Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

11th Annual Composers and Improvisers Festival

September 9, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm EDT


***Reservations Suggested***


7:30Joe Fonda and Mike Musillami playing the music of Bill Barron.

8:30Paul Arslanian solo piano.

9:30Brenda Bufalino known for her varied skills including tap dancing, vocals, poetry, acting, and composing.

Joe Fonda

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, and Ken McIntyre.

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.

Visit Joe’s website at: joefonda.com/

Mike Musillami

Veteran guitarist Michael Musillami’s career spans more than 25 years and includes extensive work as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator.

In addition to his flagship trio, he has earned international acclaim as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring a wide-ranging list of prominent collaborators.

Critics have called his music “truly original” (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com), “challenging and adventurous” (Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe), “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound) and “honest, frequently surprising and consistently exciting” (Ron Wynn, JazzTimes).

He’s also a longtime guitar instructor and ensemble director at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and founder/manager of Playscape Recordings, a highly regarded independent label that has released nearly 50 independent jazz recordings since 1999.

Visit Mike’s website at: michaelmusillami.com/

Paul Arslanian

Paul has been working as a pianist, composer, and dance accompanist since 1971. In the San Francisco Bay Area he lead several Latin and Jazz ensembles, co-founded the ground breaking Jazz Tap Ensemble in 1979 and played with such notable musicians as Freddie Hubbard, Pharaoh Sanders, Terri Gibbs, Archie Shepp and Houston Person and tap dancers Savion Glover, Honi Coles, the Nicholas Brothers, Eddie Brown and many others.

Paul’s musical compositions have been recorded by George Coleman, Roy Hargrove, John Hicks and Renee Roznes. Most recently Paul has taught at the Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival in 2010 and 2012 and continues to perform and direct music for many tap dance events throughout the northeast.

Paul has been a lecturer in dance and accompanist for the UMass Dance Department since 1999 and is founder, pianist and coordinator for the weekly Northampton Jazz Workshop series.

Brenda Bufalino

Recognized throughout the world as a leading exponent and innovator in the tap world, Ms. Bufalino performs, lectures, and teaches master classes and workshops throughout the United States, Germany, Italy, England, France, Israel and Australia. She has appeared as a guest soloist in such prestigious arenas as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher HallThe Apollo Theater, The Brooklyn Academy of MusicThe Smithsonian Institute and the Kennedy Center.

Ms. Bufalino performed in concert with the late Charles “Honi” Coles, touring America, England and France. They also choreographed “The Morton Gould Tap Concerto” and performed the Concerto with the Brooklyn and Norwalk Symphony. Ms. Bufalino has also performed the Concerto solo with The Detroit Symphony and The Hudson Valley Philharmonic.

A trailblazer in the renaissance of jazz and tap dance, she has been one of the guiding forces in the creation of numerous Tap Festivals, Summits, and Reunions. In 1986, in order to develop her choreographic concepts of tap fugues and counter rhythms, she created The American Tap Dance Orchestra. In 1989 Ms. Bufalino, Tony Waag and the ATDO created Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center in Soho, producing classes, workshops and performances featuring both National and International tap artists.

She has been awarded numerous National Endowment Fellowships and is a NYFA Fellow. Ms. Bufalino has been honored by the Tap Community in New York City and Boston with the prestigious “Flobert Award” for outstanding achievement, and “The Tapestry Award” for her contributions to the field of tap dance. Her biography appears in several editions of “Who’s Who in American Women,” and she recently wrote her own book entitled “Tapping the Source”.

Visit Brenda’s website at: brendabufalino.com/

Sponsored by






Meet The Composers




September 9, 2016
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm EDT