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SEEKING MUSICIANS FOR 2023. Hartford Public Library is looking for musical groups to play in our Baby Grand Jazz series, which runs 16 Sundays from January through April. These popular free concerts have been a staple of Hartford Public Library since 2004. Ensembles must include a pianist who will play the Library’s grand piano. The 2023 series will be in person, CDC guidelines permitting, and the concerts will be livestreamed on HPL's Facebook and YouTube channel. Rolling submissions; deadline for the 2023 series is July 1st 2022. SUBMIT HERE 

 

Hartford Public Library's highly-popular Baby Grand Jazz Series returns IN-PERSON and VIRTUALLY for its 19th season in 2022 with a spectacular line-up of the best jazz musicians in the region.  Enjoy every Sunday at 3:00pm from January 2nd through April 24th, 2022.

VIRTUAL: Tune in on Hartford Public Library's Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

IN-PERSON: Registration is necessary for each performance. Click the REGISTER HERE button(s) below to reserve your seat. Due to library COVID policy, our audience is capped at 50 attendees for socially distanced seating in the Center for Contemporary Culture. If our registration list is full, please sign up for our wait list and you will be contacted if we have cancellations. If you are registered and can no longer attend, please let us know. We will be checking names at the door at each performance. Masks are required inside Hartford Public Library buildings.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor, The Kaman Foundation, for its continuing support. Thank you to Hartford Public Access for filming and broadcasting this season's performances. And special thanks to our longtime partners The Hartford Jazz Society and WWUH 91.3 FM.

Sign up for Baby Grand Jazz email updates here.

Sounds of A&R | S.O.A.R. – January 2nd - REGISTER HERE

Award-winning duo Sounds of A&R aka S.O.A.R. is the brainchild of vocalist April May Webb and trumpeter Randall Haywood. Partners in music and life, April and Randall have come together creating a distinct sound that fuses aspects of swing, cool, hard bop and avant-garde while exuding pure soul and R&B. April May’s unique vocal approach draws from a wide range of influences such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. She sings with a rustic warm tone and strong articulation. Randall utilizes the trumpet with great emotional expression. His sound continues to look towards the future, while paying homage to Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Clark Terry and Miles Davis.

April May Webb - Vocals

Randall Haywood - Trumpet

Addison Frei - Piano

Jacob Webb - Bass

Nathan Webb - Drums



Joshua Bruneau – January 9th REGISTER HERE

From a young age, Josh was drawn to different genres of music including classical, big band and after being introduced to the trumpet, jazz. Over the years, Josh has shared the stage with artists such as Harold Mabern, Mike LeDonne, Eric Alexander, Joe Farnsworth, Carl Allen, John Webber, Ken Fowser and Larry Willis to name a few.  September 2011 brought Josh to the Detroit Jazz festival with another of his great mentors, Curtis Fuller. Early 2013 found Josh travelling with Curtis on his European tour, frequenting jazz clubs in Zurich, Basel, Lausanne and Luzern Switzerland, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam and Athens. In 2014 Josh released his debut album, “Bright Idea” (Cellar Live) featuring Steve Davis and Ken Fowser. Additionally, Josh is often found on records with the Ken Fowser Quintet (“Standing Tall,” “Now Hear This” and “Don’t Look Down”) and most recently on Davis’ chart-topping release “Correlations,” the editor’s pick in the April 2019 issue of Downbeat Magazine.

 

Joshua Bruneau - Trumpet


Dana Lauren – January 16th - REGISTER HERE

Dana Lauren is an award-winning and critically acclaimed vocalist and songwriter. She has toured and recorded with legendary Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, singing at some of the nation’s most famed jazz venues. Her 2008 album release “Stairway to the Stars” (featuring and produced by Sandoval), hit the top of the jazz charts and received rave reviews from some of the most prestigious jazz publications in the country. Her second album release in 2010 “It’s You or No One,” was self-produced and features Christian McBride on bass. That same year, Dana was selected as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. Her show is a collection of beloved jazz standards and fresh original compositions that is not to be missed!

Dana Lauren - Vocals

Matt Dechamplain - Piano 

Tony Davis - Guitar 

Adam Cote - Bass 

Mike Camacho - Drums


Timothy Norton Trio – January 23rd - REGISTER HERE

Bassist and Composer Timothy Joseph Norton hails from the foothills of New England. He has called New York his home for the past decade. Timothy frequently performs at renowned jazz clubs in New York City such as Smalls Jazz Club, Bar Bayeux, The Jazz Standard and Zinc Bar and has become an in-demand sideman. Timothy is quickly garnering international acclaim. He has several European tours under his belt including having played the Badajoz Jazz Festival, Madrid Jazz Festival, New York Winter Jazz Festival as well as others. He has been fortunate to share the stage with John Mcniel, Jason Palmer, Leandro Pellegrino, Ralph Peterson, Marianne Solivan, Jeff Watts, Deva Mahal and many other notable acts. Timothy serves on the faculty at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has been a sideman on several recordings and is anticipating the release of his own album in 2022. Timothy continues to grow into an important figure in the modern music world. 

Timothy Norton - Bassist and Composer
Willerm Delisfort - piano
Jonathan Barber - Drums


Noah y Maurizio – January 30th - REGISTER HERE

Noah y Maurizio's Acoustic Nomads (NyMAN) is a Boston-based band of virtuoso musicians on the cutting edge of progressive roots-fusion music. The individual members of the group are widely recognized as emerging artists in the acoustic music scene, but come from varied musical backgrounds: traditional and contemporary, Appalachian and Venezuelan, Brazilian and Jazz influences combine to give The Acoustic Nomads a unique sound and broad appeal. 

Noah Harrington - Upright Bass
Maurizio Fiore Salas - Venezuelan Cuatro & Guitar
Sofia Chiarandini - Violin
Ethan Setiawan - Mandolin
Parker Ousley - Cello


Emery Austin Smith- February 6th - REGISTER HERE

Emery Austin Smith was born, raised and still lives in Hartford. 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 and museums, lecturing and demonstrating the art and culture of jazz. Emery was a co‚Äźleader 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 Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. Smith worked in New York with Charles Shavers, Howard McGhee, Coleman Hawkins, Tina Brooks, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. Presently, Emery performs in New York and New England. The presentation will be a mix of jazz (bebop and standards) and popular songs with accompanying historical commentary. He has appeared at The Baby Grand series in the past to rave reviews!

Emery Austin Smith - Piano

Morris Trent - Bass

Alvin Benjamin Carter, Jr. - Drums


Trevor Davis' Jazz Affair – February 13th - REGISTER HERE

By age 17 Trevor was playing drums professionally five nights a week with a regionally successful rock band, one of whose members went on to lead the Saturday Night Live studio band and serve as band director for David Bowie, Bob Dylan and George Harrison (GE Smith). After a year of steady gigs, it was on to study and record jazz with a big band at Johnson State College, now Northern Vermont University, and following that a period of freelancing back in central Connecticut when he played live and studio sessions and with dozens of different bands at every imaginable venue from clubs to country clubs to country western clubs, and the full range of private social events. During this period he also played with Michael Bolton, and later managed and played with a leading Connecticut band, Fountainhead. He currently plays with multiple jazz and Dixieland bands, and for the Baby Grand Jazz Series will be focussed on beautiful melodies, using Connecticut’s own Doug Schlink on piano, Steve Bulmer on double bass, John Smayda on reeds and Ricky Alfonso on trumpet.
 
Doug Schlink - Piano
Steve Bulmer - Double Bass
John Smayda - Reeds
Trevor Davis - Drums
Ricky Alfonso - Trumpet

The Colin Walters Quartet – February 20th - REGISTER HERE

A native of Connecticut, Colin Walters is a dynamic and innovative saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer and educator. Colin discovered his passion for the saxophone at an early age and credits his exposure to listening to jazz, classical, gospel, R&B and reggae while growing up. Colin tours and performs regularly in a wide variety of ensembles and genres, including the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Victor Rendon and the Bronx Conexion, Scott Wenzel Big Band, New London Big Band, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Earl MacDonald 10tet and the Colin Walters Quartet. Through performance, education and diverse community engagements, he strives to inspire others to appreciate the cultural aesthetic experiences of music. He is an active clinician and performer advocating music and its importance to the next generation of musicians. He is an elementary band director in the Darien Public Schools. Colin was most recently a Morse Teaching Artist Fellow, Gluck Community Service Fellow, Samuel L. Jackson, Jr and Irene Diamond Scholarship recipient at The Juilliard School. He holds dual degrees in jazz saxophone performance, music education and earned an MA in curriculum and instruction from UConn. In June 2021, Colin completed his MM in jazz studies from The Juilliard School

Colin Walters- Alto Saxophone
Joe Block- Piano
Corentin Le Hir- Bass
Jerome Jennings- Drums

 


Mary DiPaola Trio  – February 27th - REGISTER HERE

Mary DiPaola’s Trio features the world-renowned Nat Reeves on bass. Mary and Nat have worked together for more than 25 years and along with drummer Kirk Woodard are closely linked to the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School. The trio is looking forward to returning to the piano jazz series at the Hartford Public Library and will present a variety of arranged jazz standards and original compositions of the featured performers. Mary DiPaola began her musical career at the Hartt School, where she received degrees in piano performance: jazz studies (BMus) under the direction of the legendary Jackie McLean, and music education (MMusEd). She has been performing music throughout Connecticut since, and has recorded twice as a bandleader ("Cat's Cradle" and "Seventh Sign"). In addition to performing Mary is an educator, having taught private piano lessons, on faculty at the Hartt School and in East Hartford Public Schools at Sunset Ridge Academy. She currently teaches at Aiken Elementary School in the West Hartford Public Schools district where she teaches music in grades K-5 and conducts the grades 4-5 choir.

 

Mary DiPaola - Piano

Nat Reeves - Bass

Kirk Woodard - Drums


The DeChamplain/Anick Quartet – March 6th - REGISTER HERE

The collaboration of Hartford-based pianist Matt DeChamplain and Boston-based violinist Jason Anick started as a tribute to the great Stephane Grappelli and Oscar Peterson. It soon blossomed into a quartet that plays works by various composers such as Horace Silver, Hank Mobley and John Coltrane and original compositions that explore the sonic depths of this unique instrumentation. At 16 years old, Matt was a featured guest in two concerts with jazz legend Dave Brubeck at the same piano. He has performed at venues across the United States such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Birks Jazz Festival, New York’s JVC Jazz Festival, the Berklee Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has played at renowned jazz clubs such as The Regatta Bar, Smalls, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, The Met Room and Yoshi’s and has played in Europe and the Caribbean. He has been both a sideman and a leader in ensembles that opened for Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, Dave Brubeck and The Duke Ellington Orchestra. In 2008, Matt was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center under the direction of Dr. Billy Taylor which allowed him to study with Taylor, Curtis Fuller and Winard Harper for two weeks. In 2010, he competed in the Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris and in 2018, he was selected as a runner-up in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jason Anick - violin

Matt DeChamplain - piano

Nat Reeves - bass

Kirk Woodard - drums


Carl Testa's Sway –  March 13th - REGISTER HERE

Carl Testa (b. 1984, Chicago, IL) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer at the intersection of improvised music, jazz, electronics, experimental music, and new media. As a performer/improviser, he is equally comfortable on string bass, electronics, lighting, and combinations thereof. As a composer, he has written acoustic and electronic music for configurations ranging from solo to chamber orchestra, including multimedia pieces that incorporate electronics, lighting, dance, and theater. His work has been performed throughout the US and Europe, and is documented on many recordings, most recently "Iris (for solo bass and electronics)" (Lockstep Records 2013), and "Sn (for prepared guitar and electronics)", a collaboration with guitarist Christopher Riggs (Gold Bolus Records 2015). In addition to his work as a leader/collaborator, he performs regularly with composers Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, and Tyshawn Sorey. He serves as the Archives Manager for Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation where he manages all facets of the production of digital and print scores for the organization. He is an instructor in music composition at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven teaching Audiovisual Live Coding. He also organized The Uncertainty Music Series from 2007-2017, which was a monthly concert series in New Haven, CT featuring improvised, electronic, and experimental music. He has received support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the State of CT as a 2018 Artist Fellow, from the New Haven Department of Cultural Affairs, and from NewMusicUSA.
 

Louis Guarino Jr. - Trumpet

Adam Matlock - Piano

Anne Rhodes - Voice

Carl Testa - Bass and electronics

Yuma Uesaka - clarinets


Michael Carabello Trio – March  20th - REGISTER HERE

Pianist Mike Carabello is a multitalented pianist in the tristate area. Mike is a product of the Artist’s Collective Youth Jazz Orchestra under master artist in residence Rene McLean, as well as the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. He has worked with bassist Nat Reeves, drummer Ronnie Burrage, saxophonist Rene McLean, trombonist Steve Davis, bassist Matt Dwonszyk and has studied piano under pianists Rick Germanson, Andy Laverne and Alan Palmer. He has Performed at The White House for First Lady Michelle Obama, The Ninth Note Jazz Club, Black Eyed Sally’s Jazz Club, The Side Door Jazz Club and The New Haven “On The Green” Jazz Festival to name a few. He is also the pianist for a few working projects in the Connecticut area including Erica T. Bryan and the New Mosaic and the Lost Tribe.

Mike Carabello - Piano

Nat Reeves - Bass

Jonathan Barber - Drums


Nando Michelin – March 27th - REGISTER HERE

This band is a joint collaboration between composers Nando Michelin (Montevideo, Uruguay) and Ebinho Cardoso (Cuiaba, Brazil). In their music, they present songs using poems by João Cabral de Melo Neto, diving into the concrete work of a relatively forgotten poet in his own country. The result is exquisite, impressed by the beauty of the compositions, the quality of the arrangements and the level of the recording. Both composers are very experienced educators as well, Nando being a faculty member at Berklee College of Music and Ebinho having toured with his clinics all around Brazil. The idea of producing this music was the result of Nando’s first encounter with Cabral’s poetry, so universal, yet Brazilian. “João Cabral’s voluntary exile got me even closer to his literary universe, a Brazilian poet living in Spain, just like we are foreigners residing in the US. That triggered in me a deep regard for his poetry, and made me delve into his universe.” João Cabral de Melo Neto was a Diplomat who wrote a big part of his body of work in Spain, where he was good friends with Joan Miro and Juan Brossa. “We recorded compositions inspired by some of the most beautiful poems of Brazilian literature, and our main concern was to keep and bring out the beauty of the text in its plenitude,” says Nando.


Nando Michelin - Piano

Ebinho Cardoso - Bass/Voice

Chico Pinheiro - Guitar

Rogerio Boccato - Percussions

Tiago Michelin - Drums

 


The Sherry Winston Band – April 3rd - REGISTER HERE

Sherry is a graduate of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts, School of Music and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Some of Sherry’s awards include the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Award; “Women of Power;” the Stamford Urban League; the Links “Impact Through The Arts” award, 2017; the Louis Armstrong Award, 2005; nomination for the NAACP “Image Award,” 1989; the “Eubie Blake Award,” selected by Billy Taylor, 1991; “Howard University Alumni Award,” 1984 and 1989; the Cultural Achievement Award by the National Black MBA, 1996; WBLS’s “Quiet Storm Award;” and Alpha Kappa Alpha’s “Partner in the Arts award,” 2001. Sherry performed at The White House for President and Mrs. Clinton during their last holiday party, and for former President George H.W. Bush at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. She has appeared on "Emeril Live," “The Today Show,” BET and many other television shows nationally. She hosted six shows for BET TV, with Lou Rawls and Saxophonist Najee at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.

Sherry Winston - Electric Flute
Richard Cummings - Electric Keyboard
Steve Clarke - Electric Bass


Allegra Levy – April 10 - REGISTER HERE

West Hartford native and Jazz singer Allegra Levy released her fourth album on the Steeplechase label entitled “Lose My Number; Allegra Levy sings John McNeil” in August 2020 to rave reviews, despite the inability to perform due to the height of the pandemic. The release featured Allegra’s lyrics to legendary trumpeter and composer John McNeil’s compositions. Allegra, a rising singer-songwriter based in New York who has been known for her prowess as a lyricist to mostly her own original jazz compositions (rooted in the great American songbook with a nod to the progressive) decided to take a stab at an all lyrics project to McNeil’s plethora of tricky tunes. McNeil is not only a longtime friend and mentor, but produced her first two albums – “Lonely City,” hailed by The New York Times as “fresh,” “exotic” and “far beyond the ordinary,” and “Cities Between Us,” which prompted JazzTimes to pronounce Levy “a double-barreled talent” and “unquestionably one to watch.”

Allegra Levy - Voice/leader

Carmen Staaf - Piano

Carmen Rothwell - Bass

Colleen Clark - Drums


Ronnie Burrage & Holographic Principle – April 24th - REGISTER HERE

Ronnie Burrage is considered one of the best jazz musicians on the world scene today. He has played with Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and is featured on more than 100 recordings; and has toured on all four continents from Siberia to South Africa to Japan.

His musical biography is dynamic and vibrant. He’s also worked with the great names in the music, Frank Morgan, Wallace Roney, Jackie & Rene McLean, James Moody, Gary Bartz, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Pepper Adams, Michael Brecker.

Ronnie Burrage has been an influential teacher. He has served as an instructor at Penn State University, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. and now as an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Old Westbury College and CUNY Brooklyn Conservatory, where he leads one of the most dynamic programs of teaching and performing jazz that exists throughout the country.

Ronnie serves his local community as co-founder of World Rhythm Academy, a nonprofit organization that builds generational bridges in social and environmental justice.

Ronnie Burrage - drums, keyboard and vocals
Alain Bradette - alto, tenor and soprano sax, flute, EWI
Alex Collins - piano and keyboards
Nimrod Speaks - acoustic and electric bass. 

 

 

Click here to watch Baby Grand Jazz performances from past seasons.


SPONSORED BY THE KAMAN FOUNDATION