Donny McCaslin - always evolving.
Days before his January 2016 death, David Bowie released his final album, Blackstar. While the record represented an endpoint for the legendary artist, it also marked a new beginning for jazz lifer Donny McCaslin who, armed with his saxophone, defined Blackstar's visionary stylistic fusion.
Now, two and a half years after Blackstar's release, McCaslin returns with a new album, Blow., a new definitive statement that fully realizes Bowie's influence and McCaslin’s evolved artistic direction. "Before working with him, things like this didn't seem possible to me," McCaslin says of Blow., the most daring work of his two-decade, GRAMMY®-nominated career – set for October 5 release on Motéma Music. "The affirmation of that project and how wonderfully that turned out artistically — I feel like anything is possible now."
Despite McCaslin's extensive, acclaimed career — he grew up gigging with his father's jazz ensembles in Santa Cruz, California, attended Boston's esteemed Berklee College of Music, and began his recording career in the late '90s — collaborating with Bowie altered how he approached his craft. "His aesthetic in the studio was, 'Go for what you're hearing, don't worry about what it's going to be called or categorized as,'" McCaslin recalls of the late icon. "'Let's have some fun. Let's make some music.'" With the expansive, diverse Blow., McCaslin takes Bowie's philosophy to heart.
McCaslin hinted at his new direction earlier this summer with the release of the project's first single "What About the Body," a sizzling cut that blends alt-rock, jazz, and politically suggestive lyrics from singer-songwriter Ryan Dahle (Limblifter, Mounties) for a potent product — but it's just one of the many flavors he explores on the diverse record.
Supported by a top-notch cast of musicians that includes Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek, Blackstar bandmate Tim Lefebvre, and fellow Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey, McCaslin applies his jazz roots in thrilling ways throughout Blow.'s hour runtime. "The idea was to just really go for exploring these collaborations and documenting everything," explains McCaslin, adding that the project had a "good gestation process" and developed "in a way that didn't feel rushed."
McCaslin emphasizes Blow.'s "wide range of moods," and some of them — like the driving, 10-minute instrumental "Break the Bond" or the chaotic and appropriately titled "Exactlyfourminutesofimprovisedmusic" — will sound familiar to longtime McCaslin fans. Others, not so much. "Tempest," a searing blast of prog-punk, clocks in at only 79 seconds and features off-the-cuff vocals from Jeff Taylor. Dorsey's soulful pipes complete the downtempo quiet storm of closer "Eye of the Beholder." And Kozelek — who McCaslin met and performed with when their tour itineraries recently intersected in Australia — delivers a hyper-detailed, characteristically batty narrative on "The Opener" to accompany an instrumental influenced by Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest.
Naturally, McCaslin's horn unites Blow.'s disparate elements, though not in the way one might expect. Thinking back to the Blackstar sessions, McCaslin remembers how Bowie urged him to manipulate his instrument's sound, to create "different loops and textures" while improvising. "That really stuck with me” says McCaslin. "It’s such a big part of what I'm doing now, how I integrate the electronics and the saxophone.”
According to McCaslin, the "natural progression" that led to Blow. began with 2016's Beyond Now. Compromised of originals written after Blackstar's recording but before Bowie's death, as well as covers of Bowie, Mutemath, and Deadmau5, the record contains what McCaslin describes as "the seed" that grew into Blow.: His moody, electro-tinged rendition of Bowie's "A Small Plot of Land." "That's the connecting point for what I'm doing now," he says.
But because McCaslin recorded Beyond Now nearly immediately after Bowie's death, it didn't capture Blackstar's full influence on his playing and writing — it took months of relentless touring for those lessons to seep in. "I was hearing something different and trying to explore what that was," he reveals. "The direction of this record is something I wouldn't have imagined myself doing 10 years ago. But having the opportunity to play so much and then see where my creative imagination would go, and to be in that space for a lot longer, led me down this new pathway." Adds McCaslin: "Because we had been playing so much, it felt pretty natural just to go into the studio and do this."
Once he got down to business on Blow. pre-production in the fall 2017, McCaslin says producer Steve Wall (Lucius, Tall Heights) began to conceptually tie the album's many diverse styles together. “He’s very methodical and deliberate. I give a lot of credit to Steve," McCaslin shares, “he had a vision for this album from the beginning and was right there working with me as the music developed. He’s a unique talent and he does it all; engineering, mixing, song writing, producing, sound design.”
Vocals also play a crucial role on Blow., in ways that they haven't previously in McCaslin's career. "There's so much that's possible," he realized after the Blackstar sessions. "Why don't I make a vocal record?" Besides his fruitful collaborations with Taylor, Dorsey, and Kozelek, McCaslin teamed with Dahle on "What About the Body" and three other tracks — "New Kindness," "Club Kidd," and "Great Destroyer" — that constitute the album's emotional core.
"There's some social commentary" on "New Kindness," says McCaslin, likening the song's themes of partisan polarization to those on "What About the Body." "At least from my perspective, we're in a really f---ed-up time in this country — sorry for the French," he notes wryly. "What's going to get us out of this? Maybe it's new kindness. I think that's something that's really timely and really powerful." "Club Kidd," meanwhile, unites two unlikely topics — bee migration and McCaslin's own experiences as a college student going to club shows — for a unique, intricate result.
Ultimately, McCaslin returns repeatedly to a specific phrase: "new territory." Along with his bandmates, he's propelling his music to places that seemed unreachable — to the extent that he'd even conceived of them —just a few years ago. And Blow. isn't the endpoint. "The live show is really evolving," says McCaslin, thrilled to share his fresh material with audiences around the world. "It's going to continue to evolve and we have this vision of how it's going to evolve. It's going to be much different from what it has been." Recent years have been a whirlwind for McCaslin, but Blow. proves he's ready for his next chapter: "Going all in with new territory is really stimulating to me."
Chico Pinheiro Quartet
Not only an exceptional guitarist with a wonderful sound and great fluidity, Chico Pinheiro is a unique composer of originality and maturity, qualities that stand out on his solo recordings." His first album 'Meia Noite Meio Dia' (Sony Music/ 2003) was released with great reviews at all the most important newspapers and music magazines in Brazil and abroad, and was included in the 'Top 10 Brazilian albums of the year' in the major newspapers of Brazil: 'O Estado de São Paulo' , 'A Folha de São Paulo' and 'O Globo' - Chico is elected "Instrumentalist of the Year" in Brazil, by Veja Magazine.
His second release, 'Chico Pinheiro' (Biscoito Fino/ 2005) enjoyed great critical and audience acclaim, once more being included in the 'Top 10 Brazilian albums of the year' by newspapers 'O Estado', 'O Globo' and 'Folha de São Paulo'.
The third album, NOVA , was released in dec/ 2007 in collaboration with the american guitarist and composer Anthony Wilson, by his label Buriti Records. His fourth album, There's a Storm Inside (CT Music Japan/ Sunnyside Records, NY, 2010) was released in 35 countries. It was featured on the Downbeat, Revista Veja, O Estado de São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo, Jornal O GLOBO and Revista Rolling Stone among the 'best albuns of the year'. This record also won prizes as Brazilian Jazz Album of the year and Best Latin Jazz Composition of 2010 with 'Mamulengo', in the Latin Jazz Corner Association, USA. Chico also won as Best Latin Jazz Guitarist, in the same association, and Veja Magazine elects Chico Pinheiro Group as the Concert of The Year in Brazil.
In 2012 he released the CD 'TRIZ', in partnership with the pianist and composer André Mehmari and singer and composer Sergio Santos. The album received highly favorable reviews and was also listed among the best albums of the year. Meanwhile, Chico was elected for 3 times as one of the "RISING STAR - Guitar" by The DOWNBEAT Magazine - Annual Critics Poll list.
In 2017 Chico releases "Varanda", a special collaboration project that again was included as 'Best of the year' in all major papers and magazines in Brazil and abroad. His composition "Varanda" is recorded by Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band on the Project "Focus on Brazil", along with Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Villa Lobos.
Today Chico is already a remarkable presence in - and outside the Brazilian music scene either as a guitarist, composer or arranger. Besides his main work with his own Group, he has collaborated with artists such as Placido Domingo, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, Nnenna Freelon, Bob Mintzer, Dave Grusin, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Bob Mintzer Big Band, The Paris Jazz Big Band, The Swiss Jazz Orchestra, The Danish Radio Big Band, Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica, Orquestra Jazz Amazonas, Orquestra Jovem Tom Jobim, Sinfônica de Heliópolis, Eumir Deodato, Ivan Lins, Rosa Passos, Dori Caymmi, Danilo Caymmi, João Donato, Johnny Alf, César Camargo Mariano, Luciana Souza, Joyce, Lee Ritenour, Abraham Laboriel, Paulinho da Costa, Chico César, The Seasons Guitar Quartet, Sammy Figueroa, Cachaíto Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club), Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Eddie Gomez, Claudio Roditi, Giovani Hidalgo, Peter Erskine, Ari Hoenig, John Patitucci, amongst many others.
Allison Miller and Boom Tic Boom
NYC-based drummer/composer/educator Allison Miller engages her deep roots in improvisation as a vehicle to explore all music. Described by critics as a Modern Jazz Icon in the
Making, Miller has also been recognized as one of the “Top 20 Jazz Drummers” by Downbeat Magazine, and her composition Otis Was a Polar Bear is on NPR’s list of the 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women. Miller is Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2019 Artist in Residence, alongside bassist/producer Derrick Hodge. She is also the first recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Commissioning Grant.
Miller’s band Boom Tic Boom celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019 with the release of Glitter Wolf, their 5th album, featuring pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, coronetist Kirk Knuffke, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and Miller on drums. NPR’s Kevin Whitehead cites “All the parts fit together like clockwork on Allison Miller’s new album Glitter Wolf,” and JazzTimes announced “Boom Tic Boom’s previous four records were like bread crumbs leading longtime listeners to this record”. Previous Boom Tic Boom releases include 5am Stroll (2005), Boom Tic Boom (2010), Live at Willisau (2012), No Morphine, No Lillies (2013), and Otis Was a Polar Bear (2016).
Boom Tic Boom has been met with critical acclaim, receiving 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine and having been named among the Top 10 Jazz Albums cited by Downbeat, The L.A. Times, Jazz Journalists Association, and Something Else. The band has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds with John Schaefer, MPR’s Tiny Desk with Bob Boilen, JazzSet with DeeDee Bridgewater, The Checkout: Live with Josh Jackson, and on NPR’s Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride. Festival appearances include Monterey Jazz Festival, Freihofer’s Saratoga Festival, Stanford Festival, San Francisco Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, RockIt Festival, Molde Festival, Guimarāes, Willisau Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Restival, Saalfelden Festival, Muenster Festival, Iowa City Festival, Reykjavik Festival, EarShot Seattle, Mary Lou Williams - Kennedy Center Festival, Edgefest, Mass Moca, Lugo, Pittsburgh Festival and Redwood Jazz Alliance.
When not on stage leading Boom Tic Boom Miller focuses on collaborations, and is well-known for co-directing performance groups Parlour Game with violinist Jenny Scheinman, and Science Fair with pianist Carmen Staaf. Science Fair’s debut release was included “Best Jazz of 2018” lists by both the New York Times and the L.A. Times. Miller is also a proud member of the critically-acclaimed group Artemis, along with Renee Rosnes, Cecile McClorin Salvant, Ingrid Jensesn, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana and Noriko Ueda. She is the musical director for Camille A. Brown’s Ink, along with Michelle Dorrance and the American Ballet Theater’s production Dream Within A Dream, Speak from Rachna Nivas and Michelle Dorrance, and And Still You Must Swing with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.
As a side musician, Miller has been the rhythmic force behind such mainstream artists as Ani DiFranco, Sara Bareilles, Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlisle, Toshi Reagon, the Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers Band, Pino Daniele, and Erin McKeown. Miller’s jazz skills have been embraced by such legends as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and vocalist Patricia Barber, along with instrumental trailblazers such as Marty Ehrlich, Myra Melford, Steven Bernstein, Renee Rosnes and Ben Allison.
Miller is a three-time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department and has been appointed Arts Envoy to Thailand for her work with Jazz Education abroad. She is on Yamaha’s Top 30 Clinicians List, conducting clinics and master classes throughout the world, and teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC, at Stanford Jazz Workshop, and is the Artistic Director of Jazz Camp West. Her lessons and writings have been published in The Huffington Post, Modern Drummer Magazine, Jazz Times, DRUM, Tom Tom, and Drummer UK.
Her instructional videos are proudly produced by Reverb.
In 2008 Miller founded the Walter Salb Memorial Musical Scholarship Foundation in honor of her late teacher and mentor Walter Salb. The foundation annually provides a monetary award to a promising young musician focusing on furthering their musical career through study.
3Miller endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Sunhouse percussion, and Evans drumhead products.
Allison will be playing twice at the SJF this year - once with Steve Cardenas Trio on Saturday the 7th at the Alchemist MainStage and second, with BOOM TIC BOOM on Sunday the 8th at 5pm with:
Jeff Lederer-clarinet and bass clarinet
Anthony Wilson is a guitarist and composer known for a wide-ranging body of work that moves effortlessly across genres.
With twelve albums to his credit, Wilson’s first recording for nonet garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Recording, and was followed by the critically acclaimed “Goat Hill Junket” and “Adult Themes.” His album Power of Nine was included in the
New Yorker’s roundup of that year’s top-ten jazz albums. The celebrated “Seasons: Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art” documents, in music and video, the story of Wilson’s collaboration with master luthier John Monteleone on a suite of music written specifically for Monteleone’s masterpiece “Four Seasons” quartet of guitars. Recent albums “Frogtown” and “Songs and
Photographs” combine his deep jazz roots with a growing command of storytelling through songcraft.
The guitarist of choice for singer/pianist Diana Krall for nearly two decades, Wilson has also performed live, arranged for, and recorded with a diverse roster of artists that includes Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Barbra Streisand, Leon Russell, Madeleine Peyroux and Aaron Neville, as well as with jazz greats Ron Carter, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Hutcherson, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and his father, the legendary trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Gerald Wilson.
Catarina Dos Santos
Catarina comes from Barreiro, Portugal, and since a young child she was exposed to all genres of music, more specifically jazz and funk, gospel, and also traditional music from Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, and Brazil. She grew up in a neighbourhood where Portuguese, Angolans and Cape Verdeans lived alongside and share their lives. When a teenager, she started writing her first songs. In 1998 she was the lead singer and co-composer in her first band, "Edworld", which fused jazz and pop music. At the same time she studied Voice at Lisbon's Conservatory of Music and Jazz Performance at Luis Villas-Boas Jazz School, where she was invited to teach Voice and Improvisation, as well as adjunct-conducting the school's Jazz Vocal Group. She sang in various formations as a jazz singer, and started at that time fusing Brazilian and Angolan music in her repertoire. In search of more musical challenges and knowledge she comes to New York, where she completed a BFA in Jazz Performance, graduating Suma Cum Laude, and studied with John Pattittuci, Janet Steele, Jonathan Pieslak, Sheila Jordan, Paquito de Rivera, Mike Holober, Neil Clark, Ed Simon, Duduka da Fonseca and others. She also studied Orchestration with composer Daniel Ott, at the Juilliard School and performs with the Juilliard Choral Union in important venues such as Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center.She is a Kaye Scholar from 2004 to 2006, and wins several scholarships from the Music Department of the City College for her musicianship. Catarina has been working as a singer, percussionist and composer in New York City since 2003, and is an African and Afro-Brazilian music researcher. The strong connections between this culture, Portuguese, Angolan, and Cape Verde an cultures made her understand herself deeply, and all these experiences made her know exactly how to express a unique and new sound, that incorporates the expression a Portuguese-Afro-Brazilian world of rhythms and melodies that are always in eternal exchange, with a contemporary approach. She studies percussion with Ze Mauricio (NY Choro Ensemble), Cafe (Djavan).
Her experience as a musician in New York goes from jazz to Brazilian music, and also Puerto-Rican and Cuban music. Between 2005 and 2007 she is the lead vocalist of Nation Beat, a band that plays a blend of North Eastern Brazilian rhythms such as Maracatu, Coco, Baiao, with the New Orleans Second Line, and funk. It's with Nation Beat that Catarina travels to Brazil in 2006 to record the band's debut cd, "Maracatuniversal", in collaboration with the Maracatu Nation Estrela Brilhante, and also New York based musicians, like Frank London (The Klezmatics), and Rob Curto (Lila Downs). In this band she works as an arranger, lyricist, and percussionist, and it's one of the tracks that Catarina co-writes with the band leader, Scott Kettner, "Old Wooden Chair", that wins first place in World Music in Rolling Stone Brazil. With Nation Beat she travelled the U.S.A., and plays in great New York venues such as Blue Note, Joes Pub, Makor, The Stone (John Zorn), Barbes, SOB'S, Drom, etc. in February of 2007 she performs at Festival Porto Musical, in Recife, and at Festival Nova Consciencia, in Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil. It's in Recife that Catarina builds bridges of friendship and music work with important traditional music Masters such as Dona Duda Cirandeira, Mestre Nana (Samba Galeria do Ritmo), Dona Aurinha do Coco, Mestre Salustiano (Casa da Rabeca), Cila do Coco, Siba Veloso (Siba e a Fuloresta, Mestre Ambrosio), Jorge Martins (School of Percussion and NGO Corpos Percussivos).
Other collaborations in New York include work with Montego Joe, Carol Lester and the World Women, Arthur Dutra and Timbatu, Cuban pianist and flutist Oriente Lopez (Gonzalo Rubalcaba), Juan Usera and La Tribu, and Los Pleneros de la 21 (Puerto Rican traditional music), Eduardo Nazarian and Quizomba, Billy Newman and Brazilian Acoustic Ensemble, and she is a soloist at Pregones Theatre Music Ensemble, directed by Desmar Guevara. In Lisbon she works regularly with Miroca Paris (Cesaria Evora), Jon Luz, Paulo Temeroso, Marco Santos, with her own band and her side Project, Tambor de Tres, with Mick Trovoada (Angola) e Oswaldo Santos (Grupo Tempo, Sao Tome).
Catarina has traveled the U.S. Brazil and Portugal performing, and also doing Master classes at a University level, at Syracuse University and University of Florida. Her beautiful voice and presence have been acclaimed at the Avery Fisher Hall at The Lincoln Center (New York), Joe's Pub (NY), Cornelia St Cafe (NY), Tonic, The Stone, Sweet Rhythm, Barbes, Pregones Theatre, CUNY Jazz Festival, The United Nations Church Center, Bomplenazo at Hostos Community College, The Harbour Conservatory for The Performing Arts, Enzo's Jazz, Black Repertory Theatre (Rhode Island), The University of Florida Performance Center, The Georgia Theatre, (Athens, Georgia), Nectars (Vermont), Porto Musical (Brazil), Livraria Cultura's Auditorium, Hot Clube de Portugal (Lisboa), Teatro S. Luiz, Auditorio Jose Figueiredo, RDP Africa's Performance Center, etc.
Catarina works as a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences NY, Third Street Music School Settlement, and The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, teaching Vocal Instruction (Individual and Ensembles), Percussion, Composition, Afro-Brazilian Percussion, and for Bergen Academy of Music, as Vocal Instructor. Most of work is based in NY Public Schools, mainly in the poor neighbourhoods. She also works with Syracuse University (NY) and University of Florida.
In her debut cd, "No Balanco do Mar", she is the composer and lead vocalist, in a blend of Portuguese, North East Brazilian, Cape Verdean and Angolan rhythms. In 2009 she does the CD Release in New York, and in Lisbon, and she is invited to perform at Festival CCB Fora de Si.
Her debut record, "No Balanco do Mar", produced by Eduardo Nazarian and herself, was released in USA in June 2009, with her own compositions, and includes great musicians from Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique and Brazil, such as Miroca Paris (Cesaria Evora), Rolando Semedo, Costa Neto (Sara Tavares), Vaisse (Lura), Mick Trovoada (Sara Tavares, Buraka Som Sistema), Mucio Sa, Nancy Vieira, Eduardo Nazarian, Alfredo Bello (Projeto Cru), Bina Coquet and Bruno Buarque (Ceu, Barbatuques). "No Balanco do Mar" is a beautiful record on which Catarina proves she is a very talented singer/song writer. Her compositions are the result of her experiences as a musician, and fuse naturally different accents and languages, from Cape Verdean Creole to Portuguese. She is an acclaimed performer, and her soft and rich tone is at times strong and powerful, or calm and serene. In an honest and innovative way she is an important element of a new generation of musicians and composers seeking new approaches to traditional styles of music.
Daniel Ian Smith
Daniel Ian Smith is a saxophonist, flutist, educator and composer with over 30 years of experience. He is a Professor at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he has taught for over 24 years. Smith is in demand as a clinician, guest soloist, and lecturer with appearances throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Israel and England. In 1992, he founded Big and Phat Jazz Productions to serve as the production company for his Jazz in the Sanctuary Concert Series, an independent record label Big and Phat Jazz Productions, and his ensembles and touring projects. The recordings and performances by his ensemble The New World Jazz Composers Octet (NWJCO) have received rave reviews in DownBeat, JazzTimes, Cadence, ArtsFuse and All About Jazz magazines. His groups The New World Jazz Composers Octet, and The Latin Side of Billy Strayhorn have been featured at festivals and concert halls locally and internationally.
Smith has recorded and been featured on over 30 albums. Performances/Recordings with Michael Abene, Sergio Brandao, Jack Walrath, Maria Schneider, Arturo Sandoval, Boston Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Ronen Shmueli, Akikazu Nakamura, Jyoji Sawada, Claudio Roditi, Dave Samuels, Mark Walker, Pablo Ablanedo, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, Patti Lupone, Michelle Rosewoman, Bill Mobley, Clark Tracey, Steve Berry, The Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Marty Ehrlich, Ron Carter, Herb Pomeroy, Aardvark Jazz Orchestra and many others. Most recently he has been featured on widely acclaimed recordings with: Fernando Brandao, The Pablo Ablanedo Octet, The Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Brian McCarthy and the Better Angels of Our Nature and Ron Reid and Sunsteel. Look for new recordings in 2019 by his New World Jazz Composers Octet, The Latin Side of Billy Strayhorn, and as a featured sideman with The Fernando Huergo Big Band, Pablo Ablanedo, Brian McCarthy and others.
We are proud to have his band, THE GENERATIONS SEXTET performing twice this year at the SJF - first, on Friday the 6th at 1pm on the Alchemist MainStage and second, the same night at 9pm at PIECASSO on the Mountain Road in Stowe. Come hear this wonderful band!
Daniel Ian Smith-saxophones
Fernando Huergo-electric bass
…began his musical career in Kansas City and has been an integral part of the New York City jazz community since 1995. Steve has performed and recorded with many well-known and highly esteemed musicians. Notably, he was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band and the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra. Steve is currently a member of the John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet, Ben Allison and Think Free, Jon Cowherd Mercy Project, and Adam Nussbaum Lead Belly Project. He has toured extensively performing at countless international music festivals, theaters and clubs. Steve also leads his own trio with Ben Allison and Allison Miller, has released five recordings as a leader, as well as appears as a sideman on over one hundred recordings. His most recent album, “Charlie & Paul,” is on Newvelle Records. Additionally, Steve is on faculty at the New School in New York where he leads the Thelonious Monk Ensemble, Improvisation Ensemble, Guitar Duos as well as teaches individual lessons. Steve is also co-author with editor Don Sickler of the Thelonious Monk Fakebook.
Steve will be playing with his trio, including bassist Ben Allison and drummer Allison Miller on Saturday the 7th at 3pm, on the Alchemist MainStage.
Jennifer Wharton & Bonegasm
Bass trombonist, Jennifer Wharton takes her enthusiasm for the horn seriously and hopes to spread her joy to the public with her infectiously fun ensemble, Bonegasm. According to leader Jennifer Wharton, a "bonegasm" is a climax of musical excitement, characterized by feelings of pleasure centered in the ears and experienced as an accompaniment to hearing a group of trombone players.
She is a regular in two of the best large ensembles in jazz, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and the Alan Ferber Big Band. These playing experiences led to her to create a band that would commission composers to write and arrange music for the often overlooked trombone.
Winner of the 2015 Downbeat Reader's Poll for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year!
Winner of the 2015 Downbeat Critics poll for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year!
Winner of the 2014 Downbeat Reader's Poll for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year!
Winner of the 2014 Jazz Times Expanded Critics Poll for Baritone Saxophone
Winner of the 2009 and 2011 Downbeat Critics Poll for Baritone Saxophone!
Winner of the 2011 Jazz Times Readers and Critics Polls for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year!
Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Jazz Journalist Award
for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year!
Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan was born April 4, 1956, in Bethpage, New York. The gifted multi-instrumentalist started his music career by first learning alto saxophone during his teenage years on Long Island. Today he is critically acclaimed across-the-board and recognized as the major voice on the baritone saxophone. His playing is marked by an aggressive rhythmic sense, an intelligent and creative harmonic approach -- and perhaps most importantly – a strong and incisive wit.
While still in high school, he had the chance to sit in with major jazz artists such as legendary trumpeter Chet Baker, saxophonist Lee Konitz, trombonist Jimmy Knepper and violinist Ray Nance.
After graduating high school he attended SUNY-Potsdam and Hofstra University before he joined Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd in 1978. It was a remarkable collection of young musicians who ultimately would find themselves in the forefront of present-day jazz. Joining Smulyan in the band were saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer John Riley, who would eventually become a fixture in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
In 1980, unlike many of his colleagues and peers Smulyan didn’t have to go very far to move into New York City proper where he became part of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra then under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer. Smulyan also found work with other important large ensembles including the Mingus Big Band and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
Gradually establishing himself the talented Smulyan was asked to share the stage and the recording studio with a stunning potpourri of luminaries including: trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie, saxophonist Stan Getz, pianist Chick Corea, timbales king Tito Puente, and R&B/Blues and soul icons Ray Charles, B.B. King and Diana Ross.
Smulyan, in addition to performing and recording in support of a myriad of people began to accumulate a discography as a leader. At this point in his career he has at least 10 recordings out under his own name. Meanwhile he continues to play with wide variety of artists – each presenting him with an opportunity to fully express himself. In addition to his work on Monday nights with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Smulyan remains close with Lovano, working with him in his nine-piece Nonet; then there is the exhilarating and liberating Dave Holland Octet and the seminal bassist’s Big Band. Beyond that, Smulyan has also enjoyed stints in the cooperative Three Baritone Saxophone Band as well as working with powerhouse tenor saxophonist George Coleman in his octet and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band that, similar to the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, is comprised of some of the world’s best players.
No matter who he is performing with – or whether he is leading his own band at the time – Smulyan brings to the stage the spirit, style and savvy of a deep-toned master of bebop. “Gary Smulyan’s lineage comes more from musicians like Cecil Payne, Leo Parker, Pepper Adams, Serge Chaloff and Nick Brignola – the few baritonists that dared to master the tricky, chromatic music known as bebop,” wrote All About Jazz’s Francis Lo Kee in a review. “Indeed…Smulyan is fluent in the language.” He was heavily influenced by Adams who was known as “The Knife” for his hearty tone and the energy of his rhythmic playing style. Smulyan’s Homage, featuring Tommy Flanagan was recorded following Adams’ death, and every track on the recording, released in 1994, is written by Adams. Similarly, Smulyan organized the Three Baritone Saxophone Band, which places him in the company of two of his seniors – Ronnie Cuber and the late Nick Brignola. The group released Plays Mulligan in 1998, the date serving as a tribute to the late Gerry Mulligan, one of the foremost baritone saxophonists in jazz history and a mentor for many artists, including Smulyan.
“Smulyan's tone seems to get bigger and his ideas more expansive from album to album,” wrote long-time critic Doug Ramsey in Jazz Times magazine. In 1995, WBGO, the all-jazz, Newark, N.J.-based NPR station voted Smulyan’s Saxophone Mosaic as one of the best 25 CDs of 1995; two years later the Boston Globe selected the baritone saxophonist’s Gary Smulyan with Strings as one of the 10 best jazz CDs of 1997. Hidden Treasures, a piano-less trio date featuring Christian McBride was given four and a half stars in Down Beat magazine and voted as one of the best CD’s of the year.
Always in search of new ideas, in 2008 Smulyan released High Noon – The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine; it is a nine-piece band tribute to the prolific 1940s and 1950s pop singer Frankie Laine who died in 2007 at age 93. “This is the kind of album whose melodies linger after the session’s over,” wrote another long-time critic, Owen Cordle of Charlotte News and Observer.
These days Smulyan the Long-Island native lives in Amherst, Mass., with his wife, pianist and conductor Joan Cornachio. He is a faculty member of Amherst College and serves as the artistic director at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley, Massachusetts, a two year post secondary music school for eighteen to thirty year olds with developmental disabilities.
The baritone saxophonist, is a four-time winner of the Down Beat Critic’s and Reader’s Poll’s and a multiple winner of numerous other official polls including the Jazz Journalists Award for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year. He is a six-time GRAMMY award winner for his work with B.B. King, Lovano, Holland and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Jonathan Maron is a Grammy-nominated electric bassist, composer and producer. Maron's unique approach, propulsive basslines and big sound travel with him always, regardless of the musical setting. Early in his career, Jonathan co-founded New York's now legendary Groove Collective, a band that has toured internationally, released eight albums including their Grammy-nominated, "People People Music Music." The band's dance-floor blend of afro-cuban rhythms, jazz, funk and house music has provided a perfect showcase for Maron's playing and writing. With other artists, Jonathan can be heard on almost 200 records ranging widely in style, including Maxwell's platinum selling “Ascenscion (Don't Ever Wonder)." Maron has also performed or recorded with Meshell Ndegeocello, Tupac Shakur, Shujaat Khan, Shigeto, DJ Spinna, Dave Douglas, Jewel, India.Arie, Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music, Donny McCaslin, Liv Warfield and Kurt Rosenwinkel, among many others. In his solo outings, his music calls up moods and colors ranging from electronic music and classic R&B to psychedelic jazz.
Jonathan’s been featured numerous times in Bass Player Magazine, and these interviews and transcriptions are included in the book, " Brave New Bass: Interviews & Lessons with the Innovators, Trendsetters & Visionaries." He is a 2017 recipient of a BCA grant, and has taught and led workshops both in the US and internationally.
Since moving to New York in 1997, Israel-born tenor saxophonist, composer and educator Ofer Assaf has performed with a veritable who’s who of the jazz world and beyond. With a deep respect for and noticeable influence ranging from such legendary tenors as John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Michael Brecker, Steve Grossman, Billy Harper (a former teacher) and George Adams – Assaf’s C.V. includes work with keyboardist Adam Holzman (Miles Davis) and bassist John Lee (Music Director for the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars) as well as with George Clinton and several of Clinton’s P-Funk and Funkadelic alumni bands (including with bassist Bootsy Collins and in the horn section of keyboardist Bernie Worrell’s Orchestra). He has also played with drummer Francisco Mela, guitarist David Gilmore, pianist Arturo O’Farrill, bassist Ron McClure, Living Colour’s Will Calhoun and Vernon Reid and the Latin group KAMAFRA with Tania Maria’s percussionist Edmundo Carnero.
While in Israel Assaf attended the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts dividing his time between his two passions: music and dance (he actually began training as a professional ballet dancer at the age of eight before switching over to a full-time jazz career!). As a member of the Air Force and IDF Orchestras of the Israeli Army he had the privilege to perform at monumental events for such world leaders as former President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He also played for Jerusalem’s 3,000th anniversary celebration with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, in addition to a diverse array of national TV and radio shows, going on to perform with leading Israeli musicians as a prominent instrumentalist and member of the Tel Aviv Big Band in the mid-1990's.
After his decisive big move to New York City, he immediately entered The New School University's jazz program. While pursuing his degree he would go on to study with two of his idols in tenor saxophonist Billy Harper (Randy Weston, Art Blakey, etc.), who Assaf credits as being “very inspiring… helping me capture the significance of sound as the ultimate reflection of my inner voice.” With bassist Reggie Workman (John Coltrane, Art Blakey, etc.), who he studied and played with, Assaf gained “the importance of daring and exploring in new directions, and the concept of fearless statements.” His other New School professors included pianist Richie Beirach (Dave Liebman), trumpeter Jimmy Owens (Charles Mingus, Bill Barron) and percussionists Bobby Sanabria (Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Chico O’Farrill, Mario Bauza) and Jamey Haddad (Dave Liebman, Paul Simon). Upon graduation in 2002, a career highlight was performing with legendary jazz icons Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock at Carnegie Hall as part of the JVC Jazz Festival.
Assaf’s music has been internationally recognized... He won the Israeli National Competition in Jazz and Contemporary Music for young musicians (1991); was recipient of scholarships and awards from the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute (1999-2001) and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (1998-1992); was pre-nominated for the Grammy Awards in “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” category (2009) for his debut album Tangible Reality (Summit Records) with Jim Rotondi (trumpet), Don Pate and Essiet Essiet (bass) and Bruce Cox (drums); and with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra he was awarded “Best Funk/Fusion/Jam Song of the Year” at the 12th annual Independent Music Awards (2013).
The saxophonist has also received glowing praises from many significant jazz veterans, musicians and jazz critics alike…. (turn over and see for yourself!)
It's a pleasure to hear and see the tremendous musical growth of musicians with such superb talents as Ofer Assaf... one of the better, young, up-and-coming players who understands that strong projection of guts is needed in the expression of hard, gritty swing.
-Billy Harper (tenor saxophonist)
I really loved (his) album Tangible Reality… a very fine album. The tunes are very creative… very hip, high quality playing and composing...very well done.
-Randy Brecker (trumpeter)
Whether it’s the majestic Billy Harper tribute “The Archer”, the Michael Brecker tribute “Blues for MB” or the Trane-inspired “Tame the Wild Beast”, Assaf plays with conviction and clarity… Highly recommended.
-Bill Milkowski, Jazztimes
A big percentage of young mainstream jazz artists try to take the “Miles Davis second great quintet” tangent to make themselves sound cutting edge. Assaf seems more of a mind to craft his own voice, in terms of ensemble sound and his own individual approach… The way to break from the pack is by developing one's own voice. Ofer Assaf surges ahead on Tangible Reality.
-Dan McClenaghan, allaboutjazz.com
One of many excellent jazz musicians born in Israel who have recently come to prominence… tenor-saxophonist Ofer Assaf displays a lot of potential on his debut recording… He has a large tone, an adventurous style, and yet also has the ability to possess a ballad and make it his own… (his) playing hints at Charles Lloyd and occasionally Coltrane in spots but he basically has his own sound and post-bop style… It takes a lot of maturity to embrace vintage melodies yet make subtle variations that transform (them)… an impressive debut.
-Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene
Ebinho Cardoso/Catarina Dos Santos
The article entitled “The Promising Newcomers of the Brazilian Bass (Bass Cover Magazine- February 2007) said: "Ebinho Cardoso can redefine the course of the bass in music world wide". With Ebinho’s work over the past several years, we have already seen this prophecy in the making.
”Brazilian Ebinho Cardoso is considered one of the most promising newcomers in the bass world for the way that he uses sophisticated chord progressions, alternative tunings and other refined techniques on his instrument."
Nilton Wood - COVER Baixo 53 (Bass Magazine)
Ebinho Cardoso’s book Harmony and Chord Dictionary is a serious work; a tribute to music and the contemporary Brazilian bass."
Arismar do Espirito Santo
"I was recently in Mato Grosso and saw Ebinho (the author) playing. More than simply impress me, his playing made me see how Ebinho and his book can be a light to all of us guys that like playing chords."
Ebinho Cardoso is a virtuoso on his instrument. Due to the uniqueness of his music and technique, he is one of the most respected Brazilian bassists of the new generation. Composer, arranger, singer and researcher, Ebinho uses atypical elements of the electric bass, showing its range of possibilities. In addition to playing the bass as an accompanying instrument or as a solo instrument, he has found a unique way of playing chords on the bass that characterize his playing style; a style that combines precision and refinement. In part, he is able to achieve his sound by tuning his instrument in new ways and at higher pitches. His music blends traces of jazz with the idiosyncrasies of classical music interwoven with the rich sounds of his native Brazil.
Ebinho started off playing guitar but was invited to play bass in a rock band in his youth. While he took immediately to the bass, he wasn’t able to give up some of the sounds he was able to produce on the guitar. This restlessness gave birth to Ebinho’s innovative exploration into the possibilities of chord playing on the bass. The result is his several years of study is his book, "Harmony and Chord Dictionary as Applied to the Electric Bass", which shows numerous possibilities in the application of chord progressions, together with a dictionary containing more than 400 shapes and showing the techniques used in executing chords. The book, which had its first edition in 2005, was reviewed by Ian Guest and Sidnei Duarte and has a preface by Arthur Maia.As a result of his studies and innovative style, Ebinho has been prominent on both the national and international music scene.
In 2009, he released the CD entitled "No Rastro dos Ruidos Remotos das Rodas da Infância (On the Trail of the Remote Noises of the Wheels of Childhood)" under the British label, CURVE Music. The renowned mandolin player Hamilton de Holanda participated on the CD. In 2009 the publisher HMP released his instructional DVD entitled "Técnicas alternativas para Baixo Elétrico (Alternative Techniques for Electric Bass)". Ebinho with the Ebinho Cardoso Quartet was chosen by the Ministry of Culture to receive the Pixinguinha award for his “Cerrado (Savanna)” project. The Pixinguinha award made it possible for Ebinho and his quartet to tour across Mato Gross, Brazil and to record the CD "Cerrado", which was released in 2010. In 2011 he released the album "A Comédia do Coração (The Comedy of the Heart)", a duet with the cavaquinho (a small guitar) player Pedro Vasconcellos. Ebinho also received the "Itaú Cultural" award in 2004-2005.
He has shared the stage with big names in the music world including Abraham Laboriel, Toninho Horta, Joe Hunt, Michael Manring, Dave Samuels, Marshall Wood, Carlos Malta, Todd Johnson, Phil Granadier, Renato Braz, Celso Pixinga, Arthur Maia, Marku Ribas, Nelson Faria and others. Ebinho has performed in Jazz Festivals and Instrumental Music Festivals in Brazil and the US, He has also participated in important music events like Amazon Arts, Instrumental SESC, Brazil Circular, Cover Baixo, Baixo Brazil, among others. Ebinho is regarded wherever he goes as "the most promising newcomer of the Brazilian bass."
In January 2018 he had a tour around USA, playing in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Lincoln. Also in 2018 he releases Engenheiros, in partnership with the pianist Nando Michelin, with poems by João Cabral de Melo Neto (one of the greatest Brazilian writers).
Ebinho prepares to release in 2019 another album with Nando Michelin , with poems by Manoel de Barros, and a new edition of your book in Portuguese and English and the cd trilogy Solo, Duo and Trio, as well.
Paul Asbell Quintet
In his 50 year professional career, Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Paul Siebel, Mary McCaslin, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and many others.
His jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro has released several award-winning recordings, and performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Roskilde, in Copenhagen. Their latest, "Homecoming", was picked by Jazziz magazine for their "Best of 2009" CD, along with tracks by Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, and other heavyweights.
Paul’s 3 solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and “From Adamant To Atchafalaya”, have received numerous rave reviews for their fresh takes on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country tunes, and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition. Recent appearances include Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, MerleFest, Lunenburg Folk Festival, and many other venues. Acoustic Guitar Magazine recently did an article on him, featuring his composition “Chunky Monkey Gumbo”. 2018 saw the release of "Burmese Panther", a CD of Paul's original jazz compositions, featuring a quintet of world-class players.
Paul has taught guitar for over 45 years, including positions at Dartmouth, Skidmore, and other colleges. He presently teaches at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.
“Brazilian singer-songwriter and pianist Abelita Mateus is part of the front-facing evolution of Brazilian music as it projects into the twenty-first century.” (C. Michael Bailey)
Living in the NYC area since 2012, Mateus has taken a remarkable path. She released her debut album Vivenda in 2017 (co-produced by and featuring guitarist Romero Lubambo), which reached the 24th position on the Jazz Week Charts. Mateus is currently the pianist for the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience, directed by Dizzy Gillespie alumni John Lee. She has performed with such notables as Paquito D’Rivera, John Lee, The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Antonio Hart, Eric Alexander, Larry Coryell, Claudio Roditi, Raul de Souza, Hermeto Pascoal, Dave Stryker, Romero Lubambo, and Portinho. Mateus plays at international venues such as the Blue Note New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco, Ronnie Scott’s in London, and Bird’s Basement in Melbourne, Australia.
In December 2017, Mateus was invited to perform alongside Helen Sung, Marcia Ball and Joanne Brackeen for NPR’S A Jazz Piano Christmas at the Kennedy Center.
"Abelita Mateus has so many of the qualities that are important for any successful musician. Her piano artistry is remarkable, and she is a talented composer and vocalist. Abelita's intelligence and heart are also expressed through her music. She is part of the next generation of great Brazilian musicians. With all this talent, Abelita is someone to really keep your eyes on!
"Abelita Mateus has, in abundance, those indispensables of the musicians’ craft: sensitivity, creativity, and a prodigious technique. Most of all, she sparkles with refreshment - and for a jazz musician to sound refreshing in 2017 is no ordinary thing!"
Edward Pérez and Festejation
Edward Perez resides in the cultural crossroads of Queens, New York, where he leads parallel careers as a composer, arranger, and bassist. His works have been performed by the likes of The Silkroad Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma, Alan Gilbert, Galician gaita powerhouse Cristina Pato, Latin-jazz legend Ignacio Berroa, Latin-grammy nominated Peruvian singer Jorge Pardo, and oud phenom Kenan Adnawi. His music has been played in venues ranging from the smallest nightclubs in New York to the Kennedy Center, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Massey Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, El Gran Teatro Nacional de Lima, Damascus Opera House, and Boston Symphony Hall.
Perez began his career as a jazz bassist, but quickly branched out to Latin-Jazz and traditional styles from Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and other parts of South America. He spent his collegiate years at Harvard University, earning a math degree while cutting his teeth in the local jazz clubs in Boston. Afterwards, Perez enjoyed a two year stint in Lima, Peru where he performed with the foremost Afro-Pervuian musicians including Grammy winners Eva Ayllón and Juan Medrano Cotito as well as venerated greats of the older generation such as Oscar Avilés and Julio “Chocolate” Algendones.
Perez later returned to the US in order to establish a home base in New York and pursue his interests in modern jazz. Hailed by Jazz Times for his “great dexterity,” Perez has toured through more than 20 countries sharing the stage with jazz luminaries such as Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Seamus Blake, Lionel Loueke, Kenny Werner, Jason Palmer, and also Latin jazz powerhouses Paquito D’Rivera, Ignacio Berroa, and Arturo O’Farrill. His numerous recording credits on bass include the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz album “Second Chance” by Hector Martignon.
Also active as an educator, Perez has taught privately for The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and has held ongoing teaching positions for the Queens College Center for Preparatory Studies in Music as well as the Symphony Space Curriculum Arts Project. In the summers he teaches at Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop and has given masterclasses to bassists and improvisors on all instruments in a host of countries around the globe.
Currently, Perez co-leads the Terraza Big Band, an 18 piece jazz group which some of the strongest up-and-coming players on the New York scene gather together to play original works by co-leaders Edward Perez and Michael Thomas, which run the gamut from modern jazz to styles from Latin America. As a bassist, Perez still remains firmly rooted in jazz improvisation, but continues to play a myriad of musical styles with a variety of groups, always remaining open to allowing the influences from these collaborations to influence his compositional style.
Edward will be playing with Festejation, his new band featuring the high energy dance rhythms of Peru at THE RUSTY NAIL STAGE on the Mountain Road in Stowe on both Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th late evenings, starting at 9pm. There is no cover charge. With Edward, you will hear:
Maria Raquel - voice
Carmela Ramírez - voice
Eric Kurimski - guitar
Juan Felipe Mayorga - drums
Jeremy Smith - percussion
Felipe Fournier - percussion
Edward Pérez - bass and arrangements
Bruce Sklar and the Sklarkestra
Bruce Sklar has been playing jazz professionally for 45 years Appearing with such luminaries as Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey, the Duke Ellington Band under the direction of Mercer Ellington, Michael Ray, Trey Anastasio, Bobby Watson and Gerry Beaudoin, as well as leading his own ensembles opening up for such diverse artists such as Tito Puente, Jerry Gonzales, Betty Carter, Gil Scott-heron, Ricky Nelson , and Robert Cray . A busy educator, he teaches Jazz Studies and Music Technology in Central Vermont
Whitesell Brothers Quartet
Twin brothers Jake Whitesell (saxophone) and Sam Whitesell (piano) have been delighting audiences together with their music for over two decades. After studying jazz and classical performance at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music they eventually moved to Vermont and formed the Whitesell Brothers Quartet, a showcase for their original music inspired by beauty, joy and interconnection. The quartet has appeared at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival annually since 2013, at the Newport Vermont Jazz Festival in 2015, and at the FlynnSpace for First Night Burlington in 2017.
One of Vermont's most in-demand, versatile saxophonists, Jake tours extensively with Kat Wright and performs locally with his own jazz groups and a variety of other ensembles. As lead alto saxophonist with Wally Siebel's All-Star Big Band in Potsdam, NY, Jake has backed up jazz greats Gary Smulyan, Ken Peplowski, John Pizzarelli, Steve Wilson. Jake has also performed with The Temptations, Ray Vega, The Dartmouth Gospel Choir, and Vermont bands Gua Gua, Barika, Mal Maiz, The Chad Hollister Band, and The Grift.
With a broad musical background including classical, jazz, and worship music, Sam brings a unique mix of sensitivity, spirit, and passion to each of his performances. He loves creating music that touches the spirit and makes it dance, whisking away the listener to unexpected realms. Sam runs a dynamic music teaching studio and performs regularly in a wide array of musical contexts in the Burlington area.
Andy Gagnon & Lovecraft
Andy Gagnon Presents: Lovecraft
Featuring members of Ray Vega’s Latin Jazz Sextet, The Vermont Jazz Ensemble, Saturn People’s Sound Collective, Big Band Bhangra Brass Band, and The Renegade Groove, LOVECRAFT performs original compositions alongside fresh takes on beloved standards. Brian Boyes, Evan Crandell, Ed Owens, and special guest Tom Cleary join Andy Gagnon.
Tom Cleary - not pictured