Jazz pianist Ray Kennedy is guest artist at Fairfield University's Jazz Ensemble spring concert

Jazz pianist Ray Kennedy is guest artist at Fairfield University's Jazz Ensemble spring concert

The Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble presents its spring concert featuring recognized jazz pianist Ray Kennedy as guest artist in two performances on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Wien Experimental Theatre at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Fairfield University's Director of Jazz and Popular Music, Brian Torff, is a noted bassist and composer. He directs the Jazz Ensemble, an accomplished group of university students/musicians who are given the opportunity to invite notable guest artists to join them in concert.

The spring concert includes student work: a debut composition, "Contento," by Brendan Hermalyn and Kurt Leon; arrangements of "Blues and Flashman," by Mark Basso, "Work Song," by Sasha Schroeder, a volunteer jazz ensembler and "Stay," by Brendan Hermalyn and Kurt Leon.

The versatile Kennedy is an internationally known pianist, composer and arranger. He has worked with many jazz legends - Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody, to name a few. His work with The John Pizzarelli Trio for more than a decade has given him international recognition as a leading exponent of the "swing jazz" piano style. Kennedy most recently composed original music for the Off-Broadway play, "Bill W. and Dr. Bob," currently running in New York City after a successful Boston run.

He has recorded more than 50 albums in various genres with artists as diverse as David Sanborn, Nat Adderley, and Buddy DeFranco. He has also recorded 9 albums of his own including the CD "Mozart In Jazz" which received the prestigious Gold Disc award in Japan in April of 2006.

Among Kennedy's numerous appearances on late-night television, are "The Tonight Show," "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." In 1997, he appeared in the Broadway musical "Dream" with Leslie Ann Warren and Margaret Whiting. He has performed in concerts and jazz festivals in 23 countries throughout the world.

The Jazz Ensemble's past guests have included members of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Spyro Gyra, Blues Brothers, saxophonist Lou Marini and internationally known pianist, James Williams.

Tickets are $8 general and $5 students and are now available online at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. For further information, visit the website at www.quickcenter.com.

Posted On: 03-12-2007 10:03 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 173