Sunday, July 3, 2016

Young Musical Voices in Old Lyme + Music in Middletown

The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut continues to turn out one impressive musician after another. And The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme is becoming a venue known for nurturing new talent.  This Friday 7/08), the Club welcomes alto saxophonist Alden Hellmuth and her Quintet.  Ms. Hellmuth, a native of Hartford, graduated several months ago and is already working with her own band, one that includes Charlie Savage (piano), Josh Uguccioni (bass), Corey Garcia (drums), and special guest Josh Evans (trumpet). Expect a combination of originals and standards, uptempo jams and fine ballads.

Ms. Helmuth and company take the stage at 8:30 p.m.  For tickets and more information, go to

On Saturday night, the young veteran Tadataka Unno (36 years old in August) comes to The Side Door with his Trio of Essiet Okon Essiet (bass) and Hartford native Jonathan Barber (drums).  Unno, a native of Tokyo, Japan, first came to the US in 2008 and was part of the Betty Carter's Jazz at the Kennedy Center in 2010.  He has worked with drummer Jimmy Cobb, saxophonist Jimmy Heath, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, and many others.  Unno has released two CDs in the United States, a solo recording of standards in 2011 and a trio date in 2014.

To find out more about the pianist, go to -  to reserve a seat or a table, call 860-434-0886.

The Center for the Arts at Wesleyan welcomes Bloomfield native, Hartt School alumnus, and Professor of Music at Western Connecticut State University Jimmy Greene and his fine Quartet Thursday July 7 at 8 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall, Wyllys Avenue in Middletown. The saxophonist (tenor and soprano) and composer, who's worked and recorded with bassist Mario Pavone and pianist/vocalist Harry Connick, has quite the band, including pianist Aaron Goldberg (who's worked with Joshua Redman), veteran bassist Doug Weiss, and the splendid drummer Otis Brown III (who's worked with saxophonist Joe Lovano's Us Five).  Jimmy Greene is such an impressive musician, a big man whose sound can fill a room or make you lean in to hear him whisper.

For ticket information, go to or call 860-685-3355.

Pianist, composer, and educator Laszlo Gardony seems to have made The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletow, his second home.  He's played the intimate venue as a solo artist, with his Trio, and with several different duos, including one with bassist John Lockwood.  This Saturday (7/09), Mr. Gardony brings another friend "home" to play, Italian-born saxophonist Marco Pignataro.  Mr. Pignataro, who plays both tenor and soprano saxophones, is a colleague of the pianist at Berklee College in Boston; in fact, he's Managing Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), working closely with Artistic Director Danilo Perez (pianist with the Wayne Shorter Quartet) to work with young musicians to develop a fuller and further understanding of the world around them, business, creative and natural.

The duo begins to play at 8 p.m.  For more information, go to  

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