My long-time friend and former Middletown resident Joe Fonda called the other day to remind me of the 7th Annual Composers & Improvisers Festival taking place Saturday October 15 in the friendly confines of The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown. As usual, Mr. Fonda has organized an impressive lineup.
Opening the evening at 7:30 p.m. will be guitarist/composer Michael Musillami in a duo setting with bassist Rich Syracuse. Musillami (pictured left) is a California native but has been plying his musical wares on the East Coast for nearly 3 decades. He has worked with the late saxophonist Dewey Redman and organist Richard "Groove" Holmes but is best known for his musical relationships with Connecticut-born musicians Thomas Chapin (saxophones) and Mario Pavone (bass). He started Playscape Records in 1999 not only to release his own music but also artists such as Pavone, pianists Ted Rosenthal and Peter Madsen and drummer George Schuller. Schuller and Fonda have been the basis of the Musillami Trio for the past 8 years. Bassist Rich Syracuse is best known for his long relationship with pianist Lee Shaw and is a strong as well as musical player.
This unit performs at 9:30 p.m. For more information and reservations (recommended), call 860-347-4957 or go to www.buttonwood.org.