Tuesday, April 2 through Sunday, April 7, 2013
Showcased will be performances by students, alumni and faculty

This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of Manhattan School of Music’s Jazz Arts program. In conjunction with this celebration, students, alumni and faculty will be showcased at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in a week of performances taking place Tuesday, April 2 through Sunday, April 7. Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts has had a longstanding relationship with Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola appearing each season on Monday nights in November and April.

All concerts take place at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, one of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s three performance venues located at Columbus Circle (Broadway and West 60th Street). Two sets, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., are scheduled for each evening. Tickets: $35 cover; $20 for students with student I.D. For tickets call 212 258 9595 or Centercharge at 212 721 6500.

Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts – 30th Anniversary Festival Week at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Tuesday, April 2 --MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra; Bobby Sanabria, director

Bobby Sanabria conducts the Grammy-nominated MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, program to be announced.

The MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra is internationally recognized for its performances at prestigious jazz conferences and by its recordings on the Jazzheads label. The CD, Tito Puente Master¬works Live!!!, released in March 2011, received critical acclaim including from Audiophile Audition who said, “The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra is unrecognizable as a student ensemble … the soloists are of such a high level that none of them emerge as more memorable than the others.” In 2009, the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra and Bobby Sanabria released the Grammy-nominated CD, Kenya Revisited Live! This recording, that features NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero, is from a historic concert held at MSM (2008) that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Machito & The Afro-Cubans 1957 jazz masterwork, Kenya. The MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, now in its thirteenth year under the direction of Bobby Sanabria, has performed in NYC jazz venues including at Birdland, the Jazz Standard, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, as well as on the plaza of the Harlem State Office Building in a concert celebrating the school’s 90th anniversary. Among jazz greats who have performed with the en¬semble include Candido, Tom Harrell, David Sanchez, Arturo O’Farrill, Sonny Fortune and Ray Barretto, among many others. The MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra and Bobby Sanabria are dedicated to performing the music of ‘la tradition,’ paying hom¬age to these legends while continuing to pass on and advance the tradition to the next generation.

Wednesday, April 3 – New Stars, Emerging Artists Night –featuring MSM Alumni

Showcased on April 3rd will be MSM alumni including The Le Bouef Brothers – Remy on alto saxophone and Pascal on piano – as well as Linda Oh on acoustic bass and Henry Cole on drums.

Remy and Pascal Le Boeuf have become part of New York’s growing jazz scene characterized by odd time signatures, shifting harmonies, influenced by hip hop, electronica and indie rock. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, identical twin brothers Remy and Pascal – saxophone and piano respectively – moved to New York in 2004 to study at Manhattan School of Music. In 2004, Pascal became the youngest person ever to receive the ASCAP/IAJE Commission in honor of Quincy Jones. In 2011, Remy received a New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America to write a series of pieces for the Le Boeuf Brothers and the Myth String Quartet based on the short stories of Franz Kafka. Additionally, the brothers received Independent Music Awards for Best Album & Best Song in 2006, an Astral Grant from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in 2008, were awarded 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition in 2010, as well as twelve ASCAP Young Composer Awards and various awards from Downbeat Magazine. The Le Boeuf Brothers have toured internationally and have performed at the Umbria, Montreal and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In May 2009, the Le Boeuf Brothers released their first CD, “House Without a Door.” The New York Times described it as an “impressively self-assured new album … which reaches for the gleaming cosmopolitan of our present era.” On their most recent album, “In Praise of Shadows,” (Nineteen-Eight Records) the Le Bouef Brothers expand upon the jazz tradition by continuing to sculpt their compositions after the initial recording process, using modern production techniques, sampling and layered arranging/recording methods.

Bassist Linda Oh was born in Malaysia and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She started learning classical music at age four and at fifteen dabbled on electric jazz playing jazz in the high school and community big bands while playing a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2002 she was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she began lessons on the double bass, graduating in 2005, receiving a special award as best graduation recitalist. Her honors thesis is titled, “A New Approach to Rhythmic Bass Improvisation: an exploration of rhythmic devices used by Dave Holland and the rhythmic aspects of North Indian Classical Music.” Ms. Oh is a recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award 2008. She received honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Semi-Finals and received the 2010 Bel Award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the year. Ms. Oh’s self-released debut album Entry featuring Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet and Obed Calvaire, drums was met with rave reviews. Her second album Initial Here released in May 2012 on the Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music label features Dayne Stephens, tenor sax; Fabian Almazan, piano; Rudy Royston, drums and Jen Shyu, vocals. Among other musicians that she has performed with include Dave Douglas, Steve Wilson, Kenny Barron, Kevin Hayes, Slide Hampton and Cyrus Chestnut. Ms. Oh is an active double bassist, electric bassist and composer, composing music for short films including the Student Academy Award nominated film “Wian Bu.” Linda Oh received her master of music degree in 2008 at Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Jay Anderson, John Riley, Phil Markowitz, Dave Liebman and Rodney Jones, and currently teaches in the MSM Precollege Division.

Drummer Henry Cole emerged onto the music scene in San Juan in 1999 where he studied percussion at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. He later moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music returning to Puerto Rico where he had the opportunity to hone his craft performing with artists such as Bobby Valentin, Anthony Carrillo, Danilo Perez, Branford Marsalis and Ramon Vasquez, among others. In 2003 he moved to New York to study at Manhattan School of Music where he studied with John Riley. Henry Cole has toured throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, Europe and Greece. In the fall of 2004, Henry Cole’s Quartet was selected for a tour abroad as part of the 2006 Jazz at Lincoln Center American Music Abroad (The Rhythm Road, Jazz Ambassadors) Program. He has been acclaimed for his work with Miguel Zenon and David Sanchez.

Thursday, April 4 – Manhattan School of Music Combo Night

Performing will be two ensembles –
7:30 p.m. – The Manhattan Society Orchestra with Leonardo Pellegrino, baritone saxophone; Mike Davis, trumpet; Joshua Holcomb, trombone; Sharik Hasa, piano; Kate Davis, bass and Arthur Vint, drums.

9:30 p.m. – The MSM Mingus Ensemble – Patrick Bartley, alto saxophone; Jonathan Beshay, tenor saxophone; Adam O’Farrill, trumpet; St. Clair Simmons, trombone; Tony Madruga, piano; Martin Kennedy, bass and Evan Sherman, drums.

The MSM Mingus Ensemble, devoted to performing the music of Charles Mingus, was formed in January 2013. The ensemble, coached by Ku-umba Frank Lacy, performed on Sunday, February 17th during the Fifth Annual Charles Mingus Festival and High School Competition held at Manhattan School of Music.

Friday, April 5 – Oliver Nelson’s “Blues and Abstract Truth”

MSM Chamber JazzEnsemble; Justin DiCioccio, coach
The MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble performs a complete re-creation of one of the most cherished jazz albums, Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth, recorded in February 1961. It is a landmark jazz work and remains Oliver Nelson’s most acclaimed recording and features along with him Freddie Hub¬bard, Eric Dolphy, George Barrow, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes. The album explores the mood and structure of the blues. Among the notable tunes on the album are “Stolen Moments,” “Hoe-Down,” “Cascades,” and “Teenie’s Blues” which opens with a 12-bar bass solo by Paul Chambers.

Oliver Nelson’s own notes to Blues and the Abstract Truth express what he was after, as timeless as the music has become: “The compositions on this recording present a phase of my development up to the present time as a jazz writer and might shed some light on the subject of where I would like to go as a composer and arranger in the jazz idiom. As a player, I became aware of some things that I knew existed but I was afraid to see them as they really were. There is no need to elaborate; but when I arrived on the New York scene in March 1959, I believed I had my own musical identity; but before long everything got turned around and I began a period of self-searching. One big influence for tenor players was John Coltrane and it was an influence that I could not deny. Sonny Rollins was the other. It was not until this LP was recorded on Thursday, February 23, 1961, that I finally had broken through and realized that I would have to be true to myself, to play and write what I think is vital, and most of all, to find my personality and identity. This does not mean that a musician should reject and shut things out. It means that he should learn, listen, absorb and grow but retain all the things that comprise the identity of the individual himself.”

Oliver Nelson, saxophonist and composer/arranger, was born in St. Louis, Missouri in June 1932. He passed away in October 1975.

The MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble includes Patrick Bartley, alto saxophone; Jonathan Ragonese, tenor saxophone; Leo Pellegrino, baritone saxophone; Ben Benack, trumpet; Emmet Cohen, piano; Jeff Koch, bass; and Jake Goldbas, drums.

The MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble, directed by Justin DiCioccio, includes students from both MSM’s classical division and jazz arts, performing works scored for a small chamber orchestra (generally 16 to 20 pieces). Past concerts have included an evening with Joe Lovano and Judi Silvano performing the music of Frank Sinatra arranged by the late Manny Albam; Garry Dial and Dick Oatts playing music from Mary Lou Williams’ Zodiac Suite as well as their own Brassworks; and “The Paris Concert” showcasing Dave Liebman and offering the US premieres of four works commissioned by l’Ensemble Contemporain, Paris. This concert that took place in November 2012 was recorded live and released on the Jazzheads label in spring 2012.

Saturday, April 6 – MSM Swing Band, Justin DiCioccio, conductor

Justin DiCioccio will be leading the MSM Jazz Orchestra paying tribute to the Swing Era and the music of its legendary composers and bandleaders including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and others.

Sunday, April 7 – “Miles Ahead” -- MSM Jazz Orchestra; Justin DiCioccio; conductor; Dave Liebman, saxophone soloist

The MSM Jazz Orchestra and Dave Liebman first performed Miles Ahead in Zankel Hall in February 2008, releasing this work on the Jazzheads label in 2009 (MSM and Dave Liebman have also released Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain). Miles Ahead is one work from the Gil Evans-Miles Davis trilogy recorded for Columbia Records in 1957 (Porgy and Bess is from 1958 and Sketches of Spain from 1959). For the MSM performance, Dave Liebman has rec¬reated the Miles Davis trumpet solos for soprano saxophone.

Dave Liebman says about “Miles Ahead”:
“Once again, as was the case in recording Sketches of Spain at Manhattan School of Music, I found myself facing the incredible challenge of playing a piece that is intrinsically linked to the sound and style of Miles Davis during the golden period of his collaboration with Gil Evans in the late 1950s. In Miles Ahead the material is much more jazz oriented with traditional chords and melodies, more than the usual number of ballads and has the blues saturating much of the music.

Exchanging the soprano sax for the trumpet allows me to shape the music in some ways, but the specter of Miles is always there. I have tried my best to be true to his approach. That means not playing more than necessary, concentrating on tone and color, and above all staying lyrical. The job is awesome.”

The MSM Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Justin DiCioccio performs regularly with major artists such as Eliane Elias, Jon Faddis, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, and Phil Woods. They have appeared at jazz festivals including at Montreaux, Umbria and the North Sea; as well as at the Clinton White House with Dave Sanborn, and numerous IAJE conferences. They have also been heard at New York City jazz clubs including the Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as well as at Carnegie Hall performing a children’s concert. For the Jazzheads label they released a box set of the critically acclaimed Miles Davis-Gil Evans trilogy, Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain, with NEA Jazz master Dave Liebman performing the Miles Davis’ trumpet solos on the saxophone.

The Jazz Arts Program

In the fall of 1982, Manhattan School of Music became one of the first conservatories in the United States to acknowledge the importance of jazz as an art form by establishing undergraduate and graduate degree programs in jazz. Justin DiCioccio became the department’s Chair in the fall of 1999 and one of the first initiatives he undertook was to add a jazz program to MSM’s Saturday-only preparatory department making jazz available to junior high and high school students, and in 2002, a doctor of musical arts degree was added. With the addition of a doctorate, MSM became one of the country’s first schools to offer jazz studies from the precollege through the doctoral level. It is also one of the richest programs of its kind, thanks to systematic and rigorous conservatory training combined with a myriad of performance and networking opportuni¬ties in New York City. In addition to a variety of small combos, student performing ensembles include the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Concert Jazz Band, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Philharmonic, and Chamber Jazz Orchestra. Under the leadership of longtime faculty member and eminent jazz artist-and-educator Justin DiCioccio, the program strives to produce students who perform, compose, and teach with equal facility and passion.


Justin DiCioccio, Associate Dean and Chair of MSM’s Jazz Arts Program, is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. He was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame in January 2001. His inventive approach has earned him the title “the musician’s teacher,” and his many performances, conducting appearances, jazz and percussion clin¬ics, and workshops are widely recognized in the professional and educational fields. Mr. DiCioccio has served as program direc¬tor and clinician for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and acts as a consultant to Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis. He developed and directed the LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States. Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation from the mayor of New York for ‘Distinguished and Excep¬tional Service to Young Instrumentalists” and is active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation, and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Schol¬ars Teacher Recognition Award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, the Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. On March 1, 2010, he was confirmed as the State Department Appointed Cultural Envoy Jazz Ambassador to Tbilisi, Georgia. Mr. DiCioccio’s performing and conducting credentials include concerts, commercials, Broadway shows, and recordings with jazz, orchestral, rock, and new music groups. Over the years he has worked with acclaimed art¬ists, including Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Chuck Mangione, Phil Woods, Stan Gets, and Clark Terry, among others. Mr. DiCioccio is a former member of the Rochester Philharmonic and for five years was a member of the Marine Band “The President’s Own,” in which he served as the official White House drummer during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Justin DiCioccio was named Chair of MSM’s Jazz Arts Program in 1999 and Associate Dean in 2011. He has been a member of its faculty since 1984.

Dave Liebman, a NEA Jazz Master, has a career that has spanned more than three decades, beginning in the early 1970s with his apprenticeship period performing and recording in the groups of Elvin Jones. Since then he has led his own groups featuring musicians such as John Scofield, Billy Hart, Adam Nussbaum, Al Foster, John Abercrombie and Vic Juris. Dave Liebman has consistently placed among the top three in the Downbeat Critics Poll for Soprano Saxophone since 1973. He has played on nearly three hundred recordings with more than one hundred under his own name or co-leadership. The repertoire is among the most eclectic of contemporary artists ranging from original adaptations of standard material (West Side Story, Monk, Coltrane, Miles Davis, to name a few) to twentieth century inspired classical music; from fu¬sion to his own big band and free jazz ensembles. Dave Liebman is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, an organization of jazz schools from more than forty countries representing every continent that meets yearly and promotes cross cultural student/teacher exchanges. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Jazz Improv magazine, the Chet Baker Foundation, the Pennsylvania Regional Jazz Coalition, American Jazz Venue, and is presently Artist in Residence at Manhattan School of Music.

Bobby Sanabria, the Multiple Grammy nominated drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educa¬tor, film-maker, bandleader, and multi-cultural warrior, has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaráa, Ray Barretto, Candido, Henry Threadgill, and Afro-Cuban Jazz Godfather, Mario Bauzá. His first solo recording, N.Y.C. Aché’ has been become a cult classic. His first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!!, was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001. In 2003 he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for, “50 Years of Mambo”, A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. His 2005 Quarteto Aché’ disc was hailed by the critics as giving a new vision to the standard jazz quartet. The readers of DRUM! magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2006, and in 2008, his recording recording “Big Band Urban Folktales” was nominated for a Grammy. This South Bronx native of Puerto Rican parentage is a 2006 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame where he has a street named after him. His 2009 CD, “Kenya Revisited Live!!!” is a re-imagining of the legendary “Kenya” album by the Machito Afro Cubans with incredible new arrangements with Bobby conducting the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra that astounded critics and was nominat¬ed for a Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording. Bobby is on faculty at Manhattan School of Music and the New School and leads several ensembles: Quarteto Aché’, Ascensión, and the Bobby Sanabria Big Band. He was associate producer of the TV documentaries “The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King” and “From Mambo to Hip Hop.” Mr. Sanabria is featured in the documentary, LATIN MUSIC USA, which aired on PBS in October 2009. His latest recording, the critically acclaimed “Multiverse,” was released in August 2012 on the Jazzheads label.

* * * * *

Contact Public Relations

Debra Kinzler
Director of Public Relations,
Marketing and Publications
917 493 4469 (office) 

Full press release .pdf