Katie Thiroux Opens Chestertown Jazz Festival Sept. 7 at Mainstay

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Katie Thiroux

Acclaimed bassist, vocalist and composer Katie Thiroux headlines the opening night of The Chestertown Jazz Festival in a concert at The Mainstay in Rock Hall on Thursday September 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $25 in advance and at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

A compelling composer as well as a powerful performer, Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. With the release of her debut album, “Introducing Katie Thiroux” (2015), her substantial gifts as a bandleader and recording artist are also on view. This release received many awards including “Debut Record of the Year” from the Huffington Post, All About Jazz, the Jazz Journalists Association and “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Other accolades include being a 2015 semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition, featured on WBGO’s “The Checkout,” Downbeat magazine and NPR.

Her new release, “Off Beat,” was released mid-August. On it, she lends a contemporary flair to mainstream stylings and carries on the hard swinging tradition of such bass masters as Ray Brown and John Clayton, while channeling the buoyant vocal finesse of iconic singers including Anita O’Day, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald. She and her combo offer in-the-moment jazz that draws upon the rich history of the music, from swing to bebop and beyond.

Thiroux’s recent performances with her quartet include the Blue Note, Birdland, the San Jose Summer Jazz Fest, NAMM and the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival. In May 2017 Thiroux paid tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live as a featured performer and musical director at the request of the Grammy Foundation.

The Mainstay’s former Director, Rory Trainor, booked Thiroux for the festival’s opening night just before he moved back to Milwaukee last Spring, according to the festival’s organizer Mel Repelyea. Right after that, Quincy Jones booked Thiroux and her quartet for a two-month stand at Jones’s jazz club in Dubai this past summer but she’ll be back in time for this date.

Coming from a musical family in Los Angeles, Thiroux was surrounded by music; beginning with violin lessons at age 4. She switched to the acoustic bass at age 8. While continuing her studies on bass, Katie explored both jazz and classical vocal styles; landing principal roles in the LA Opera and Opera Pacifica by the age of 10. Captivated by an early recording of Lionel Hampton, Katie was driven to pursue her love for jazz and began studying privately with jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton at age 12.

In 2005, Thiroux began a mentorship with John Clayton that started at the Vail Jazz Party and later that year she received the Los Angeles Jazz Society award, “Shelly Manne New Talent.” In 2006 she was awarded the Phil Ramone Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Upon graduation, Thiroux was asked to teach at the Berklee International School in Ecuador, Quito. She then treturned to her native Los Angeles and completed a Masters of Jazz Bass from California State University of Long Beach.

In addition to work with her quartet, Thiroux is an active member of the Larry Fuller Trio and has been heard with, among others, pianists Justin Kauflin, Bill Cunliffe, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Tamir Hendelman and Eric Reed, trumpeters Brian Lynch and Terrell Stafford,  saxophonists Jeff Clayton, Charles McPhearson and Ken Peplowski, guitarists Mundell Lowe and Larry Koonse, drummers Terri Lynne Carrington, Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, and vocalists Patti Austin, Niki Harris and Tierney Sutton.

She has performed at jazz festivals in the United States, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Serbia, Singapore and Switzerland as both a leader and a sideman and often incorporates workshops for students and audiences into her schedule. It is her passionate belief that exposure to jazz history, culture and styles is vital in keeping the music alive and thriving. Her swinging bass, clear vocals and inspired instrumental arrangements are reflective of her musical idols both past and present and her knowledge, perseverance and fervor for the music make her a rising star in today’s scene.

Nevin Dawson: The Versatile Viola at the Mainstay, Aug. 26

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Nevin Dawson

Nevin Dawson will showcase the many facets of the viola, the oft-forgotten middle child between the violin and cello at The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Saturday August 26, 2017 at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. He will be joined by Philip Dutton on keyboards, Rebekah Hock on oboe and sax, Tom Anthony on bass and guitar, and Ray Anthony on drums.

In performance and in life Dawson has moved seamlessly from classical music to Celtic to jazz and to rock. He tells  how he grew from a third grader playing Twinkle Twinkle into a cross-genre professional and on stage he demonstrates many of the stops along the way.

He will perform solo and in various combinations with his back up musicians and build a one-man band using a looper pedal. There will even be a few vocal numbers.

Dawson studied viola at Penn State University while earning a degree in Forestry. He has played with many symphonies and chamber ensembles, including Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.

He currently teaches violin, viola, and cello at Music Life in Chestertown and plays with Shore Strings, the Dover Symphony, and is featured on seven recordings. He is equally at home playing his own compositions and arrangements, performing Celtic music with Meredith Hadaway’s group, Harp and Soul, or providing sensitive back-up in the Pam Ortiz Band.

He performs solo shows, including the introductory programs for the National Music Festival’s Fiddlesticks grade school education program and sings with the Chester River Chorale/Chester Chamber Singers.

He was a member of the Red Devil Moon ensemble, presenting the new musical by Robert Earl Pice and Pam Ortiz that was selected to participate in the 2017 NYC Fringe Festival.

He lives in Chestertown with his wife and son, and serves as Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator with University of Maryland Extension during the day.

The Mainstay sells advance tickets online through Instant Seats. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website. Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and pay by cash or check at the door.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

August 28 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes John Thomas, Saxophone

September 2 The Greg Hatza Organ-ization

September 4 Joe Holt welcomes Beth McDonald

September 7 Katie Thiroux

September 11 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Tom Baldwin, bass

September 16 Melissa Aldana

Jan Knutson Headlines at the Mainstay

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Jan Knutson

Jan Knutson, the young jazz guitarist mentored by Frank Vignola headlines at The Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Knutson will be joined by Grif Kazmierczak on violin, mandolin and trumpet and Eddie Hrybyk on bass. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Jan Knutson is a dazzling 18-year-old guitarist who has been playing for 9 years. He has studied with such luminaries as Rodney Jones, Steve Abshire, Paul Wingo, Shawn Purcell, Frank Vignola, Frank Latino, and Heather McKay in addition to online lessons with Martin Taylor.

Knutson has appeared as a guest artist at The Mainstay with guitarists such as Frank Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Steve Abshire and Martin Taylor. In this, his Mainstay debut as a bandleader, Knutson and his trio will be playing music ranging from Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz to classic jazz standards. He will be joined by Grif Kazmierczak on violin, mandolin and trumpet and Eddie Hrybyk on bass.

His first performance at The Mainstay was when he was given a solo after a Frank Vignola guitar workshop.

Knutson says, “The Mainstay is a very special place to me. As you mentioned on your website, it was the first place I met and played with Frank Vignola who has been a truly great mentor and teacher to me. It was also the first place I played with Bucky Pizzarelli and Martin Taylor. It is a real privilege to play there again.”

He has performed at many other venues including Strathmore Mansion and the Kennedy Center and with artists such as Frank Vignola, Al Caiola, and Olie Soikelli at The Cutting Room in New York City, and with Frank Vignola at Germano’s in Baltimore, and the Djangoary Festival in Richmond, VA.

Jan Knutson

Jan Knutson was 2016 Artist in Residence at the Strathmore Music Center in Rockville, MD, the guitarist for the 2016 Jazz Band of America, won first prize in the 2015 Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Soloist Competition and has performed as a soloist with the US Army Blues.  He was a member of the elite Jazz At Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy in Summer 2015 and 2016, attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz program and in May 2016 he was featured with Frank Vignola, Julian Lage, Vinny Raniolo, and Olli Soikkeli at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This past June, he performed at the Syracuse Jazz festival and will be the featured jazz artist at the Richmond Folk Festival in October 2017.

He recorded his first CD, Out of Nowhere, produced by Frank Vignola in August of 2014 at Sweetfoot Studio in Easton MD.  The recording has been played on radio stations across the country and was reviewed in Just Jazz Guitar magazine. His second recording, Looking Both Ways, is on the Patuxent Music label and was released last year. The recording is a mix of standards and originals and includes solo guitar and combo performances featuring some of the finest musicians in the DC area including guitarist Steve Abshire, mandolinist Danny Knicely, and Tommy Cecil on bass.

In addition to the guitar, Knutson plays violin, viola, and trombone.  He now studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Rodney Jones.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Griffith Kazmierczak is a versatile multi-instrumentalist with a unique musical voice on trumpet, violin and mandolin. He has a Masters in Jazz Performance from the University of Maryland, has been recognized for his unique compositions in Capitol Bop’s D.C. Jazz Lofts concert series and is one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the greater D.C. area.

Ed Hrybyk is an upright and electric bassist, composer, arranger, and educator active in the Baltimore music scene. He graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in has a degree in jazz performance from University of the Arts. He resides in Baltimore, MD and has played and/or recorded with Ultrafaux, The Bumper Jacksons, Hot Club of Baltimore, Sonny Nelson and the Unity Reggae Band, and The Manly Deeds. He made his debut as a bandleader last year with his band, the Bright Moments Sextet which will release an album of his original compositions in September 2017.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD, and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas, and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Mainstay sells advance tickets online through Instant Seats. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website. Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and pay by cash or check at the door.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

August 21 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Danny Tobias

August 26 Nevin Dawson: The Versatile Viola

August 28 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes John Thomas, Saxophone

September 2 The Greg Hatza Organ-ization

September 4 Joe Holt welcomes Beth McDonald

September 7 Katie Thiroux

September 11 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Tom Baldwin, bass

September 16 Melissa Aldana

Mainstay Names Carol Colgate Managing Director

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Carol Colgate

When Carol Colgate first attended a concert at the Mainstay, the intimate storefront performing arts center in the waterfront village of Rock Hall,  her initial impression was, “It felt like home.” Today, as the managing director of the friendly and popular live music venue on Main Street, Colgate says that first impression continues, and she would like everyone to feel that they have a home here.

“What I love about the Mainstay is that it grew organically from the time it was founded by Tom McHugh and the core group of original stakeholders, and that the synergy between the music, the audience, the room and the performers has been a natural development. It really is the home of musical magic,” she said, referring to the tagline that accompanies the venue’s logo.

The new managing director position, created in a management reorganization by the Mainstay’s board of directors, is a natural progression for Colgate. She has 30 years of business and arts administrative experience, having worked primarily in theater. Recently, she was a team member in the Kent County production of the new musical, “Red Devil Moon,” where some of her original paintings were featured.

Colgate’s tenure with the Mainstay began as administrative assistant to former executive director Rory Trainor a year ago.  “Rory re-invigorated my love of performance and gave me the opportunity to combine my management skills with imaginative concepts and creativity,” she notes.  All the while, she took on more and more administrative responsibility.

She is enthusiastic to be working with The Mainstay’s very motivated board members on all the operations that keep the venue a vital, thriving part of the local arts scene.  She sees her job as “maintaining the artistic integrity of a long-standing tradition while continuing to grow and expand by keeping our pulse on what’s exciting in the larger community.” Now that the managing director position is filled, Colgate and the board will be hiring staff to work on the programming and marketing for The Mainstay.

Mainstay board president Dan Seikaly says Colgate was a natural fit for The Mainstay.  “For the first 20 years, The Mainstay operated on the energy of Tom McHugh and a few volunteers,” Seikaly noted. “Following Tom’s departure, everyone became aware of the complexity of running a non-profit entertainment venue that presented over 50 concerts a year.  Carol was undaunted and enthusiastic. She learned, adapted or developed methods to grow The Mainstay without losing sight of what made it unique.”

Beyond her demonstrated executive skills, grants management experience and flexible approach to the multi-faceted needs of The Mainstay, Colgate has an innate understanding of the culture that marks the Mainstay’s popularity with its audience and supporters. “Maintaining that culture is important as we continue to move forward with all the creative strengths that bring everyone together,” she said.

Rhythm Future Quartet at The Mainstay Saturday August 5

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Rhythm Future Quartet

The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward mission: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and growing. A group of virtuosos named for a Django Reinhardt tune, they offer a new sound, influenced by Reinhardt’s classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. They play classics and their own compositions all with a compelling, joyful abandon.

Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw on diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries while keeping the soaring spirit of Gypsy jazz intact.

While the band’s self-titled debut album re-visited classic jazz and Gypsy jazz favorites, Travels, the quartet’s current release, concentrates on group originals that make captivating use of musical sources from outside the conventional Gypsy jazz terrain. Travels reflects both the knowledge garnered from the group’s worldwide touring and the international influences that inspired new rhythmic and harmonic possibilities in their compositions and arrangements.

Travels was picked as one of the best jazz albums of 2016 by All About Jazz and the Huffington Post.

Jason Anick, an award-winning composer and one of the youngest professors at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has shared the stage with an array of artists including Grammy award winning guitarist John Jorgenson, Stevie Wonder, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Tommy Emmanuel.

Olli Soikkeli (dubbed “the Finnish boy wonder”) recently moved from Scandinavia to New York City, where he quickly became a top call guitarist in the Brooklyn jazz scene. He has performed alongside  Cyrille Aimee,  Gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others.

Max O’Rourke was the winner of the 2015 Saga Award from DjangoFest Northwest, and at 21 has already toured/recorded with many of the top American Gypsy Jazz musicians including John Jorgenson and Gonzalo Bergara.

Greg Loughman is a top call bassist in Boston and has been heard with such luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Curtis Fuller and George Garzone.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

Admission is $17 if purchased in advance and $20 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

 

3Divas at The Mainstay Saturday July 29

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3Divas, the jazz trio of Sherrie Maricle on drums, Amy Shook on bass and Jackie Warren on piano will bring their exuberant, stylish sound to The Mainstay in Rock HallSaturday July 29  at 8 p.m.

3Divas are Sherrie Maricle on drums, Amy Shook on bass and Jackie Warren on piano. They are a powerhouse jazz trio that plays originals as well as traditional and contemporary standards with unique style, innovative arrangements, and unified musical joy. They combine exuberance and creativity to create a swinging, highly energized musical experience.

A few years ago, as part of Sherrie Maricle’s larger ensemble, the Diva Jazz Orchestra, the trio’s blistering hot sound ignited the acclaimed award-winning show “Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life.” A reviewer for Broadway World said they “had a large percentage of the audience remaining until the end of the show’s exit music, most of them screaming for an encore at the finish. There were great moments for Jackie Warren (piano) and Amy Shook (bass), and when Maricle takes over for an extended solo, she wildly shakes up the place.”

Sherrie Maricle leads 3Divas from the drum set as she does her other groups in the Diva family, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the quintet FIVE PLAY and The DIVA Jazz Trio. She performs with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and is the music director for Broadway star Maurice Hines. Sheis also a busy freelance performer and a published composer/arranger.

Amy Shook has become one of the most in-demand upright bassists in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, coveted for her huge sound and infectious, driving groove. She is a versatile musician who enjoys playing jazz standards as well as new music and is an accomplished composer. She co-leads her own band, The Shook/Russo Quartet, with drummer Frank Russo, and her husband, Pat and is a regular in The Fred Hughes Trio.

Jackie Warren is a native of Colorado who came east to study at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. She received her MM from Cleveland State and has resided in Cleveland ever since. She performs regularly as a soloist and has her own jazz trio.. She also arranges and plays salsa and Latin jazz with percussionist Sammy Deleon y Su Orquesta.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

Admission is $17 if purchased in advance and $20 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

 

Cold Chocolate at the Mainstay – August 10

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Cold Chocolate, a fresh and exciting roots Americana trio from Boston will appear at The Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $13 if purchased in advance and $15 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s web site.   Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Cold Chocolate’s sound stretches the boundaries of bluegrass and folk with a dash of funk. Featuring Ethan Robbins on guitar, Kirsten Lamb on upright bass and Ariel Bernstein on percussion, they combine original tunes and technical mastery to mesmerize audiences with their instrumentals, three-part harmony and their raw rootsy approach to a high-energy performance.

Since their formation in 2011, the band has shared bills with such bluegrass giants as Leftover Salmon and David Grisman and has performed at numerous prominent East Coast festivals, including the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, FloydFest, FreshGrass Festival, and the Ossipee Valley Music Festival.

Guitarist/songwriter Ethan Robbins was a classical violinist starting at the age of four. He fell in love with the guitar at age fourteen and began his bluegrass career at Oberlin College. A founding member of The Outhouse Troubadours, an Oberlin Bluegrass phenomenon, he began to explore how this hard-driving fast-paced genre could be stretched.

Robbins met Cold Chocolate upright bassist Kirsten Lamb while at Oberlin.  Born into a musical family, she became a multi-instrumentalist at an early age.  At thirteen, she shifted her focus to the upright bass, as its versatility appealed to her growing musical curiosity.  She graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory and, in 2015, earned a masters degree in the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory.  She was called part of “one of the finest rhythm sections ever to be fetched up in the name of bluegrass” by Mickey Clark of AmericanaUK magazine.

Cold Chocolate

In 2011, the loose-wristed Ariel Bernstein joined Cold Chocolate on percussion, completing the ensemble.  As a student of Jim Tiller, the Principal Percussionist and Assistant Principal Timpanist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Percussion for Performance at the State University of New York, Geneseo. His light touch adds a tasteful groove to Cold Chocolate’s tunes, filling out their sound. In addition to playing in Cold Chocolate, Bernstein can often be found at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, engineering the records of many of Boston’s finest acoustic musicians, including Josh Ritter, The Ballroom Thieves, and Mr. Sun.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD, and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas, and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Mainstay sells advance tickets online through Instant Seats. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website.  Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and pay by cash or check at the door.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

August 14 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Sue Matthews

August 19 Jan Knutson

August 21 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Danny Tobias

August 26 Nevin Dawson: The Versatile Viola

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Femina at The Mainstay Thursday, August 3

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Femina

Fémina, a trio of women from Patagonia, write their own diverse songs and sing with show-stopping harmonies. They bring their magical on-stage chemistry to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, on Thursday August 3, at 7:30 p.m.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine this month, the legendary rock star Iggy Pop was asked what he was listening to these days. He said, “There are three girls named Fémina from the Andes in Patagonia that are just terrific. They’re just starting their U.S. tour… I played them on my radio show the other day and I don’t think they’re used to being all over the radio in the English-speaking world. But they’re really, really good.”

Hailing from the tiny mountain town of San Martin de los Andes, Femina fuses a variety of Latin genres and folk styles with international rhythms such as reggae, funk and hip-hop. A unique and sweet combination, the trio has toured internationally in Mexico, Europe and the US. They will be playing FloydFest in southweatern Virginia the week before the Mainstay show

Sisters Clara and Sofia Trucco along with their childhood friend, Clara Miglioli, formed Fémina in 2004. All three have vocal training and backgrounds in acting, which lends itself to the high energy and strong facial expressions they bring to performances. Miglioli’s focus is on vocals, whereas Clara Trucco plays the guitar and the ronroco, a Bolivian instrument in the quarto family that adds to the Andean flavor of their sound. Her sister Sofia’s specialty is percussion, including the cajon flamenco, a percussion instrument from Peru.

Fémina’s sound incorporates a variety of genres, including rumba, cumbia, candombe, and bolero that they combine with the international rhythms of reggae, funk and hip-hop to create a world music fusion that is completely their own.

They have several recordings and have been working on their newest in New York while they are in the US for their summer tour.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street, presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar. The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Admission is $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Parrot, Redd and Sportiello at Mainstay July 9.

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Nicki Parrott on vocals and bass, Chuck Redd on vibes and drums and Rossano Sportiello on piano bring a program of swinging jazz to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Sunday afternoon July 9 at 3 p.m.

Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott and Chuck Redd

The Italian piano player Rossano Sportiello and the Australian bass player and vocalist Nicki Parrott are based in New York City. Chuck Redd is based in the Washington DC area but plays in New York City regularly. The three are internationally known and tour independently but they are also good friends who enjoy playing in their favorite “local” places – in this case The Mainstay, where each of them has played with some regularity in various groups and where as a trio, they always please a big audience. The website Jazz Lives calls them “One of the finest piano trios ever.”

Rossano Sportiello has a light, precise, yet authoritative touch and an approach to the music that lends great joy to his playing. His tribute to pianist George Shearing “The Smiling Piano” ran for two weeks at the Café Carlyle in NY to great critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times and Jazz Lives. Aussie bassist Nicki Parrott, (also based in NYC) is known for her superb bass lines and sparkling vocals. Chuck Redd is a master at vibes and drums.

As a trio, Parrott, Redd and Sportiello have worked together at jazz festivals, jazz parties, jazz cruises and other events around the US and in Europe.

They have played twice before at The Mainstay and in the spring of 2015 they played to packed house at The United Nations, inaugurating the new jazz concert series there.

The three musicians have all recorded on each other’s projects. Redd was featured on drums on Sportiello’s “Chopin Jazz” recording and Sportiello was featured on Redd’s recent Arbors recording, “The Common Thread.” Parrott and Sportiello have been on several of each other’s recordings and Redd is featured on Parrott’s recording for Arbors, “Two Songbirds of a Feather,”  a collaboration with Rebecca Kilgore.

Sportiello was born in Vigevano, Italy in 1974, began studying piano at the age of 9 and graduated the Conservatory in 1996 in classical piano. While studying he was also performing professionally at jazz venues in the Milan area, and in 1992, he joined one of Europe’s historic jazz bands, the “Milano Jazz Gang” touring with the group throughout Italy and West Europe until the end of 2000. His solo work began at the 2002 Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland) while performing with the eight-piece, all-star American band led by Dan Barrett. He made his first trip to the US not long after and moved to New York after his marriage to American writer, Lala Moore.

Sportiello has performed with many of the world’s finest jazz luminaries and has been in great demand in the U.S. appearing at New York venues, such as Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, Feinstein’s, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Café Carlyle and Town Hall, as well as at major jazz parties and festivals in the US and abroad.

Nicki Parrott is a favorite at The Mainstay. She brings a signature sound to every bass part she has played in her work with artists around the globe. Her vocals and songwriting are enchanting. She performs regularly at jazz festivals around the world. For years, she was a fixture at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City where she played with the legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul, from 2000 until his death in 2009.

Her recording “People Will Say We’re in Love” (with Sportiello) was named one of the 10 best jazz releases of 2007 by Steve Futterman in The New Yorker who said, “Parrott is an exceptional bassist and an endearingly modest singer”. In 2012, Limelight said she is “…a rarity, a first-class bassist whose playing is as sublime as her vocals.”

Parrott, who was born in Newcastle, Australia, started on piano at the age of four, and soon after took up the flute as well. She continued to play flute and piano throughout her school years, but switched to bass at the age of 15 because her sister Lisa, who plays alto sax, wanted a bassist for her group. She studied jazz at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music and was nominated for the annual Australian Young Achievers Award by the Arts Council of Australia who granted her the funds to travel to New York to study with Rufus Reid. She came to New York in 1994 and has since played and recorded with many notables including Les Paul, Randy Brecker, Clark Terry, Jose Feliciano, and Patti Labelle & the New York Pops Orchestra. She has also performed in several Broadway shows such as Avenue Q, Imaginary Friends, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Summer of ’42 and Jekyll and Hyde.

Chuck Redd is well known internationally as a jazz musician on drums and vibraphone. Chuck began touring the globe and recording when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. He played and recorded with Byrd for 20 years until Byrd’s death in 1999. To his credit are 25 European tours and five tours of Japan, with the Barney Kessel Trio, Ken Peplowski, Terry Gibbs and Conte Candoli. He served as Artist-In-Residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café in Washington, DC from 2004-2008.

Redd was featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996. While appearing in New York with Torme, Ira Gitler of Jazz Times said: “Redd’s vibes were equally notable for vigor and melodiousness.” His playing is always fresh, intense and exciting.

Admission is $20 if purchased in advance and $23 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website. Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and pay by cash or check at the door.