Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

Rez Abassi and his Sextet open Baruch College’s 17th Milt Hinton Jazz Series

Rez AbassiNew York City: Baruch College (The City University of New York): In celebration of the “world of jazz,” The Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Series presents “Rez Abassi and His Sextet” at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenue) on October 23, 2008. There will be performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.  The performances will take place in Engelman Recital Hall, in Baruch’s Vertical Campus at 55 Lexington Avenue.

The concerts are free to Baruch students, faculty and administration. There is a nominal ticket charge for non-Baruch community individuals.  To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 646-312-4085 or visit www.theatermania.com.

These concerts--organized by the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Committee--is funded by the Baruch College Performing Arts Center and The Baruch College Fund.

In addition to Mr. Abassi, the Hinton series will present Italian-born singer Roberta Gamberini (December 3, 2008), jazz journalist Dan Ouellette talking about his online biography of Ron Carter (November 19), master percussionist and Nuyorican Bobby Sanabria (February 19, 2009), and Columbian-born jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda (April 23, 2009). 

About Rez Abassi

Rez Abassi (www.reztone.com/) is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players on today’s scene. He has developed a unique sound both as a composer and instrumentalist and has honed his skills with performances throughout the world. Born on the Indian sub-continent, removed at the age of four to the driving sounds of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, as well as a pilgrimage in India under the tutorial of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres. Click on www.reztone.com/bio.html to read more about Rez Abbasi.

The Hinton Jazz Series

The Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Series has made its home at the Baruch Performing Arts Center since 2003, although the Series has been a part of Baruch culture since 1992.

The inaugural Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert in 1992 starred jazz bassist Milt Hinton himself together with his picks for an "All-Star" ensemble: Seldon Powell (saxophonist), Bob Rosengarden (Drums), Mike Walters (saxophone and woodwinds), Derek Smith (piano), Jay D'Amico (piano), Mike Grey (trombone), and John "Bucky" Pizzarelli (guitar). This magical first concert saw famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis join the group during the second half.

The following year Tito Puente and his big band also played to a full house with some students and faculty dancing in the aisles. In 1994 the concert was billed as a "Tribute to Women in Jazz" and featured a performance by singer Ruth Brown and Friends and the group Straight Ahead with the award-winning violinist Regina Carter. In 1995 trombonist extraordinaire Slide Hampton and the Big Band Bird filled the bill for the fourth annual concert.

In 1996 America's jazz statesman Dr. Billy Taylor and the Billy Taylor Trio graced the Baruch College stage. In 1997 Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band gave a performance that offered a unique blend of Latin and jazz traditions. The 1998 annual concert presented virtuoso drummer Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Big Band.

The world famous Mingus Big Band played at the 8th annual concert in 1999. The Bronx Horns, consisting of Tito Puente’s brass section, together with Dave Valentin (flute) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), performed at the 9th annual concert in 2000. In 2001, The Heath Brothers (“Percy, Jimmy, and Tootie”) with special guest trumpeter Jimmy Owens, performed at the 10th annual concert.

In 2002 (season #11) the Hinton Committee expanded its offerings with a series of concerts, including a November 6, 2002 concert featuring “The Latin-Jazz All Stars” with several world-renown Latin-jazz musicians: trumpeter/leader Michael Mossman, tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Arturo O’Farrill, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, bassist Andy Gonzalez, and percussionist Phoenix Rivera. The 2002-2003 season also featured the Marty Sheller Big Band, Chris Washburne’s SYOTOS Latin-Jazz ensemble, and “Rumbamerica,” an Afro-Cuban ensemble made up of some of New York's top Afro-Cuban drummers, singers, and dancers.

The 2003-2004 season featured the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the “Sax in the City” quartet, the Ted Piltzecker Septet, and the Roberta Piket Trio.

For the 2004-2005 season the Hinton committee again organized a series of concerts starting with the November 4, 2004 performance of the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of virtuoso pianist Arturo O’Farrill. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crew performed in the lobby of the vertical campus in early December 2004. On February 10, 2005 Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook appeared in Baruch’s Engelman Recital Hall venue, as did the Andy LaVerne Piano-Organ Trio (with drummer Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Gary Versace) in March 2005.

The 2005-2006 season saw “Drummer of the Year” Bobby Sanabria and Quarteto Ache perform in October 2005, followed by the George Gee Swing Orchestra on December 1, and the 2006 Grammy-award winning Turtle Island String Quartet on February 15, 2006. The 2005-2006 season ended with a performance by the Andy Middleton Octet. This performance marked the first time a Hinton jazz series concert was co-funded by Chamber Music America (CMA). Middleton garnered a prestigious jazz composition commission from CMA in 2004.

The Hinton Jazz series’ 15th season (2006-2007) opened with a spectacular performance by world-class bassist Rufus Reid and his quintet on October 19, 2006. In December 2006 the series continued with “Drummer of the Year” Bobby Sanabria leading the 19-piece Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. As part of Black History Month celebrations, jazz/R&B/Funk bassist Lonnie Plaxico led a sextet at a February 15, 2007 concert. The 15th season ended with a lecture on legendary pianist Art Tatum given by Arnold Laubich on February 27.

The series’ 16th season featured jazz/bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman, a return appearance by Grammy-nominated singer Carla Cook, and during Black History Month (February) the gospel brass group The McCollough Sons of Thunder.

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