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Concert and Talk-Back: Waking Up! Climate Action Jazz Suite with The Five Agents

April 3, 2024 @
7:00 p.m.
- 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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Eric Hofbauer sitting in front of a microphone stand with a guitar
Eric Hofbauer
Guitarist, Composer, Educator

This event is presented as part of the Geller Jazz Series and is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities at Clark University.

The global climate emergency was already a major preoccupation for Boston-based guitarist and composer Eric Hofbauer in 2019 when the remarkable young climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a speech at the UN Summit for Climate Action, in which she declared, “How dare you!” — throwing down a challenge to big business and world leaders to look beyond greed and meet the crisis head-on. Aside from being deeply moved and galvanized by the speech, the guitarist found himself drawn to the rhythms and phrases in Thunberg’s delivery and her distinctly non-native English.

The spark was lit for Waking Up!, Hofbauer’s newest project with Seth Meicht on tenor sax, Anthony Leva on bass, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, and drummer Curt Newton. All are close colleagues and veterans of many a Hofbauer-led project, and well-versed in his approach, bringing a wealth of tonal color and narrative focus to the set.

“Thunberg’s speech is so honest, blunt and authentic,” Hofbauer says, “and I think of her as an icon and inspiration for someone like my daughter and the younger generation, who have to bear the brunt of what’s coming. In her delivery there’s so much pain, frustration and worry. It’s very moving, and I wanted to use that emotional space as a jumping-off point for improvisation.”

Immediately following the performance, Eric Hofbauer and Curt Newton will present a talk-back on arts activism.

Admission is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. For more information, please contact or (508) 793-7349.

About the Geller Jazz Series

The Geller Jazz Series is supported by generous gift to the Visual and Performing Arts Department from the Estate of Selma Geller. The biannual jazz concert series pairs new and emerging artists with jazz legends, and supports audience development programming. Previous featured artists in Geller Jazz Series and recipients of the Selma B. Geller Foundations of Jazz award include Ron Carter, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Christian MacBride, Ravi Coltrane & Joe Lovano, Trio da Paz, Bill Charlap with John Faddis, Omar Sosa, and Donald Harrison.

Selma Geller was a New York City philanthropist who died in 2007. She was deeply concerned about the lack of musical educational opportunities available to the current generation of students. Her gifts to Clark University for music scholarships and musical performances are a testament to her desire to bring the original American musical art form to the Clark community.


April 3, 2024
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Clark University, Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons – 2nd Floor
36 Maywood Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
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