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In 2024, Baby Grand Jazz is celebrating its 20th season. Hartford Public Library is excited to host everyone back at the Downtown Library in the Center for Contemporary Culture (CCC). 

All concerts are from 3:00-4:00 p.m. with doors opening at 2:00 p.m. All shows will continue to be streamed on Hartford Public Library's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

 

 
Thank you to our 2024 presenting sponsor, The Kaman Foundation, for its continuing support. Special thanks to our longtime partners The Hartford Jazz Society and WWUH 91.3 FM.
 

Sign up for Baby Grand Jazz email updates here.


 

RESCHEDULED TO:

February 11: Nat Reeves and Friends

Doors open at 1 p.m., concert at 2 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 


For more than 40 years, Nat Reeves has been one of the top bassists in jazz. His supportive and stimulating playing has uplifted a countless number of sessions and recording dates (most notably with the great altoists Jackie McLean and Kenny Garrett), and he has led his own recordings “State of Emergency” and “Blue Ridge.” In 2001 Nat began a full-time teaching career at The Hartt School, Jackie McLean Institute. Although Nat retired from the University in 2021, he continues to perform and teach. Learn more at https://natreeves.com/.

 

Nat Reeves, bass
Sarah Hanahan, alto saxophone
Caelan Cardello, piano
Hank Allen-Barfield, drums

 


January 14: Angelina Kolobukhova Quartet

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

Angelina Kolobukhova is a vocalist born and raised in Minsk, Belarus. She has previously collaborated with the New Brunswick Jazz Project, Hartford Jazz Society, NPR Live Sessions and performed at Birdland Jazz Club, Room 623, Ornithology Jazz Club, among other NYC venues. Angelina's current vocal influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, and Cecile McLorin Salvant, among others. Her instrumental influences are Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown, Oscar Peterson, Mulgrew Miller, Hank Jones, and Roy Hargrove. Angelina performs standards from the American Songbook with original arrangements as well as her own original compositions. Learn more at https://angelinajazz.com

 

Angelina Kolobukhova, vocals

Tyler Henderson, piano

Sameer Shankar, bass

Aaron Seeber, drums

 


January 21: John Kordalewski Trio

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

John Kordalewski is best known as the leader, pianist, and arranger for the Makanda Project, a 13-piece, Boston-based ensemble. He is also arranger and conductor for the Chicago-based Chico Freeman orchestra and he currently works with the Ricky Ford Quartet, as well as leading his own groups. This current trio has performed all over, including the Cambridge River Fest and Mandorla Music Series, as well as past Baby Grand Jazz series. The music is a wide-ranging mixture of original compositions, pieces by Thelonious Monk and Makanda Ken McIntyre, as well as reflecting the musicians' experiences traveling over the world.

 

John Kordalewski, piano

Wes Brown, bass

Royal Hartigan, drums

 

January 28: Will Goble Quintet

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

Will Goble is a bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator. He became interested in jazz and related art forms after growing up within the creative music scene in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. During his twenty-plus year career, Will has contributed to a number of musical communities and released two albums under his own name: Some Stories Tell No Lies (2012) and Consider the Blues (2016, Origin Arts). Will's music explores the blues, swing ,and other important grooves born of Black American and Afro-Caribbean musical worlds. Currently based in New Haven, CT, Will performs as a sideman and bandleader. Learn more about Will at https://www.willgoblemusic.com/

 

Will Goble, bass 

Haneef Nelson, trumpet

Nathan Edwards, tenor sax

Jen Allen, piano

Ryan Sands, drums

 


February 4Trevor Watkis Trio

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

Pianist Trevor Watkis, is a London born multi-talented internationally-known pianist, arranger and composer, who studied at Berklee College of Music, in Boston. Now based  in New York City and establishing his name on the east coast scene. Trevor has performed sold out shows at venues such as Dizzy Club (NYC) and Scullers (Boston), his list of performing credits includes appearances with UK-based greats Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, and world renown icons such as  the late Billy Higgins, Stanley Turrentine and Betty Carter, also, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, James Spaulding and recently toured with Kenny Garrett and recorded with Steve Turre.

 

Trevor Watkis, piano

Dezron Douglas, bass

Donald Edwards, drums

 

February 11Y3W +1

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.
Center for Contemporary Culture
Downtown Library, 500 Main St.
Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.
 

Jordan Young Artist Statement: “In my artistic practice, I aim to communicate constructions of illustrations of sonic allusions that challenge literal or figurative archetypes. Through music composition, settings are reimagined, characters are reconstructed, stories are deconstructed and stereotypes are disarmed. Inspirations towards this compositional philosophy include Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music, Second Sacred Concert, Ornette Coleman's Law Years, All My Life, Wayne Shorter's Unknown Soldier, Aung San Suu Kyi, Prometheus Unbound and many more. With this research, I composed the score for the 2022 production of Broken Box Mime Company's “Asks Why”—a play presenting Critical Race Theory to families.”

 

Jordan Young, saxophone

Paul Cuffari, bass

Ele Howell, drums

Michael Carabello, piano

 


February 18Gianni Gardner Quintet

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.
Center for Contemporary Culture
Downtown Library, 500 Main St.
Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

Gianni Gardner is a New York based jazz guitarist originally from West Hartford, Connecticut. Gardner studied with the local legendary guitarist Doug Maher, vocalist Dianne Mower, and saxophonist Dan O'Brien. In 2021 he graduated from Western Connecticut State University where he studied with Christopher Morrison, Jimmy Greene, Jamie Begian, and more. Gardner is pursuing graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, learning from guitarist Chris Rosenberg and Mike Moreno, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, percussionist Rogerio Boccato, and others. His band brings a unique energy to every performance. They tell stories through their original compositions and strive for a performance of authenticity and inclusiveness. Learn more at https://giannigardnerguitar.com/

Gianni Gardner, guitar

McKenzie McCarthy, tenor sax

Francesco Pollon, piano

Conway Campbell Jr., bass

Peru Eizagirre, drums

 


February 25Erez Aviram Ensemble

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

The Erez Aviram Ensemble consists of eight versatile musicians from New York City, including Meg Okura, Nicholas Biello, Justin Mullens and more, who play Aviram’s compositions. The ensemble, combining traditional orchestral instruments with a powerful rhythm and horn sections, creates a bridge between the written and the improvised, skipping flawlessly between genres and modes to produce intellectual and emotive music. Learn more about Erez Aviram at: https://www.erezaviram.com/

 

Erez Aviram, piano

Skyler Hagner, baritone saxophone

Justin Mullens, french horn

Meg Okura, violin

Nicholas Biello, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute

Zachary Brown, cello

Marcelo Maccagnan, bass guitar

Maxime Cholley, drums

 


March 3Thread City Jazz Trio

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.


Thread City Jazz Trio started playing together in 2014; their first CD was released in January, 2023, and another is planned for 2024. Pianist Anthony Cornicello is a Professor of Music at Eastern Connecticut State University. Rick O'Neal plays bass for a few regional bands, including Delta Generators and Straight Up Jazz. He studied music at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he now works, as well as at the Pomfret School, and the Complex Center for the Arts. Percussionist Matthew Bronson studied music education from Western and holds a Masters of Music from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is an adjunct Professor at Eastern. Learn more at https://threadcityjazz.com/

 

Anthony Cornicello, piano

Rick O'Neal, bass

Matt Bronson, drums

 

 March 10Andrew Wilcox Trio  

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

Andrew Wilcox, originally from Boylston, Massachusetts, is one of Hartford’s rising young musicians. He was a student of Rick Germanson, Ralph Peterson, Orrin Evans, and the late Stanley Cowell. Andrew played alongside Jazzmeia Horn at the Newport Jazz Festival. He is a regular member of the Haneef Nelson Quintet and Ed Byrne Quartet, among other groups. The trio features Andrew Wilcox, Avery Sharpe and Yoron Israel. Mentored by both Sharpe and Israel, Andrew's original compositions and arrangements are at the forefront of the trio's repertoire. Andrew's debut record (coming later in 2023), features this unit. Learn more at https://andrewwilcoxmusic.com/

 

Andrew Wilcox, piano

Avery Sharpe, bass

Yoron Israel, drums

 


March 17Nicole Zuraitis

  

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

Connecticut native Nicole Zuraitis is a 2X Grammy-nominated jazz singer-songwriter, pianist and arranger, New York-based bandleader and winner of the prestigious 2021 American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal. With a “heart as big as her remarkable voice,” (Jazz Police), Nicole has positioned herself as one of the top artists and "prolific songwriters" (Broadway World) to watch in jazz and beyond. As a recording artist, Nicole has released five albums as leader, and her sixth album How Love Begins, co-produced with eight-time Grammy-winner Christian McBride, released July 7th, 2023, featuring all original music. It was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for the 2024 Grammy awards. Learn more at https://www.nicolezmusic.com/


Nicole Zuraitis, voice/piano

Dan Pugach, drums

Idan Morim, guitar

Sam Weber, bass

 

March 24The Matt DeChamplain Quartet

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

In February of 2023, virtuoso jazz violinist Jason Anick and pianist Matt DeChamplain recorded an entire album in one day. "Reverence: A Tribute To Stephane Grappelli and Oscar Peterson" is a tribute to their early musical heroes. The album features compositions by Grappelli and Peterson, some pieces that the two aforementioned masters recorded together during the 60's and 70's, and two pieces by Anick and DeChamplain. "Reverence" features New York bassist Eduardo Belo and guitarist Matt Munisteri, whose work with Mark O'Connor and Catherine Russell has been internationally recognized. The album ranges from swing to bebop to jazz manouche and displays a diverse range of compositions.  Learn more at www.jasonanick.com

and www.mattdechamplain.com

 

Matt DeChamplain, piano

Jason Anick, violin

Eduardo Belo, bass

Matt Munisteri, guitar

 

April 7Nino Ciampa & The Hartt Salsa All Stars

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

The Hartt Salsa All-Stars are the first ensemble from the University of Hartford to be devoted exclusively to New York-style salsa music. Nino Ciampa, 19-year-old Boston native of Italian and Cuban descent, serves as the group's bandleader and arranger who also sings and plays percussion for the group. They have performed various times on campus as well as in Willimantic, CT and Coventry, CT. They have played gigs as a salsa septet, a full 20+ piece big band, and everything in between. Learn more at https://culturalyst.com/theharttsalsaallstars

 

Vocals: Nino Ciampa, Miguel Cardona Jr., Nick Gastello, Jason Cain, Celia Castillo-Torres, & Collin Engelhardt

Flute: Madison Rombough

Saxes: Mae Czuba, Will Long, & Max Voltato

Trumpets: Dylan Ludoviconi, Jonah Bailis, & Noah Bissel

Trombones: Tom Giuffre, Jonn Losito, & Ethan Abrams

Violins: Micaiah Bradley & Kaitlyn Walsh

Piano: Makenna Fowler

Bass: Sam Jacobs

Percussion: Nino Ciampa, Michael Spanedda, Honoka Masuyama, & Hannah Fidler

 


April 14Eric Mintel Quartet

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

For the past 30 years the Eric Mintel Quartet have been thrilling audiences throughout the world with their electrifying jazz concerts. With invitations to perform for two Presidents (Clinton, 1998, and Obama, 2011), a special concert at the United Nations, and more than ten concerts at the Kennedy Center, the Eric Mintel Quartet continues to tour and introduce themselves to new audiences wherever they go. Jazz legend Dave Brubeck said "As long as the music attracts dedicated young musicians like Eric Mintel and the Eric Mintel Quartet, jazz will continue to thrive and progress as a voice of freedom!" Learn more at https://ericmintelquartet.com/

 

Eric Mintel, piano

Nelson Hill, alto sax

Dave Mohn, drums

Jack Hegyi, electric bass

 


April 21: Rachel Therrien

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.


Rachel has presented her Latin Jazz project in multiple formats since 2009, with compositions and arrangements influenced from different Latin-American and Caribbean countries. After living in Cuba, where studied at the Instituto Supérior de Arte in Havana, Therrien founded her own project to play the music of the cultures she’s so passionate about. Her latest album "Mi Hogar" celebrates her experiences in different Latin Jazz ensembles. Joined by drums, piano, bass and percussion, sometimes guitar and horn sections, Rachel Therrien runs a warm show high in soulful human connections with covers of groups Irakere, Buena Vista Social Club, Dizzy Gillespie, a Latin jazz John Coltrane and many compositions. Learn more at https://racheltherrien.com/

 

 

 


April 28: Haneef Nelson

 

Doors open at 2 p.m., concert at 3 p.m.

Center for Contemporary Culture

Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

Enter through the Library's Arch Street entrance only.

 

This jazz group blends history with today and creates a sound that's both timeless and classic. Haneef N. Nelson works as a composer/arranger, bandleader, sideman, musical curator, and educator, based out of Hartford, CT. His earliest education in Jazz came from the Jazzmobile where he studied with Eddie Preston, Cecil Bridgewater, and Donald Byrd among others. He also studied with Dave Burns at the Long Island High School of the Arts and then attended The Hartt School to study with Jackie McLean, Raymond Williams, Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, and more. He has taught at The Hartt School, UMASS Amherst, Amherst College, Keene State College and currently teaches at the University of Rhode Island. 

 

Haneef N. Nelson, trumpet/flugelhorn

Nathan Edwards, tenor.soprano sax

Andrew Wilcox, piano/vibraphone

Matt Dwonszyk, base

Akin Hobson, drums