Vibraphonist and bassist Ron Ernst has been a part of the New England jazz scene for decades.
Mr. Alberta began his musical career in a small suburban community near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For five years he was a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Pittsburgh Junior Orchestra, and was twice a guest soloist with The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
A veteran of numerous Bay State big bands and Latin ensembles, this trombonist is also a highly regarded educator. He is the Associate Director at the Joy of Music Program (JOMP), where he teaches trombone, jazz ensemble and Afro-Caribbean drumming classes.
Known as the "Jimmy Smith of Worcester," Arsenault was a jazz organist who, for more than 50 years, brought joy to countless listeners. In the early '60s, venues were known to procure Hammond organs just to entice Arsenault to grace the place with his keyboard wizardry.
Trumpeter, bandleader, and former Chair of Music Department, Westfield State College, Bastarache is a pioneer in jazz education. The process of analysis and study has remained a constant throughout his career. The Don Bastarache Big Band has become a New England institution.
Roscoe "Rocky" Blunt
Author, journalist, drummer, and bandleader, Blunt formed one of the first racially integrated jazz ensembles in Central MA. The Rocky Blunt All Stars, featuring Howie Jefferson and Barney Price, is documented on a 1948 recording that can be heard here.
The product of two well-known and influential Boston-area musicians, pianist, arranger, and singer Paul Broadnax was born a child of destiny. His own successful life in music has proven to be a dream fulfilled.
He was a child of destiny. As a kid growing up in Worcester Jaki Byard was surrounded by music and he took to it like a fish swimmingly. Before his death in 1999, Byard became one of the most influential musicians in the global jazz scene.
A player of impeccable sound and taste, Cancelli has been playing guitar for more than half a century. Throughout the 1950s and '60s he was one of the more in-demand players on the local scene. Today, he remains a working jazz musician who gigs regularly with Joe Holovnia, Chet Williamson, and Dick Odgren, among others.
As a drummer, Capp can best be described as melodic. Music critic Charles Champlin of the L.A. Times put it this way: Like his idol and friend Buddy Rich, Frank Capp can fancifully be said to play Melody Drums, laying down a solid beat but also accenting the tune almost note for note to generate even more excitement.
When you need a trumpeter to blow the bats out of your belfry, Carrescia is the man. Even now, in his late '70s, he can still hit the high notes. For years he held the lead trumpet chair in the stage band at Caesar's Monticello in Framingham, a showcase for such traveling stars as Marlene Dietrich. Still active, he appears locally with the Worcester Jazz Orchestra and the Blackstone Valley Big Band.
Born Barbara Carole Coppersmith at 25 Standish Street and raised at 43 June Street in Worcester, Carroll began playing piano as a child. While she studied classical music throughout her academic career, Carroll simultaneously nurtured an abiding love...
Ted Casher is a well known clarinet and saxophone player who is a "first call player" for ensembles throughout New England. Casher was born in 1937 in Waterbury CN and brought up in Skowhegan, Maine He currently resides in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He is from an ethnically grounded Jewish family, which Ted says "resulted in my parents expecting me to become a doctor or business man", but he was drawn to music from an early age.
Bassist and banjo player, Clemente was active at an early age. Born in 1910, he formed his first band, Clem's Commodores in 1927. He is undoubtedly one of the first white jazz musicians to come out of Worcester.
There is not a person in Central Massachusetts who has had a greater impact on the guitar playing community than Pete Clemente.The second son of Italian immigrants Matteo Clemente and Raffaela (Tomaiolo) Clemente, Peter Clemente was born on November 22 1914 on Lyon Street in the Italian district in Worcester, MA. From an early age he had musical influences.
A prominent voice in the New England jazz scene, saxophonist Paul Combs is an active performer and educator. He has recently authored the definitive book about the life and music of Tadd Dameron.
Philippe Crettien born in the South of France, son of French diplomats grew up mostly in North Africa, USA and England. Raised in a musical family was exposed at a young age to an eclectic styles of music. He Studied piano and settled on the alto saxophone in High school while attending the French Lycee in London.
Michael Crowley was born in 1949 and grew up in Milford, Massachusetts. He began playing clarinet at the age of ten, and proceeded to study Tenor Saxophone under Jazz Musician, Boots Mussulli, and his high school band leader Lou Lombardi.
During his career, Wendell Culley was a featured soloist on such jazz classics as "Lil' Darlin'" with Count Basie, as well as "Airmail Special" and Midnight Sun with Lionel Hampton. He also appeared on radio, television and on film including: That's the Spirit, Murder with Music, Count Basie at Birdland, Count Basie on the Kraft Music Hall, and Count Basie in Zurich.
Former Jazz Historian for the New England Jazz Alliance, and known by virtually everyone in the jazz world, Leo Curran was intimately connected to the international jazz scene.
Hailing from the swing and dance band era, local jazz musician Anthony Tony D'Angelo fell in love with jazz at an early age. Born in 1926 in Worcester, Tony came from a musical family. His ear was accustomed to the smooth rhythms played by his father on the guitar and mandolin. Both born in Italy, Tony's parents, Gioachino D'Angelo and Annina Forcucci, loved to entertain at the family home. Tony was one of ten brothers and sisters, all of whom were in some way musically-inclined.
Vocalist Linda Dagnello is a fixture in the Central Mass jazz scene. She is not only an accomplished jazz performer, but also a gifted visual artist whose work reflects her passion for the language and colors of jazz.
Trumpeter Fagerquist was one of the brightest stars ever to come out of Worcester. At 17, he was recruited by Gene Krupa. He went on to become lead soloist with Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Les Brown. His recorded output includes session work with Hoagy Charmichael, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald.
Trumpeter, composer and teacher Bill Fanning performs concerts and conducts clinics both in the U.S. and internationally as a member of the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet. He also leads his own quintet and performs his original compositions.
Dan Gabel studied at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, triple-majoring in Political Science, Legal Studies, and Jazz History. Dan recently completed a year-long world tour with the GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA!...
Boston-based jazz trumpeter and composer Gordon first made his indelible mark with the Sabby Lewis Orchestra. In 1952 he landed a dream gig with the legendary Charlie Parker. Recorded at the Hi Hat in Boston, the live performance also features Dick Twardzik, Charles Mingus, and Roy Haynes.
Norm Grant is a videographer in the CCRI Marketing and Communications Department at The Community College of Rhode Island. He oversees video production across all campuses. His duties include digital video production for marketing purposes, training and instruction.
Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Tom Herbert has toured nationally with Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, The Drifters, The Temptations, and Wayne Newton. He has also led many ensembles under his own name, including the Tom Herbert Big Band.
Pamela Hines has been a prolific and consistent presence in American jazz as a pianist and composer. She has received national and international critical acclaim for edgy instrumental compositions that contribute to the jazz history and art of the trio, quartet and quintet and for jazz originals for vocalists that are more at home in the American Songbook.
Pianist, composer, arranger, and educator, Holovnia is best known as a premier bassist. This fact is evidenced in the calls he received from the caliber of artists requesting his services including Serge Chaloff and Boots Mussulli. Holovnia is also a skilled double bass luthier.
His dynamic barrelhouse style was quickly recognized by Worcester musicians and while still a teenager, Holt was quickly enlisted into the band of drummer Eddie Dolbare, a band that also featured guitarist Lou Mercuri, who would later tour with Claude Thornhill.
Boston-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (drums and vibraphone, most especially), Jackson is best remembered as the founder of the famed Four Notes of Rhythm. Critic George A. Moonoogian described the band as "great entertainers." Focusing on Jackson, he writes, "Clarence did a little of everything well...."
Howard "Howie" Jefferson
Saxophonist Jefferson was a founding father of the Saxtrum Club, one of the earliest known artist-managed jazz collectives and session halls in New England. A robust player whose sound was inspired by the tenor titans of Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Ben Webster, Jefferson carried that majesty to local audiences.
DAVID N. JOST has recently retired after 14 years as the Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Westborough Public Schools. He has been a professional music educator for the past 36 years. During this time, he taught at the elementary, high school, and collegiate level in a wide variety of areas...
In 1966, Kaplan joined the faculty of the Community College of Rhode Island, where he taught until 1995. During his tenure, Kaplan introduced jazz as a degree option for music majors...
Mitchell A. Kaplan
Mitch's performances include: The Newport Jazz Festival (1981), the Kool Jazz Festival (1982), Rhine Born Blues Festival (1999), Rick Mendes and Blues Wagon, Shoshana Feinstein (recorded with), The Frank Sinatra (ghost) band, and presently in bands such as the Mark Cipriano and the Good News Rhythm and Blues band and the Megan Guilbert Band...
Tony Lada was a Professor of Performance Studies and Trombone at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for 40 years until his retirement in 2013.
Marquis has been a full-time professional musician since the mid-1970's, playing thousands of concerts and club gigs all throughout the New England area...
...returned to his jazz roots as a listener and pianist. With this inspiration and background, he began to incorporate ALL of his combined career experience and training into refining and developing his proprietary teaching method for helping students to learn to play show tunes and standards.
Jane Miller is a guitarist, composer, and arranger with roots in both jazz and contemporary acoustic guitar worlds. She is a featured guitarist in noted jazz journalist Scott Yanow's 2013 book The Great Jazz Guitarists: A Complete Guide. The Jane Miller Group has released three CDs. Her fourth CD, her first solo guitar recording, called "Three Sides To a Story," was released in June of 2013.
Steve Minichiello's professional career has ranged from classroom teaching to radio and television production to comic strip writing. His radio specials were nationally syndicated, his television productions have won Emmys...
Miriam "Mamie" Moffitt
Born in 1884, pianist, arranger, and educator, Moffit became the seminal figure in the early Central New England jazz scene. In the early 1920s she assembled Mamie Moffitt and Her 5 Jazz Hounds, recognized as the first professional jazz ensemble in Worcester. It could be argued that the group is one of the first female-led orchestras in America.
As Bobby Bland would say, he's played in the high-class joints, the low-class joints and even the honky-tonks. In jazz settings Muelle was there at the first...
Jim Jones is a board member of the American Federation of Jazz Societies and became president in early 2006, believing sincerely that America's music - jazz - needs the help....
Enrico "Boots" Mussulli
He was known as "The Music Man from Milford," "Mr. Jazz," and the "Little Big Man," but people everywhere more often affectionately called him by his nickname, "Boots". He was listed that way in the phonebook.
Best known locally for his more than 20 years as the other half of the Emil Haddad/Dick Odgren Duo, pianist Odgren also has an impressive working and recording resume that includes session work with among others, Mike and Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, and Rufus Reid.
Bassist, vocalist, and educator Dennis Pratt is a graduate of the US Navy School of Music and the Berklee College of Music, former Band Director of West Warwick High School, Jazz Band Director of Dean College, Jazz Band Director of Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro Ma. He is currently Adjunct professor at Community College...
Lennie Peterson has dedicated his life to visual art, music, and arts education traveling the world several times as a visual artist, composer, performer, arranger, producer, educator, recording artist, and public speaker...
Harry Platcow has contributed greatly to the Jazz Scene in the North East U.S. as a performing musician, radio host, TV producer and prolific photographer...
Gloucester-born trumpeter, bandleader, and educator Pomeroy was one of the best loved jazz performers of New England. His immense contributions cannot be overestimated. In addition to being a working musician to the end, he was a mentor who helped to put Berklee College of Music on the map.
Elwood "Barney" Price
A founding member of the Saxtrum Club, trumpeter Price had an extensive and enduring impact on the local scene. An active professional from 1929 to 1988, Price received his first trumpet as a Christmas present. He was 13. The horn was broken in by none other than Wendell Culley.
Elwood "Bunny" Price
Bassist, trumpeter, and club owner as well as jam session organizer at both the Kitty Kat and the Hottentotte Lounge, Price is recognized for his enduring passion for the music and readiness to share his knowledge of local jazz history. He is the son of the legendary trumpeter Barney, and the brother of nationally acclaimed drummer Tommy Price.
Originally from Webster, Rines first performed locally in bands led by boyhood friends like Tony Lada, Sr. and Dick Bellerose in long lost clubs from town. He also worked in a territory band led by Gene Broadman that barnstormed throughout Southern Massachusetts region.
Jim graduated Berklee College of Music in 1976 with a BA in music education, where he studied with Andy McGhee and Bill Pierce. After Berklee and a tour with soul icon Chuck Jackson, Mr. Russo began a 35 year teaching career with the Northbridge Public Schools in Massachusetts...
Radio personality, musician, and educator, Sawyer was a close associate of the late Boots Mussulli. In addition to being a long time student of the legendary saxophonist, Sawyer emceed many of Mussulli-produced shows at the Crystal Ballroom in Milford. Today, he carries the legacy of his mentor by presenting regular concerts featuring his many saxophone students.
Jerry Seeco is an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. where he has taught for over twenty years. Although perhaps best known for his instrumental performances on the trumpet, flugelhorn, alto flute and flute, Jerry is a prolific arranger of music ranging from classical to pop and jazz. He is also well known as a vocalist for small and large ensembles.
Tom Shaker grew up in Poughkeepsie NY and attended Emerson College in Boston as an undergraduate student. He received a master's degree in instructional design and technology...
Known to local musicians and audiences alike as "Eddie Sham," drummer and bandleader Shamgochian grew up in the Laurel-Clayton neighborhood of Worcester. It was a predominantly African-American enclave where such notable friends as Jaki Byard, Howie Jefferson, and Barney Price resided. Together they organized the Saxtrum Club, one of the first jazz cooperatives in New England.
Father of the popular bassist Bob Simonelli, the senior Simonelli has been an active player of prominence on the local scene for more then six decades. First as a saxophonist performing in ensembles and big bands, Simonelli is also a pianist who has led his own trios and quartets.
Professional Musician for over 40 years. Started on electric bass guitar and switched to
At the age of five Bob recalls performing in a family-organized fundraising variety show. His deep involvement in jazz education and performance has taken him on many international tours. As the founder of the Milton Academy jazz program, he has shared his knowledge (as both an educator and practitioner) to countless students for more than 30 years.
Joe was born in Concord, MA but grew up in Bellingham. Coming from a musical family he was often appointed 'booking agent' in providing music for school dances. Following high school he attended Dean College in Franklin and later Graduated from Northeast Broadcasting School in Boston and at the age of 18 was hired by WMRC in Milford as an evening disc jockey...
Trombonist Stepton has toured the globe with the best big bands in the world, including those of Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Artie Shaw. He earned his stripes with Buddy Rich, who called him the best lead trombonist he had ever had in his band.
Tisha Stadnicki has been teaching for 19 years and has been an instructor at Northeastern for 15 of those years. She has been a professional singer and musician for over 30 years.
Tom has played Jazz, Rock and R & B for the last 40 years in the Springfield Area. He fronts his own Jazz Combo that features Ralph Whittle on piano , Ron Ernst on bass and vibes and Chet Pasek on drums. Tom is also the leader of the New England Doo Wop Society House Band...
Tuxedo Classic Jazz Band
Formed in 1976, Tuxedo Classic Jazz Band played "traditional jazz" from the Lu Watters Book. Like the Watters Band, TCJB emphasized ensemble playing while focusing on tunes from the 1920s and '30s. For more than 30 years the band performed its unique historic presentations throughout New England.
Eugene Uman is the director of the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro Vermont where he has produced hundreds of concerts and educational programs since 1997. The VJC was offered a 2014 Chamber Music America Acclaim award acknowledging his programming and outreach. Uman is a pianist, a composer and an educator.
Born in Worcester in 1953, Valente began playing the trombone at the age of eight with instruction from his father, Frank Valente. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, he joined ...
Former trombonist, radio personality, founder of Jack's Drum Shop School of Music and Brownstone Records, jazz emcee and educator, Wertheimer has enormously enriched the New England scene. This collection includes an interview with Wertheimer in which he discusses his career as a jazz impresario.
This page is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Wrenn, who was best known as a jazz educator of the highest rank and director of the award-winning Algonquin Regional High School Jazz Band. He died while leading the group on a winter concert tour to Greece in 2009.
A professional musician, teacher and composer for more than 40 years, Zano was largely unheralded in his lifetime. He was a jazz pianist nonpareil, who recorded and played with the likes of Lee Konitz, Hal McKusick, Pepper Adams, and performed at Carnegie Hall.