THE BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET,
DAVE BRUBECK'S CENTENNIAL
2020 marks the Centennial Year of jazz giant Dave Brubeck. To celebrate his life and legacy, Dave's sons Chris and Dan Brubeck, who performed and recorded with their father since the 1970s, curate a multimedia show with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb complete this dynamic quartet. Through stories told by his sons and music performed by the Quartet, the show invites audiences to travel along the timeline of Dave’s extraordinary life and career.
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. They have subsequently played a variety of styles in several different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck. The dynamic Brubeck Brothers Quartet is made complete by guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb. Together 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. Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in “straight-ahead” jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues and world music. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. “The BBQ attains that rare field level where music is both relaxed and expressive, and their joy in its creation is contagious. There’s nothing out there that comes close to their unique blend of inventiveness.” All About Jazz
Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer who is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. Respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein called Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two groups: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums), and Triple Play, an acoustic trio featuring Chris on piano, bass and trombone along with guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica player extraordinaire Peter Madcat Ruth. After a concert with Triple Play in California, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote: Triple Play was rollicking good fun … led by bassist, trombonist and pianist Chris Brubeck, the trio stole the show with its flair and virtuosity.”
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.
Over the years Dan was featured on nearly a dozen albums with his father, and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, including many appearances with the world’s leading orchestras. He’s been an integral part of the various Brubeck bands, including the Darius Brubeck Ensemble, Two Generations of Brubeck, and the New Brubeck Quartet. He’s toured internationally and recorded three widely played albums with his electric jazz group, The Dolphins, and co-led the Brubeck LaVerne Trio with his brother Chris and pianist Andy LaVerne. A stylistically versatile musician, he’s toured with acts ranging from The Band and David Benoit to Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. He’s recorded with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, singer~songwriter Livingston Taylor, jazz~pop singer Michael Franks, and pioneering blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.
Mike DeMicco’s expansive embrace of music has led him to work with prominent artists in many genres. He’s toured the world extensively since 1980, performing and recording with a diverse cross-section of jazz, blues and popular artists, including Dave Brubeck, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Jack DeJohnette, Nick Brignola, Warren Bernhardt, Lee Shaw, Rory Block, James & Livingston Taylor, Professor “Louie” and The Crowmatix, and many others. Mike’s selected performance highlights include appearances on PBS and NPR; at the major European and North American jazz festivals; and at prestigious clubs and venues such as The Kennedy Center, Ronnie Scott’s, LA’s Jazz Bakery, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Five Spot, The Bottom Line, Wolf Trap, Great American Music Hall, and BB King’s.
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. As part of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and with his own groups, Chuck has performed at numerous renowned venues around the world, including most of the major Jazz Festivals and in such international venues as Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow with the Russian National Orchestra and with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in Singapore.
FRANK VIGNOLA'S HOT JAZZ
Frank Vignola’s Hot Jazz Guitar Trio featuring Vinny Raniolo and Gary Mazzaroppi are some of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. Hear a wide repertoire of unique fresh arrangements as this astounding trio covers works from Beethoven, Bach to Paul Simon and Frank Zappa as only they can!
- Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark O’Connor, Boston Pops, New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List” for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola has performed at some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals in the world including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, Liverpool Philharmonic, Quebec Music Festival and Italy’s Teatro Olimpico.
- Vinny Raniolo’s dynamic playing has brought him to 18 countries performing alongside Tommy Emmanuel, Vince Giordano and others. Raniolo has also been featured on three PBS music shows including the heavily programmed Tommy Emmanuel and Friends, Frank Vignola’s Four Generations of Guitar, and in the Music gone Public Series. Film and recording credits include soundtracks and on-screen appearances for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Woody Allen’s film Cafe Society and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman
- Gary Mazzaroppi, One of the most respected jazz bassists on the east coast, Mazzaroppi has toured extensively with the Lionel Hampton Big Band for five years. Since then, he has accompanied many jazz artists including Red Norvo, Herb Ellis, Stan Getz, Joe Morello, Buddy Rich, Jim Hall, Barney Kessel, Clark Terry, Charlie Byrd, and Mark O’Connor.
THE JIM McNEELY TRIO
Jim McNeely was born in Chicago, moving to New York City in 1975. In 1978 he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. He spent six years as a featured soloist with that band and its successor, Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra (now The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra). 1981 saw the beginning of Jim’s 4-year tenure as pianist/composer with the Stan Getz Quartet. From 1990 until 1995 he held the piano chair in the Phil Woods Quintet. At the present time, he leads his own tentet, his own trio, and he appears as soloist at concerts and festivals worldwide.
Jim’s reputation as composer/arranger and conductor for large jazz bands continues to flourish, and has earned him ten Grammy nominations. In 1996 he re-joined The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as pianist and Composer-in Residence. He is also chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, where he has collaborated on projects with great artists such as Dave Holland, John Scofield, Luciana Souza, Branford Marsalis, Dave Douglas, and many others. Other recent work includes projects with the Danish Radio Big Band (where he was chief conductor for five years), the Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands), the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times has called his writing “exhilarating”; DownBeat has said that his music is “eloquent enough to be profound”. And he won a Grammy for his work on the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s “Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard” on Planet Arts Records.
Jim has appeared as sideman on numerous recordings led by major artists such as Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer, David Liebman, Art Farmer, Robert Watson, and Phil Woods. He has numerous albums under his own name. The latest is the Grammy-nominated “Barefoot Dances and Other Visions”, with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band on the Planet Arts label (“a powerful suite…superb…demonstrates a feeling for arranging orchestral colors that is magical”—All About Jazz.com)
Teaching is also an important element of Jim’s work. He is on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music. He was involved with the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop for 24 years, including 16 years as musical director. He has appeared at numerous college jazz festivals in the U.S. as performer and clinician. He has also done clinics and major residencies at dozens of institutions in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Egypt.
THE HARRY ALLEN QUARTET
- Harry Allen has recorded over 70 CDs as a leader and many more as a sideman. Three of Harry's CDs have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan's Swing Journal Magazine and his CD Tenors Anyone? won both the Gold Disc Award and the New Star Award. His recordings have made the top ten list for favorite new releases in Swing Journal Magazine's reader's poll and Jazz Journal International's critic's poll for 1997 and Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won't Dance), the third Gold Disc Award winner, was voted second for album of the year for 1998 by Swing Journal Magazine's reader's poll. The Harry Allen - Joe Cohn Quartet won the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Jazz Combo Performance of 2006 and was nominated for Best Jazz Combo by the Jazz Journalists Association for the same year. Harry also won the 2010 New York Nightlife Award for Best Jazz Solo.
Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Jay Geils, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna and Al Foster, among others.
- An immensely talented musician, Mike Renzi was influenced in his early years as a pianist by Bill Evans. After living and working in and around Providence, he graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music in 1973 and Berklee College Of Music the following year. During these years of study he worked with local bands and as accompanist to visiting artists. Among these was Sylvia Sims and it was as a direct result of this engagement that he was hired to work with Mel Tormé. In 1976 he moved to New York City and from the late 70s onwards through the next two decades and into the early years of the twenty-first century, he appeared on scores of albums, sometimes only as pianist but most often also as arranger. Renzi also plays keyboards and occasionally guitar. Developing his own, hard bop style, Renzi also became a much sought after arranger. As a brief listing of the numerous artists with whom he has worked will show, many of them are singers with whom he established a special rapport, and in some cases has acted as musical director: Ruth Brown, Laverne Butler, Ann Hampton Callaway, Diahann Carroll, Freddy Cole, Cynthia Crane, Meredith D’Ambrosio, Blossom Dearie, Scott Hamilton, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Jack Jones, Eartha Kitt, Steve LaSpina, Cleo Laine, Peggy Lee, Jay Leonhart, Gloria Lynne, Maureen McGovern, Liza Minnelli, Gerry Mulligan, Mark Murphy, Houston Person, John Pizzarelli, Annie Ross, George Shearing, an eight-week tour with Frank Sinatra, Carol Sloane, Grady Tate.
Although most often heard on albums by others, Renzi has also made a small number of fine albums as leader. He has also been musical director for many years on Sesame Street, writing most of the incidental music. Another long-term television project has been his work as one of four resident composers on All My Children. Highly respected by his peers, Renzi brings to all that he does high standards of musical excellence.
- Paul Del Nero has performed on acoustic and electric bass, both in big bands and small groups. He has played many national and international jazz festivals, clubs, and shows. He has toured with the famous Artie Shaw Orchestra under the direction of Dick Johnson, with several Broadway shows and has recorded on the Concord, Candid and GM labels. Widely known for his talent and style, he is a former artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre and a USIA grant recipient.
For over 25 years, Paul has been a regular choice of blues legend, Mose Allison, for his performances in the Northeast US. Paul has also played with the likes of Hal Crook, Benny Golson, Charlie Rouse, Donald Byrd, Buddy Tate, Dakota Staton and numerous other well-known jazz artists.
- As a drummer, Gary Johnson has been working professionally for over thirty years. He is the son of New England jazz great Dick Johnson. For four years, he traveled extensively with the Artie Shaw Orchestra under the direction of Dick Johnson. during that time he accompanied such artists as Rosemary Clooney, Buddy Defranco and Connie Haines. Gary has also worked with Scott Hamilton, Dave McKenna, Ken Peplowski, Keely Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Ruby Braff and Phil Wilson's Big Band. Formal training consists of studies with instructor Bill Flanagan, Fred Buda of The Boston Pops and jazz artist Alan Dawson. Currently playing with Bombay Jim and the Swingin' Sapphires featuring vocalist Jim Porcella, Lou Colombo's jazz group and The Ray Santini Quartet. Also freelancing in the New England area, recordings include work with Dick Johnson's Swingshift, "Artie's Choice", featuring Dick Johnson and Lou Colombo, Bombay Jim, The Chris Taylor Trio, guitarist Fred Fried and Lee Childs and the Bourbon Street Paraders.
Blue Fuse Jazz combines virtuosic instrumental performances with soulful musicianship for an enchanting performance of jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of 1930s and 1940s Paris. This Maine-based quartet has been turning heads since its debut in 2018 and is a regular in discerning listening rooms throughout the state. Transport yourself “across the pond” and back in time with an interpretative style of music that showcases the acoustic guitar, accordion and double bass. Tap your feet and dance in the aisles to swingin’ tunes you know from both the U.S. and Europe as well as original compositions arranged right here in Maine.
Adam Yeager, lead guitar
Sonja Florman, accordion and vocals
Craig Hensley, rhythm guitar
Dan Koloski, double bass and vocals
THE WHITEHEAD / DEAN GROUP
Whitehead/Dean Group is the latest collaboration of midcoast musicians trumpeter Mike Whitehead and drummer Jason Dean. It grew out of a musical relationship that goes back twenty years. Joining them in the band is midcoast bass icon Glen Dubose and the multifaceted guitarist Mitch Markowitz. Whitehead/Dean Groups music is firmly rooted and inspired by the experimental, funk based jazz of the 1970's and 80's. Both cover and original tunes are represented in the bands sets.
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