Metta Quintet and the Blue Flame Incident

MAR 5, 7:30PM

Bowker Auditorium

This exciting, live multi-media “informance” celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of the iconic trumpeter, bandleader, and cultural provocateur, Miles Davis.  The program traverses Davis’ extensive career and features music from some of the most creatively fertile periods of his career, including his controversial divergence into electric music in the late 1960s.

Using both, jazz history, and 20th-century American history as a backdrop, Miles Davis and the Blue Flame Incident (which alludes to one of Davis’ earliest childhood memories) will engage, inform, and enlighten audiences about one of the most compelling, infinitely creative, and trailblazing artists the world has ever known. 

General Admission: $15; Five College, GCC. STCC and 17 and Under: $7

Metta Quintet is the official resident ensemble of JazzReach Performing Arts & Education Association, Inc. In addition to fulfilling the organization’s endeavors in arts education, Metta Quintet is dedicated exclusively to commissioning, recording, and performing all-new works. 

A highly creative unit comprised of some of today’s fastest emerging jazz artists, Metta Quintet aims to establish itself in the vanguard of contemporary music ensembles as a unique, dynamic voice committed to exploring exciting new artistic territory and the infinite boundaries of the live jazz experience.

The Metta Quintet is H. Benjamin Schuman, drums and founder of JazzReach, Inc.; David Bryant, piano; Marcus Strickland, tenor saxophone; Mark Gross, alto saxophone; Joshua Ginsburg, bass.

What is an Informance?

An informance is an educational performance that includes live narration, some demonstration, integrated video projections, live music featuring the Metta Quintet, and special guests and a post-show Q&A with the artists.

What is JazzReach? 

Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized New York City-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music. Through the presentation of innovative, widely acclaimed live multi-media educational programs for young audiences, captivating main-stage concerts for general audiences and informative clinics and master-classes for student musicians and ensembles, JazzReach is steadfastly dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation, awareness and understanding of this rich, vital, ever-evolving American art form.

JazzReach has developed a unique and diverse repertoire of substantive, high quality live educational programs for young and adult audiences.  All of JazzReach’s educational programs are highly immersive and interactive and are as entertaining as they are informative and actively engage audiences in an analysis of:

  • the cultural factors that have come together to make jazz such a compelling art form
  • the social conditions that shaped the music’s development
  • the immense impact jazz has had on the sound and evolution of indigenous American music

Artist’s website


Event webpage


  1. I enjoyed the show. I also enjoyed the education. I would have preferred more music only with out talking because it went so quickly through the 50 years of Miles’ music. I was disappointed to hear such short snippets of the “favorites”. I also missed the rich trumpet sounds even though the musician did an amazing job playing the music on saxaphone.

  2. I agree with Michelle’s comments.

    I had not read about the performance prior to attending and was disappointed. I am sure the musicians are outstanding, but often the audience was treated to such abbreviated passages that the band never really got a chance to develop an identity.

    I understand that the target audience is not people well schooled in jazz, however, the sanitized version of the trials and tribulations of Miles later life seemed a bit lacking in reality.

    The goal of the performance, blending history and music, is admirable, however, for this listener, it is a very difficult goal to achieve and this performance erred on too much history and not enough music.

  3. I enjoyed the concert a great deal and I found the historical overview interesting. The ensemble is excellent and they covered a lot of ground in a short time.

    However, while the main theme was “conviction, feeling and soul” I experienced the verbal presentation primarily as a set of facts, without much sense of Miles’ journey from the inside. I would have preferred an interpretive history of Miles’ internal life, more poetic, more historical risk taking, with conviction, feeling and soul.

    Like the reviewers above, I wish the group performed some of their own work. A short set after the historical piece would have rounded out the evening nicely.

    I wish the bass player was given longer solos.

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