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Musician

Ben Bilello

Born:

As one of the most in demand freelance drummers in New England, Ben Bilello can be seen at numerous clubs, concert halls and festivals with a wide variety of artists. Originally from Narragansett, Rhode Island, Ben began playing the snare drum in his elementary school band. As time passed, Ben became interested in learning the drum set, acquiring his first kit at age fourteen. His first significant exposure to jazz occurred around this time and he made the decision to study music at a formal conservatory. After graduating from Narragansett High School in 1995, Ben moved to West Hartford, Connecticut to begin college

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Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

Musician

David Dale Davis

Born:

David Davis is one of the most promising, young, talented and gifted musicians today. David was born and raised in Connecticut. He is a Hartt School Of Music graduate with a degree in Jazz studies and Music Management. For five years he studied with and is a protégé of the late world-renowned, professor and jazz saxophonist, Jackie Mclean. David has performed at venue’s along with Mary J. Blige, Deborah Cox, LL Cool J, Brian Mcknight, Keith Washington, Sean Puffy Combs, Kid Kapri, Biz Markie, John P. Kee, Karen Clarke, Marion Meadows, Roy Ayers, Donald Harrison, Dave Valentine, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Sherry Winston, Chuck Loeb, Cheryl Hayes and Gloria Lynn to name a few

Musician

Chris Big Dog Davis

Christopher J. Davis, fondly known a "Big Dog", was born in Waterbury, Connecticut to musical parents James Sr. and Mary Davis. When Chris was just four years old he had the ability to hear music in a special way. He began his piano studies at age five gripping the origins of black music at the Refuge Church of Christ in his hometown. By age sixteen, Chris recorded his first forty-five gospel where he began fusing gospel, funk, classical and jazz which he has perfected into an eclectic style all his own today. Chris is a two-time Grammy nominated writer and producer and has 15 Billboard top #1 smooth jazz records since 2008

Musician

Jacob Epstein

Born:

Jake Epstein (BS, MM) Music Bio Arranger, Composer, Educator, Author, Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Piano Jake Epstein is a retired founding member (partner) in RECOL, LLC, a Connecticut based Internet Services (ISP) and Datacenter (Hosting) company but also composes and performs music. After a tour in 1969-1971 with the 113th Army band at Fort Knox, KY where he was chief Composer/Arranger and director of Jazz and Jazz Rock ensembles, he served as the first University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Department of Music and Dance graduate teaching assistant in African Music and Jazz working with Professors Frederick Tillis, Horace Boyer, Max Roach, Reggie Workman and Archie Shep in the early 1970’s

Musician

Chilled Water Supply

Chilled Water Supply (CWS) is a one-year-old jazz ensemble based at Yale. Performing a mix of original tunes, standards, and unique covers, CWS blends a variety of jazz genres with a unique and original sound. The band has performed at numerous venues and private functions in the New Haven area, and recently made its debut on the New York jazz scene. CWS was also one of the finalists in the student band competition to perform at a university-wide concert last spring. The group recorded its first album in spring 2010, and is releasing its second at the end of the year.

Musician

Bob Gorry

Born:

A Singular Guitarist combining elements of avant-jazz, prog, searing blues, and new art music. Leader of the New Haven Improvisers Collective. Composer.

Musician

Tyshawn Sorey

Born:

ewark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980) is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles, as well as artists such as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Steve Coleman, Steve Lehman, Robyn Schulkowsky, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Myra Melford, among many others. The New York Times has praised Sorey for his instrumental facility and aplomb, “he plays not only with gale-force physicality, but also a sense of scale and equipoise”; The Wall Street Journal notes Sorey is, “a composer of radical and seemingly boundless ideas.” The New Yorker recently noted that Sorey is “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone…An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.” Sorey has received support for his creative projects from The Jerome Foundation, The Shifting Foundation, Van Lier Fellowship, and was recently named a 2017 MacArthur fellow

Musician

Ken Serio

Born:

Ken Serio has been playing the drums since the age of 11, and has studied with the great Joe Morello, Kenwood Dennard, and Zak Danziger. He has a large recording and touring list, including Mark Egan, Vic Juris, Ronnie Earl, Bill Turner (guitarist for Bill Haley and the Comets), Crosscurrents, Calvin Hill, Danny Gottlieb, Pete McCann, Gil Goldstein, Leo Jordan, Dave Mann, Dave Mullen, Billy Eric, Victoria Warne, Stefanie Seskin, and groups including, Racing 8, Dem Brooklyn Bums, Asylum and Bed Of Nails. Ken also performs drum clinics for Hot Sticks drum sticks SJC Drums and Dream Cymbals which he proudly endorses, and various studio work including jingles for Kelloggs and Coca Cola. Ken also has four cds out under his own name

Musician

Pete Jolly

Born:

Pete Jolly lived a double life as studio ace by day and jazz cat by night for over 40 years. A member of the musicians union since his teens, he settled in Los Angeles in his early 20s and became a member of Shorty Rogers' Giants, one of the leading West Coast jazz groups. He also began working as a studio musician in the mid-1950s and decided to divide his energy between the security of studio work and the artistic satisfaction of playing jazz in local clubs in Los Angeles. Jolly's father, also named Peter, was a superb accordion player, and he started the boy on the instrument not long after weaning


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