Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Series Presents Roberta Gambarini
With all due caution about overstatement, let me say that I don't know of a better pure jazz vocalist than Roberta Gambarini. She shows us all that the art of jazz singing is alive and well. During the past few years she has become almost a cult figure, thrilling live international audiences, becoming the subject of enthusiastic discussions on various internet jazz chat forums, and being hailed by numerous insiders as perhaps today"s finest young jazz singer. --"All About Jazz" (2006, in response to Ms. Gambarini's album "Easy to Love."
The Grammy-nominated Italian-born songstress Roberta Gambarini surprises many with her full throated jazz stylings. She made her singing debut at the age of 17 in jazz clubs around Northern Italy. A year later she moved to Milan where she got national recognition. In 1998, she moved to the US, where she finished third place among hundreds in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. Since then, she has performed with Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band. In 2006, she began to tour with her own trio, and the Groovin High label released her American debut album, "Easy to Love", which became a nominee as "Best Jazz Album" at the Grammy Awards 2007. In the same year, she became nominee as "Best Jazz Singer" at the Italian Jazz Awards - Luca Flores. Early in 2008, Gambarini released a new CD 'You Are There', a collaboration with the legendary Hank Jones on piano. She has also performed at the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest with top class musicians like James Moody and Roy Hargrove; and the Monterey Jazz Festival, singing at the premiere of Dave Brubeck´s commissioned piece "Cannery Row Suite", which got Gambarini rave reviews. Catch the unforgettable Roberta Gambarini live and close-up at Baruch Performing Arts Center"s intimate Engelman Recital Hall, which the NY Times called "one of the best small performance venues in NYC."
Thursday, December 4, 2008 @ 7:00 pm
Engelman Recital Hall
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 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 (2007-2008) 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.