Cornetist Howard Brofsky to appear with his New York Quintet on Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m., Vermont Jazz Center

BRATTLEBORO, Vt.--There is little that jazz master Howard Brofsky has not experienced in his varied and lengthy musical career. Due to his many years of living in Brattleboro, Brofsky's presence is familiar and welcome during his sojourns North. But in NY, he is a venerated maestro with stellar connections. This year he has mined one of the finest quintets imaginable, lifting them directly from New York's jazz scene to the Vermont Jazz Center on May 18th. The group will prominently feature a powerful, bass and drum team: David Wong and Billy Drummond along with VJC summer workshop pianist, Ray Gallon and tenor sax titan, Jed Levy.

It was after hearing the cutting-edge sounds of bebop legends Charlie Parker and Roy Eldridge in the 1940s, when Brofsky started playing the trumpet. He went on to join the burgeoning worldwide jazz scene, playing and recording in Paris, before eventually turning to classical music, earning a doctoral degree in 18th Century Italian classical music, and building a career in academia.

Brofsky ultimately returned to jazz, picking up the trumpet again at age 46, and has not put it down in 40 years. Now at age 86, Brofsky, who has earned the moniker "Dr. Bebop," brings his broad experience--in life, in jazz and in classical music--to the Vermont Jazz Center, where he will take the stage for his annual jazz celebration.

Howard Brofsky and his New York Quintet will perform on Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. at the center, 72 Cotton Mill Hill.

Brofsky is Professor Emeritus at Queens College where he continues to teach jazz history and ensembles. He also performs regularly in Brooklyn and elsewhere. His sound and presence on stage reflect his vast experience as a musician, in particular through his sublime sense of melody and his supremely tasteful improvised lines.

Now playing his preferred cornet, Brofsky's sound is round and full, encompassing both his intellectual musical insights and the exciting spontaneity of jazz. But whether he's playing a ballad or tearing through bebop changes, Brofsky never forgets that the melody is what it's all about.

Joining Brofsky on the Vermont Jazz Center stage will be:

Jed Levy, tenor sax A mainstay on the New York jazz scene for more than 20 years, Levy has performed as a leader and sideman, appearing with Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Eddie Henderson, Don Friedman, Cedar Walton and many others.

Ray Gallon, piano Gallon has performed, recorded and toured the world with many leading jazz artists, including Ron Carter, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, T.S. Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Less Paul, and the list goes on. Gallon has also accompanied many of jazz's vocal giants, including Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Grady Tate, and others.

David Wong, bass Emerging jazz bassist David Wong shares Brofsky's double-edged musical approach, having studied classical music at the Juilliard School, and developing his jazz chops with bass stalwarts Ron Carter, Ben Wolfe and John Clayton. Wong currently performs with Roy Haynes' Fountain of Youth band and with the Heath Brothers quartet. Already at his young age, Wong has an impressive discography, appearing on more than half a dozen albums.

Billy Drummond, drums Billy Drummond also brings a brush of classical background to his performance, having studied classical percussion at Shenandoah University before crossing over to jazz. Since arriving in New York City in 1986, Drummond has built a reputation as a versatile, highly musical performer, and in constant demand, having played on more than 250 albums with some of the world's greatest, including Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, Carla Bley, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez and a long ongoing list of others. Drummond is also an acclaimed bandleader, with three albums of his own.

Howard Brofsky and his New York Quintet is made possible with generous financial support from Clear Solutions as well the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Next up at the Vermont Jazz Center: The Eugene Uman Project, Saturday, June 8, 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 18th
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
General Admission $20.00, Students $15.00
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