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JAZZ FESTIVAL 2018

Join us for the 3d annual BSBI Jazz Festival on December 1st & 2nd

Meet the Performers

Grass Routes Bluegrass Band

Grass Routes is a Connecticut five-piece bluegrass band. They have been delighting audiences for many years with a repertoire ranging from traditional bluegrass standards to folk and original contemporary  songs all performed in their own unique bluegrass style. Skillful instrumental work and strong vocals give Grass Routes their own characteristic sound. Showcasing especially tight harmonies, vocals include duets to four-part harmonies. What makes Grass Routes unique is that each member sings lead. With five lead vocalists, Grass Routes presents a different style and material with each vocal arrangement.

Members include Joe Lemeris (banjo and dobro), Bill Reveley (mandolin and fiddle), Marilyn Toback-Reveley (rhythm  guitar), Tim St. Jean (song writer, mandolin, fiddle, concertina, lead guitar), Joe DeLillo (upright bass).

View Grass Routes Bluegrass Band's Website Here

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Marilyn Toback-Reveley

Bill Reveley

Tim St. Jean

Joe Delillo

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       Joe Lemeris

 

Scott Rosen Quartet

Scott Rosen

"Scott plays with a sensitivity and musicality that is rare.  His playing reflects his desire to engage the listener with the music rather than impress with his technical skill.  You'll hear bluesy lines, interesting harmonic ideas and thoughtful lyricism free of artifice.  A treat for the discerning listener."  Mimi Fox, jazz guitarist and winner in 6 consecutive Downbeat Magazine international critic's polls.
 
Scott started playing guitar in 1969 at age twelve. Scott studied with Linc Chamberland and at Berklee College of Music. He began playing professionally in 1974 and has played with jazz greats Dave Liebman, Richard Beirach and Pee Wee Ellis among others. His early career crossed many genres from rock and blues to radio jingles.  Now Scott devotes all of his musical energies to his first love -- jazz.  This is Scott’s third appearance at BSBI Jazz Festival, having led a quartet for the first and playing with saxophonist Greg Abate for the second.  Scott has recently performed with Grammy nominee Jazzmeia Horn, Avery Sharpe, Steve Davis, and others.  He counts as his influences guitarists Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Pat Martino and Wes Montgomery and well as contemporary guitarist Peter Bernstein.  He has just completed a recording of standards and originals which features Downbeat Magazine poll winning drummer Matt Wilson, pianist Jen Allen and bassist Henry Lugo.

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Henry Lugo

Bassist Henry Lugo performs as a member the Noah Baerman Trio and Yoron Israel’s High Standards Quartet. Proficient on both double bass and electric bass, his performance experience stretches across many genres. He has shared the bandstand with numerous jazz artists like Jimmy Greene, Wayne Escoffery, Sam Newsome, Victor Lewis ​​​​​​and Robby Ameen. As a studio musician he has recorded for various film and television productions. Henry teaches strings at Betsy Ross Arts Middle School, performance ensembles at Naugatuck Valley Community College and electric bass at Southern Connecticut State University. He lives in New Haven.

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Jen Allen

Jen is presently a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City, and is featured on the upcoming debut release of the innovative, collaboratively led Trio 149 (with Noah Baerman and Jonathan Blake).  Jen is on the faculty of Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, directing the Jazz Ensemble, teaching jazz history and music business.  She loves connecting with her students and teaching them about the deep possibilities for using music to reflect, connect and transform the world around them. Jen is also a senior teaching artist for Litchfield Performing Arts, Inc. and has previously held positions at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and The University of Hartford.

 

Learn more about Jen Allen Here

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The Brubeck Brothers Quartet

Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music together practically all their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist, and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1966—nearly a half century ago. They’ve subsequently played a variety of styles in a number of different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck, and with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, complete this dynamic quartet. They perform at concert series, colleges, and jazz festivals across North America and Europe including the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. The Quartet’s last cd, LifeTimes was a hit on the Jazz Week radio chart where it made the Top Ten list as one of the most played jazz recordings of the year.

View the Brubeck Brothers Quartet's Website Here

Chris Brubeck

Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as a creative force and multi-faceted performer on fretless bass, bass trombone and piano. An award-winning writer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music.                                    

 

Mike DeMicco

Mike DeMicco, guitarist and composer for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (BBQ), has toured extensively worldwide since 1980. He grew up in the arts colony of Woodstock, New York, immersed in blues, jazz and rock music. His musical diversity has since led him to work with celebrated artists in many genres.

 

Dan Brubeck

Born in Oakland on May 4, 1955, Dan Brubeck was a highly energetic child who found his calling at the trap set. Mentored by two consummate polyrhythmic masters, Joe Morello and Alan Dawson (at the Berklee College of Music), he was working professionally before he finished his teens.

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Chuck Lamb

Chuck Lamb  has been a member of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet since 2002 and is not only an exciting and emotive pianist in his own right, but also a prolific composer of jazz, fusion, classical and world music.

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June Bisantz & Alex Nakhimovsky

present Love's Tango, featuring Norman Johnson

June Bisantz

Musician and visual artist, June has co-written and produced several collections of vocal jazz, all of which have received national and international recognition. Bisantz has performed and recorded with distinguished jazz musicians including Steve Swallow, Bob Moses, Paul Brown, Lew Soloff, Jerry Neiwood, Mike Stern, Valery Ponomarev and Will Lee.  Bisantz performs and records with acclaimed jazz/classical pianist/composer Alex Nakhimovsky and renowned smooth jazz guitarist/composer Norman Johnson. Bisantz and Nakhimovsky’s current project, “Love’s Tango”, a  collection of Latin/jazz original compositions is planned for release in early 2019.

Find out more about June Bisantz Here

 

Alex Nakhimovsky

Performer, recording artist, producer, arranger and educator, Alex studied at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT with Jackie McLean and Luiz Castro. His accomplishments as a Jazz and Classical artist include solo and ensemble performances  visiting over 50 countries and 6 continents including Russia, Japan, Israel and the US. He has toured performing with Jazz legends such as Benny Golson, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Cobb, Valery Ponomarev, Sheila Jordan, Bill Evans, Carla Cook and many others. He  has also performed on some of America’s greatest stages including Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York City.

Find out more about Alex Nakhimovsky Here

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Norman Johnson

 

Guitarist and composer, Norman was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He began playing at the age of 16 and studied at the Greater Hartford Conservatory of Music and the Hartt School of Music. Classical guitar, from the likes of Segovia and Earl Klugh, became major influences on Norman. He also engages in contemporary jazz, smooth jazz and Latin grooves. He has played with Dave Brubeck, Jerry Bergonzi, Phil Wilson and many others. Norman is an educator at several institutions in the greater Hartford area and is owner of the recording studio, Manor Recording, where he records and produces local and national artists.

Find out more about Norman Johnson Here

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Matt Dwonszyk

Born in Hartford CT, Dwonszyk started playing the electric bass at the age eleven. In high school, he picked up the upright bass while attending the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts and soon started attending the Artist Collective after school program founded by the legendary Jazz Saxophonist/Composer, Jackie McLean. Dwonszyk continued his collegiate studies at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz studying with world-renowned bassist Nat Reeves. He graduate and continued his studies at Suny Purchase where he received a Masters in Music in 2015. Dwonszyk currently lives in Brooklyn and is an active bassist in New York. He has performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in NYC, the Baikal Jazz Festival (Yakutsk, Siberia), the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Hartford Jazz Festival, Jazz & Colors Festival (Metropolitan Museum of Art), The Kennedy Center, Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, The Blue Note, Smoke Jazz Club and the Fat Cat. Dwonszyk has performed with Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, David Hazeltine, Anthony Wonsey, Rick Germanson, Pete Malinverni, Steve Wilson, Abraham Burton, Javon Jackson, Gary Smulyan, Bennie Wallace, Wayne Escoffery, Mike Diruboo, Myron WaldenJohn Farnsworth, Joe Farnsworth, Winard Harper, Joe Strasser, Eddie Henderson, Jumaane Smith, Wallace Roney, Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, Steve Turre, Freddie Hendrix and Duane Eubanks

Learn more about Matt Dwonszyk Here

 

Brunilda Myftaraj

Albanian-American violinist Brunilda Myftaraj has drawn enthusiastic accolades from audiences as well as critical acclaim for her masterful musicianship in Albania, Italy, Greece, France, Morocco, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and in the United States. She has been praised by the New London Day critic as an “especially fine and beautiful player”.

In the United States Brunilda Myftaraj has performed as soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Farmington Valley Orchestra and a number of times with The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Brunilda has presented recitals at the Piano and Friends Chamber Music series in Tucson Arizona, Mostly Mozart series in Napa Valley, the Schubert Club in Minneapolis, Performers of Westchester and many more. She has been featured on radio stations in NY, CT and MA and in the Hartford Courant paper.

Ms. Myftaraj currently holds the position of Concertmaster for the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Connecticut Lyric Opera.  She is the director of the Virtuosi Music Academy and the Summer Music Institute in Farmington, Connecticut, where she also teaches violin and chamber music.

Learn more about Brunilda Myftaraj Here

 

Willie Jones III

With an unparalleled style of rhythmic expression, drummer Willie Jones III is one of the world's leading jazz drummers. In addition to honoring his monumental influences - the late greats Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey and Billy Higgins - Jones' bold articulation and constantly innovative sense of swing are results of his life-long musical experience. 

 

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Davis & Mastroianni 

Steve Davis

Steve Davis is widely regarded as one of today’s leading improvisers on the trombone. His lyrical, hard-swinging style first gained him broad recognition during the 1990’s while working with the bands of jazz legends Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea’s Origin and the cooperative sextet, One For All. Steve has appeared in Downbeat Magazine’s Reader’s and Critic’s Polls numerous times, winning the TDWR (Rising Star) Trombone Category in 1998. Steve has also been recently nominated by The JJA four years in a row 2010-13 as Trombonist of the Year.

Read more about Steve Davis Here

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John Mastroianni

John has performed as a professional musician since he was fifteen years old. His talents as a saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and arranger have led him to a diversity of musical experiences.

Read more about John Mastroianni Here

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Esteban Castro

Esteban is a 16–year old pianist and composer from the Greater New York area who captivates audiences and critics with performances that are intimate and sophisticated beyond his years. He has been fortunate to share the stage with jazz greats such as Billy Hart, Christian McBride, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Marcus Miller. In 2016, at age 13, Esteban was chosen as youngest to be the First Prize Winner in the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition.  He has played to sold- out audiences at the Blue Note, the Montreux Jazz Club, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and has also performed abroad in Switzerland, Italy, France, Peru and Puerto Rico.

Read more about Esteban Castro Here

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Sheila Jordon

 One of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers, Sheila Jordan has a relatively small voice, but has done the maximum with her instrument to become a  superb scat singer, and also an emotional interpreter of ballads.   She moved to New York in the 1950’s, studied with Lennie Tristano and worked in New York clubs. George Russell used her on an unusual recording of “You Are My Sunshine” and she became one of the few singers to lead her own Blue Note album (1962).  For the past 20 years Sheila and Cameron Brown have been performing together worldwide, and she also has completed 3 tours of Russia with Alex Nakhimovsky. Recently Sheila was voted #3 in the 2018 Downbeat Readers poll for best female jazz vocalist.

Read more about Sheila Jordon Here

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Cameron Brown

Although he spent some years studying piano, Brown switched to bass while still at school and later, while studying at university, attracted attention for his playing in a jazz quartet.  In the mid-60s he spent some time in Europe, playing with musicians of the caliber of George Russell, Don Cherry and Donald Byrd. On his return to the USA he taught for a few years before becoming a member of the house band at a New York nightclub. In this capacity he accompanied many leading jazz musicians and also recorded with Sheila Jordan before returning to Europe, this time to tour with Archie Shepp in the mid-70s.  The solid rhythmic pulse he imparts, and his keen sense of time, have been very important in providing an anchor for the freewheeling complexities of the various bands of which he has been an invaluable part.

Read more about Cameron Brown Here

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Wed, October 17 2018 8 Cheshvan 5779