Local bassist named a winner of Zeitgeist annual song contest

St. Anthony Park resident Ted Olsen, 21, was recently named a winner of Zeitgeist’s 18th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest. A bassist and composer, his compositions have been featured with the Luther College Jazz Sextet and the Quentin Tschofen Trio, which performed at the 2011 Twin Cities Jazz Festival through a sponsorship by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education.

Olsen’s winning composition “Nightingale” is an ornithological nocturne that premiered at a performance with the Luther College Jazz Sextet last fall. Olsen is a 2010 graduate of Como Park Senior High School.

The Eric Stokes Song Contest is sponsored by new music group Zeitgeist in memory of late composer Eric Stokes. The contest was designed to encourage and celebrate amateur composers throughout the Twin Cities. The winning composers have the opportunity to participate in Zeitgeist’s annual Playing It Close to Home concerts in February; they also receive a $100 prize and a one-year membership to the American Composers Forum.

Olsen served as a guest artist and instructor at the Twin Cities Jazz Workshop, a summer camp for junior high and high school students.

Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., Suite 200, St. Paul, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. at Roseville Area High School, 1240 W. County Road B-2, Roseville. Tickets are $10.

Founded in 1977, Zeitgeist is a new music chamber ensemble based in St. Paul. Members are Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds; and Shannon Wettstein, piano.

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