Caleb Chapman and his Super Crescent Band released their latest album on a Friday in December 2015. The next day it had soared to number one on the ITunes jazz list.
“How cool is that,” says Chapman, the musician extraordinaire who takes the best of Utah’s teenage musicians, frequently pairs them with some of the most noteworthy professional musicians anywhere and shows that music can be cool. “There are no band geeks around here,” he says.
The ensemble is so talented, hip, and enthusiastic that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert presented Chapman with his prestigious Governor’s Performing Artist Award in 2013. The award, which is given to only one artist every year, is merely one of many high-profile accolades for an artist that has been amassing crowds wherever he and his musicians perform.
Energetic and talented teens from Utah swarm to join the saxophonist as he presents concerts both local and abroad. Audiences have cheered their sounds from Utah to Manhattan to the Netherlands.
Being accepted in the band is a challenging achievement. Many musicians have been in Chapman’s younger bands, and many come from Utah’s schools.
“I could not do this were it not for dedicated band teachers statewide,” he says. “I only get them one or two days a week, and they need to come to me with considerable skills and experience. They have great teachers who have helped them. I then can take them to places and performances the school systems are not equipped to offer. For instance, my current crop of students will head to Glasgow, Scotland, this summer as headliners at the International Society for Music.”
More than 200 artists of note have performed with Chapman.
While Utah is probably not noted as a jazz capital, Chapman is determined to change that, according to JAZZed Magazine, which wrote, “For those looking for a savior of jazz education, mild-mannered and sparsely populated Utah probably isn’t high on the list of scouting locations. But what’s where ambitious private teacher-turned-bandleader Caleb Chapman calls home, and he’s gone a long way toward creating one of the most successful youth jazz programs in the country.”
Chapman’s flagship Super Crescent Band will perform at the SCERA Center for the Arts with a lively and impressive holiday concert Dec. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. in Showhouse II, 745 S. State Street in Orem. Reserved tickets are available at $12 for adults and $10 for seniors 65 and older and children from three to 11. Anticipated to be a sellout, tickets may be obtained at scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS (2787) at the SCERA Center 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays, or at the door prior to performance.