Mike Casey Trio

Mike Casey – Saxophones
Matt Dwonszyk – Bass
Corey Garcia – Drums

Hartt School alumni & CTNow Readers Poll winner of “Best Jazz”, The Mike Casey Trio features Mike on saxophones, Matt Dwonszyk on acoustic bass, and Corey Garcia on drums – three of the brightest young rising stars in jazz. Since graduating from Hartt, this trio has broken through to an international audience since releasing their now critically acclaimed debut The Sound of Surprise: Live at The Side Door.

The absence of guitar or piano, which is typically found in a jazz group, gives the band a very distinctive sound: earthy and accessible, yet mature, refined, exciting, upbeat – and full of surprises. Mike’s recent self-released debut “The Sound of Surprise”, recorded live at the Side Door has surpassed 500,000 streams worldwide since its February 2017 release – unheard for a jazz debut without record label backing. Performing modern original music and creative re-imaginations of jazz classics like Nat King Coles’ Unforgettable and pop songs like The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood, Queen’s We Are The Champions with power, passion, and purpose, the Mike Casey Trio appeals to both jazz aficionados and casual music fans.

Recently named one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40” for 2018 and featured by Spotify as the cover image for its official ‘State of Jazz’ playlist with 170,000 subscribers after jazz icons Brian Blade and before Dr. Lonnie Smith & Chick Corea, Casey and his trio are poised to claim their stake as a household name in jazz and beyond. Come catch this rapidly rising band on a rare CT return show as they celebrate the release of their 2nd album Stay Surprising: Live at The Side Door!


Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group

Dave Liebman: soprano sax
Matt Vashlishan: reeds,EWI
Bobby Avey: keyboard
Alex Ritz: drums
Tony Marino: bass

Dave Liebman’s current group takes its cues from the younger generation of jazz musicians who have been schooled in conservatory and university settings. Lieb is continuing the time worn tradtion of master/apprentice as he experienced in the 1970’s being a member of groups lead by former Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones and the legendary Miles Davis. By reaching across generations, Lieb gains insight into the new directions that jazz has taken while offering these younger artists his experience and knowledge. “EXPANSIONS” features the up and coming pianist Bobby Avey, reedman Matt Vashlishan, drummer Alex Ritz while continuing his several decades relationship with bassist Tony Marino. Conceptually, the repertoire traverses elements of free jazz along with re-arrangements of standards all infused with the complex time signatures and harmonies being explored by the musicians of our time.

“Playing with heat, passion and fire but not bombast, these forward thinking jazzbos are sure to keep Liebman’s NEA Master of Jazz award shiny for many years to come.” – MIDWEST RECORD

“….but this is no look towards the past. EXPANSIONS exists in the present, pushing boundaries, toying with expectations and letting the spirit of the moment determine the course.” – ALL ABOUT JAZZ

“EXPANSION’S CD title is Sanskrit for the “repeating cycle of life, death and rebirth or reincarnation to which life in the material world is bound.” True to its title, Liebman and the group consistently reinvent themselves in a search for new ground to explore.” – NYC JAZZ RECORD


Sonny Fortune Quartet

Sonny Fortune – saxophone
Michael Cochrane – piano
Calvin Hill – bass
Steve Johns – drums

When critics speak of Sonny Fortune, names like Coltrane, Cannonball, Young, Bechet, Hawkins and Parker are mentioned. Quite a legacy – but well deserved – for Sonny Fortune embodies all of the finest qualities of those late, great musicians: hard work, dedication to his art, and exceptional music. Lucky for us, Sonny is still here and blowing hard.

Born in Philadelphia on May 19, 1939, he was 18 years old before deciding to pursue a career in ,. jazz. It was yet another ten years before he felt secure enough in his mastery of the alto saxophone to pull up his roots and move to New York. Says the quiet, straight-talking Fortune of that move:. “Eventually, in order to find out if you really have what it takes, you have to go to the center, and that’s New York … you can only do so much in your hometown.”

After a brief stint with Elvin Jones and Frank Foster, Fortune, an early admirer of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, joined Monge Santamaria’s group, with whom he remained for two and a half years. He moved to Los Angeles in 1970, but stayed in California for only seven months (“I didn’t feel comfortable out there”) and came back east where he worked with vocalist Leon Thomas before joining McCoy Tyner. Of his two plus developmental years with Tyner’s band, Fortune says, “It was one :of the greatest experiences I could have had. McCoy is one of the real geniuses of the music…I learned a great deal from him.” During this period, in which Fortune started playing the soprano sax, he cemented an already solid reputation as an instrumental innovator with his contributions on Tyner’s albums “Sahara,” “Song For My Lady,” and “Song of the New World.”

Fortune then went on to work independently with his own ensemble and with drummer Buddy Rich, and was featured on the live LP recorded at Rich’s Manhattan nightspot, Buddy’s Place. In September 1974, Miles Davis offered Sonny a job in his fusion group. Fortune had previously turned down the same offer to stay with Tyner, but now he eagerly accepted the opportunity to move onto something completely new. Fortune, by now accomplished on several instruments (clarinet, flute, tenor and baritone sax included), stayed with Miles for a year, recording four LPs, “Big Fun,” “Agartha,” “Pangaea” and “Get Up With It.”

Over the years Sonny has also recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones, Oliver Nelson, George Benson and Nat Adderly, to name a few.

In June 1975 Sonny formed his own group, marking his debut as a leader with two critically-acclaimed LPs for A&M Horizon, “Awakening” and “Waves of Dreams.” He’s had many albums released since then, and continues to lead his own highly-charged quartet.

In addition to leading his own quartet, the past ten years saw Sonny playing with the Nat Adderly Quintet for about 2 years and as a featured soloist with the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine on and off for approximately17 years. In 1987-88 he was part of the Coltrane Legacy Band that also featured McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Reggie Workman.

Sonny was recently featured on an episode of “48 Hours” on CBS. He just recorded an album of all Monk tunes and his quartet performances will include a special tribute to Thelonious Monk.

“Of all Trane’s lasting contributions, perhaps the greatest to the future of improvised music was his example of spiritual integrity and physical drive. Sonny blows with both.” – Howard Mandel, DownBeat


E.J. Strickland Quintet

Enoch Jamal “E.J.” Strickland is the world-class, world-traveled drummer, composer, educator, and artist you’ve heard on many albums in the last 10-plus years. The Miami native grew up in a creative household, where his dad was a percussionist in the Ft. Lauderdale Orchestra; his twin brother Marcus played the saxophone; and where E.J. beat on pots, pans, and tables until he finally got his hands on the drums. He was only in middle school; but E.J. knew then that jazz was his calling.

Where does one go as a young jazz musician, serious about the work? New York City, of course. Like so many talented artists before him, E.J. chose the New School to further his jazz education, a course of study that would introduce him to greater technical ability, but really, to the meat of any jazz program: teachers and peers. Reggie Workman. Buster Williams. Billy Harper—just to name a few of the living legend, caring instructors who guided E.J. during his tenure. And the peers? Friends who would spend almost every moment together, growing as young men, musicians, and future leaders of the sound: Mike Moreno, Robert Glasper, Brandon Owens, and Marcus Baylor. Together, they formed a group that would shape their voices, and establish their careers.

E.J. quickly graduated into New York’s gigging jazz scene, playing early on with Russell Malone and Ravi Coltrane. Both men proved to be big brother types for E.J., gently guiding him to establishing his voice. “Russell really stressed the point that as a drummer, you’re supposed to make the music feel good,” he says. “I always try to remember what he instilled in me.” Ravi Coltrane lent a similar kind of open-ended guidance, telling E.J. to simply “find something” in the music. Just what that would be was up to him.

Since his early appearances with Malone, Coltrane, and others E.J. Strickland has gone on to be an accomplished composer, bandleader and educator. His 2009 release In This Day featured his quintet, comprised of Marcus Strickland, Jaleel Shaw, Luis Perdomo, and Hans Glawischnig, in an eclectic blend of musical settings: some Afro-Cuban, some Latin sounds; guest vocalists and instrumentalists—even a spoken word poet.

Variety—of influence and interest—might be the key word for E.J. in his creative approach. “Growing up, we listened to all kinds of music in the house,” he says. “Miles, Stevie; just good music.” He studied classical and Latin percussion from an early age, even working with the great Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa. Throw in a healthy dose of hip-hop, and see you can see where the richness of sound begins.

The openness that led E.J. to his creative voice is the same trait that makes him a successful educator. A private teacher, coach, master class and clinic instructor, he focuses on the individual student, their personality and interests, in order to best guide them. “I never tell them, You have to do this, or that. I try to show them that music is a wide, wide world of possibility. And I try to make it fun. I always try to remember that music is fun.”

Fun. Stirring. Intriguing. Kinetic: There are so many moods and meanings enmeshed into E.J. Strickland’s music, his myriad influences and ideas crossing and branching out in every direction. He reminds us: “You’re not going to hear a traditional jazz drummer. You’re going to hear someone who’s drawing from many different styles, many different approaches. That’s what my true voice is.”


Masters on the Road: Javon Jackson’s Berklee Sextet

Milena Casado – trumpet
Amir Lee – alto sax
Thomas Beuf – piano
Garyfallia Kerkezou – drums
Youngchae Jeong – bass

Saxophonist Javon Jackson brings us the next event in Berklee’s Master on the Road series, in which master musicians return to teach and lead touring ensembles. Jackson’s Berklee Sextet is an eclectic group of musicians, featuring some of the best musicians at the college. Jackson has recorded with Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard and many others. Tonight’s repertoire was selected specifically for this group.


Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio

Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a “rising star” singer with “soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and hailed by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof of the
place”, Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity and captivating artistry. Many have praised her vocal abilities to the likeness of Ella
Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. Her lush, rich & warm sound on the tenor saxophone has led others to compare her to tenor greats Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon.

An accomplished performer and composer, Camille has worked with notable Jazz and R&B icons such as George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Dr. Lonnie Smith,
Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Hendricks, Pattie LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson, Alicia Keys, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu among others.

Camille has performed with her band at the Kennedy Center, Rose Theater, Alice Tully Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, The Library of Congress, the Sydney International Women in Jazz Festival,
the Tomsk International Jazz Festival, the International Fano Jazz Festival and many other prominent jazz venues and festivals around the world. A 2017 season highlight includes performing as a feature artist alongside Harry
Connick Jr., Audra MacDonald, Diana Krall, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Renee Fleming, Marilyn Maye and Kenny Washington along with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra for the “Ella at 100: Forever The
First Lady of Song” Gala concert in tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

In 2015 Camille was a recipient of the Martin E. Segal –Lincoln Center Award for Outstanding Young Artists and a runner up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. She was a two-time award winning recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award and a winner of the Fulbright Scholars Cultural Ambassador Grant to Nicaragua and Paraguay. Her compositions were featured and performed by her quartet in the ASCAP/ Kennedy Center “Songwriters: The Next Generation” showcase. Camille has appeared on BET’s Black Girls Rock as the saxophonist & flutist in the All Star Band.

“ORIGINS” (2014), Camille’s debut album, reached JazzWeek’s Top 50 and was hailed by the New York Jazz Record as a record that “comes bursting in with the power of virtuosity tempered by tradition, understanding and great feeling” and was celebrated as “a rich multifaceted work of art that is never boring and at times is outstanding” (Curt’s Jazz). “Spirit Child” (2014) featured Rashaan Carter, Shirazette Tinnin, Anthony Wonsey, Shan Kenner and Jason Lindner. “Inside The Moment: Live At Rockwood Music Hall” (2017) is Camille’s third release as a leader and first on Chesky Records featuring Mark Whitfield, Ben Allison and Billy Drummond.


Celebrating Jackie McLean’s 86th Birthday: Rene McLean & JMAC Dynasty Band

Celebrating Jackie McLean’s 86th Birthday:
Rene McLean & JMAC Dynasty Band

Rene McLean – saxes/flutes
Steve Davis – trombone
Hubert Eaves lll – piano
Nat Reeves – bass
Carl Allen – drums
Neil Clarke – African percussion

Rene McLean multi-reed Instrumentalist, composer, band leader, educator and producer, protégé and son of world renowned alto saxophonist/educator/activist Jackie Mclean. Rene maintains an active international performance, recording and teaching career and has performed, recorded and collaborated with numerous artists such as: Jackie McLean, Woody Shaw, Hugh Masekela, Tito Puente; Amiri Baraka; Yusef Lateef, Miriam Makeba; Curtis Fuller, Dr. Billy Taylor, and Baba Olatunji to name a few. McLean’s music is influenced by many world music genres, including Eastern and African traditions. The Quintet will take you on a tour de force of original music through Bebop and beyond fused with an eclectic mix masala of Afro-Asiatic rhythms and traditions from New York to the Cape to Cairo.


Bennie Wallace & Friends

Bennie Wallace – tenor sax
Jazzmeia Horn – vocals
Herlin Riley – drums
Donald Vega – piano
Matt Dwonszyk – bass

Bennie Wallace, tenor saxophonist, composer and recording artist for more than three decades “is one of the most exciting saxophonists on today’s jazz scene” DownBeat. With over 20 jazz recordings, five DownBeat awards, numerous recording awards, Wallace has performed and recorded with many jazz greats, among them: Elvin Jones, Tommy Flanagan, and Chick Corea. He has also shown his southern roots by playing and recording with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dr. John and other blues artists. Wallace is the composer for Oscar-nominated films, among them: Redux Riding Hood and Little Surprises. Composer credits include Paul Newman’s Blaze, Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump, and Betty Boop, among others. Wallace is the BackCountry Jazz Artistic and Music Director.

Inspired by his career playing festivals and concerts around the world, Bennie Wallace creates music to raise awareness of jazz and to fund music education for underserved children. This band is composed of major artists at the heart of this project, BackCountry Jazz.
vocalist Jazzmeia Horn
New Orleans master drummer Herlin Riley
pianist Donald Vega
bassist Matt Dwonszyk

“Bennie Wallace is irrefutably one of the finest tenor saxophonists alive. Wallace’s fluent, angular lines and acute utilization of all registers is subsidized by his broad, corpulent sound.”

“Whether playing a ballad or an up-tempo burner, Wallace infuses his personality into every note. His trademark intervallic leaps are unforgettable, as his gorgeous, big-toned Hawkins-derived sound.”

“Bennie Wallace is a modernist who understands the past. When he opens with his gigantic, up from the guts tenor saxophone sound, he is unmistakably at home in an earlier milieu’s romanticism.”

“Wallace’s stylistic breadth touches at least seven decades of jazz history. He can cruise down the middle of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” as if he was born to those beautifully proportioned Depression-era chord changes, and he can blow the song’s doors off- in back to back choruses. This collection of mostly familiar Gershwin tunes is devoid of safe havens. He shares with Sonny Rollins a sly wit and an exhaustible, self-perpetuating quality in his lines, like a fountain overflowing. Here’s my vote,”It Ain’t Necessarily So” is the jazz performance of the year.”


Renee Rosnes

Renee Rosnes is one of the premier jazz pianists and composers of her generation. In 1986, she relocated from Vancouver, Canada to New York City, quickly establishing a reputation as a major talent. She has toured and recorded with bands led by such legends as Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Buster Williams, and Ron Carter’s Foursight Band. She is a founding member of the all-star octet, the SFJAZZ Collective, with whom she toured for six years.

As a leader, Renee has released 15 acclaimed albums and has appeared on numerous other recordings as a consummate sideman. Ms. Rosnes’ most recent recording is Written In The Rocks (Smoke Sessions), and features her all-star band of vibraphonist Steve Nelson, saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Bill Stewart. It showcases Renee at the height of her pianistic and compositional powers. A four-star DownBeat review states that it is, “An exceptional achievement. Written in the Rocks establishes – or reinforces – that Rosnes is a virtuoso jazz composer.”

In 2003, SOCAN named Renee Composer of the Year, and she is a four time JUNO award winner. She has produced concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. In 2014, Renee arranged music for, and recorded with celebrated soprano, Renée Fleming. Renee also frequently performs with her husband, pianist Bill Charlap, and in 2010 the couple released their debut two-piano recording, Double Portrait (Blue Note). The piano duo was also featured with Tony Bennett on four tracks of the Grammy nominated album: Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap: The Silver Lining (Columbia, 2015).


Wallace Roney Quartet

Wallace Roney earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues and his elders since age 16. He has been an integral part of the band with Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis Jr., Herbie Hancock, Jay McShann, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. He was one of the few musicians in his generation who learned and perfected his craft directly from alliances with Jazz Masters. But his most important and meaningful relationship was with Miles Davis.

Wallace was mentored by Miles Davis after Miles heard him in 1983 at his birthday gala performance in Carnegie Hall. Their association peaked when Miles chose Wallace to share the stage at his historic performance in Montreux in 1991. After Davis died, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Roney banded together and toured the world in tribute.


Rene Marie

Rene Marie – vocals
Quentin Baxter Jr – drums
John Chin – piano
Elis Bailey – bass

In a span of two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

René was born in November 1955 into a family of seven children in Warrenton, Virginia. While neither of her parents were formally trained musicians, radio and records of all kinds – blues, folk, bluegrass and classical – made up the soundtrack to her childhood. Rene had just one year of formal piano training at age nine, then another year of lessons at age 13 after her parents divorced and she moved with her mother to Roanoke, Virginia.

During her teenage years, she sang in a few R&B bands at musical functions in her community. She composed and sang her first piece with a band when she was 15.

But René put her musical aspirations aside to make room for the obligations and responsibilities of adulthood. She married a former bandmate when she was 18, and by the mid-1990s, she was the mother of two and working in a bank. When she was 41, her older son convinced her to start singing again, and she took a few tenuous steps into her local music scene, singing for tips one night a week in a hotel bar. It would be several months before she actually earned any real money as a singer.

Her husband was initially supportive of her reboot to her musical career, but things changed by the end of 1997, when he issued an ultimatum: stop singing or leave their home. Tension over the issue escalated from emotional abuse to domestic violence, and she left the house and the marriage behind.

“Something happens when you get up on stage and start making music with someone,” René explains. “Another part of your personality comes to life. I had kind of pushed that down over the years, but because of the music, I was able to speak up and defend myself and be my own advocate. So when my husband gave me that ultimatum, it wasn’t that I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to sing.’ It was more like, ‘I don’t think I want to live with anybody who thinks it’s okay to issue an ultimatum like that.”

Over the next 18 months, she made a series of profound course corrections that steered her back toward a full-time career in music. She left the bank job, moved to Richmond, Virginia, divorced her husband of 23 years, produced her first CD, signed onto the MaxJazz label and took the title role in the world premiere production of Ella and Her Fella, Frank at the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond.

René’s self-produced CD, Renaissance, was released in 1999. In 2000, she signed onto the MaxJazz label and recorded four more over the next four years: How Can I Keep from Singing? (2000), Vertigo (2001), Live at Jazz Standard (2003) and Serene Renegade (2004). She parted ways with the label in 2005 as part of a strategy to take more control of her own career track. She moved to Denver, where she recorded and co-produced her sixth CD, Experiment in Truth, released in 2007. She also focused her musical and acting talents on a one-woman stage show, Slut Energy Theory: U’Dean, a play about overcoming abuse and incest. The play premiered in October 2009, and the soundtrack, released by the end of that same year, was the seventh installment in her discography.

Part of René’s musical philosophy has been focused on giving back. In 2010, she launched a series of vocal therapy group sessions called SLAM. “I’ve never been to college or received any ‘professional’ training,” she said at the time, “so I feel a bit anxious about my ability to convey my personal approach to singing. However, I know what I know, and I’ve always been up for a good challenge.” And in a self-deprecating moment, she added: “Although the thought of attempting to share my vocal philosophy often makes me wonder if I have completely lost touch with reality.”

René joined the Motéma label with the 2011 release of Voice of My Beautiful Country, followed later that same year by Black Lace Freudian Slip. Her 2013 followup, I Wanna Be Evil: With Love To Eartha Kitt, earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocals category.

The newest installment in her ever-expanding body of work is Sound of Red, a CD set for release on Motéma in April 2016. It’s her first album of all-original material, an 11-song set that provides insightful glimpses into the many small but profound turning points that are part of an individual life. René’s clever songcraft and sensual vocal delivery make those personal moments not only meaningful but enlightening to a broad audience.

“I wanted to make a record that people could go back to again and again to excavate their emotions,” says René. “We cover things over every day. We have to in order to move through the day and move through our lives. We can’t always afford to be vulnerable to things like pain, loss, confusion, hurt and frustration. I want this record to provide some kind of architecture to provide support in those moments when our emotions are not necessarily happy ones.”

Perhaps more than most artists, René understands music’s capacity to heal and inspire. Not only has she herself been the beneficiary of it, but she has made every effort along the way to extend those same benefits to others.

“I have never forgotten the early lessons learned about the power of music,” she says. “Today, I try to imbue that feeling of emotion into every song I write and every song I sing – every time. I am very happy to be alive today, doing the things I love to do – singing, composing, writing, teaching and arranging.”



85 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371


advance tickets
available online
or by calling
(860) 434-2600
general admission only,
no standing room

At The Show

Doors at 7:30pm for cocktails and seating
Shows begin at 8:30pm
unless otherwise advertised

Pre-show dinner reservations available at
The Old Lyme Inn
(food is not served at the club, full bar service available)

No unauthorized audio or video recording is permitted during performance. This includes cell phones. Photos restricted to first set per artist request.

Enjoy overnight discounts with your tickets

VOTED BEST LIVE JAZZ BY CT MAGAZINE 2014 AND 2015! Come check out why.....


Ricky Ford

TS Monk Sextet

Donald Vega Trio

Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Big Chief Donald Harrison

Bucky Pizarelli | Russell Malone | Ed Laub

The Cookers

Ken Kitchings | SideDoor Jazz



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Here's a jazz-filled moment from #MisterRogersNeighborhood when Ellis Marsalis and his sons Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Jason Marsalis interpreted Fred Rogers' original composition, "Sometimes Isn't Always."

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Vadim Neselovskyi Trio

May 19, 2017, 8:30pm - May 19, 2017, 11:00pm

Vadim Neselovskyi — piano, voice, melodica, compositions Ronen Itzik — drums, percussion Dan Loomis — bass "I don’t think I have ever met an improviser who has more surprises in store…a true Genius." Gary Burton "I truly believe that he is one of the greatest pianist/composers out there right now.” Fred Hersch “We all look forward to hearing much more from him, as he ventures further down the singular road he has found.” Steve Swallow Vadim Neselovskyi is a Ukrainian pianist and composer based in New York City. He joined 6-Time Grammy-Winner Gary Burton’s Generations Quintet of future all-stars including Julian Lage, Luques Curtis and James Williams in 2004 and has been working as Gary Burton’s pianist and arranger for more than a decade, touring US, Europe and Japan. Vadim grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, where he was the youngest student (fifteen years old) to be accepted into Odessa Conservatory, and then moved to Dortmund, Germany when he was 17 years old. Shortly after arriving in Germany, Neselovskyi established himself on the local jazz scene, taking part in the Dusseldorf Jazz Rally and Leipzig Jazz Days. After a few years he moved to the USA to further his studies at Berklee College of Music, where he was asked to play and compose for a Berklee’s promotional recording produced by Pat Metheny, which also featured Esperanza Spalding and Christian Scott. Next education stage took place at the Thelonious Monk Institute where he was awarded a Full Scholarship as the pianist of an ensemble handpicked by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. During this time, he toured internationally with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Terri Lyne Carrington and shared the stage with artists such as John Scofield, Terence Blanchard, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Benny Golson, Nicholas Payton and Steve Coleman. His solo piano CD Music for September (Sunnyside Records, 2013) was produced by Fred Hersch and received 4-star review in Downbeat. In 2010 German Neue Musik Zeitung (NMZ) included him into “Best Musicians of 2010” list. His compositions have been covered by jazz stars such as Randy Brecker,[19] Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley, Julian Lage,[ Gary Burton and also by Symphony Orchestras in the US (Spokane Symphony[ and Lancaster Symphony, and Europe (Neue Philharmonie Westfalen and INSO Lviv Sympony[).

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"A Beacon of Live Music!..."
Feb 27, 2015 | see full article
NY Times - "Its the Perfect Room....."
Nov 16, 2014 | see full article
CT Magazine - The Side Door Thrives!
May 7, 2014 | see full article
The Day - "A Lovely Spot To Listen"
November 14, 2013 | see full article
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September 26, 2013 | see full article
Wine, dine, spend the night, and all that jazz!
September 17, 2013 | see full article
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MAY 9, 2013 | see full article
Old Lyme Inn jazzed about new venue
MAY 6, 2013 | see full article
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June 21, 2013 | see full article
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July 21, 2013 | see full article
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Founded in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival® was the first annual jazz festival in America. It has been host to numerous legendary performances by some of the world’s leading established and emerging artists.

Garde Arts Center

Performing arts theater presenting Broadway shows, opera, film and other events. New London, Connecticut.


Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized New York City-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music.


The Artists Collective

The Artists Collective is a cultural institution serving the Greater Hartford region, providing year-round professional training in dance, music, drama, visual and martial arts emphasizing the arts and culture of the African Diaspora.


The Hartt School of Music

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford. Hartt offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre.


Newport Festivals Foundation

To continue the Newport Jazz Festival® as it has been since 1954 in the presentation of the greatest jazz performers who follow the traditions of New Orleans, swing, bebop and modal as the core and heart of jazz music.



Innovators of the finest musical instrument and mic stands for 35 years, The Music People! Inc. has been one of the nation’s leading suppliers of microphones and pro audio equipment.


The SideDoor is quite literally a dream come true!

The Sidedoor jazz club is the realisation of a long cherished dream. Ken Kitchings has always been a true fan of jazz music and brought many great artists to The Garde Theatre in New London, CT during his time there.

In 2011 Ken and his wife Chris bought the beautiful, but sadly neglected, Old Lyme Inn and put their hearts and souls into bringing its former glory to life. Once the inn became an established part of the community, Ken set his sights on an unused “side door” space attached to the inn, visualizing the perfect jazz venue: Intimate, welcoming, elegant and a quality, great sounding room that the very best jazz artists would be happy to play in!

On May 10th, 2013 its door and stage was opened by none other than the venerable George Wein and his Newport All Star band, cutting the ribbon and giving his blessing to an awestruck Ken Kitchings! An incredible gala night opening to be remembered – setting the standard and placing The Sidedoor firmly on the jazz venue map!



  • “Thank you for treating us so well. I’m happy that The Side Door brings quality, art and celebration to the community, thank you for inviting me to be a part of the magic! Sending love and wishing you health and joy, thank you. Benny”

    ~ Benny Green 4/18/14
  • “This is the real deal! You’re right in the cross hairs of the NY and Boston music scene… This is every bit as great as playing the Vanguard!”

    ~ Kenny Werner
  • This is the best thing to happen to the Connecticut shoreline since the Baldwin Bridge!

    ~ Robin Whitney, Side Door VIP
  • Intimate room, good bar service and superb jazz band! A great place to go after dinner on the weekend in Old Lyme or Essex near the CT shore.

    ~ TripAdvisor User: Glenn C
  • very excited to see this has opened – just what we need in this area!!

    ~ Facebook User: Carrie Leber
  • As shepherded by Ken Kitchings – who owns the Old Lyme Inn with his wife, Christine, and is a booking force at the Garde Arts Center – the SideDoor will be an intimate venue dedicated to showcasing the finest touring jazz musicians as they negotiate the I-95 corridor.

    ~ RICK KOSTER, The Day


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