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A Very Jerry Christmas with Jerry Donato and Nicole Pesce
Saturday, Dec 22, 2018, 7:30pm

Tempe Center for the Arts, Lakeside Room
Saturday, December 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m., adults $35, school-age children $17.50

Two Valley jazz legends, saxophonist Jerry Donato and pianist Nicole Pesce, collaborate to headline this holiday concert exclusively for Lakeshore Music’s 10th season at Tempe Center for the Arts. The celebration includes vocalist Vicki McDermitt and guitarist Mike Eldred, along with Bob Lashier on bass and John Lewis on drums. 

Anyone who appreciates saxophone knows that the sought-after Donato, who moved to Phoenix in 1983 from Baltimore, has been in the pit for three decades with virtually every touring show and orchestra that has come through the Valley. Donato is a familiar figure playing alongside pianists Pesce and Armand Boatman, bassist Lashier and legendary vocalists McDermitt and Margo Reed.

His extensive career includes everything from television to Broadway shows. He has performed on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” on soundtracks for CBS TV’s “Evening Shade” and several TNT movies.

“I once told Jerry, sincerely, that any time I might need to assemble a band, he would be the first player I’d call,” said arranger-composer Bob Freedman. “He has been able to read down any part I have ever written for him, not only accurately but with a true understanding and feeling for whatever style the music was in. On more than one occasion, such as when I was composing a piece for Ron Carter’s big-band album, I have asked him to try some tricky passages I intended to give one of the reed players to let me know if they were manageable. He’s never failed to ‘manage’ any of them.”

Donato played on Boatman’s self-titled CD “Bebop Revolution.” He co-produced and played on the 2006 CD “Keith Greko and Friends.” Donato’s latest CD, “It’s a Cool Heat,” features the last recording of West Coast legend pianist Pete Jolly, who lived and performed in Phoenix in the 1950s and ’60s.

“Jerry’s an incredible sax player who can add dimension and validity to any musical genre,” said musician-composer Bob McCarrol. “And sure, Jerry will always give you 110 percent of his heart and soul. But I think one of the greatest things about the man is his willingness to share his incredible knowledge and talents. And, trust me, they’re worth having.”

Pesce has been recognized among the “Top Ten Musicians to Hear in Phoenix” by the Arizona Republic, and named among the Valley’s top performers by Arizona Foothills Magazine. With a remarkable gift for memorizing music, she has been dubbed “The Human iPod.” She has performed for Shaquille O’Neal, Jimmy Carter and The Gypsy Kings.

Pesce began playing at age 7 with her father as her teacher and mentor, motivated by the records of the jazz and classical great pianists he constantly had playing in the house. By age 10, she had memorized 500 songs. Also at 10, her career launched when she won the Discovery Television National Talent Competition in New Orleans. 

This concert is family-friendly and school-age children are admitted at half-price.

For more information, please go to: http://www.jerrydonato.com/
http://www.nicolepesce.com/
https://www.vickimcdermitt.com/
Photo courtesy of Jerry Donato.

Drums on the Lake: Joe Labarbera and Dom Moio
Saturday, Jan 19, 2019, 7:30pm

Lakeshore Music features two of the best drummers in the West performing compositions of great composers of contemporary jazz music to open the new year.

The great Joe Labarbera plays the music of Bill Evans, and Valley legend Dom Moio is on the music of yet another Valley legend, Mike Kocour.

Labarbera is best known for his recordings and live performances with the trio of pianist Bill Evans in the final years of Evans’s career. Previously he had worked in the quartet of Chuck Mangione and Joe Farrell.

Regarded by his peers as a musical drummer and a supportive accompanist, Labarbera has enjoyed a long and varied career in music that has taken him all over the world with some of the finest names in jazz. Perhaps jazz great Bill Evans summed it up best when he said that “Joe is very dedicated to playing quality music and he’s willing to make the concessions of dues toward that end. He’s a top soloist and he does the right thing at the right time.”

Since 1993, Labarbera has been on the faculty of California Institute for the Arts in Valencia, California. He is also a visiting artist at Nevada-Las Vegas and a faculty member of the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop. He served on the National Endowment for the Arts council in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest at many other colleges as both performer and lecturer.

Moio, Phoenix’s No. 1 A-List drummer, began playing in the fifth grade and credits his first teacher, Dick Demers, for starting him on his way as both a player and a teacher.

With a deep background in percussion excellence on both coasts, Moio has performed on more than 65 jazz CDs, alongside artists Carl Fontana, Conte Condoli, Shorty Rogers, Greg Hopkins and Buddy Childers, among others.

In New York, Moio studied with studio master Bernard Purdie. In Boston, he studied with jazz great Alan Dawson, to whom Moio dedicated his first book, “Be Bop Phrasing for Drums.” Before leaving the East Coast, Moio played alongside jazz greats Don Doane, Clark Terry, Herb Pomeroy and Dave McKenna.

Moio headed for Reno, Nevada, along with his guitar-playing brother, Bill, in the late 1970s, where they worked the casino circuit. Dom became the house drummer for the MGM Grand and “Hello Hollywood Hello Show.” He made his mark with show gigs that included Joan Rivers, Tony Orlando, Shirley Jones and Debbie Reynolds. He also kept busy with West Coast jazz players Don Menza, Red Holloway, Herb Ellis, Joe Diorio and Ahmad Jamal.

After studying with Cuban master Walfredo Reyes Sr., in the 1980s in Reno, Moio became active in the Latin percussion world, with his book “Latin Percussion for Gringos” and his band Cinco De Moio.

In the late 1980s Moio made his way to the Valley, where he complements his heavy gig schedule with teaching, including two decades on Arizona State University’s jazz faculty and at Mesa Community College.

In 2008, Moio hooked up with his longtime hero, Steve Gadd, and did two book projects, “Deep Grooves II” and “Just Duet,” which includes Labarbera.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.jazzcompass.com/joe_bio.html
http://www.dommoio.com/
Photo courtesy of Joe Labarbera.
Photo courtesy of Don Moio.

The James Francies Trio
Saturday, Feb 23, 2019, 7:30pm

Encouraged by his parents to learn by experience, James Francies reveled in knowledge gained in the rich culture of Houston, as he explored the arts and music. While assimilating the contemporary music of his peers, he also developed a distinct interest in jazz. 

Even before moving to New York City in 2013, the pianist-composer had generated a well-deserved buzz in the jazz arena. Three years attending Houston’s Summer Jazz Workshop solidified his foundation and set a path as a standout at HSPVA, the renowned performing and visual arts high school, whose alumnae include Beyoncé, Jason Moran, Chris Dave and Eric Harland. 

He won the Ruth and Eli Nadel Scholarship Award at Stanford Jazz Workshop, earned a full scholarship to Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and was awarded the Moran Scholarship from pianist and 2010 MacArthur Fellow Moran. Francies is the youngest recipient of the American Federation of Musicians President’s Youth Award. DownBeat magazine honored him twice for Composition and Jazz Arrangement. His band opened for the legendary Jazz Crusaders reunion and he has performed at Monterey Jazz Festival. 

At 23, Francies keeps moving forward. Last year, he recorded his debut album for the legendary Blue Note Record Label, and he was named among “8 Artists You Should Know” by the genre-bending website Revive Music.  He recently worked on the film score for “Vincent N’ Roxxy” with Questlove that stars Zoe Kravitz, Emile Hirsch, and Kid Cudi. 

Francies has toured and recorded with the likes of with Eric Harland, The Roots,  Jeff “Tain” Watts, Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Chris Dave and Drumhedz, and fronts his own band, Kinetic.  Francies often can be seen on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on NBC with The Roots. He works with them on numerous projects, including music for commercials, film scores and singles.

Francies also was part of Chance The Rapper’s hit single “No Problem,” which won two Grammy awards in 2017.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.jamesfranciesmusic.com/
Photo courtesy of James Francies.

John Proulx Quartet
Saturday, Mar 23, 2019, 7:30pm

Los Angeles singer-pianist-composer John Proulx’s (pronounced “Proo”) piano playing is hot and swinging, and his voice recalls the smooth, mellow sounds of a young Chet Baker. In fact, Proulx’s 2009 CD on MAXJAZZ, “Baker’s Dozen-Remembering Chet Baker” is a tribute to the late trumpet player and vocalist. 

Proulx’s CD “The Best Thing For You,” co-produced with pianist Bill Cunliffe, showcases a wide variety of outstanding musicians, including Chuck Berghofer, Joe Labarbera, Larry Koonse, Bob Sheppard, Ron Stout, Jeremy Boersma, with guest vocals by Sara Gazarek and Michael Feinstein. 

These releases, beginning with Proulx’s 2006 debut CD, “Moon and Sand,” have garnered national and international acclaim, and his fan base is quickly growing. In addition to his own group, Proulx has performed with Anita O’Day, Melissa Manchester, Natalie Cole and Marian McPartland.

Proulx also is a Grammy-winning composer. Jazz legend Nancy Wilson recorded “These Golden Years,” a song that he co-wrote with lyricist D. Channsin Berry, for her 2006 Grammy-winning CD, “Turned to
Blue.’ Jazz singer Mary Stallings recorded songs he co-wrote with lyricist K. Lawrence Dunham, “Stuck in a Dream” and “Before You Know It.” Deana Martin also recorded “Stuck in a Dream. Proulx teamed with Melissa Manchester on her CD, “You Gotta Love the Life,” which includes Al Jarreau on vocals. 

Proulx began his formal musical education at age 3 in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Suzuki violin, but quickly switched to classical piano. His grandfather, Clyde Proulx, was a jazz guitarist with the Clyde McCoy Big Band, and introduced John to the world of jazz. Hooked on the freedom of improvisation, his education took him to Chicago to study at Roosevelt University’s Chicago School of Performing Arts. In 2001, John moved to Los Angeles to further his musical pursuits.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.johnproulx.com
Photo courtesy of John Proulx.

Veronica Swift Quartet with Benny Green
Saturday, Apr 20, 2019, 7:30pm

At 23, Veronica Swift is without question among the top young jazz singers in the country.

Swift was no stranger to the big-time well before her 15th birthday. On the stage, she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival in 2016, her 10th appearance there, but her first as a headliner.  She first appeared at age 10 with Dave Adams’ Young Razzcals Jazz Project and the great saxophonist Richie Cole. She later sang a duet with the featured artist, Paquito d’Rivera. And her first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center was at 11, when she performed at the “Women in Jazz” series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  In the studio, Swift recorded two CDs as a child, one at age 9 with Richie Cole and her mother and her father’s rhythm section, and one at age 13 with saxophonist Harry Allen.

In 2015, she took second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition.  A year later, she was asked to perform a concert of her own at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City and she was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center with the Tedd Firth Big Band and Marilyn Maye and Freda Payne.

Her 2015 Album “Lonely Woman” features some of the hottest young jazz players on the scene, including Emmet Cohen, Benny Bennack III, Daryl, Matt Wigler and Scott Lowrie.

She moved to New York City after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and she almost immediately began performing every Saturday night at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, a gig she continues to maintain when she is not on the road.

Swift has toured with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator-author Stephanie Nakasian. 

Swift is also a passionate devotee of ’20s and ’30s music and has sung with Vince Giordano, Terry Waldo, and Drew Nugent.

For more information, please go to:
https://www.veronicaswift.com/
Photo courtesy of Veronica Swift.

The Return of The Bonedaddys
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 7:30pm

L.A.’s original “Worldbeatniks” (since 1985) and among the very first American bands to be described as Worldbeat, The Bonedaddys still take a wide stance stylistically, claiming influences from Charles Ives to Burl Ives and much in-between, with the common musical denominator being a fun, danceable party ambience. 

The Bonedaddys were formed in Los Angeles by percussionist Michael Tempo. The group’s sprawling, ever-changing roster variously would include singers Kevin Williams, King Cotton, Billy Sheets, Gregg Sutton and Kaspar Abbo. Their album debut was in 1988, although they had earlier written and recorded a song about Bo Diddley with Bo Diddley on vocals and guitar, which was not released until a shortened version appeared on their CD “Garage Sale.”

The Bonedaddys subsequently issued albums “Worldbeatniks,” “To Jam Is Human, to Gig Divine,” “Jungle/Jungle” and “Garage Sale.” 

Their sixth album, “waterslide,” is a collection of all original songs designed to move butts of all persuasions and features soulful vocals by front man and tunesmith Abbo and King Cotton, named after Elvis’ favorite brand of bacon. The 13 grooves on “waterslide” are a merry-go-round of styles: funk, rock, bluesmambo, soca, Latin, rock-steady and psycho-billy two-step to an afro-surf twang meets spaghetti-western instrumental. 

“waterslide” is a gumbo stirred up in light refracted through a prism called Los Angeles. For The Bonedaddys, Worldbeat has come full circle to include an expression of American roots music.

The last time the Bonedaddys played in Arizona, 1989, was to a sold-out crowd at the Mesa Amphitheater.

We are delighted to see if The Bonedaddys can blow the lid off the TCA in their return to the Grand Canyon State as we wrap our 2018-19 season.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.thebonedaddys.com/
Photo courtesy of The Bonedaddys.

Past Shows

Past Shows

The Carol Robbins Jazz Harp Quartet
Saturday, Nov 24, 2018, 7:30pm

Grammy-nominated Carol Robbins was inspired by music at an early age when she discovered the joy of jazz improvisation on the piano.

By 8, she had transitioned to harp and progressed quickly. Only a handful of students ever were accepted for mentoring by the late pioneering harpist Dorothy Ashby. Robbins was among them.

Robbins, who grew up in Los Angeles, has recorded and performed with an eclectic variety of artists, including Billy Childs, Manhattan Transfer, Brian Wilson, Bjork, Dianne Reeves, Linda Ronstadt, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. She has performed at the Hollywood Bowl with many artists, among them Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.

Her performances as a member of Childs’ Jazz Chamber Ensemble led to Grammy nominations along with her colleagues for albums “Lyric” in 2005 and “Autumn in Moving Pictures” in 2010. She remains a member of Childs’ ensemble, performing extensively in the U.S. and Europe. 

She has released five CDs of her own: “Three and Four,” “Jazz Play,”  “Chords in Blue,” “Moraga” and “Taylor Street,” and appeared on television shows “Cheers,” “Frazier” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” 

Robbins also is held in high esteem in the jazz world as a teacher, composer and arranger. She has lectured and performed at several universities, including UCLA, Berklee College of Music (not to be confused with the California-Berkeley music school), University of Utah and University of Oregon. She has been on the faculty of the Jazz Harp Academy in Baton Rouge, Lyon and Healy-sponsored jazz festivals in Rio de Janeiro, and several American Harp Society international conferences. Several of Robbins’ compositions and jazz arrangements for harp have been published by harp specialist Vanderbilt Music Company’s Editions. 

She continues to appear in concerts and clubs with Childs’ Jazz Chamber Ensemble and with her own group.

For more information, please go to: https://carolrobbins.net
Photo courtesy of Carol Robbins.

Jazz Royalty Transcriptions: The Duke and the Count

Saturday, Oct 20, 2018, 7:30pm

Lakeshore Music proudly presents the Arizona State University Concert Jazz Band, conducted by guest Jeffrey Lindberg, alongside acclaimed guest vocalist Dee Alexander, for the big-band music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, with transcriptions by Lindberg for Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.  

Every year, Lakeshore Music partners with the ASU Herberger School of Music Jazz Studies program to produce a premiere performance showcasing ASU’s student musicians in concert with notable singers and conductors from around the nation. 

Lindberg is a professor of music at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. He also is music director of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and is among the world’s renowned transcribers of recorded music. He has been commissioned to transcribe more than 20 jazz orchestrations for Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, directed by David Baker, and commissioned to transcribe jazz orchestrations for such artists as Dave Brubeck and Joe Williams. 

His transcriptions have been performed by the Count Basie and Woody Herman orchestras and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. Two of his transcriptions were performed by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra at the White House.

Singing for Ella and Sarah is Alexander, Chicago’s queen of jazz. Alexander is among the premier vocalists and songwriters in American music today. Her performances span virtually every musical genre related to the African diaspora, gospel, blues, neo-soul, rhythm-and-blues and world music, but her true heart belongs to jazz, the one idiom that can encompass all of her influences. 

She and Lindberg are no strangers to Lakeshore Music audiences.

Dr. Michael Kocour, another frequent Lakeshore performer, is ASU’s director of Jazz Studies. The Herberger Institute School of Music’s Concert Jazz Band is the premier large ensemble of the Jazz Studies program, in which students study and perform music from the classic big-band repertoire, as well as commissioned works, student compositions and recent works by contemporary jazz composers. Other recent guest artists appearing with the Concert Jazz Band include Eric Alexander, Jerry Bergonzi, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Mintzer, Dick Oatts, Eric Schneider, Joel Spencer and Scott Wendholt.

Lakeshore Music is pleased to feature these student musicians and present this very special program to you.

For more information, please go to: https://music.asu.edu/ensembles/concert-jazz-band
https://www.wooster.edu/news/releases/2013/december/lindberg/index.php
http://deealexander.net
http://www.michaelkocour.com
Photo courtesy of ASU Concert Jazz Band.
Photo courtesy of Lakeshore Music, Inc.

Renee Rosnes Quartet
Saturday, Sep 22, 2018, 7:30pm

Canadian-born Renee Rosnes is among the premier jazz pianists and composers of her generation. 

Rosnes has released 15 albums, five of them receiving JUNO awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. Her recordings reveal her extensive range, from powerful to sensitive. Her range is further reflected in the diverse artists with whom she collaborates, from established masters Jack DeJohnette and Ustad Zakir Hussain, to younger giants Christian McBride, Chris Potter, Nicholas Payton and Steve Nelson. 

She quickly established a reputation as a major talent, recording and touring with a Who’s Who of jazz after relocating to New York from Vancouver in 1986, as the pianist for legendary musicians Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson. In 1989, James Moody hired Rosnes for his quartet, and she remained a member until his passing in 2010.

As a composer, she has taken home the 2003 SOCAN Composer of the Year award. Her works have been performed and recorded by Johnson, Phil Woods, Lewis Nash, Joe Locke, Danish Radio Big Band, Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and trombonist Michael Dease.

Rosnes also is highly regarded as a director and producer. She was musical director of New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s 2012 For “Love of Moody: A Jazz Celebration,” which included George Benson, Manhattan Transfer and Jimmy Heath. Also that year, she produced “Joe Henderson’s 75th Birthday Celebration for Jazz,” featuring Hutcherson, Potter and Robert Hurst, at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room.

Aside from leading her own bands, Rosnes is a member of bassist Ron Carter’s Quartet. She often performs with her husband, acclaimed pianist Bill Charlap, and the couple released their first duo recording in 2010, “Double Portrait” (Blue Note). Downbeat magazine wrote: “The counterpoint and compatibilities are so perfectly balanced, the selections and arrangements so handsome, that ‘Double Portrait’ is a prize.”

Lakeshore Music is very pleased to bring this prize to you.

For more information, please go to: http://reneerosnes.com/
Photo courtesy of Renee Rosnes.