Due to the closure of all face-to-face classes, activities, and events at Widener in light of coronavirus concerns, we regret to inform you the Recital Series will be cancelled this season as well. We hope you’ll join our mailing list for updates about next season’s performances and contact us with any further questions or concerns.
Tickets are free but space is limited.
Abstract Truth began as a vision to create a new large ensemble—soloist based—capable of the
intimacy of a small group and the explosive power of a big band.
“John Vanore is Philadelphia’s greatest big band leader and also its best-kept secret.
Whenever the gifted conductor, arranger, composer, and trumpeter presents his big band, it
is like a jazz holiday.”
—Jerry Gordon, WPRB FM, Princeton
Innovative in not replicating the traditional big band instrumentation, this new “voice” takes a fresh look
at the instrumentation itself. Like a “small group with lot of horns” the unique instrumentation of four
trumpets, two trombones, French horn, and two saxophones doubling on flutes and bass clarinet comprise
an ensemble creating a palette of color shared by none. The “front line” is like a traditional jazz quintet
with trumpet, saxophone and rhythm section. But, again, a departure in utilizing guitar instead of piano.
“…their sheer excellence exemplifies creativity in composition and craftsmanship in the art
of arranging…this music is rooted in its heritage while boldly forward looking.”
—Thomas Conrad, CD Review
A new voice demands the bold decision to abandon norms and Abstract Truth presents an original
point of view where the soloist is prominent, if not dominant. The ensemble draws on the traditions of
the big band but is neither limited by nor imitates it.
This new direction also demanded a fresh look at orchestration to fully utilize the potential of this new
color palette—the French horn being significant.
“Ambitious writing and arranging for the 12-piece ensemble by Philly-based trumpeter, John
Vanore. Hauntingly beautiful…well crafted…stirring orchestration…edgy…swinging.”
—Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
Abstract Truth officially arrived on the scene in 1990 with the release of Blue Route. CD Review
Magazine editor, Dick Lewis named it an “Editor’s Choice – Best of the Year” and described it as “A
widely and wildly varied collection of traditional big band elements blended with contemporary and
visionary sounds,” leading to placement in the prestigious Downbeat Reader’s Poll.
“The intriguing trumpeter pushes expressive possibilities in the realm of big band culture.”
—Josef Woodard, Downbeat
Subsequent releases include Curiosity, Contagious Words, and Culture—all receiving high praise
from jazz journalists in Downbeat, Jazz Times, and other publications, and national and international
“New sounds, new textures, and new ways of looking at previously held notions of musical
tradition… Adventurous, innovative, experimental.” —Critical Jazz.com