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Tribute to Nick Brignola on Saturday June 4

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KINDERHOOK — Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan and pianist Pete Malinverni take the stage Saturday, June 4, in the final concert of the Hudson Valley Friends of Jazz Spring series at North Pointe Cultural Arts Center. The concert will also include an opening set by Jack Fragomeni and Brian Patneaude.

The program, produced by Planet Arts-one2one and sponsord by Reservoir Music, opens at 7 p.m. with an informal discussion among the players and audience. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($22.50 for seniors, $20 for members of North Pointe or HVFOJ, $10 for students).

Smulyan, who grew up on Long Island, and Malinverni, a native of Niagara Falls, are presenting the program in memory of Nick Brignola (1936–2002), an internationally renowned jazz baritone saxophonist who hailed from Troy.

Smulyan is critically acclaimed as one of the major voices on the baritone saxophone today. “Smulyan’s tone seems to get bigger and his ideas more expansive from album to album,” Doug Ramsey wrote in Jazz Times, while Gary Giddens, writing in The Village Voice, called Smulyan, simply, “one of the best baritonists.”

Smulyan has recorded and performed worldwide with Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Cedar Walton, Chick Corea, Diana Ross, Slide Hampton, and many more. He currently plays with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and several other groups, as well as on his own projects.

Smulyan has recorded five CDs and received the 2004 Jazz Journalists’ Award for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year. He teaches at William Paterson University.

Malinverni is also a composer. In a four-star review in All About Jazz, Rick Anderson wrote, “It’s rare to find musicians as accomplished as Pete Malinverni who write with his level of insightful straightforwardness or play with his kind of elegant approachability.” In addition to leading on six recordings, since 1993 Malinverni has served as church musician at the Devoe Street Baptist Church in Brooklyn. His suites for gospel choir and jazz ensemble based on the Psalms show his abilities as a composer on a grand scale. He has taught on the jazz faculties of New York University, William Paterson University, and, currently, the Conservatory at SUNY Purchase.

North Pointe is on Route 9, just north of Kinderhook Village.
For ticket information, call 518-758-9234.
After a summer hiatus, the Hudson Valley Friends of Jazz–Planet Arts series picks up again on Saturday, October 1.

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