The Ellington Jazz Series at the Yale School of Music concludes its 2011–2012 season on Friday, May 11 with a concert featuring drummer Matt Wilson. Voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, Wilson will perform with his band Arts and Crafts.
The members of Arts and Crafts are Michael Rodriguez, trumpet and flugelhorn; Gary Versace, piano, Hammond organ, and accordion; and Martin Wind, bass. “It is only through players like these, who can simultaneously be serious and have fun,” writes CODA Magazine of Arts and Crafts, “that the music will continue to grow, remain alive and thrive into its second century.”
The concert will begin at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Memorial Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven.
Tickets are $20–$30, $10 with student ID, available at music.yale.edu, 203 432-4158, or at the box office in Sprague Hall.
The Ellington Jazz Series at Yale is directed by Willie Ruff.
New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson is one of today’s most celebrated jazz artists, recognized for his musical drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist. Recently, Matt performed at the White House as part of an all-star jazz group. Matt was named the artist in residence at the Litchfield Jazz Festival. In 2010, Wilson led over 250 outreach programs promoting jazz, including an acclaimed Jazz for Young Peoples concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O, and the Carl Sandburg Project, and is an integral part of many other bands. He has performed with legends including Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Elvis Costello, Kenny Barron, John Zorn, and Wynton Marsalis. Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released nine as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading five additional releases. Matt was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines in November 2009 and for five consecutive years was voted No. 1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. The readers of JazzTimes recently chose him as one of the top four drummers in the 2010 Readers Poll. In 2003, he was voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Since basing himself in New York City in June of 2002, jazz organist, pianist, and accordionist Gary Versace has quickly become one of the busiest and most versatile musicians on the scene, often featured in bands led by musicians such as John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Maria Schneider, Matt Wilson, Lee Konitz, Eliot Zigmund, Scott Wendholt, Joe Magnarelli, Danny Gottlieb, Seamus Blake, John Hollenbeck, Andy LaVerne, Adam Nussbaum, Brad Shepik, Ingrid Jensen, Tim Ries, and many others. Versace was voted a “rising star” on the Hammond organ in the last three Downbeat critics polls, and was the subject of a feature article in Keyboard magazine. He has been a featured soloist on several critically acclaimed recordings. Versace has appeared as a leader for the Criss Cross and SteepleChase labels, and as a sideman on over fifty recordings on labels including Palmetto, ACT, Omnitone, Songlines, Pirouet, High Note, Justin Time, ArtistShare, Fresh Sound, Kind of Blue. Versace performed in a two-piano recital with Marian McPartland, and in 1999 appeared on her NPR program Piano Jazz. Versace has a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, and spent eight years as a tenured associate professor in the jazz studies department at the University of Oregon. He remains active as a clinician and guest soloist both nationally and around the world.
Bassist and composer Martin Wind was born in Flensburg, Germany in 1968 and moved to New York in 1996 to study at NYU with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. In 1995 he earned a diploma from the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany. In 1998 he earned his master’s degree in Jazz Performance and Composition.
Martin has become a regular at New York’s major jazz clubs and is also in demand as a session player; his credits include movies such as The Alamo and Mona Lisa Smiles. In 1995 Martin won third prize at the International Thelonious Monk Bass Competition. Martin has released about ten albums as leader/co-leader, beginning with Gone with the Wind (1993). Since 2007 he’s been leading his own quartet, featuring Sott Robinson (reeds), Bill Cunliffe (piano), and Tim Horner (drums); they have released two albums as well as the DVD Live at Jazz Baltica (2009). Currently Martin is member of the trios of Bill Mays, Dena DeRose, Don Friedman, James Gordon Williams and Russ Kassoff. He has recorded and/or performed with Gidon Kremer, Christoph Eschenbach, Mstislav Rostopowitch, Lalo Schifrin, Monty Alexander, Pat Metheny, Slide Hampton, Toots Thielemans, the Metropole Orchestra, Eddie Daniels, Village Vanguard Orchestra, and others. Martin Wind is on the faculty at New York University.
Trumpeter/composer Michael Rodriguez was born in Queens, New York. At the age of eight he began studying classical guitar, and in middle school he began the trumpet. He was later accepted at the prestigious New World High School of the Arts to study trumpet and guitar. He continued his trumpet studies with a full scholarship to the University of Miami, where he completed two years before transferring to the New School in New York, where he received his B.A. Michael has performed with pianist Eric Reed, Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Pop Icon Jessica Simpson, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Carla Bley Band, Harry Connick Jr., Eddie Palmieri Septet, Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, Bon Minzter, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. In addition to his demand as a performer, Michael also has many documented recordings, most notably with Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Michael Rodriguez is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
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