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Baby Grand Jazz 2021 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

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 2021 series will be virtual, not in person, and the concerts will be livestreamed on HPL's Facebook and YouTube channel. Rolling submissions; deadline for the 2021 series is October 16th 2020.

For band submissions, click here 


Baby Grand Jazz 2020 Continues this Fall!

Join us every Sunday through December 6th for the remainder of the 2020 Jazz season! 

This years event will be virtual. Performances will be streamed LIVE to Hartford Public Library's Facebook page. Tune in Sunday's at 3pm. To watch LIVE, click here

Haneef N. Nelson Quartet– November 1st 

Haneef holds a Bachelor’s of Music in African-American Music Study from the Hartt School and is in the process of attaining his Master’s Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging at UMASS Amherst (May 2020), he also curates the Jazz Monday’s event at Black Eyed Sally’s in Hartford, CT, which is in its 12th year.

Haneef N. Nelson— trumpet/flugelhorn
Ben Rice— piano 
Alec Safy— bass
Mike Camacho— drums

TAEKO – November 8th 

Japan-native, Taeko, moved to New York City from Shiga, Japan in the late 90’s. She quickly garnered the nickname “Songbird” from NYC’s Jazz elite. With a stunning four octave range, she sings with deep soulfulness reminiscent of Anita Baker with sophisticated scatting a la Ella. Taeko surrounds herself with the best in the business: Pianist Sharp Radway is a Hartford-native and protégé of the late Dr. Randy Weston.  Sharp has been accompanying Benny Golson for over 10 years and has toured with renowned Jazz vocalists Diane Shuur and Nnenna Freelon. He is also the author of the book “Musicianship 101 (What They Don’t Tell You In School)”. Born in Panama, Alex Blake has a revolutionary playing style and technique distinctly his own. Alex has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Manhattan Transfer to name a few.  Victor Jones is an internationally acclaimed drummer known for his consistent, subtle and stylish drumming. Victor has played on myriad recordings and live concerts and enjoys performing at countless venues across the world.

TAEKO— Vocal and Koto 
Sharp Radway— Piano
Alex Blake— Bass
Victor Jones— Drums

Ricky Olfonso Group – November 15th

Trumpeter and vocalist Ricky Alfonso has been a mainstay on the East Coast jazz scene since the early 1970s. A product of the modern jazz movement with a trumpet style reminiscent of Miles Davis, Clark Terry and Freddie Hubbard, Ricky has worked with many area jazz luminaries including Mario Pavone, Michael Mussillami, Bill Lowe, Ed Blackwell, Tom McClung,Tom Chapin and was protege of the late Bill Barron. Ricky also recorded and toured with R/B great Joe Cocker leading the horn section in Cocker’s return to prominence following the great Woodstock Festival of 1969 and toured with Stevie Winwood and Traffic. Ricky’s present group, The Jazz Unit, features classic and original jazz tunes, and includes the top notch rhythm section of Chris Casey on piano, Steve Bulmer on bass and Tido Holtkamp on drums.

Ricky Alfonso— trumpet, vocals, leader
Fred Scerbo— saxophones
Chris Casey— piano
Steve Bulmer— bass
Tito Holtkamp— drums

Envisage Collective – November 22nd

Born Envisage Collective is a cooperative ensemble that was founded in 2012 by Kris Allen (alto saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibraphone), Noah Baerman (piano and organ). Along with co-founders Johnathan Blake (drums) and Jimmy Greene (tenor and soprano saxophones), these established composer/performer/bandleaders were brought together by a shared vision of socially conscious jazz music that would speak prophetically, aid practically, and inspire thoughtfully.  With each successive year the Collective (Initially known as the Jazz Samaritan Alliance) crafted all-new programs of works drawing thematic focus from and raising awareness about the important issues of hunger and food justice, domestic violence, and healthcare access, while raising funds for local charities working on the front lines of these efforts.

Kris Allen— saxophone
Chris Dingman— vibraphone
Noah Baerman— piano

The Joe Carter Samba Rio Quarteto – November 29th

Having performed, recorded and taught in such diverse places as Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Recife in Brazil, Bombay, Bangalore and Goa in India, Trossingen and Stuttgart in Germany and Paris and Corsica in France, Joe Carter has used these experiences to form a sound and style based in “Samba Jazz”, a style that combines the improvisational nature of North American Jazz with the lyrical and rhythmical aspects of Brazilian Bossa Nova, Samba, Choro, Baiao and MPB but also flavored with the lyrical and rhythmical aspects of all the places he’s played, recorded and taught. Joe Carter has recorded and performed with Jazz artists such Art Farmer, Lee Konitz, Cecil Payne, Rufus Reid and others and with Brazilian artists such as Luiz Eca, Mauricio Einhorn, Robertinho Silva, Paulo Russo and others.  In addition, he has recorded several CDs through the years, his most recent is Both Sides of the Equator, with bassist David Finck and percussionist Ze Mauricio.

Joe Carter (USA)— guitar
Alexei Tsiganov (Russia)— piano
David Finck (USA)— bass
Graciliano Zambonin (Brazil)— drums

Iris Ornig Quartet– December 6th 

Iris Ornig ‘Pilgrim’, is an expression of women’s collective voyage over historical time towards greater autonomy and independence, creativity, leadership, and self-realization. The project represents a new beginning. The compositions—open and flowing are a change in style, a new inspiration and a fresh direction. The goal is that women everywhere can relate to the steps of this pilgrimage in their own way. The music is tender yet strong, it expresses a growing faith in humanity and one’s inner resources along the voyage.  Bassist & composer Iris Ornig is one of the most original female voices on today's New York jazz scene. Since her arrival in New York City in 2003 from Germany, she has played with an impressive roster of some of the most influential contemporary jazz musicians in New York including Gretchen Parlato, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Frahm, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Rodriguez, Rebecca Martin, Allison Miller, Sachal Vasandani, Helen Sung, Marcus Gilmore, Dan Tepfer, among others. 

Kenny Warren— trumpet
Gregg Belisle— guitar
Iris Ornig— bass/composition
Michael Davis— drums