Tag Archives | jazz music

1/26 8p: Vance Gilbert @Infinity Music Hall, Norfolk, CT

Friday, January 26, 2018 8p

Vance Gilbert

With Kerri Powers

Infinity Music Hall

20 W. Greenwoods Road (Rt. 44), Norfolk, CT

phone: 860-542-5531

Price: $24.00



The Art of Storytelling

Vance Gilbert Works His Magic at the Historic Infinity Hall

His reputation precedes him. But that’s no reason to let an opportunity to see Vance Gilbert pass you by! Fresh off a tour of Australia, Vance has for some time now been a major mover of the singer-songwriter scene. His penchant for storytelling, mingled with his terrific sense of humor makes a Gilbert gig a lively event indeed. And, oh by the way, if you’ve heard the man’s latest album, Nearness of You—or any of his albums for that matter—you know he can sing.

Gilbert was born and raised in the Philly area and he started his career in Boston aspiring to be a jazz singer. But things happened, and he soon found himself in the warm embrace of the singer-songwriter world, opening for folks like Shawn Colvin and later comedians George Carlin and Paul Reiser. One of those shows, in Dallas, earned him some good press from the local paper: “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener.” Of course, that was ages ago. But the fact is, Gilbert has only gotten to be a more engaging performer, with beautiful, worldly stories, finely honed guitar technique, and a voice that delivers.

Over two decades-plus in the music business, Vance has produced a healthy helping of great recordings, including the widely raved about BaD Dog Buffet. Old White Men hit the Top 10 on the Folk DJ chart on its release and Unfamiliar Moon landed in the Boston Globe’s Top 10 Records of the Year upon its release in 2005. Perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this particular press release is the fact that Vance’s live album, Somerville Live, issued in 2000, was described by the Boston Globe as a work “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams.” And we haven’t even talked about Nearness of You, which features Vance singing stripped down versions of 14 of his jazz faves.

Vance’s upcoming gig at Infinity Hall will be reliably memorable. His show is entertaining, his stories are by turns funny and poignant, and his music, above all, is well worth hearing.

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6/10 Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People at New Bedford Jazz Festival

Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People
Performing music from JazzWeek’s #1 newly released CD
“Weather or Not”
Saturday, June 10, 2017 5p
The 6th annual New Bedford JazzFest for the benefit of Your Theatre 2-7p
New Bedford Pier 3
New Bedford, MA
$20 – General Admission
The Joys of Jazz on the Waterfront

Great performers and tasty food highlight an epic experience at a nice price in New Bedford, at the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest.

New Bedford is again on the cusp of summer—thank heavens!— and its waterfront will again be the site for, not fishing, as it has for centuries, but jazz!

On June 10, Whaling City Sound, along with various other local sponsors, present the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest, featuring national and local jazz talent. Headlining this highly anticipated event will be Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People, an exhilarating and supremely talented New York-based trio and one of Whaling City Sound’s marquee artists. Gibbs’ last four recordings have climbed to the top spot on national jazz radio charts, including his latest release, Weather or Not, in part an ear-tingling tribute to jazz greats Weather Report.

Neal Weiss, the chief proprietor at Whaling City Sound, runs the fast-growing label, which is credited with many chart-topping jazz titles. WCS has been responsible for releasing much of Gibbs’ most recent work. “Gerry is a dynamic performer, who brings tremendous energy and excitement to the stage, and inspires his band-mates.”

In addition to Gibbs’ Thrasher People, the lineup at Jazzfest also features another Whaling City Sound artist, Dino Govoni and his quartet, which in turn stars the sublime vocals of Boston’s acclaimed Cassandre McKinley. By turns powerful and soulful, bluesy and jazzy, McKinley will surely be a highlight of the festival, as she fronts the impressive work of Govoni and his sax-led quartet.

To help keep the energy high, Matthew Hartnett and the Gumbo All-Stars bring a NOLA twist to New Bedford. Hartnett’s zesty creole jazz will certainly transport festival-goers to the French Quarter, where boogie and funky trombones reign.

The day kicks off early with the SouthCoast Jazz Orchestra, a thrilling 17-piece big band appearing at the festival for its sixth year. You’ll revel in their booming big band sound, led by Symphony Music Shop owner Bob Williamson.

The music kicks off around 2:15. But come early to take advantage of the food trucks and an “Artists Colony” curated by the New Bedford Art Museum.

The fun doesn’t stop after the festival. Bring your ticket stub to JazzFest partner the Greasy Lucky Brewery, where you’ll witness a funky jazz jam session with a house band and special guests.

Advance tickets are a steal at $20 at NewBedfordJazzFest.com, by calling the Your Theatre box office at 508-993-0772, or in person at Bridgewater Credit Union (Fairhaven branch), Greasy Luck Brewery and Symphony Music Shop. After June 5, tickets will go for $25. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. There’s parking at the Elm Street Garage. The event is under a tent, so it’s on rain or shine.

JazzFest is produced by and for the benefit of Your Theatre, Inc. (YTI), New Bedford’s 70-year old community theater group. YTI has partnered with Waterfront Historic League (WHALE) to purchase, restore and convert 149 William St. (First Baptist Church) into a theatre for YTI. Proceeds from this event will assist in this partnership to preserve vital historic architecture and provide a lasting home for New Bedford’s longest running community theatre. www.yourtheatre.org


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12/15 – 12/17 Greg Abate brings the joy of sax to Taos this weekend!


For more than 15 years the Grammy-nominated, saxophonist, flutist and composer Greg Abate has been making his way from his home in Rhode Island to Taos to perform. The jazz musician is back again with friends John Rangel on piano, Andy Zadrozny on acoustic bass, and Pete Amahl on drums. They will be playing jazz standards, originals and bebop.

Abate and friends will appear Wednesday (Dec. 14), 6:30 p.m., in the Adobe Bar at The Taos Inn, 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. There is no cover charge for this show.

After graduating from Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s, Abate played lead alto sax for the Ray Charles Orchestra for two years. He went on to form the popular New England group, Channel One, and to play tenor sax with the Artie Shaw Orchestra under Dick Johnson’s leadership (1986-87).

Recalling his time with the Ray Charles Orchestra, Abate said it was a very good learning experience for him to travel to different countries in Europe and Eastern Europe and to experience people in different countries.

“That was a big experience for me,” Abate recalls.

In 1991, Abate recorded his first CD “Live At Birdland NYC” on the Candid Jazz Label. Since then, Abate has made 17 additional recordings as a band leader.

Another memorable experience for Abate was playing with his musical idol, saxophonist Phil Woods.

In early 2016, “Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan’s” was released as a joint album by Woods and Abate. In a review for “All About Jazz,” Edward Blanco wrote, “Captured live at Chan’s Jazz & Blues Music Club in Rhode Island, ‘Kindred Spirits’ documents two royals of the alto saxophone joining forces for, what would become, one of the last recordings jazz icon Woods would ever make as he goes out in blistering boppish fashion.” Woods died on Sept. 29, 2015.

“I just loved his playing so much. He was so perfect, and so creative…. Someone you look up to and learn from. I learned a lot from him.” Abate commented on Woods.

Musically, Abate said Woods taught him about the importance of leaving space in a solo. Woods also gave him lessons about the music business and life in general. Abate credits Woods for teaching him “to be real and expect to have good stuff happen, to be firm with the business and try not to fluctuate too much on what you want, [and to be] strong with your ideas.”

Though he has played R&B and funk, Abate found his niche in jazz bebop which he considers to be “like freedom of speech in music.”

“As long as your technique can do what you’re thinking and what you can hear in your head, you’re on your way to constant invention of things because there’s no end to it,” said Abate.

“It’s a challenging form. I’m passionate about it because it’s very interesting to me and it makes me feel good when I play it. It’s a challenge and it’s also sort of Zen-like to me. I feel like it’s a heavy meditation to play jazz the way I do it. It’s really very enjoyable,” Abate said. “I never get bored doing it. It’s always fun and it’s a challenge to make it different every time.”

“I have an individual style,” Abate commented. “It’s high energy, passionate, post bebop jazz, but I also play a modern way, too … I bring an original palette of music to people.”

That style has been noted by music critics like Chicago Tribune’s, Howard Reich, who wrote, “Abate is not content to rely on stock bebop riffs and standard chord progressions. Rather, the sharp angularity of his phrases and the often startling pauses in his fast-moving lines give his work a feeling of constant invention and creativity.”

Abate holds a position as an adjunct professor of jazz studies at Rhode Island College and teaches master workshops when he travels. “Teaching puts a creative spin on my life because I can teach what I do, and then I learn from what I teach and I learn from doing it,” said Abate.

For the past decade, Abate has toured in England in the month of November. This year, he was there for 19 days and played 21 different gigs as the guest artist with 21 different rhythm sections at a variety of venues, festivals and workshops.

At other times of the year, Abate travels when he has a break from teaching, or will take a long weekend to tour. He performs throughout the U.S. and Canada and has spent time in France, Germany and Italy in recent years. In 2016, Abate was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.

Abate also will perform Dec. 15-17 at the Taos Trail Inn, 35309 U.S. 285 in Ojo Caliente. The Thursday night show comes with a buffet dinner for a $20 cover. For reservations or information, call (505) 583-9215.

Click here for more information.

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