2017 Spring Season Of College Hill Concerts

March 12, 2017 – The remaining concerts in this series have been cancelled. Please contact the inn if you have any questions. Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your support. 

Tel. 917.371.1537
Email: lucegroup@mac.com
Date: 01/18/2017

Lafayette Inn Announces the 2017 Spring Season of College Hill Concerts

Legendary New York Musicians Featured in an Intimate Salon Series

On six Sunday afternoons at 5PM this Spring, Lafayette Inn – in association with Luce Group and the Easton Piano Loft – presents COLLEGE HILL CONCERTS in the unique, cozy and intimate salon space of the Lafayette Inn, 525 W Monroe Street, Easton, PA 18042.
This Sunday afternoon concert series takes place at 5 pm at the Lafayette Inn on College Hill in Easton, PA. All concerts are from 5-7 pm with 2 sets and one intermission.

Tickets are $30, Seniors and Students $25. Reservations may be made directly with the Lafayette Inn at 525 W Monroe St., Easton, PA 18042-1737 or by dialing Phone: (610) 253-4500, info@lafayetteinn.com or through the Online box office at www.jameslucemusic.com/pianoconcerts

Seating is Limited. Maximum Seating 45. Street Parking Only.

Series Lineup:

February 19, 5pm | Inaugural Concert Spring Season | EDSEL GOMEZ, piano

2007 Grammy award nominee Edsel Gomez is one of the premier Latin Jazz pianists in the world. Born in Puerto Rico in 1962, he began piano studies at age five. He grew up in a musical environment that allowed him to master afro-Caribbean rhythms in depth, working since childhood with an incredible array of Latin music idols such as Marvin Santiago, Celia Cruz, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Willie Colon among many others.

He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at Berklee College of Music with a Count Basie Award for outstanding musicianship in 1985 while working with such renown Jazz artists as Gary Burton, Claudio Roditi, Bill Pierce, Don Byron, Chick Corea and Jerry Gonzalez among many others.

Edsel relocated to Brazil from 1986 to 1996 and worked extensively with renowned artists such as Cauby Peixoto, Paulinho da Viola, Caetano Veloso, Joao Bosco and others. Gomez’s personal approach to fusing jazz, Latin and Brazilian music gives him a unique personality and musical voice.

Since relocating to New York in 1997, Edsel works around the world as Dee Dee Bridgewater’s pianist/arranger, and is busy on the New York scene with many great musicians such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Don Byron, Jerome Harris, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin, Brian Lynch, John Benitez, and others.

March 19 5pm | FRANCESCA TANKSLEY, piano

“Ms. Tanksley reworked the vocabulary of McCoy Tyner as if she had
taken just one small aspect of his style and developed it into a full
language. She gave the music color, her harmonies and chording
adding surprise to the performance.” – Peter Watrous, NY Times

Acknowledged as a fine soloist, composer, and accompanist with such notable groups as the Billy Harper Quintet and the Erica Lindsay Quintet, Francesca Tanksley has performed throughout Europe, East and Southeast Asia, Scandinavia and South America as well as in the United States, and appears on numerous CD releases of both groups.

Francesca Tanksley was born in Italy as a U.S. citizen and grew up in Munich, Germany. She began studying piano at the age of seven, and at sixteen she attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study jazz piano and composition. After her studies at Berklee she returned to Munich and began her professional career performing with various European jazz groups. She then moved to New York City and joined Melba Liston’s group, Melba Liston & Co., appearing at major jazz clubs and festivals in the U.S. She is now a Professor at Berklee when she’s not touring the world.

April 9, 5pm | CLIFTON ANDERSON, trombone | TADADAKA UNNO, piano

Clifton Anderson, 2009 Trombonist Of The Year – The American Jazz Journalists Association.

“Trombonist Clifton Anderson develops minimal motifs into imaginatively
worked-out solos that never fail to surprise.” – Stephen Brookes, WashingtonPost.com

While at Manhattan School of Music, Clifton Anderson began freelancing around New York City and made his first record date with Carlos Garnett in 1976. By his senior year at the Manhattan School of Music he had established himself as one of the young “in demand” trombonists in New York. It was around that time that Slide Hampton formed the original “World of Trombones”, the group that would become the standard by which all jazz trombone choirs are measured. The group included Janice Robinson, Steve Turre, Earl McIntyre, Clifford Adams, Doug Purviance, Papo Vazquez, and Clifton Anderson along with appearances from the great Curtis Fuller, Britt Woodman and Benny Powell. Later additions to the prestigious trombone choir included Robin Eubanks, Clarence Banks, Frank Lacy, Conrad Herwig, and Bob Trowers. Clifton has worked with a “who’s who” of diverse musical giants from: Frank Foster, McCoy Tyner, Clifford Jordan, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, Merv Griffin and The Mighty Sparrow to Lester Bowie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paul Simon, Terumasa Hino, Muhal Richard Abrams, WyClef Jean, Geri Allen, Charlie Haden, Slide Hampton and Wallace Roney among others. Clifton’s credits also include work on the Broadway shows Dreamgirls and Nine.

Born August 15, 1980 in Tokyo, Japan, to parents who are music fans, Tadataka Unno grew up listening to music. He began piano lessons at age 4, and at age 9, started to study jazz with Yuichi Otsuka and Kazuhide Motooka. He attended Tokyo University for Music and Fine Art, where he studied music composition with Shin Satoh. In March of 2010, Unno was selected to attend Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead 2010 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In June, upon recommendation by Nathan Davis and Curtis Fuller, he attended the Jazz Rising Stars Program of Ravina Festival in Chicago. In October, He released his third album as a leader “As Time Goes By”.

April 23, 5pm | ARUAN ORTIZ, piano

“Aruán Ortiz weaves multiple strands of tradition through his music, with an endgame of deep mystification. A pianist originally from Cuba, he has been a creative force at least since the release of his debut album 20 years ago. But he’s moving into a new tier with “Hidden Voices.” – Nate Chinen, NY Times.

Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation; and consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries. He has been called “the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States” by BET Jazz.

Between 2003 and 2015, Ortiz led or co-led excellent hardcore jazz albums such as “Alameda,” “Orbiting” and “Banned in London,” and spent several years playing piano and keyboards with Wallace Roney, with whom he recorded twice.

Before arriving in New York in 2008, Aruán played with Esperanza Spalding on her debut album, “Junjo” (Ayva Música, 2006), and was lauded as “one of the most versatile and exciting pianists of his generation” by prestigious Downbeat Magazine.

In 2012, he composed and conducted “Santiarican Blues Suite”—a five-part score that references a wide timeline of Cuban, Afro-Haitian, and contemporary classical vocabulary—with a string quartet, two basses, two pianos, flute and percussion. This album received 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine, and Latin Jazz Network said, “This record by a very special artist will go down as one of the most significant works of music.”

We are very proud to welcome Aruan Ortiz to the Lafayette Inn.

May7, 5pm | FRANK KIMBROUGH, piano

“a subtle pianist of uncommon finesse, a master of introspective piano art.
Fabulous, fine-tuned, inspired music….a miracle in chamber format.”
Peter Ruedi, Die Weltwoche (Switzerland)

Pianist/composer Frank Kimbrough has been active on the New York jazz scene for more than 30 years. Frank’s first LP, “Meantime” has just been released on Newvelle Records – a new, audiophile LP-only label based in France. In 2008 Frank was appointed to the faculty at the Juilliard School, to serve as its interim director and to teach applied piano, piano classes, and leading an ensemble. Residencies and workshops include the Paris Conservatory (with Maria Schneider), Oxford University and The New School University (with the Jazz Composers Collective), Berklee College of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and others.

June 11, 5pm | OSCAR L. WILLIAMS II, piano | JOHN BEASLEY, piano

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, John Beasley is third-generation musician who was raised in a house filled with music. His grandfather, Rule Oliver, played trombone in territory bands and was a junior high school band director for 50 years in Arkansas. His mother, Lida Beasley, is a brass instrumentalist, who for most of her career taught music at various public schools and colleges, along with being band director and conducting operas.
Growing up around musicians, Beasley learned how to play trumpet, oboe, drums, saxophone, and flute, mostly because of his mother’s need for wind instrumentalists for her bands. Declining an oboe scholarship from the Juilliard, Beasley went on to tour and record with Miles Davis, Steely Dan, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Baaba Maal, Queen Latifah, Christian McBride and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Chaka Khan, James Brown, and John Pattituci to name a few. Recognizing Beasley’s talent for composing and arranging, major recording artists have added Beasley’s original sound and music to their projects.

Oscar is a special musician, and his journey has just begun. He lends his virtuosity to the art of creating deep emotional moods from melancholy to great joy. His power and spirit on his instrument brought him immediate recognition by Bobby Watson in Kansas City, and when he came to New Jersey to study under the direction of the late Mulgrew Miller, he was discovered by Trumpeter Wallace Roney, and he has begun to make his mark alongside the great players of the jazz idiom.

is the re-launch of the original Easton Piano Loft of Downtown Easton, conceived and produced by Genevieve and James Luce. “We are thrilled to bring the world’s greatest pianists to College Hill.”, said Paolo Di Lello, who, along with his wife Laura, are the proprietors of the Lafayette Inn. “We welcome the Luce Group back to Easton. Their original Piano Loft brought many legends of classical and jazz piano to the area in a way that was cool and different, and they were community leaders who made an impact on our city. Although the original Piano Loft closed six years ago, it was never forgotten, so of course we were thrilled to move the Easton Piano Loft 2.0 to our beautiful space at the Lafayette Inn.”

About The Lafayette Inn.
Located on College Hill, the elegant Georgian mansion, which is now Lafayette Inn was originally built by Elizabeth Wagner Leary in 1895. In 1986, the property was renovated and transformed into an inn that opened its doors on December 19, 1986. It has evolved into what is now the elegant eighteen-room Easton, Pennsylvania hotel.
www.lafayetteinn.com (610) 253-4500.

About The Luce Group.
Peabody Award Winning producers James and Genevieve Luce have maintained a core commitment to the enduring standards of quality and intimacy that offer musicians and audiences an altogether different experience of live music – played by masters on world-class pianos – in stunning traditional and non-traditional spaces all around the world. And this little difference makes the world just a little bit better – one concert at a time.
www.jameslucemusic.com/pianoconcerts 917-371-1537.
James Luce
Luce Group
127 Rosewood Street
Easton, PA 18042

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