Jazz guitarist Tony Lombardozzi featured at Fairfield University's spring Jazz Ensemble concert April 16


Fairfield University's Jazz Ensemble features jazz guitarist Tony Lombardozzi at its spring concert Thursday, April 16 at the Wien Experimental Theatre at the Quick Center for the Arts. Director of Jazz and Popular Music at the University, Brian Torff leads the Ensemble for two shows at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 general, $5 students and seniors.

The Jazz Ensemble melds new talent, in the form of student musicians, with experienced jazz musicians and introduces original compositions while exposing audiences to new arrangements of familiar fare. The spring concert spotlights budding talent and produces a cutting-edge and often unforgettable experience.

Featured on the bill is "Moanin'" arranged by student Nick Lombardi, "Little Wing" arranged by student Jamie Debicella, a collective composition by the Jazz Ensemble, "Obama" and a Brian Torff piece entitled, "In Memory of Gerry."

Lombardozzi has been a fixture on the jazz scene since the 1970s and throughout the decades he has performed extensively with some of the legendary jazz greats. He has worked with Clark Terry, Kenny Baron, Bill Baron, Harold Danko, Art Davis, Don Friedman, Milt Hinton, Anthony Braxton and Grady Tate, as well as scores of other well-known jazz musicians.

As a jazz guitarist, Lombardozzi has shared the stage with fellow jazz guitarists including the legendary Les Paul, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sal Salvador and Joe Puma. He has been a member of orchestras that have accompanied such stars as Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minnelli, Mel Torme, Gladys Knight, Lou Rawls and Ray Charles.

No stranger to jazz festivals nationally and internationally, Lombardozzi has performed at The Detroit Jazz Festival, Syracuse Jazz Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas, The Hartford Jazz Festival, Lake George Jazz Festival, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, The Blue Note, The New Haven Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jazz at the Pilot Pen Jazz.

In addition to a full schedule of performing, Lombardozzi is an educator. He has been on the Wesleyan University Music faculty since 1986 where he is the director of the Jazz Ensemble and the jazz guitar instructor. He is a faculty member at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and has participated and conducted jazz clinics and master classes at Yale University, Syracuse University, Berklee School of Music, New York University and at The International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE).

And still, this busy musician finds time to record. Since 1997 he has recorded and performed internationally with jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates. He can be heard on Gates' latest Double Dave Records' CD/DVD, "Luminosity."

Past guests of the Jazz Ensemble have included pianist Ray Kennedy, members of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Spyro Gyra, Blues Brothers and internationally known pianist, James Williams.

Tickets are available at quickcenter.com or by calling (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Sign up at quickcenter.com to receive e-mails for special offers and discounts for Quick Center shows.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 20, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 258