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New Jersey Saxophone Quartet
February 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Michael Pedicin & The Ocean City Library present:
Ocean City Library Concert Series February 24, 2019- The New Jersey Saxophone Quartet will be performing the “Music of Phil Woods”. The works will consist of selections from Phil’s three saxophone quartets: “Three Improvisations”; “Deer Head Sketches” and “Requiem” for Jimmy Abato and composed specifically for the New Jersey Saxophone Quartet.
The New Jersey Saxophone Quartet was founded in the Spring of 2003 by Frank Mazzeo. The ensembles members, all working professional musicians, incorporate music from all genres and their diverse backgrounds. The New Jersey Saxophone Quartet has performed twice at Carnegie Hall (2008 & 2010), the University of Delaware, Temple University, Bucks County Community College, Villanova University, Sayersville Cultural Arts Society, Bucks County Performing Arts Center, the Pocono Arts Council, Creative Arts High School of Camden, Riverfront Renaissance Art Gallery, the Noyes Museum, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial, Eastern New Mexico University and were main stage performers at the XIV World Saxophone Congress in Lbjuana, Slovenia and the XVIII World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. They have had music written for them by Bob Mintzer, Phil Woods, Billy Kerr, Mark Zuckerman and Todd Groves.
Frank Mazzeo: soprano saxophone: has performed with: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Donna Summer, Patti LaBelle, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Randy Newman, Red Rodney, Lee Konitz, Bill Watrous, Bernadette Peters, Peabo Bryson, Christopher Cross, Natalie Cole, John Popper of Blues Travelers, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Delaware Symphony, as well as countless touring Broadway Production Shows. He is an adjunct professor of saxophone at Temple University in which he teaches saxophone, small and large ensembles and a woodwind doubling course. He is the Reed I/Lead Alto Player at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia and has performed over 60 shows at WST since 1984. Mr. Mazzeo is the supervisor of music in the Pennsbury School District in which over 2200 students participate annually.
Jason O’Mara: alto saxophone: He performs as a freelance saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist, oboist, and arranger.He performs and records in a wide variety of musical contexts including orchestras, jazz ensembles, musical theater productions, salsa bands, and pop/rock bands. He has shared the stage with the likes of Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli, Wayne Newton, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Teddy Pendergrass, Randy Brecker, James Moody, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Temptations among others. Jason has performed with The Midtown Men (made up of the original cast of the Jersey Boys) and can be seen on “Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia”, a live DVD concert of Philadelphia’s most notable R&B performers produced by PBS and Sony records. Jason has performed with the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the Lancaster Symphony, and the Trenton Symphony. He has been a part of the Mellon Jazz Festival, The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Main Line Jazz Festival, and the Cape May Jazz Festival. He has performed at concert venues throughout the tri-state area, including Carengie Hall, The Kimmel Center, The Merriam Theater, The Fillmore, Zanzibar Blue, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, World Cafe Live, Brooklyn Bowl, and numerous Atlantic City casinos. He is a founding member of the (now defunct) Lars Halle Jazz Orchestra, the Philly Big Band, and the New Jersey Saxophone Quartet, with whom he has performed throughout the tri-state area, in Europe, and most recently, Carnegie Hall. Currently Jason is a regular member of Nik Greeley & the Operators (funk/rock band), Jack Saint Clair Orchestra (big band), Elvis Bonilla Y Su Orquesta (salsa band), The New Jersey Saxophone Quartet, and IQRAM (afro-pop band). When Jason is not performing as a sideman, he can be found leading The Jason O’Mara Group throughout the Philadelphia area.
Greg Riley: baritone saxophone: He received his education from The University of Southern California, UMKC Conservatory of Music, and The University of Alabama. Greg has performed with The Ray Charles Orchestra, The Quincy Jones Orchestra, The Los Angeles Opera, The Disneyland Band, and The Theater Company of Southern California. He toured and recorded with Keiko Matsui, Cook, Dixon, & Young (Three Mo’ Tenors), Sound Assembly, John Tesh, The Bayou Brass Band, Craig Horton, and Crystal Lewis. Recent performances have included the Broadway productions of Frozen, Bandstand, The Color Purple, Aladdin, Wicked, Motown, Porgy and Bess, Annie, and Cinderella; The 2015 & 2016 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Philly Pops, Aretha Franklin, The Midtown Men (original cast of Jersey Boys touring band), The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and The New Jersey Saxophone Quartet. Greg Riley taught saxophone and jazz studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Pepperdine University, and Azusa Pacific University.
Todd Groves: tenor saxophone:lives and performs in NYC on saxophones, flutes, clarinets, recorders, and ethnic flutes in a range of styles from commercial music, to jazz, classical, and world music. Recent Broadway/NYC/TV: Aladdin, Sunday In The Park With George, Motown, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Follies, Catch Me If You Can, Women on the Verge, Ragtime, White Christmas, Grey Gardens, NY City Center Encores!, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards. Recent recordings: HEM, Boyz II Men, R Kelly, Lucky Stiff (film), Josh Green’s Cyborg Orchestra, Josh Young, Justin Rothberg, Charles Pillow, Broadway and Off-Broadway cast albums, and numerous independent film scores and jingles. Performances: NY Philharmonic, MET Opera, NY City Opera, NJ Symphony, American Symphony, Seth Macfarlane, Audra McDonald, Michael Feinstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Randy Newman, Highland Divas, Johnny Mathis, Michael Crawford, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, the Performing Arts HOF at Lincoln Center, Center for Contemporary Opera, Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, Josh Groban, and many others. Todd is a member of the NY and NJ Saxophone Quartets and is an active composer, focused on music for jazz ensembles and chamber music for winds. His “Delaware Jazz Suite” for saxophone quartet was premiered by the NJSQ at the 2006 World Saxophone Congress in Ljubljana. A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Todd has been adjunct professor of saxophone and jazz at the University of Delaware since 2003, teaches saxophone at Brooklyn College and woodwind doubling at New Jersey City University. www.toddgrovesmusic.com.
Phil Woods (November 2, 1931 – September 29, 2015) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, and composer.Phil began saxophone lessons at age 12 with Harvey LaRose in Springfield. After graduation from high school at age 16, he went to New York City and spent one summer at Manhattan School of Music and four years at Juilliard Conservatory. “My first influences were Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker.” In the 1950s and 1960s he performed with his own working bands, some co-led by altoist Gene Quill. In the mid-1950s, Quincy Jones hired Phil to play lead alto in the big band that Dizzy Gillespie took to the Middle East for the State Department and in 1959, Quincy himself would hire Woods in the same capacity for the musical show FREE AND EASY, which folded in Europe. The band stayed on to tour there for one year. The list of musicians with whom Phil Woods has performed and/or recorded reads like a Who’s Who of Jazz: Benny Goodman (with whom he toured the Soviet Union in 1962, again for the State Department), Benny Carter, Clark Terry (with whom he and Melba Liston founded the “Big Bad Band”), Bill Evans, Michel Legrand, Oliver Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Barnet are just a few of those stars. In 1968, Phil went to live in Europe where he formed the European Rhythm Machine. Together they played all over the world until 1973 when Woods returned to the United States. After a brief stay in Los Angeles, Phil moved back to the New York area and formed The Phil Woods Quartet (now Quintet). Two of the original members of that group, Steve Gilmore and Bill Goodwin, are still with him almost thirty-five years later. Philip Wells Woods is a consistent poll winner, the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from East Stroudsburg University and a 1994 inductee into The American Jazz Hall of Fame. The New School University presented him with the Beacons in Jazz Award in 2001, and he is a 2007 NEA Jazz Master. In 2009 DePaul University presented Phil with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree.In 2005, Jazzed Media released the documentary Phil Woods: A Life in E Flat – Portrait of a Jazz Legend, directed by Rich Lerner and produced by Graham Carter.On September 4, 2015, he performed a tribute to Charlie Parker with Stringsat the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and announced at the end of the show that he would be retiring. He died on September 29, 2015, at the age of 83.