$20 cover charge, $18 online tickets, $12 minimum,
Cynthia Hilts – composer/piano/voice, Jack Walrath – trumpet, Lisa Parrott – soprano and bari sax, Lily White – tenor and alto sax, Stafford Hunter – trombone, Leigh Stuart – cello, Rene Hart – bass, and Scott Neumann – drums
LYRIC FURY – A luxurious & cranky vehicle that indulges Cynthia Hilts’s wild composer voice. Perilous intimacy mixed up with big fat juicy sound sprawl, innovative voices, impeccable craft & wild abandon – the subsequent mash makes this band a composer’s and listener’s dream where the music swings and splats like hell. This is the NJ celebration of their first CD release.
2 sets: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
$20 at door $7 pp minimum
THURSDAY • March 30th, 2017 7:30pm & 9:00pm
$10 Music Charge, $7:00 minimum pp.
John Ehlis Trio with special guests Loire Cotler(voice) & Glen Velez (frame drums)
John Ehlis guitar & mandolin
Scott Hogan 5 string electric fretless bass
Glen Fittin frame drums & percussion
Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist John Ehlis combines creative forces with the finest musicians to convey the spirit and energy of music made and played in the moment.
This performance showcases the mesmerizing artistry of Loire and Glen Velez, who are forging new ground within the very ancient pairing of voice and drums.
Described by the New Yorker as “using her voice in mystically percussive ways,” Loire, (aka Lori Cotler), is quickly gaining an international reputation as one of the most captivating and original vocalists of our time. She combines World Music, Jazz and Pop with scat improvisations and her original reworking of the sophisticated art of Konnakol, the vocal drum language of South Indian origins.
A legendary figure amongst musicians and audiences world-wide, Glen Velez is the first percussionist to gain international recognition as a successful solo artist with frame drums. His extensive array of frame drum innovations and sounds have inspired collaborations with an epic and eclectic list of renowned artists, including Steve Reich, the Paul Winter Consort, Suzanne Vega, Maya Beiser, Tan Dun and Pat Metheny.
Bassist Scott Hogan held the groove with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra for several years and began touring with the pop group Hanson while still a student in high school. Hogan studied with jazz bassists John Patitucci and Mike Richmond, and has a voice all his own on the five-string electric fretless bass.
Glen Fittin has focused on world percussion instruments for over 25 years. His distinctive gift for rhythm and sound blends seamlessly in any situation. Fittin was a member of Velez’s acclaimed “Handance Ensemble” and he is highly regarded for his work accompanying dancers.
2 sets: 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
$20 pp music charge prepaid online tickets $22 pp music charge at door $12 pp minimum
Warm, melodic tones of saxophonist Ron Aprea blend beautifully with one of the finest jazz interpreters on the scene, vocalist DeNiro. They are accompanied by a stellar trio.
Artiss YouTube Embed: No video/playlist ID has been supplied
If you love singers, you have to hear the lovely voice and interpretation of Angela DeNiro, one of the outstanding singers of our day!
Kristine Massari, owner of Trumpets
Ron Aprea, composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, clarinetist,and flutist, has performed with Woody Herman, Les Elgart, Tito Puente, Frank Foster, Buddy Morrow, Billy May, Charlie Persip, Nat Adderley, Lionel Hampton, and Louis Armstrong.
While with Hamp’s band, some of the highlights were a Ramsey Lewis television special, and a recorded concert at the Smithsonian Institute, where Ron’s solos were taped and put into their Archives. Ron was the featured soloist and arranger for performances with Nat Adderley at the world-famous Apollo Theatre, and he also performed at the Paramount Theatre with King Curtis’ Big Band. Ron has played shows for literally hundreds of stars, including Clint Holmes, Rita Moreno, Robert Merrill, Chita Rivera, Rich Little, and Billy Eckstine.
In 1974, Ron recorded with John Lennon and Elton John on the album entitled Walls and Bridges. The all-star horn section included Howard Johnson, Frank Vicari, and Steve Madeo. Ron was a featured soloist on the jazz-gospel album Free to Be Free. He also wrote, arranged, and produced his own album, Ronnie April’s Positive Energy Volume 1. Ron had his own TV special on WNYC, and was a featured soloist on Broadway’s Song of Singapore.
Ron’s compositions, arrangements, and productions skills can be heard on Angela DeNiro’s first CD,Just For the Fun Of It, as well as her second release, Angela DeNiro…Swingin’ With Legends, featuring Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, and Lew Tabackin.
Ron and Angela brought the house down at the Five Towns College Jazz Concert in 1998 and 1999. Ron was featured with the Kenny Barron Trio at the 1998 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,and was part of the All-Star cast, which included Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Bill Watrous, Jon Faddis, Al Grey,Ray Brown, Marion McPartland, Abbey Lincoln, and Diana Krall. In addition to a full performance schedule, Ron spends much time composing and arranging, both for an instrumental big band album, and for vocalist Angela DeNiro.
During the summer of ’98, Ron performed extensively with both his Big Band and Quintet, and received a standing ovation from thousands at the Planting Fields Arboretum in New York, where he and Angela DeNiro again appeared as guest artists in concert with Lionel Hampton’s Big Band. Ron’s solos, and his impeccable “note-matching” with Angela at finger-breaking tempos during the scatting segments, wowed their audience!
Ron has three 1998 GRAMMY nomination entries: Producer of the Year,(Swingin’ With Legends), and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for Angela DeNiro’s Avalon & The Song Is You. Ron completed an arranging assignment for vocalist Alex Donner, featuring nine of Ron’s arrangements. Alex released the first of a 2-CD set in the spring of 2001. Ron co-hosted a weekly jazz radio show on WSHR, 91.9 FM, New York, with his wife, vocalist Angela DeNiro. Their show, Rush-Hour Rendezvous ran successfully for two years, and featured great jazz and musical conversation.
In January 2001, Ron’s band, with Angela DeNiro, was featured on “BET-TV”. The national program, called “Jazz Discovery”, showcased jazz artists in competition, and was judged by a panel of three, which included jazz legend Chick Corea. Angela, with Ron’s band, won.
Ron and Angela DeNiro made a cameo appearance on legendary jazz vocalist Mark Murphy’s new CD, released in September of 2001 on the High Note Label. In August 2001, Ron performed in an All-Star band for a Charlie Parker Birthday tribute in Harlem, New York. The band featured four alto saxophonists. Playing alongside Ron were Jimmy Zaff, Gerald Hayes, and James Spaulding. The rhythm section featured Danny Mixon on piano, Bob Cunningham on bass, and Andre Strobaer on drums. Needless to say , Ron and friends created total pandemonium!
Ron wrote for Angela DeNiro’s third CD, My Shining Hour. One of Ron’s compositions, For Phil, is dedicated to Phil Woods, who has been a major source of inspiration to Ron since the mid 60’s. Ron’s tribute to Phil, performed by Ms. DeNiro, exudes the warmth and love Ron has for the legendary alto saxophonist. This CD was released in August 2005. Angela and Ron are joined on this album by a smokin’ rhythm section comprised of Cecilia Coleman on piano, Tim Givens on bass, and Jim Young on drums. Trumpeter Don Sickler and trombonist Scott Whitfield join Ron’s alto sax & flute, and strings round out two of the cuts on the album. Oh…Matt Aprea makes his debut in the string section, also. Check it out!
Ron’s most recent CD releases include Remembering Blakey and A Tribute To John Lennon
“Stryker’s multi-hued playing becomes a combustible force, a link to the blues of McDuff and Turrentine for sure, but also representing the state of the artin jazz guitar evolution….His playing is consummately beautiful, his choice of notes, Wes Montgomery -styled chordal runs, point-perfect solos and serious swing a joy framed by his well-chosen company.Surging through Stryker’s assorted gifts is his unique strength – a rock – bottom groove rare amid today’s jazz complexity sweepstakes.”Ken Micallef -New York City Jazz Record May 2015
2 sets: 7:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
$10 pp music charge $7 pp minimum
Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra “Portraits and Places” (Origin Records 82710)
After years of writing for Dave Liebman’s Big Band, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Bill Mobley’s Smoke Big Band, and the BMI Jazz Composers Orchestra, brassman/composer Scott Reeves launched his own 16-piece jazz orchestra in 2008. Their 2016 debut release, “Portraits and Places,” features seven Reeves originals, along with his arrangement of Jobim’s, “Waters of March”. He has forged an original compositional style which All About Jazz described as “varied and substantial, ranging from hard bop and Latin oriented themes…to French impressionist influences. His arrangements are restless, full of color, and provide ample solo space…amidst variable underpinnings.”
The Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra is comprised of some of the best jazz musicians in New York, including saxophonists Steve Wilson (Chick Corea, Mingus Big Band, Dave Holland, Christian McBride), Tim Armacost (Bruce Barth, Billy Hart), Rob Middleton (Birdland Big Band, BMI Jazz Orchestra) and Jay Brandford (Jimmy Heath, Oliver Lake, Dave Liebman, Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra); trumpeters Seneca Black (lead with Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Band & Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra), Andy Gravish (Toshiko Akiyoshi, Buddy Rich), and Bill Mobley (Donald Brown, James Williams, Geoff Keezer); trombonists Tim Sessions (Dave Liebman, Clark Terry & Bob Mintzer big bands) and Matt Haviland (Illinois Jacquet, Vanguard Orchestra, Charlie Persip); pianist Jim Ridl (Pat Martino, Dave Liebman, Woody Herman); bassist Todd Coolman (Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz & James Moody); and drummer Andy Watson (Jim Hall, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jon Hendricks).
Scott Reeves is a trombonist, alto flugelhornist, composer and educator. He has performed or recorded with groups such as the Dave Liebman Big Band, Bill Mobley’s Smoke Big Band, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, the Vanguard Orchestra, Manhattan Bones and his own big band and quintets. Scott also performed at leading jazz clubs in Italy, Portugal and Japan.
In addition to his performing and writing activities, Scott is currently Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the City College of New York (CUNY) and was also on the faculty of the Juilliard School. His textbooks on jazz improvisation, “Creative Jazz Improvisation” and “Creative Beginnings,” both published by Prentice-Hall, are widely used in leading college jazz curriculums. Scott may be reached through his website: www.creativejazz.com, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone:(201) 401-0810. You-Tube links to the Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra:
“Wants to Dance” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Muhty37TUOA
“Osaka June” https://youtu.be/phOloFYivlM
“The Soulful Mr. Williams” https://youtu.be/SZJ1LTFQmqg
2 sets: 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
$25 music charge at door $20 prepaid online tickets $12 minimum (food/drink)
The Royal Bopsters
With singers ranging from age 33 to 93, The Royal Bopsters Project is a multi-generational vocal summit on which the talents of singers London, Meader, Pramuk and Ross unite in harmony to pay tribute to the art of vocalese singing and to the forefathers and mothers of their favored art form. Also contributing to their sound for future appearances is Pete McGuinness, a multi-Grammy nominee for jazz arranging as well as a highly regarded trombonist and singer. This homage features five vocalese pioneers, each of whom helped to invent the bop-vocal or ‘vocalese’ art form. Six-time Grammy nominee Mark Murphy (1932–2015), considered one of the most influential vocalists in jazz, appears on four tracks, including an outstanding new version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay,” a song which stands very tall among Murphy’s many breakthrough recordings. Four of the ‘Bopsters’ – NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award-winners Jon Hendricks (b. 1921) and Annie Ross (b.1930) who represent two thirds of the pioneering vocalese group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan (b.1928); and Arkansas Hall of Famer and Schoolhouse Rock mastermind Bob Dorough (b. 1923) have one feature track on this recording.
Four years in the making, The Royal Bopsters Project was initially conceived by producer/vocalist/arranger Amy London as a twilight years feature for her musical hero and close friend Mark Murphy, who she cites as a key influence, (as do scores of other successful jazz singers.) One by one, the other ‘Royal Bopsters’ signed on for the project at London’s behest. What you will hear will warrant this group’s achievement of making five lists for Top CD Releases for 2015 including Downbeat and Jazz Times.
2 sets: 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
$20 pp online $25 pp at door $12 pp (food/drink)
- The Royal Bopsters featuring Sheila Jordan
2 sets: 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
$20 pp music charge $12 pp minimum (food/drink)
M I C H A E L P E D I C I N
As It Should Be: Ballads 2, the 14th album of tenor and soprano saxophonist Michael Pedicin’s prolific career, is in many ways akin to his acclaimed 2011 CD, Ballads…searching for peace. Ballads showcasing the exquisitely lyrical aspects of Pedicin’s playing are again the focus, but with a difference. Other than the John Coltrane classic “Crescent” and an especially tender treatment of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (a tune rarely performed in a jazz context), eight of the disc’s 10 songs were composed as ballads by the saxophonist’s longtime collaborator, guitarist Johnnie Valentino. Several of them, however, were treated to somewhat brighter grooves than had been originally intended after the musicians got to the recording studio, particularly “From Afar,” which was double-timed at a bossa-nova-like clip by drummer Justin Faulkner and percussionist Alex Acuña.
The themes of Ballads…searching for peace and As It Should Be both reflect Pedicin’s abiding concern with issues of peace and justice. “I’m one of those diehard Sixties kids that grew up concerned about peace and togetherness and acceptance,” he explains. “I think about that every day of my life. We’re all one. This is probably a necessary component in our world more than ever, at least more than ever in my lifetime. I believe that we’re all human beings more than anything else: race, ethnicity, nationality.”
Everyone in the current quintet, save for Peruvian-born, Los Angeles-based Acuña, has close connections to Philadelphia. Michael Pedicin was born on July 29, 1947, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby Ardmore. Both towns are suburbs of Philadelphia. Philly native Johnnie Valentino has lived in Southern California for many years and works as a guitarist and composer. Pianist Frank Strauss and bassist Mike Boone are both much-in-demand players on the contemporary Philadelphia jazz scene. Pedicin feels lucky to have been able to recruit longtime Branford Marsalis drummer Justin Faulkner for the session because he happened to be at home in Philadelphia for a winter break. Alex Acuña, of course, is best known in jazz circles for his three-year stint with Weather Report, although his eclectic credits also include work with Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney, Madonna, and the Christian jazz band Koinonia.
Michael Pedicin is a second-generation saxophonist. His dad, alto saxophonist and singer Mike Pedicin, was an extremely popular entertainer and bandleader in the Philadelphia area for more than six decades until his retirement at age 80.
“I idolized my dad as a saxophonist,” Pedicin says. “I used to walk around with a saxophone strap around my neck before I could even play a C scale. I wanted to be like him and look like him. He was a matinee-idol-looking guy.”
Mike Pedicin and his combo worked nightly for decades around Philadelphia. He recorded prolifically for RCA Victor, 20th Century, ABC-Paramount, Federal, and other labels during the 1950s and early ’60s, yet he seldom toured. Even though his 1957 Cameo recording of “Shake a Hand” became a big hit, he started turning down offers to perform, preferring to remain in Philly and work there.
Michael received few pointers from his father. “He didn’t want to teach me,” he says. “He wanted to be my dad. He passed away in June  at 98. He had a wonderful and very healthy life. Five weeks before my dad left us to join my mother, he was still driving his beloved convertible, and continues to inspire his family, including me.”
When Michael was 13, his father took him to the Harlem Club in Atlantic City to hear and meet the bluesy jazz saxophonist Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, who became his hero on the horn. Then he heard records by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, and he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play the saxophone.
Michael would later see and shake Coltrane’s hand at Pep’s in Philadelphia. “He was a gentle soul,” Michael recalls. He studied theory with guitarist Dennis Sandoli and saxophone with Philadelphia Orchestra clarinetist Mike Guerra, both of whom had once taught Coltrane, as well as with onetime Woody Herman saxophonist Buddy Savitt. While attending Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, where he majored in composition, he began competing—and winning—at collegiate jazz festivals around the country. Down Beat magazine raved about his playing on alto saxophone, and Stan Kenton, a judge at many of the festivals, offered him a job.
“Kenton harangued me for a year to go with his band,” Pedicin recalls. “I was in school, and I didn’t want to give up my education.”
Pedicin, who switched from alto to tenor as his main instrument at age 20, earned a living throughout the 1970s as a member of the horn section at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios, where he worked for producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, playing on countless sessions by such artists as the Spinners, O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and Lou Rawls. Don Renaldo, the contractor for the sessions, was kind enough to give Pedicin leaves of absence to go on the road with Maynard Ferguson, the O’Jays, Rawls, Stevie Wonder, and David Bowie. The saxophonist’s first album, simply titled Michael Pedicin Jr., was released in 1980 on Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label.
Pedicin taught at UArts from 1976 to 1981, and during much of the ’80s, he juggled teaching duties at Philadelphia’s Temple University and two years of touring with Dave Brubeck (with whom he recorded one album for the East World Jazz label in Japan). At the same time, he was contracting musicians for his orchestras in five hotel/casino theaters in Atlantic City, and also played behind singers such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
Putting Atlantic City behind him gave Pedicin more time to focus on playing straight-ahead jazz. Besides leading his own quintet, he also toured from 2003 to 2006 with Pat Martino and in early 2011 with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in which son Darius Brubeck filled in for his ailing father. Pedicin continued his education, however, and in 2002 earned a Ph.D in psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/International University for Graduate Studies.
Pedicin was a professor of music at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, New Jersey, from 2008 until 2016. He currently divides his time between a home in Linwood, New Jersey and an apartment in New York City. While in Linwood, he sees patients in his Linwood office.
The shingle above his psychology office now reads “Dr. Michael Pedicino.” He recently had his last named changed back to the one that had been taken away from his grandfather when he arrived at Ellis Island from the Italian province of Foggia in 1906. He also is in the process of obtaining dual American-Italian citizenship. He has no plans, however, to change his name in the world of music.
As It Should Be is the latest chapter in the master musician’s ongoing quest to help bring the motto of the City of Brotherly Love to fruition for human beings of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities through its sweet melodies and gentle improvisations.
“My approach for this CD,” Pedicin explains, “is to create some pretty and accessible jazz in ballad form. This is not about revolutionizing the art form we so love, but providing a soft and relaxing platform on which to enjoy it.” •
Michael Pedicin: As It Should Be: Ballads 2
Street Date: April 21, 2017
Web Site: www.michaelpedicin.com