Instrument: Band/orchestra | Location: Syracuse

True jazz improv, yet E.S.P. glistens with a modern sound.
—JAZZIZ Magazine

Updated: May 9, 2021

Active since: June 5, 1998

E.S.P. is a high energy, contemporary jazz group featuring original music. Their recordings are part jazz, part funk and part world music. Its real jazz, you just won't need your GPS to follow it!. This exciting jazz quartet's 2009 album Time’s Up! (SPIDER RECORDS) was featured in JAZZIZ magazine. In 2010, the record won a Syracuse Area Music Award (Sammy) for best jazz Recording and continues to receive airplay in more than 120 cities worldwide. In 2012, E.S.P. was voted “Best Jazz Group” in the Syracuse New Times annual reader’s poll. ​ Their 2011 release, Reach (SPIDER RECORDS), was produced by the Grammy Award-winning bassist of The Yellowjackets, Jimmy Haslip, and features three tracks with legendary keyboardist Jeff Lorber. This year, E.S.P. released Zero Gravity to critical acclaim winning the band its third consecutive SAMMY award. ​ E.S.P. has opened for many big jazz names including Chris Boti, The Rippingtons and Jeff Kashiwa’s Sax Pack among others. Members have also backed jazz greats including The New York Voices, Joey DeFrancisco and Martha Reeves. ​ JAZZIZ MAGAZINE SAYS: “Clearly inspired by the tradition of true jazz improvisation, yet Time’s Up! glistens with a modern sound.”

Matt Vacanti: bass

Matt plays string bass and Pedulla fretless bass in the group.His string bass playing brings a real straight ahead jazz feel to the group.

Yet growing up in Buffalo New York, his compositional style is influenced by groups that got their start in western New York, like Spyro Gyra, Chuck Mangione, and Bobby Millitello. Matt is an orchestra director at the Fulton N.Y. High School, and earned the title of "Teacher of the Year" for his outstanding work with the kids in Fulton. Send Matt an email for more information about ESP anytime!

John Magnante: guitar

John graduated from Oswego State with a minor in music performance. In Oswego, he studied with guitarist Rick Balestra and was a featured soloist in the school's highly acclaimed "Solid State Jazz Ensemble." He also studied guitar at the musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles.

John is a co-founder of ESP as well as a major contributor of the groups original compositions. In addition to his responsibilities with ESP, John performs with such bands as Atlas and Soft Spoken.

Evan Duchene: Drums Drummer Evan DuChene graduated from Syracuse University's school of music with a dual degree in music education and music performance. After college he toured the U. S. for several years with Inner city Recording Artist Dry Jack, backing up artists such as McCoy Tyner and Freddie Hubbard. Since that time Evan settled in the Central New York area. He has played with many Central New York greats such as Ronnie Leigh, Larry Arlotta, Rick Montalbano and Rick Ballestra to name a few. He also has performed with national artists such as Leslie Gore, Santos and Johnnie, The Four Aces, as well as jazz greats Chuck Lamb, Nick Brignola and Dizzy Gillespie. ​ Most recently Evan toured with Corporate entertainer Philip Myers. While with Myers, he crisscrossed the US playing many of the countries finest Five Diamond resorts. Out of country gigs took him to, Cancun, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Beijing China.

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"E.S.P. created a CD that's rewarding to listen to. You will enjoy the music on this album. Bravo!" -Peter Erskine

"True jazz improv, yet glistens with a modern sound" -JAZZIZ MAGAZINE

"Al collection or soulful, passionate songs with a combination of excellent musicianship and years of instinctual experience" - Jimmy Haslip, The Yellowjackets

"Both jazz purists and contemporary fans can easily enjoy" -Ron Jackson,

"5 Stars, Nothing short of awe-inspiring" -C.L. Adams, CASHBOX MAGAZINE

"Without hesitation, ESP is the Best Contemporary Jazz Group to emerge from Upstate New York since Spyro Gyra exploded on the National scene three decades ago. These guys are the real deal!" -Frank Malfitano, founder & producer, Syracuse Jazz Fest; past producer, Detroit International Jazz Festival

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ESP Albums