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JAZZ FESTIVAL 2021

Saturday, December 4th 2021

7:00 pm

Doors open at 6:30pm

 

VIP Seating $72

General Seating $36

Student $20

Live Stream $ 36

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*COVID protocols will be in place for in-person attendance including vaccination requirement and mask wearing.

Karrin Allyson

Karrin Allyson, 5time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, pianist, and songwriter is widely recognized as one of the most gifted voices of her generation. With fifteen albums under her belt, she has built a mastery of The Great American Songbook, blues, pop, bebop, Brazilian, and French chansons, to name a few.
Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Allyson now lives in New York City, after growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, attending high school in the Bay Area, earning her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and spending time in both Kansas City and Minneapolis before making the move in 2000. Since moving to New York, Allyson’s band has consisted of such players as Bruce Barth, Ed Howard, James Williams, Adam Cruz, Steve Wilson, Miro Sprague, Jerome Jennings, and Jeff Johnson. Also an accomplished vocal instructor, Allyson travels the world teaching, touring, and playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues, and clubs of the U.S. and overseas.
With fifteen albums released so far, and always more exciting projects in the works, Allyson’s range and creativity seems to have no bounds. What unites this wide world of music is Allyson’s warmth and depth. She’s not just singing a lyric, she’s telling you her story. And then that becomes your story. You hear the music from the inside out.
 
 

The Argiro Quintet

 
This is the second edition of the Argiro Quintet; the first having been formed in Santa Barbara, California in 1989. At that time, the emphasis was on replicating the sound of the famous George Shearing Quintet, with new arrangements and some transcriptions from Shearing recordings. On occasion, some of Shearing’s former musicians would substitute when a permanent member was unavailable.
The current quintet’s music and musicians create an interesting mix. With leader Argiro being the eldest, there’s a wide age range represented and the varied creative musical backgrounds of each musician converge to create an eclectic approach to the music that is always innovative and exciting. Please see the personal bios for more information.
 
Collectively, the extensive list of renowned jazz artists with which members have performed includes: Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Joe Wilder, Branford Marsalis, Anthony Braxton, Houston Person, Mel Torme, Marlena Shaw, Ernie Andrews, Lionel Hampton, "Cat" Anderson, Red Rodney, Ernie Watts, Jeff Hamilton, Shelly Manne and Louis Bellson, These collective musical experiences find their expression in the group’s strong identity, where a playful interaction is always present. The Quintet and their original music are also an integral part of, Chasing Rainbows, a new movie starring Swedish actress, Kristi Torhaug, scheduled for release in 2015.
 

James Argiro

James received his training at The Hartford Conservatory of Music, The University of Southern California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and The Institute of Audio Research in New York.
 
His professional career began at age 14 and at age 16, he led a popular R & B/Blues band on the east coast, performing with many of the top recording artists of the period.
 
James is currently a faculty member at Westfield State University and the University of Massachusetts.

Rich Goldstein

Hartford based guitarist Rich Goldstein received his initial training at the Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz and completed his Master in Jazz Studies at Purchase College in New York. Rich has appeared with a wide range of musicians including, Andy Laverne, Nat Reeves, Charles Flores, Jimmy Greene, Horacio Hernandez,  Houston Person, Reverend Hubert Powell, and Randy Johnston at major jazz venues and festivals. In 2008, after many notable recordings, Rich released his first CD, “Comin’ from Montgomery”, a tribute to the Montgomery Brothers. In 2011 Rich recorded “Effervescent” with panist Andy LaVerne, bassist Steve LaSpina, drummer Anthony Pinciotti, and saxophone veteran Billy Drewes. Rich is professor of jazz guitar at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, Central and Southern Connecticut State Universities. In addition to his lectures and master classes, he co-leads a quartet with pianist Andy LaVerne.

Mario DeCiutiis

Mario studied classical percussion at NYU with Morris Lang from the New York Philharmonic.  Subsequently, he attended Queen's college and received his Bachelors's Degree in jazz performance and electronic music studying vibes with David Friedman.  
 
Since 1986, Mario fulfilled the role of Vice President of KAT Inc., involved in the creation, design, manufacturing and world-wide distribution of KAT electronic controllers.
 
In 1996 Mario became President and CEO of Alternate Mode Inc. Alternate Mode manufactures the complete line of KAT MIDI Percussion Controllers. Alternate Mode also focuses on the education of MIDI Percussion. The creation of alternatemode.tv allows for free internet classroom presentations on many topics concerning today's percussionists.
 
Mario continually creates and hosts percussion camps and seminars throughout the country. Visit his website for more information.

Jason Schwartz

Jason earned his Master of Music degree in composition from the Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut and received the Edward Diemente Award for excellence in music composition. After releasing his first CD of original compositions, Green Horizon, in 2005, Jason’s many collaborations include a stint with Jonathan Lamarr Edwards’ group featuring internationally acclaimed, avant-garde clarinetist Perry Robinson.
 
Much in demand for his excellent bass work, Jason has performed with a variety of great musicians including, Joe Belmont, Warren Byrd, Saskia Laroo, Jon Fisher, Nicole Zuraitis, Sinan Bakir,  Nicki Mathis, Atla and Matt DeChaplain, Jason Robinson, Claire Arenius, the Darryl Kniffen Sextet, Sandy Bailey, Levin Schwartz, Laila Salins, Jim Matus and many more.
 
Jason is a faculty member at his alma mater, Westfield State University and at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he directs the Chamber Jazz Ensemble.

Clark Seibold

Clark earned his BA in Jazz Performance, Cum Laude, from Westfield State College and in 1995, received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and the IAJE Jazz MVP Award. He is currently the Jazz Director at the Wilbraham Monson Academy.
 
Clark has toured with national blues artists such as, Jeff Pichell, Albert Cummings, Eddie Seville and the Vibro Kings, Sharp Harp Junior, Guy Wallace Blues Band, Walley Graney,”Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze”, the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, “Changes In Latitudes” and many others. His extensive work in this area and also in a wide variety of jazz ensembles and big bands gives him that rare ability to perform authentically in any musical setting and his vast musical experiences underpins every performance.

 

Atla DeChamplain

Atla DeChamplain grew up in Southington, CT. Her biggest influences are Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Jon Hendricks and Mel Torme. She graduated from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music and formed a trio with her future husband Matt Dechamplain on piano. She later received her Masters degree with a full scholarship. Atla worked as jazz legend Jon Hendricks’ assistant and researched vocal jazz pedagogy as it relates to the performer. The Berlin, Connecticut resident is also working on a book about learning and performing jazz and also authors a blog for aspiring Jazz Vocalists as well. Atla currently teaches privately and concertizes with her husband, pianist Matt DeChamplain.

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Matt Dwonszyk Group

Matt Dwonszyk is an accomplished bassist, composer, arranger and educator from Rocky Hill, CT. Dwonszyk graduated from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz studying under his mentor and world-renowned bassist, Nat Reeves and then went on to receive his Masters degree from SUNY Purchase College. Based in Brooklyn, NY since 2015, Matt still frequents back home to Connecticut to perform and teach. 
 
Dwonszyk has shared the bandstand with world-renowned jazz musicians such as Steve Davis, Harold Mabern, Jazzmeia Horn, Bennie Wallace, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Herlin Riley among many others. In 2018, Dwonszyk toured through Russia apart of the Rainy Days Jazz Festival and in 2019, he toured through Canada with the Oleg Butman Trio. His last tour was in 2020 with Jonathan Barber and Vision Ahead through the west coast of the United States. He frequently performs at some of the top jazz clubs in New York City including Smalls, Dizzy's Coca Cola Club, Smoke and The Blue Note.
 
Dwonszyk’s debut recording, "Wonderful World", was released May of 2019. He performs with his group, the Dwonztet, featuring some of the top jazz musicians on the scene today. Dwonszyk has been on faculty at Manchester Community College since 2019 teaching Jazz Bass and conducting master classes. He assists at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz and teaches privately throughout New England.
 
 

Abraham Burton

It was once written in the New York Times by jazz columnist Peter Watrous, “If Abraham Burton were to be drawn in a caricature, there would be flames coming out of his horn…” Approaching three decades as a prominent figure on the jazz scene, world-renowned saxophonist and educator Abraham Burton’s passionate sound can still ignite a room filled with patrons. Abraham Burton has been showcased as a soloist on two Grammy award-winning albums and a featured musician on more than one hundred recordings.
Throughout his career Abraham has performed and recorded with numerous contemporaries as well as legendary jazz artists including Rashid Ali, Kenny Barron, Walter Bishop Jr., James Carter, Michael Carvin, Santi Debriano, Rein de Graaff, Roy Hargrove, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, John Hicks,Terumasa Hino, Yosuke Inoue, Victor Lewis, Harold Mabern, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Mulgrew Miller, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, David Murray, Steve Nelson, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Queen, Larry Ridley, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Smith, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Taylor, Kenny Washington, David Williams and Jimmy Woode.
In recent years, Abraham’s interest has broadened to teaching and sharing his musical knowledge and experience with future generations. In 2013 Abraham was awarded the prestigious Ralph Bunche Fellowship at Rutgers University where he received his Masters Degree in Music. Abraham also has joined the faculty at both the Jackie McLean institute of Jazz (University of Hartford) and Rutgers University where his classes are in high demand. Musically, Abraham continues to explore unchartered territories while devoting time to teach and inspire future generations, passing forward the infinite torch of jazz.
 

Abraham Burton

Jonathan Barber

New York City-based Jonathan Barber was voted the #1 Up-and-Coming Drummer of 2018 in Modern Drummer. Only 31 years old, he has already recorded and toured worldwide with such artists as Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams, Jeremy Pelt, Wallace Roney, Terrace Martin, Jennifer Holiday, Harold Mabern, Steve Davis, Stefon Harris, and many more. Barber has also been called on for such significant performances as Jimmy Greene’s Ana Grace Project (with an all-star band comprised of Greene, Kenny Barron, John Patitucci, and Kurt Elling) and back-to-back sold-out concerts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Erykah Badu at the BAM Opera House.
In addition to his first-call status as a sideman, Barber has recently stepped forth as a composer and leader with his Vision Ahead band, featuring saxophonist Godwin Louis, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, and pianist Taber Gable. Even with Barber’s history of high-profile gigs and recordings taken into consideration, DownBeat magazine calls Vision Ahead’s self-titled debut album his “greatest accomplishment to date.” Released on Rockwood Music Hall’s largest stage in May 2018, Vision Ahead is a powerful declaration of intent for a band that’s been making waves on the modern jazz scene since its debut performance at Smalls Jazz Club. The group’s blend of classic, swinging jazz with elements of gospel, rock, soul, and fusion is a compelling showcase of Barber’s broad stylistic range as a composer and performer. Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead was featured and headline the 2018 Rainy Days Jazz Festival held in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.
In September 2019, Barber completed his first solo drum tour in Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina). Barber endorses Ludwig Drums, Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Promark Drumsticks, and Sunhouse Percussion.
 

Jonathan Barber

Benito Gonzalez

Pianist Benito Gonzalez “Two times Grammy nominee”is an internationally beloved artist who combines a long lineage of American jazz traditions with rhythms from around the world. He’s worked with dozens of the greats, and he always brings some of the best rhythm section players in the world.
Today a rising tide of young jazz pianists are attempting to find their distinct voices by
taking cues from their elders. But only a few take their artistry beyond their predecessors to make bold 88-key statements on their journeys to new vistas, fresh sounds, inspired expressions. That personal-touch devotion to the wonders of the instrument brings with it a certitude of intuitive creativity.
That fortitude fuels Benito Gonzalez, an exhilarating pianist who won the 2005 Great America Jazz Piano Competition and was honored in 2020 to be a Steinway & Sons artist for “his sound [that] is recognizable for the powerful rhythm section and Afro-Latin patterns he prioritizes across his projects.” The Venezuela-born, New York-based artist grew up playing traditional Venezuelan folk music with his family before absorbing the inventiveness of such pianists as Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner,Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett who inspired him to join in the explorations on the instrument.
Gonzalez made his way to U.S. by a serendipitous route when an American cultural ambassador caught one of his trio gigs and later invited him to come to Washington, D.C. He was enlisted to play shows with Ghanaian master drummer Okyerema Asante that led to a recording. “After my first six months here, I decided to stay in this country to learn the music right,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez went on to play with Jackie McLean in 2003, then joined Kenny Garrett’s quartet for seven years until 2013—during which time he garnered two Grammy band nominations. After his stint with Garrett, he played with saxophonist Azar Lawrence’s band and then in 2019 joined saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders as his pianist/musical director.
Through the course of his career, Gonzalez has been instrumental as a sideman in performing and recording with such jazz greats as Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Liebman, Gary Bartz, Curtis Fuller, Al Foster, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Ignacio Berroa, Jeff”Tain”Watts, Buster Williams, Rene McLean, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Hamiet Bluiett, Ron Blake, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Gross, and Azar Lawrence.
Gonzalez also recorded his own albums, including Starting Point (2004) and Circles
(2010), then continued his solo career with Dream Rhapsody (2015) with Slavic flutist/vocalist Sisa Michalidesová, and a loving tribute to McCoy Tyner Passion Reverence Transcendence (2018).
With propulsive pulse and Afro-Latin percussive drive, Gonzalez placed rhythm at the core of 2021’s Sing to the World, his fifth album and first released on the St. Petersburg, Russia label Rainy Days Records. He assembled an impressive team of collaborators, including Christian McBride, Essiet Okon Essiet, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Nicholas Payton as well as rising stars Russian drummer Sasha Mashin, trumpeter Josh Evans.
In addition to his slow-to-upbeat originals, Gonzalez added to the set list two compositions that had never been recorded by their composers: Roy Hargrove’s soulful “Father” and the “Tain” beauty “416.” After almost seven years of touring with Kenny Garrett, Benito has added numerous festivals and international jazz club dates to his credit. In 2019 he joined legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders as pianist and musical director.
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