URI presents major jazz fundraiser and holiday concerts, December 3, 6

Jazz concert features secret appearance by a 2011 Grammy Award-winning artist

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 22, 2011 –Two of this year’s biggest concert events presented by the University of Rhode Island Music Department will take place in the very first week of December.

The popular annual Holiday Concert, which features the URI Symphony Orchestra and the URI Concert Choir performing favorites of the season, will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Then, in what could be called a real coup for the university’s jazz program, a special fundraising concert will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. featuring a reunion of the jazz trio “Planet Safety.” This concert will feature 40-year jazz veteran Bob Mover on saxophones and vocals and a special, secret appearance by a 2011 Grammy Award-winning artist on bass and vocals.

Both concerts will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Rd., Kingston. Admission for the Holiday Concert is $10 general public, $5 students. Admission for the “Planet Safety and Special Guests” concert is $20 with no discounts, on a first-come basis. The ticket box office will open one hour before each of these concerts.

The annual Holiday Concert showcases the URI Symphony Orchestra, Ann Danis conductor, and the URI Concert Choir, Mark Conley, conductor, performing music of the season. This year the Concert Choir will join the orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s popular, 12-movement Gloria. Soloists, all of North Kingstown, will be sopranos Katherine Hammersley and Erin Maughan, and mezzo-soprano Celia Tafuri. The orchestra program will include Sleigh Ride, and music from the Polar Express among other holiday favorites.

Newly added to the URI concert schedule as a part of the University Artist Series, the “Planet Safety and Guests” concert will offer a diverse, eclectic evening of jazz and the avant-garde to benefit the Jazz Studies Scholarship Fund at URI. The secret guest for this concert is a Grammy-winning super talent who is taking the world by storm. We are unable to publish the artist’s name for this event due to contractual obligations, but this concert is sure to be a night full of surprises, in the great jazz tradition.

The three members of Planet Safety (Leo Genovese, piano/keyboard; Bob Gullotti, drums and URI faculty artist Dave Zinno, bass) first met performing as the rhythm section for the legendary Hal Crook Group and first recorded as a trio in 2005. Their self-titled Soul Note records release received rave reviews and is an all-out adventure in improvisation. Bob Gullotti is a founding member of “the Fringe” and regularly performs/tours with George Garzone, Kenny Werner, and Dave Leibman. He is a professor of drums at Berklee College of Music. Basist Dave Zinno teaches jazz studies at URI and has a long list of performing/recording credits including Jimmy Cobb, Junior Cook, John Hicks , John Medeski and many more. Argentine-born Leo Genovese currently and for the last four years has been touring/recording and performing around the world with Grammy-winning bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, in venues including the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremonies in Norway. He is also the leader of his own group “the Chromatic Gauchos” which has also featured Zinno and Gullotti. Genovese has performed with many major artists including Joe Lovano, Milton Nascimento, Prince and many others.

This show will also feature Boston native saxman Bob Mover as a special guest. A veteran of the New York, Toronto, and international jazz scenes, Mover has worked with major artists such as Ira Sullivan, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Jimmy Garrison, Kenny Barron and Walter Davis Jr. He has been called “one of the truly unsung jazz greats of the last 40 years” and an “alto sax legend.” He is described as having an “explosive sound and style on the sax”, directly influenced by Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, Ira Sullivan, Stan Getz, and Sonny Rollins, and he is a recording artist with numerous highly acclaimed releases both as a sideman and a leader.

The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road.

For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website: www.uri.edu/music.

Shown above: Planet Safety’s Leo Genovese, piano/keyboard.