Free Jazz Fridays at Fairfield Museum and History Center
Jazz Fridays: Open Field Runner featuring Brian Torff
August 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
This concert series on the Fairfield Museum patio features the best talented regional jazz artists and ensembles!
Bring your own chair or blanket. The concerts will take place rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the performances will move indoors.
Brian Q. Torff is a bassist, composer, author and educator. Currently he is Professor of Music and Music Program Director at Fairfield University. Torff has performed with George Shearing, Frank Sinatra, Stephane Grappelli, Marian McPartland, Oliver Nelson, Mary Lou Williams, the Django Reinhart All-Stars, Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine and the Thad Jones- Mel Lewis Orchestra. He is the Musical Director and arranger for New Duke, an eight-piece horn band that was featured on the national CBS television special, “Christmas Eve at Fairfield University.” In 1992, he served as co-chairperson for the Music Advisory Board for the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2008, Torff was named Artist of the Year by the Fairfield Arts Council. In early 2008, Brian Torff lived in Paris where he wrote In Love with Voices: A Jazz Memoir. Brian Q. Torff and New Duke’s recording, Post Authentic World is available through CD Baby, Spotify, and Pandora.
Jazz Fridays: The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists You’ve Never Heard Of
August 9 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
In this show, Jim Clark shines the spotlight on lesser-known masters of the jazz saxophone, whose brilliant performances may have been overlooked due to the public’s focus on their megastar contemporaries – Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley and Stan Getz.
Jazz Fridays: Nicole Pasternak Trio featuring Ralph Lalama and Michael Coppola
August 16 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Vocalist NICOLE PASTERNAK has built an appreciative audience in the Northeast and beyond with her honest, swinging voice and effortless attitude. Inspired by singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney and Anita O’Day, she shines on traditional Swing songs, renders heartfelt ballads, is a natural improviser and performs her own compositions, as well. She is at ease with everything from duo to big band, giving her broad artistic range. Listen.com said, “This sassy jazz singer has a beautiful, crystal clear tone and a bright manner that never obscures her impressive Bop chops.” When she teams up with her husband, three-time Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist RALPH LALAMA, their musical menu is effectively spiced with unique arrangements for sax and voice. Concertgoers may know Ralph Lalama from his association with such luminary bands as the [Village] Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – with whom he plays weekly and is a featured soloist; The Joe Lovano Nonet, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. Mr. Lalama also regularly performs with his notable trio, “Bop Juice,” at the famed Smalls Jazz club in Greenwich Village. The program at Fairfield Museum will feature the classic standards of the Great American Songbook, as well as an original tune or two, along with music from their latest CD recording: “The Crepuscule Variations (On Songs Our Parents Gave Us)” featuring the Lalama Brothers and Ms. Pasternak on an array of songs. Rounding out the trio is the accomplished MICHAEL COPPOLA, who solved the age-old problem of executing jazz piano voicings on guitar by creating a new type of guitar, the 9-string “hydra.” Mr. Coppola has become one of a small handful of guitarists who have pushed the boundaries of the instrument, and the only one to come up with this unique tuning. Reviews of his CDs have been filled with descriptions such as unique, amazing, mindboggling, magical, and inventive. He has played at major guitar shows and concerts throughout the world including the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Chet Atkins Festival, NAMM, and many others, as well as some of the country’s top jazz clubs such as The Iridium, Blue Note, and Knickerbocker. Ms. Pasternak and Mr. Coppola have worked as a duo for over 10 years, forming a strong level of musical communication and mutual understanding. They are a popular jazz fixture with their “Music Monday” nights in Darien, Conn., while Mr. Lalama plays Monday nights at The Village Vanguard in NYC. “Jazz Fridays” at Fairfield Museum brings them together as a trio for the first time, in the spirit of jazz.
Jazz Fridays: Jen Durkin and her jazz ensemble comprised of members of her band “The Business”
This concert series on the Fairfield Museum patio features the best talented regional jazz artists and ensembles! Bring your own chair or blanket. The concerts will take place rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the performances will move indoors. Jazz Fridays is generously sponsored by Bank of America.
Jazz Fridays: Chris Coogan Quartet
August 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chris Coogan has spent a lifetime astounding audiences with his jazz and gospel music. The N.Y Times calls him “a masterful pianist”. Winner of the John Lennon song Writing Competition, he has recorded 8 CDS featuring his original jazz and gospel music. He has performed at Manhattan’s Blue Note and Montreaux Jazz Festival and shared the spotlight with musical legends Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Paul Shaffer, Stevie Van Zant, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, Mavis Staples, Phoebe Snow and Lesley Gore. Chris has entertained Bill and Hillary Clinton, Paul Newman, Martha Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg. His TV credits include Celebrity Jeopardy, the Arsenio Hall show, a PBS documentary on evangelist Amy Semple McPherson, BBC America’s series “Copper” and four national spots for The Humane society. As a gospel artist, Chris has performed with Take 6, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maya Angelou and Richard Smallwood. As a writer/arranger Chris founded and directs the good news Gospel Choir. He performs regularly at churches, festivals and fundraisers. Most weekdays you will find Chris teaching Jazz piano and gigging with his quintet. “I see myself as a catalyst who uses the medium of music to bring people together.”