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10th Annual Jazz CT Composers and Improvisers Festival
November 14, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm$15.00
Featuring highly-acclaimed and internationally-recognized artists from
the New York/New England area.
9:30 – Jimmy Greene (composer/saxophone)
Alto and soprano saxophonist Allan Chase moved to Boston in 1980 to study with pianist Jaki Byard. Interestingly, when he came to record in the 90s, it was very much piano pieces that informed his musical doctrine, leading some critics to describe his Dark Clouds With Silver Linings set as a ‘pianoless record of piano pieces.’ Among the tunes collected were pieces by artists as diverse as Lorraine Geller, Sun Ra, Bud Powell and Horace Silver. By this time Chase had established his name performing in the John Coltrane -influenced group Prima Materia, alongside Rashied Ali. He had also written an ethnomusicology thesis on Sun Ra for his master’s degree. His other musical activities included playing with the well-regarded Boston four-piece, Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, and a stint in New York as part of Walter Thompson’s big band. Dark Clouds With Silver Linings was his attempt to establish himself as a solo artist rather than merely to embellish his growing reputation as a collaborator. It featured long-standing associates Ron Horton (trumpet), Tony Scherr (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums), and as DownBeat magazine noted, displayed ‘a pristine melodicism and spacious sense of time.’
The daughter of an American Air Force officer and a Swiss mother, Eade grew up in a musical household and spent much of her childhood moving within the US and in Europe. She studied piano as a child and decided she was going to be a singer in the second grade. Eade picked up guitar as a young teenager, learning folk, pop and jazz songs and writing some of her own. She played her first gigs in the coffee houses of Stuttgart while in high school there. Later, as an English major at Vassar, Eade sang for a time with a jazz group, Naima, which also included Poughkeepsie native Joe McPhee. Eade transferred briefly to Berklee College of Music, and then finished her degree at New England Conservatory, where pianist Ran Blake became an important mentor and performing colleague. Eade stayed in Boston after graduating and soon after began teaching at NEC. She was an active performer on the vibrant Boston jazz scene in the 80’s, forming groups with Boston-based artists including Mick Goodrick, Donald Brown and Bill Pierce. She also traveled in the United States and Europe as a clinician and performer. In addition to her own groups, Eade also performed contemporary classical music and was a featured soloist with Boston Musica Viva, Composers in Red Sneakers, NuClassix and jazz big bands Orange Then Blue and the Either/Orchestra. In 1987 she became the first jazz artist to be accepted into the NEC Artist Diploma program, where she studied for two years with Dave Holland and Stanley Cowell.
Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer SATOKO FUJII as one of the most original voices in jazz today. She fs ga virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a band-leader who gets the best collaborators to deliver,” says John Fordham in The Guardian. In concert and on nearly 70 albums as a leader or co-leader, the Japanese native (now based in Berlin) synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone.
Since she burst onto the scene in 1996 after earning her graduate diploma from New England Conservatory, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music. Her latest ensemble, the Satoko Fujii New Trio featuring bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Takashi Itani, is the first piano trio she has led since her trio with Mark Dresser and Jim Black last played together in 2008. The all-acoustic Satoko Fujii ma-do quartet, together from 2007 to 2012, showcased the latest developments in her composition for small ensembles in an intimate acoustic setting. Another acoustic quartet, the Min-Yoh Ensemble with her husband trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, and accordionist Andrea Parkins is dedicated to developing written and improvised music in the collective spirit of Japanese folkloric music. Fujii also led an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins from 2001 to 2007.
Fujii has also established herself as one of the world ‘s leading composers for large jazz ensembles. Since 1996, she has released a steady stream of acclaimed releases for large ensemble and in 2006 she simultaneously released four big band albums: one from her New York ensemble, and one each by three different Japanese bands. In 2013 she debuted the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Chicago at the Chicago Jazz Festival.
In addition to playing accordion in Tamura fs Gato Libre quartet, she also performs in a duo with Tamura, as an unaccompanied soloist, with the international quartet Kaze, and in ad hoc groupings with musicians working in different genres. Her special projects have included collaborations with ROVA saxophone quartet, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, pianist Myra Melford, and Junk Box, a collaborative trio with Tamura and percussionist John Hollenbeck. She has also toured and recorded with saxophonist Larry Ochs f Sax and Drum Core, and appeared on albums by drummer Jimmy Weinstein, saxophonist Raymond McDonald, and Japanese free jazz legend, trumpeter Itaru Oki.
Whether performing with her orchestra, combo, or playing solo piano, Satoko Fujii points the listener towards the future of music itself rather than simply providing entertainment, writes Junichi Konuma in Asahi Graph. She tours regularly appearing at festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe. Her ultimate goal: “I would love to make music that no one has heard before. ”
and Joe Fonda is a composer, bassist, recording artist, interdisciplinary performer, producer and educator.
An accomplished international Jazz artist, Fonda has performed with his own ensembles throughout the United States ,Canada , Europe and Asia. He has collaborated and performed with such artists as Anthony Braxton ,Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, , Bill Dixon, Han Bennink, Bobby Naughton, Xu Fengia, Randy Weston, Gebhard Ullmann, Carla Bley, Carlo Zingaro, Barry Altschul, Billy Bang.
Fonda was the bassist with the renowned Anthony Braxton sextet, octet, tentet, from 1984 through 1999. Fonda also sat on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1999, and was the President from 1997 to 1999 of the newly formed Tri-Centric Foundation. He has also performed with the 38-piece Tri-Centric orchestra under the direction of Anthony Braxton, and was the bassist for the premiere performance of Anthony Braxton’s opera, Shalla Fears for the Poor, performed at the John Jay Theater in New York, New York, October 1996.
As a composer, Fonda has been the recipient of numerous grants and commissions From Meet the Composer New York and the New England Foundation on the Arts . He has released twelve recordings under his own name. (Reviews and recordings available). Fonda was also a member of The Creative Musicians Improvisors Forum directed by Leo Smith, and was the bassist with the American Tap Dance Orchestra in New York City, directed by world renowned tap dancer, Brenda Bufalino.
In 1989, Fonda performed with Fred Ho’s Jazz and Peking opera in its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1982 to 1986 Fonda was the bassist and dancer with the Sonomama Dance Company. An independent producer since 1978, Fonda is the founding director of Kaleidoscope Arts an interdisciplinary performance ensemble and is the producer and musical director for the Connecticut Composers and improvisors Festival from 2001 to 2011.
A native of Hartford, CT, Greene is considered one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation since his graduation from the Hartt School of Music in 1997. His previous solo releases, Live at Smalls (SmallsLive), Mission Statement (RazDaz/Sunnyside), The Overcomers Suite (NuJazz), Gifts and Givers (Criss Cross), True Life Stories (Criss Cross), Forever (Criss Cross), Brand New World (RCA Victor), Live at Birdland (RCA Victor) and Introducing Jimmy Greene (Criss Cross) have been met with much critical acclaim. In fact, Tony Hall of Jazzwise Magazine (UK) calls Greene “ . . .without doubt oneof the most striking young tenors of recent years.”