Musical Jazz Weekend in The Bahamas
Award-winning vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her original songs and her unique take on material from the new American songbook as well as classic standards by artists as varied as Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington, Dolly Parton and Johnny Mercer. A trained actor, Gabrielle has a soulful sensitivity for the story in the lyric and was called “a powerhouse of individual expression” by David Finkle of The Village Voice.
Gabrielle recently returned from an international tour sponsored by the US State Department’s American Music Abroad program. Out of hundreds of applicants, the Gabrielle Stravelli Ensemble was one of just 10 bands sent around the world to foster cultural diplomacy through music. The tour took her to Moldova, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Malta, where her quartet taught workshops and masterclasses during the day and performed concerts at night. In the fall of 2015 she premiered a new song cycle, Rooms of Light, written by world-renowned jazz pianist, Fred Hersch with lyrics by award-winning poet Mary Jo Salter. That project was proceeded by a run of solo shows at Feinstein’s/54 Below which won her her second rave review from the New York Times.
“Ms. Stravelli’s emotional intelligence coincides with a phenomenal voice that she wielded with an easygoing confidence and impeccable taste.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times
In July of 2014 Gabrielle performed a 5-night sold out run of solo shows at New York’s Metropolitan Room which won unanimous raves from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post among other publications. Prior to that she toured the US with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performing Marsalis’s Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration.
At age 15, Gabrielle began singing as a soloist with orchestras and has since performed on stages from Amsterdam to New York including the Caramoor Festival, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing, Birdland Jazz Club, 92Y’s Lyrics and Lyricists, 54 Below, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, the Hammerstein Ballroom, the Iridium Jazz Club, BB King Blues Club, Somethin’ Jazz, The Garage, Grasso’s, Fulton Theatre, Maree Sonore Festival in Venice, Italy and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) where she opened for Esperanza Spalding and Cassandra Wilson. For three years she has played a Jazz Brunch every Sunday at Le Pescadeux restaurant in Soho, NYC. She has appeared as a soloist with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops, sang the role of Anita in West Side Story with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and performed the role of Jeannie in the European tour of HAIR. She sings with a “forceful emotional presence and a versatile, well-shaded voice,” says Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, and Peter Haas of Cabaret Scenes, describes her voice as “clear and clean, expressive, supple, with unforced power.”
Gabrielle was one of only ten finalists selected internationally for the 2011 SHURE- Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and was the 1st runner-up at the 2009 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition in Harlem. In 2008 she was awarded the Backstage/Bistro Award for Performer on the Rise (given by critics from Variety, The Village Voice and Backstage) and that same year was named to a list of the top ten cabaret acts by John Hoglund of theaterscene.net. “One of today’s most promising vocalists…Whether crooning sultry standards like “Skylark or “My Foolish Heart” or playing with Pink Floyd, she embraces each line with perfect, supple phrasing and effective breath control that rivals all that the competition longs for. With luck, she will be picked up by a jazz label and given the world stage her talents deserve.”
She enjoys work-shopping and performing new works by emerging composers and lyricists and has worked with Warren Leight (Tony Award winner and Pulitzer finalist for “Sideman”), Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews (2012 Richard Rodgers Award), Adam Gwon (Roundabout Theatre Co.), Todd Almond (Yale Rep), Adam Bock (2006 Obie Award), Marisa Michelson (2011 Jonathan Larson Award), Liz Duffy Adams (Frederick Loewe Award), John Hodian (NY Emmy Award), deaf composer Jay Alan Zimmerman, the New Dramatists and the Directors Guild.
Gabrielle holds a BFA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has studied with acclaimed jazz vocalists Nancy Marano and Marion Cowings and pianist David Berkman.
Art Hirahara – Piano www.arthirahara.com
Eric Halvorson – drums www.erichalvorson.com
Pat O’Leary – bass
and featuring Scott Robinson – sax and trumpet
One of today’s most wide-ranging instrumentalists, Scott Robinson has been heard on tenor sax with Buck Clayton’s band, on trumpet with Lionel Hampton’s quintet, on alto clarinet with Paquito D’Rivera’s clarinet quartet, and on bass sax with the New York City Opera. On these and other instruments including theremin and ophicleide, he has been heard with a cross-section of jazz’s greats representing nearly every imaginable style of the music, from Braff to Braxton. Primarily a tenor saxophonist, Scott placed directly below the great Sonny Rollins in this year’s DownBeat Readers Poll. Scott has been heard numerous times on film, radio and television, and his discography now includes more than 240 recordings. His releases as a leader have garnered five-star reviews from Leonard Feather, Down Beat Magazine and other sources worldwide, and have appeared in many “Best of the Year” lists. Scott’s collaborators on disc have included Frank Wess, Hank Jones, Joe Lovano, Ron Carter, and Bob Brookmeyer, and he has been a member of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra for twenty years.
Scott has been a staunch advocate for creative music around the world. He was selected by the US State Department to be a Jazz Ambassador for 2001, completing an eight-week, eleven-country tour of West Africa performing his arrangements of the compositions of Louis Armstrong (later featured on his CD Jazz Ambassador). In 2012, Scott served as artist-in-residence at the week-long Ancona Summer Jazz Festival in Italy. He is currently serving each June as musical host of the annual Louis Armstrong Jazz Festival in Hungary.
Since moving to New York in 1984, Scott has been awarded four fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, and participated in a number of Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning recordings. He has been profiled in new editions of the Encyclopedia of Jazz and Grove’s Dictionary of Jazz, along with books by Royal Stokes, Nat Hentoff and others. In 1997, a 4-minute CNN program featured Scott and the giant contrabass saxophone which he used on his CD, Thinking Big. Scott has been the winner of a number DownBeat Critics Polls and Jazz Journalists Association awards in recent years.
Now a resident of Teaneck, NJ, Scott has constructed a studio/laboratory for sonic research, containing an astonishing assortment of instruments and devices. His first solo and collaborative recordings from this facility have begun to appear under his own ScienSonic Laboratories imprint. ScienSonic Laboratories, LLC has released some highly creative and far-reaching projects including Nucleus, Creative Music for 3 Bass Saxophones, and Live at Space Farms featuring longtime Sun Ra saxophonist Marshall Allen. In 2012, ScienSonic’s recordings were certified by the Space Foundation as Certified Space Imagination Products, entitled to bear the Foundation’s certification seal. Projects from ScienSonic Laboratories include recordings with Frank Kimbrough, Emil Viklicky, Marshall Allen, Henry Grimes and Roscoe Mitchell.
Under the Doc-Tone imprint, Scott recently released Bronze Nemesis, a CD featuring 12 compositions based on the exploits of 1930s pulp adventure hero Doc Savage. This project, ten years in the making, was greeted with extensive press coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, DownBeat and elsewhere. The group, known as the “Doctette”, will perform at this year’s Newport Jazz Festival.
An endorsing artist for Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces since the mid-eighties, Scott has recently been signed to Denis Wick of London as an artist/endorser of their products for brass.
A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson has arrived at his own unique musical voice which, as once described in a Northsea Jazz
Solomon is a jazz and blues guitarist, singer, and composer. An eclectic musician, Solomon excels at a number of styles ranging from jazz, blues, classical, gospel, R&B, funk and classic rock. He studied jazz, classical and Afro-Cuban guitar at Harlem’s School of the Arts, Boys Conservatory, Brooklyn Music Academy, Opus 118 Jazzmobile and Barry Harris’ Bebop workshops.
Solomon is also at B.B. King’s, Minton’s Playhouse, Terra Blues (in the Village), The Garage, Red Rooster, Shanghai Jazz (in New Jersey), Jazzmobile (Jazz Shrines), Settepani, Iridium, Gran Piatro (Jazz on the 5th), Ginny’s Supper Club, Harlem Arts Alliance events and many other clubs in the Tri-State Area.
From October 30 – November 3, 2015, Solomon is opening for the band KISS on the KISS Kruise V from Miami to Jamaica.
He has 2 CDs and is touring Europe and performing at national festivals. His latest CD Carrying on the Torch of the Blues has many original songs written, arranged and composed by Solomon. This includes a big band/swing anthem for the Cotton Club, “Jukin’ at the Cotton Club”.
Frank “Johnny” Schüetten studied classical piano, composing and Orchestra conducting at the Music Academy in Vienna, Austria. After his studies and engagements in classical music, he studied in New York to broaden his knowledge and experience in jazz-piano.
He performs solo or in different formations in Festivals throughout Europe, and for the last 17 Years has organized with fellow musicians the annual “Shake The Lake” Festival in Austria, which has become one of the biggest Piano-Jazz Festivals in Europe. Furthermore, he launched a classical/jazz festival, “Autumn Leaves”, that also takes place in Austria and features well known artists from all over the world.
Besides being devoted to various piano styles from the Jazz era, Johnny also composes and has written in various instrumental arrangements between orchestra setting and solo piano, as well as appearing on stage with classical chamber music formations.
His newest recording (“Fingers Unlimited”) is a vinyl record with Christoph “Stoffi” Steinbach, where they perform their own arrangements of Jazz Standards from the last century on two Grand Pianos.
For this year’s festival, Johnny has invited his good friend and colleague Christoph Steinbach (see his profile below) to be part of the line up. Johnny and ‘Stoffi’ regularly play together at festivals around Europe, often in a double piano performance. Click on the below link for an amazing performance by the two of them playing together !
Born in Kitzbühel, Austria Stoffi’s fingers at the tender age of six fell in love with the piano and it has been his passion ever since.
For 11 years he continued to train with constant lessons as well as lessons in various other instruments over the years including the contrabass and drums. He continued his studies at the Innsbruck Conservatorium.
At 18 years old, Stoffi quite the music school he was attending in order to fully concentrate on his passion the Blues, Boogie Woogie and Swing. His new teachers were the vinyls and cassettes of old boogie and blues legends. Endless hearings of the tapes and copying of their music styles was what taught Stoffi his style.
After his commercial apprenticeship (15 to 18 years) and the army service, Stoffi decided to work only half-day to cruise through various parts of Germany and Austria, in the hope to play on a main stage one day. Throughout these years he worked as an instrument worker (Mürnseer) in Kitzbühel. After three years he finally wrote enough gigs to raise some money for a future career. Finally at the turn of the Millennium he decided to make the Boogie Blues playing and singing his regular occupation.
After hours on the phone, days- or rather years of practice and endless gigs, he started his first small tours through Europe
Anuschka Wright has always been a performer. And thus, like many others, she got her start early on by singing often in church and school choirs. As a child she was a member of The Bahamas National Children’s Choir and took advantage of the opportunity by travelling with the group to exciting cities like Moscow and New York while still in primary school. She considers herself blessed to have had so many varying experiences as a young girl.
After leaving the children’s choir in Junior High, she took a break from organized groups until after high school, spending a year with the Gospel ensemble, Christian Music Association (CMA) lead by Charles Drake. During her time with them, she and her group were privileged to win the Cacique Award for Best Gospel Song in 2009.
Incidentally 2009 became a pivotal year for Anuschka, and after leaving CMA she then made her professional debut as a soloist, joining the Bahamas’ top Jazz band, “Jazz Etc.” lead by upright bassist, Adrian D’Aguilar. She fell instantly in love with the new musical environment provided by the band. Also, having the chance to speak with and be mentored by seasoned professional musicians became another great blessing in her life. And from this environment, she found herself becoming more and more taken by the intimacy and intricacy that lay within the concept and construct of Jazz music.
So having chosen to fully pursue her love of music, jazz and singing, Anuschka continues to seek greater opportunities to learn and grow in her chosen profession. Currently she is focused on the continued production of her annual concert series “Jazz In Bloom” and also in completing her Bachelor’s degree in Music at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She will graduate with a Specialization in Jazz Studies.