich and his Killer Force Orchestra in concert in Binghamton, New York. "I had no idea someone could play the drums with such intensity and power," she has said.
The idea for an all-female group originally made Maricle wary. She wondered how such a group would affect the pressure that female musicians sometimes feel to apologize for their talent, and she didn't want the band to become a mere novelty in the jazz world. The band's success has long since laid such concerns to rest.
A composer, teacher, and classical musician as well as a jazz artist, Sherrie Maricle has appeared with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops and is the pop orchestra's director of education. She also leads a quintet, Five Play.