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Programs & Exhibitions

Baby Grand Jazz 2014

Baby Grand Jazz is a series of 16 free jazz performances held in our Downtown Library Atrium on Sunday afternoons, January through April, that blends traditional styles with new sounds in a celebration of the diversity of jazz culture and great music. Click here to print flyer.


Sunday January 5, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Meg Okura and Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble

Violinist, composer and erhu player Meg Okura--"the queen of chamber of jazz," according to All About Jazz--was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. In 1992, she made her U.S. debut at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. as a soloist with Alexander Schneider’s New York String Orchestra. , Meg has a new trio, featuring Brian Marsella on piano, Sean Kupisz on bass and cajon. They had just returned from a tour, performing for over 3,500 audience members in Illinois and Iowa.

http://www.megokura.com

Meg Okura and Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
 

Sunday January 12, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
David Chevan and Afro Semitic Experience

Bassist and composer, David Chevan was born in Philadelphia in 1960, and grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has composed music for a wide range of artists and ensembles, including several collaborations with dance and film.  His most recent compositions have focused on melding jazz improvisational practice with Jewish liturgy. He is a Professor of Music at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and is proud to be a member of the board of trustees of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. 

  http://afrosemiticexperience.net

David Chevan and Afro Semitic Experience
 

Sunday January 19, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Maxine Martin

Maxine Martin is a clarinetist and tenor saxophonist who grew up in Connecticut and lived and worked in New York for over twenty years. Maxine studied at Hartt School of Music at the University Of Hartford and graduated with a B.A. in Music from the University of South Florida. While a Music Education student at Hartt, she audited jazz classes taught by saxophonists Jackie McLean and Paul Jeffries. Maxine also taught as a music instructor in the New York Public Schools, Midori and Friends, and community centers. She continues to teach in Connecticut Public Schools and as a private music instructor.

http://www.reverbnation.com/maxinecarolmartin

Maxine Martin
 

Sunday January 26, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Allie Bosso

Allie Bosso is a freelance trombonist with 20 years of study and a BM from Oberlin Conservatory (2006) . She has shared the stage with many great jazz artists such as Slide Hampton, Gary Bartz, Clark Terry, Billy Hart, Marcus Belgrave, Robin Eubanks and Donald Byrd. Allie frequently tours with 10,000 Maniacs and many other groups. She has also performed at numerous prestigious venues including The White House, Lincoln Center, and Kennedy Center.

http://alliebosso.com/

Allie Basso
 

Sunday February 2, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Craig Hartley

A graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, Hartley also attended the New School in New York City and the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, studying under such jazz greats as Jackie Mclean, Joe Chambers, Gary Dial, and Andy Laverne. Hartley has played at a multitude of prominent venues and events across the country and around the world. His international performances include the Veneto Jazz Festival, which was part of a tour in Italy. He also was commissioned to perform an original composition and solo performance for the Numazu Festival for International Design in Numazu, Japan. Hartley has even been heard on international airwaves through features and performances on radio stations like NPR/PRI.

http://www.craighartley.me/

Craig Hartley
 

Sunday February 9, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Taino Pacheco

Taino Pacheco is a jazz pianist and a former student of “The Artist Collective” in Hartford where he studied under the tutelage of the late, renowned alto saxophonist Mr. Jackie McLean and his son René McLean.  Taino has performed for six consecutive years at the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz series.  In addition, Taino has performed at corporate venues and campaigns with the Greater Hartford Arts Council.  Taino is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Bimolecular Sciences.

Taino Pacheco
 

Sunday February 16, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Erin O’Luanaigh

With a vocal style that evokes such jazz greats as Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Anita O’Day, jazz newcomer Erin O'Luanaigh brings to the music scene a voice with a depth and maturity that belies her 21 years. The vocalist from Cheshire, Connecticut, is captivating listeners with the October release of her debut album, Honeysuckle Rose. Erin's music has been featured on the internationally syndicated Dick Robinson’s American Standards by the Sea and The Don Kennedy Show. Mr. Kennedy praised Honeysuckle Rose, claiming, Erin's voice made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. She sings with great expression and a depth that you just can’t hear — you've got to feel.

http://www.erinoluanaigh.com/

Erin O’Luanaigh
 

Sunday February 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Michael Gregory Jackson

Michael Gregory Jackson was born in New Haven, Connecticut, Gregory was around a variety of music from a young age. He's performed and/or recorded with Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Nile Rodgers, David Murray, Jack Dejohnette, Bernard Edwards, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Winwood, Walter Becker, Anthony Davis, Anton Fig, Melle Mel, Omar Hakim, David Sancious, Marcus Miller, Jerry Marotta, Nona Hendryx, and many more. He appeared in "Moving Beyond the Madness" curated by playwright, George Wolfe (New York Public Theater). He's played various venues USA, Canada, Japan, Europe, too numerous to list.

http://www.michaelgregoryjackson.com

Michael Gregory
 

Sunday March 2, 2104, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
William Fluker

A native of North Haven, Connecticut Mr. Fluker is an accomplished Master Trumpeter with over 15 years of teaching experience and ten years in the New Haven Public School System. He is a devoted instructor and enjoys helping children reach their music and performance potential.

William Fluker
 

Sunday March 9, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ray Gonzalez

A native of Gurabo, Puerto Rico, González attended the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico. He and his orchestra have

toured throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, and he has worked for bandleaders ranging from Tito Puente to Charlie Palmieri.

http://www.guakia.org/images/pages/index/ray_gonzalez_bio.pdf

Ray Gonzalez
 

Sunday March 16, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Warren Byrd

Pianist / vocalist / composer Warren Byrd is a Hartford native with an international touring schedule after many fruitful years playing Jazz throughout Connecticut, Southern New England, and New York. He began composing music at about age 11. Warren grew into a passion for bebop jazz, especially the music of Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson. He became known as one of the busiest, most versatile musicians in Hartford county. His deep respect for all arts, his experiences in the theatre as a youth, his work with Dance, his extensive touring schedule, all kinds of gigs and performances of diverse styles, his willingness to absorb old and new, his curiosity of all artifacts of the human spirit may be reflected inversely in his work motto.

http://www.warrenbyrd.com/cms/index.php

Warren Byrd
 

Sunday March 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Nelson Bello and TROMBEATZ

Bello is a Hartford resident, started playing Latin percussion at the age of 8.Nelson graduated from the Hartford Conservatory of Music. He has worked with great notables like Domingo Quinones, Frankie Vazquez, Ray Gonzalez, Ray De La Paz and others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdB2FG6gEWc

Nelson Bello
 

Sunday March 30, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Yoko Miwa

Miwa, a native of Kobe, Japan, was classically trained and didn’t pursue an interest in jazz until she met and studied with Minoru Ozone, a popular television organist and nightclub owner who is the father of pianist Makoto Ozone. In June, the Yoko Miwa Trio was voted Best Jazz Act by the Boston Phoenix in the 2012 Best Music Poll. In July, her trio released their major label debut CD in Japan titled Act Naturally on the JVC Victor Entertainment label. In 2011, she was appointed Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music, she played sold-out shows in Boston and NYC, and she was chosen to play a special concert, Marian McPartland & Friends at Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center, as part of The Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival.

http://yokomiwa.com/

Yoko Miwa
 

Sunday April 6, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Jeff Wieselberg

Jeff Wieselberg was born & raised in New Jersey, where he began taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and played in bands while in high school and college at Hofstra. He was a founding member of 2 popular and fondly-remembered bands, CLOCKWORK and THE RIVERSIDE DRIVERS, but for 30 years he has been performing mostly solo. He performs a wide variety of popular songs (pop, jazz, blues, rock, and Broadway) from throughout the 20th century, and a bit of the new millennium, too.

Jeff Wieselberg
 

Sunday April 13, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sonny and Perley

The exciting duo of Sonny Daye and Perley Rousseau achieves a rare musical symbiosis. The husband and wife team have spent the last several years developing and perfecting their unique blend of Jazz, Bossa Nova, American Songbook Standards, and International Cabaret which has become their musical signature. They engagingly perform the timeless standards of the Great American Songbook such as Berlin, Gershwin and Porter as well as the irresistible Bossa Nova melodies of Antonio Carlos Jobim.

http://www.sonnyandperley.com/

Sonny and Perley
 

Sunday April 27, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Emery A. Smith

Emery Austin Smith born, raised and still lives in Hartford, CT. He studied piano with Lillian Johnson Pierce and theory/composition with Clyde Wesley Board. Emery played locally with saxophonist Harold Holt, and Percy Nelson. He was the leader and arranger/ composer of the Emery Austin Smith Quintet performing in schools, colleges, museums lecturing and demonstrating the art and culture of Jazz. Smith was a co-leader with Lou West of the Progressive Arts and Culture Company 15 piece band which performed at the first Arts Festival in Hartford. Smith is strongly influenced by Theolonious Monkand Bud Powel. Smith worked in New York with Charles Shavers, Howard McGhee, Coleman Hawkins, Tina Brooks, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. Presently, Smith performs in New York and New England. 

Emery A. Smith