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Roy Hargrove Quintet + The Roberta Gambarini Quartet @ Town Hall (Friday, March 5th, 2004)


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The Roy Hargrove Quintet

Roy Hargrove (trumpet/flugelhorn); Justin Robinson (alto); Ronnie Mathews (piano); Dwayne Burno (bass); Willie Jones III (drums)


The Roberta Gambarini Quartet

Roberta Gambarini (vocals); Eric Gunnison (piano); George Mraz (bass); Victor Lewis(drums)

The Town Hall is located at:
123 West 43rd Street (6th Avenue/Broadway)
212-840-2824 (box office)

Grammy Award winning Trumpeter/composer ROY HARGROVE has established a reputation as one of the most versatile and hardest working trumpeters in jazz. His resume includes eleven albums as a leader in the more straight ahead Jazz vain, and over the last several years Hargrove ventured into a different world: in 2000 he appeared with D'Angelo (Grammy-winning Voodoo album and tour), and made guest appearances on albums by Erykah Badu, Common and the Red Hot AIDS awareness organization (Red Hot + Riot). In May of 2003 Hargrove released The RH Factor: Hard Groove (Verve), featuring D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Steve Coleman, Anthony Hamilton, Karl Denson, Q-Tip, Common and many others.

The incomparable, soul-infused fire & rain sound belonging to the 34-year old trumpeter was harvested at a very young age. Born in Waco, Texas on October 16, 1969 and inspired by Gospel, R&B and funk, Roy began learning the trumpet in the fourth grade. A prodigy - Roy was already playing at an advanced level of proficiency by the time he reached junior high school. By 16, he was studying music at Dallas's prestigious Booker T. Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts (fellow alumni: Erykah Badu & Norah Jones). Midway through his Junior year, Wynton Marsalis came to the school to do a clinic/workshop for the students. Greatly impressed by his skills, Wynton invited Roy to sit in with his band at Ft. Worth's Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center. This led to Roy being invited to play at the Caravan of Dreams with the bands of Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock, which resulted in Roy being invited to the North Sea Jazz Festival and several other European festivals, later that summer.

During his 1988 stint at Boston's Berklee College of Music, Roy began hitting New York jam sessions and gigging with Bobby Watson, Mulgrew Miller, Walter Booker, Ronnie Mathews, Jimmy Cobb, Idris Muhammad and recorded with Superblue and Bobby Watson. In 1990 he released his major label solo debut, RCA/Novus's Diamond In The Rough. Three albums/years later, Roy released his Verve debut, the critically acclaimed With the Tenors of Our Time (featuring Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Johnny Griffin, Joshua Redman and Branford Marsalis), following suit with Family.

During his 1996 trip to Cuba, Roy recruited some of the island's finest players (including piano legend Chucho Valdes), and recorded the Afro-Cuban jazz landmark and Grammy winning, Habana. In 2000, Verve released the beautiful string driven ballad record, Moment to Moment, moving him into what critics have termed his “most romantic period."

In 2003, Hargrove joined forces touring and recording with Herbie Hancock & Michael Brecker for Directions In Music, eventually taking home the Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album for the homage paid to the legacy left by John Coltrane and Miles Davis.

The world-renowned Hargrove always makes sure the music is moving in a positive and real direction, with the capability of taking you to the higher ground with just one note. Through his tonality and unique sensibility, Roy Hargrove stands as an inspiration for young musicians in all genres of music - while never forgetting to pay respect to the giants who walked before him. Simply beautiful.

Born in Torino, Italy into a family where jazz was very much appreciated and loved, ROBERTA GAMBARINI started listening to this music as a child. She began singing and performing at the age of 17 in jazz clubs around Northern Italy, leading to performance opportunities at jazz festivals throughout Italy and Europe.

In 1998 she moved to the United States with a scholarship from the New England Conservatory in Boston. In October of the same year she was a finalist at the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition in Washington, D.C. Shortly after this she moved to New York City, where word of her stunning talent began attracting attention far and wide. She soon found herself recording, performing, and collaborating with many of the most respected artists in the world of Jazz, at some of the most important venues around the U.S and abroad.

The list of artists have included: Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Chucho Valdes, Eric Gunnison, Toots Thielemans, Clark Terry, Michael Brecker, Johnny Griffin, Roy Hargrove, Billy Higgins, Jimmy Heath, Percy Heath, Albert “Tootie" Heath, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Ron Carter, Harold Land, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Ronnie Mathews, Bobby Hutcherson, Nils Henning Oersted Pederson, James Moody, Lionel Hampton, Christian McBride, George Mraz, Jimmy Woode, Dennis Irwin, Jimmy Cobb, Al Foster, Willie Jones III, Alvin Queen, Karriem Riggins, Russell Malone, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Dado Moroni, Renato Chicco, Monty Alexander, John Hicks, among countless others.

One of Roberta's most ardent supporters was the late Benny Carter, who had been her musical hero since childhood. After hearing Roberta on a CD, he arranged to meet Roberta in Los Angeles. So impressed was Benny with her musicality, that he took a personal interest in spreading the news to his friends and colleagues, even arranging some performances so she could be heard in Los Angeles. Being that Gambarini loved his music so much, he graciously agreed to make his compositions and arrangements available to her. Benny and Roberta continued close communication, and were actively planning some projects at the time of his passing at 95 years of age in July 2003.

The list of venues is equally impressive: Multiple appearances at Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festivals (Den Hague, Netherlands and Cape Town, So. Africa), JVC Jazz Festival (NYC, Umbria Jazz Fest. - Perugia, Italy); Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival - University of Idaho, Jazz Plaza Festival (Havana, Cuba , Teatro Nacional - Teatro Amadeo Roldan, Havana, Cuba Molde Jazz Fest - Molde, Norway, Bern Jazz Fest (Bern Switzerland), Conertgebouwe, Brugge, Belgium, Ton Halle - Zurich, Switzerland, Tanglewood and Berkshire Jazz Festivals, - Massachusettes, Jazz Festivals- Brescia, Italy, Catania, Italy, Cala Ganone, Sardinia, Teatro Manzoni - Milano, Italy, Victoria Hall - Geneva, Switzerland, Toronto, Canada - Murcia, pain, - Terrassa, Spain, - Clermont - Ferrand, France. - Odense, Denmark,- Linkopping, Sweden, Concertgebowe - Amsterdam,-Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Tchaikovski Hall-Moscow, among many others.

While performing at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, Roberta met Chucho Valdes who invited her to perform with him at the Havana Jazz Festival in December 2000, and again at the 2002 Festival. Since that first meeting, Chucho and Roberta have forged a striking rapport, while performing together in venues in the USA and abroad; New York City's The Jazz Gallery and most recently at the Jazz Festival in Manerbio, Italy, in November 2003, among others.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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