Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra

?Mandolin around the world?
BLOOMFIELD – Bloomfield Mandolin Orchesta, Enrico Granafei, Conductor. Sunday, May 2, 3:00 P.M. Bloomfield Middle School, 60 Huck Road, Bloomfield. 69th Annual Spring Concert entitled “Mandolin Around the World.” Guest soloist Jia Yi He, internationally known harmonica player, performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in a minor. Featuring the performance of a three part suite dedicated to the orchestra by composer John LaBarbera consisting of Tarantella dell’ 600, Dionysius’ Dream, and Nel Giardino di Orfeo and an original arrangement by Tommy Lleshaj of Zorba, dedicated to deceased orchestra member Penelope Loizides. The program will also include works by 20th century Dutch composer Johannes Kok, and music from France, Germany, New Zealand, and Brazil.

During the concert, Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra members Dr. Philip Jasper, mandolinist, and Michael Lemma, guitarist, will be inducted into the Bloomfield Federation of Music Hall of Fame. The Bloomfield Federation of Music Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to honor members of the five associations unders its aegis, Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra, Bloomfield Civic Band, Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra, Bloomfield Youth Band, and Bloomfield Chorale, who have performed and/or made other contributions for a minimum of ten years. .

General Admission is $10 and Students/Seniors $8. Call Bloomfield Federation of Music Concert Hotline 973-780-4249 or visit This performance is part of a year round concert series featuring five diverse community music groups based in Bloomfield and is sponsored by the Bloomfield Federation of Music, under the auspices of the Bloomfield Recreation Commission, Anthony Nesto, Director.

Jia-Yi He, a world-class harmonica virtuoso, has received numerous awards in international festivals and competitions in England, Germany, Israel, Japan and United States. Mr. He has appeared as a soloist with the China National Symphony Orchestra, China National Ballet Symphonic Orchestra, and the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at many television stations including ABC-news, News 12 Long Island, Queens Public Television and Sino Television in the United States. He was invited to perform at the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations. The New York Mets chose him to perform a pre-game show at Shea Stadium 2007. He has served as a member of the judging committees in the Asia-Pacific Harmonica Competition in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Mr. He has recorded harmonica music for a number of movies, radio stations and CDs. Currently, Mr. He is a harmonica teacher at the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City.
John La Barbera is a musical composer and arranger who plays guitar and mandolin. He has performed at concert halls and music festivals, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Felt Forum, Alice Tully Hall, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, UCLA, Field Museum in Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Francisco World Music Festival, Central Park Summer Stage and at the Jones Beach Theater. He has toured tours throughout Eastern Europe, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and in Brazil, where he was sponsored by the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasil Festeiro and SESC, in S?o Paulo. He holds a B.M. from the Hartt School of Music, (Univ.of Hartford), and graduate courses at Hunter College (NYC) in ethnomusicology, Villa Schifanoia (Rosary College), in Florence, Italy and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, the film music seminar with Ennio Morricone. He currently teaches at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and has taught at The Julius Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford ),The Guitar Study Center of the New School in New York;Sessione Sienese, in Siena, Italy; SASI in Bratislava, Slovakia; and SESC in S?o Paulo, Brazil. He conducts workshops and lectures on mandolin and acoustic guitar styles, ethnomusicology, world music, and has written for Acoustic Guitar magazine. La Barbera has won several awards and commissions for his musical compositions. From the Jerome Foundation, he was commissioned to write a work for the ETHOS Percussion ensemble, The Marimba?Ba Suite for percussion, which premiered in 2001 and released on their CD Sol Tunnels. In 1996 Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Martin Gruss Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, commissioned him to compose The Dance of the Ancient Spider, which premiered at Alice Tully Hall. With funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and Meet the Composer, he was commissioned by the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City to compose the Opera: Stabat Mater-Donna Di Paradiso. His music has been recorded by various artists including percussionists Yousef Sheronick and Joseph Gramley with Danza del Fuego for Marinba and Dumbeck, jazz harmonica artist Enrico Granafei together with Fred Hersh, Alan Nussbaum and Mark Johnson, who recorded Waltz for Waiting. He has received numerous composer awards from ASCAP and his song Sun Goes Down was awarded Jazz finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. In 2005 , he was awarded for his role in the transmission and translation of Italian oral traditions from The Italian Oral History Institute and recognized as one of the first transcribers of Southern Italian folk music in United States. He is the author of Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes, Mel Bay Publications, which was released in early 2009.

Tom Lleshaj, music teacher, composer, arranger and multi-instrument player, was born and raised in Albania where he studied in a Professional Music High School for Trumpet and French horn. He received his B.A. in Composition from The Academy of Fine Arts in Tirane, Albania before moving to the United States and settling in Queens, New York. Currently, Tom is a graduate student for the Masters Degree Program in Music Education at Lehman College.

Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra Conductor, Enrico Granafei, started his musical career as a classical guitarist when he graduated from the Conservatory of L?Aquila, Italy with a degree in classical guitar. For several years he taught guitar and performed in Italy and Germany. He discovered the harmonica when a friend played him the album Affinity, featuring Toots Thielemans with Bill Evans. Enrico started teaching himself how to play jazz harmonica, and, after working for a time on a popular Italian TV show in the Pippo Caruso Orchestra, he decided to move to New York to follow his dream. Enrico soon became part of the scene, playing in NYC jazz clubs including the Blue Note, Birdland and the now defunct Bottom Line. In 1992 he received his Master?s Degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where he was the only student of Toots Thielemans. Enrico Granafei has performed worldwide, particularly in France, Finland (Pori Jazz Festival), Italy, Estonia, and Hungary. He has played and recorded with Marc Johnson, Vic Juris, Eddie Gomez , Billy Hart and Ted Curson, among others, and is featured on Nnenna Freelon?s CD Tales of Wonder, recorded in 2002 for Concord Records. Enrico is also the proprietor and musical director of Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. Enrico?s latest accomplishment is a revolutionary technique that allows him to playing guitar and chromatic harmonica simultaneously. This afternoon, Mr. Granafei marks the end of his second season as conductor of the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra.
Founded in 1941, the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra is comprised of thirty volunteer musicians, ranging in age from 11 to 90, from northern and central New Jersey and New York State. These musicians represent a vast cross section of backgrounds and careers, bringing a depth of experience to each rehearsal. Renown for its versatility and musical ingenuity, the orchestra presents programs incorporating traditional Italian and American songs, opera and Broadway selections, classical and jazz pieces, and original compositions by local and international composers. The orchestra members truly view themselves as a family and that feeling of camaraderie beautifully flows through all of its performances and touches audience members? hearts. The Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra is the last remaining of this genre in the state of New Jersey, and is dedicated to preserving the tradition of mandolin playing. Players of all levels are welcomed to join. Rehearsals, which are open to the public, take place every Tuesday evening from 7:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. in the basement of the Bloomfield Civic Center, located at 84 Broad Street. Rehearsals start the first week of September and end the second week of May. In particular, the orchestra is looking for additional players of the lower instruments of the