Dates and Ensembles:
March 16 and 17
March 23 and 24
March 30 and 31
Michael Wolff is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and bandleader, and is best known for his melodically, fresh,and rhythmically compelling piano style. Wolff made his recording debut in 1972 with Cal Tjader, and went on to record with Cannonball Adderley, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Tony Williams, Christian McBride and many others. As pianist and music director for jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Michael wrote orchestral arrangements and conducted more than 25 major symphony orchestras worldwide. From 1989 to 1994, Michael served as the band leader for the Aresenio Hall Show, which heightened his visibility and gave him the opportunity to perform with many established artists such as Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and saxophonist/president Bill Clinton. Michael Wolff has released 12 critically acclaimed solo albums to date as a leader, 'Joe's Strut' being the most recent. He was a winner of the BMI Music Award for television composition and was also the winner of the Gold Disc Award in Japan for piano. Michael recently performed a solo piano concert at University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, as part of their Art Tatum solo piano concert.
Bassist/composer Ben Allison is one of a few band leaders working in jazz today who has developed his own instantly identifiable sound. With his groups The Ben Allison Band, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, South America and Europe and has been called one of today's best young jazz musicians" by the Boston Globe and a visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene" by JazzTimes.
Receiving the prestigious Alan Dawson scholarship, and studying at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California, drummer Damion Reid has performed and toured alongside Greg Osby, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Cassandra Wilson, Bruce Hornsby, Jacky Terrasson, Ravi Coltrane, Reggie Workman, Marcus Belgrave, Lauryn Hill, Angie Stone, Robert Hurst, Angelique Kidjo, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, Mark Shim, Dianne Reeves, Mark Turner, Bunky Green and many others. Damion Reid is currently playing with Steve Coleman and the Five Elements, Greg Ward's Phonic Juggernaut and the Steve Lehman Trio. Damion is also playing in various projects led by guitarist Miles Okazaki and a Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa co-led project entitled Dual Identity.
Ugonna Okegwo is one of the most distinctive and sought-after jazz bassists in the world. Critics across the globe have praised him for his rich tone, supple sense of swing, stylistic range and inventiveness. These qualities have not only earned him a place on the bandstand with jazz legends as diverse as Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Pharoah Sanders and Joseph Jarmenthey have established him as one of the leading lights of a younger generation redefining jazz for thee new century.
Mike Campenni is a veteran NYC jazz drummer who has played with numerous jazz artists over the years. He is currently the drummer for the Meetinghouse Orchestra.
What can be said about Mike Clark except that he is a true drum legend! Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America's foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock's group in the early 1970's. Mike became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock's 'Thrust' album, which garnered him an international cult following. While often referred to as the Tony Williams of funk," Mike considers himself a jazz drummer, and in fact has become one of the most vital to sit behind a set. He's performed with jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Rob Dixon, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown, Gil Evans and his orchestra and many illuminating artists too numerous to list. Mike is currently putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming solo CD 'Indigo Blue,' which features Randy Brecker, Christian McBride, Ron Dixon and Antonio Farao.
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