The Great American Songbook Concert Series continues at Memorial Hall on Saturday, July 19 beginning at 8 p.m. The monthly series began last month to call attention to and aid charitable organizations in and around the Deerfield Valley. This month the proceeds from the concert will benefit Rotary Club International. The Rotary’s mission is community and global service organization in southern Vermont.
Pianist and music director Chris Bakriges is being joined this month by musicians from New York and Connecticut. "The music this month adds a decidedly Latin tinge to the American Songbook," says Bakriges.
Richard Boukas is an acclaimed New York City-based guitarist, vocalist, composer, educator and major exponent of Brazilian music. An itinerant soloist and leader of original music ensembles including Quarteto Moderno, Trio Brasileiro and Novosel-Boukas Duo, his Brazilian-influenced compositions range from jazz to chamber and choral music. He has worked with top Brazilian musicians including pianist-composer Jovino Santos Neto (formerly of Hermeto Pascoal Group). Named "Best Brazilian Jazz Guitarist in the U.S." by Guitar One Magazine, he has been guest artist-in-residence at numerous universities in North America and Brazil. A key faculty member at New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in NYC since 1989, he holds an MA in composition from Queens College where he was 2014-15 guest artist during the school’s "Year of Brazil".
Bassist Jeff Fuller is a jazz bassist who has toured worldwide and recorded with master saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Paquito D’Rivera, with each of whom he recorded three albums. Fuller’s swing and big bass sound, combined with his versatility, enable him to blend with jazz artists from all styles and eras. He has appeared with such diverse artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Mose Allison, Scott Hamilton, "Papa" Jo Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Randy Brecker, Larry Coryell, Julius Hemphill and "Big Nick" Nicholas. He frequently performs with jazz singers such as Giacomo Gates, Marlene ver Planck, Steve March Torme and his Brazilian trio Sambaleza.
As one of the most in demand freelance jazz drummers in New England, Ben Bilello can be seen with a wide variety of artists. He has performed and recorded with Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Joe Wilder, Curtis Fuller, Branford Marsalis, Anthony Braxton, Charles Flores, Javon Jackson, Steve Davis, Eddie Bert, Nat Reeves, Larry Willis, George Cables, Jimmy Greene, Shelton "Fatman" Laster, Wayne Escoffery and Dezron Douglas/New Jazz Workshop, among many others. In addition to performing with noted jazz musicians, Ben has toured with the South American folk groups Viva Quetzal and Markamusic.
Memorial Hall is located on 14 W. Main Street in Wilmington. All concerts start at 8 p.m. and tickets are freewill donations available the evening of the program.