Jazz Series at URI features performances through December

KINGSTON, R.I.— November 12, 2009— A four-night series of jazz concerts at the University of Rhode Island kicks off on Tuesday December 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the URI Fine Arts Center concert hall, the first in the end-of-semester run of URI concerts in December. The other three nights of the jazz series will be the following week, on Tuesday December 8, 7:30 p.m., Thursday December 10, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday December 12, 8 p.m.

The first jazz concert will feature the URI Blue Train Project directed by Mark Berney, and the URI Standards Combo coached by Dave Zinno. Berney’s group will perform the John Coltrane album Blue Train in its entirety, arranged by the ensemble and Berney. The members of the group are: Seth Bailey, trumpet; Benjamin Marcoux, tenor sax; Michael Ottaviano, trombone; Brandon Fuller, piano; Jacob Davenport, guitar; Samuel Levine, bass, and Matthew Gilmette, drums.

The Standards Combo will perform jazz standards and selections from the American Songbook and includes: Tom Prichard, viola; Ed Dutra, trumpet; Sulaymaan Miles, baritone sax; Kevin Turco and Matt Reagan, guitars; Brendan Moore, piano; Joe Grilli, bass, and Holly Rhatigan, drums. String Thing, coached by A. J. Salvatore, will also perform, presenting “Swingin’ Strings” with violin, guitar and bass playing jazz a la Stephane Grapelli.

The second concert, on December 8, will feature the “Speak No Evil” Project performing Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil in its entirety. Coached by Eric Hofbauer, the SNEP will play “Witch Hunt”, “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum”, “Dance Cadaverous”, “Speak No Evil”, “Infant Eyes” and “Wild Flower”, all arranged by the ensemble. The members are: Wes Majkut and Chris Gagnon, saxophone; Mark Medieros, Ben Christie, and Alex Curnow, guitar; Tom White, piano; Kyle Barboza, bass, and Paul DiMartino, drums. In addition, the D 102 Jazz Combo coached by Dave Drapeau will perform jazz “both in the tradition and not,” and piano/bass duos and trios coached by Nick Sanfilippo will perform in small group settings.

On December 10, the seventeen-piece C100 Big Band under the direction of John Monllos will perform. The band will feature traditional Big Band Music arranged by Sammy Nestico, Dave Wolpe, Robert Vuono and many more. Student vocalist Rebekah Lobosco will perform with the band. The Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, directed by Steve Langone, will also perform, offering rhythms of the Latin American and Cuban Cultures.

The final concert in the series on Saturday, December 12, will feature URI’s B101 Big Band, directed by Dave Drapeau, performing jazz standards and original compositions by students.

The jazz series is coordinated by Joseph Parillo, director of URI’s Jazz Studies Program.

Concert admissions support scholarships for talented music students and cost $8 for general admission, $2 students. Seating for all concerts is on a first-come basis. The box office opens 45 minutes before each concert. The concert hall is handicap accessible, and parking is directly behind the Fine Arts Center in the lot off Bills Road.

For more information, call the URI Music Department, 874-2431, or go to www.uri.edu/artsci/mus.