NICKI PARROT Trio, feat. BUCKY PIZZARELLI – Friday Sept 5 – Doors 7:30 Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886

We are thrilled to welcome Nicki back to The Side Door, and even more honoured that she will bring the Jazz guitar great BUCKY PIZZARELLI with her! A special apprearance not to be missed!

NICKI PARROT- “Nicki Parrott could make anyone love jazz.” Cabaret Scene 2013

“Nicki brings clear articulation, beautiful tone, a sense of rhythmic assuredness and a touch of allure to inventive arrangements.” Jazz Times 2012

“She has that special gift you cannot buy in a music store.” Les Paul

“…a rarity, a first-class bassist who’s playing is as sublime as her vocals.” Limelight 2012

Nicki just released her first CD on her new label, Ooroo Records, Nicki Parrott: The Best of Venus Volume One. Also released this year is her 13th album for Venus Records, The Look of Love.

In 2012 Nicki released The Last Time I Saw Paris, Sakura, Sakura (Spring), Summertime, Autumn Leaves and Winter Wonderland. Nicki’s 2008 CD release (Venus Records), Fly Me To The Moon and 2007 CD release (Venus Records), Moon River were voted Swing Journal Magazine Critic’s Poll, “Best Jazz Vocal Album.“

Nicki performs regularly as part of the legendary Les Paul Trio and was Les Paul’s bassist and vocalist for over 10 years. In addition to performing at most of the world’s top jazz festivals, Nicki has performed with such jazz greats as Randy Brecker, Clark Terry, Jose Feliciano, Rebecca Paris, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Patti Labelle & the New York Pops Orchestra, Harry Allen, Michel Legrand, Marlena Shaw, Mike Stern, David Krakauer, Ken Peplowski, Ann Hampton Callaway, Scott Hamilton, Larry Carlton and Frank Vignola, to name a few. For more information on Nicki Parrott, please visit her website at

BUCKY PIZZARELL – John “Bucky” Pizzarelli is a world renowned jazz guitarist who was born in Paterson, NJ on January 9, 1926. His uncles Peter and Bobby Domenick, musicians who also hailed from New Jersey, taught Bucky the guitar.

His career spans over 60 years from the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, to the Johnny Carson Tonight Show. Hundreds of jazz concerts worldwide, including White House performances with Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, and Claude “Fiddler” Williams, with Presidents Reagan and Clinton add to the list.

His numerous worldwide tours also included performances with practically every jazz legend such as; Stephane Grapelli, Slam Stewart, Tal Farlow, Rosemary Clooney, Zoot Sims, Benny Carter, Michael Feinstein and Charlie Byrd to name a few.

Bucky has also been honored with many prestigious awards, which include the Jazz Wall of Fame by ASCAP in 2005, two honorary Doctors of Music degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and the University of Southern Illinois@ Edwardsville in 2003. In 2002 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Manhattan Association of Cabarets. Most recently in June of 2011 Bucky was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Last year, Bucky became one of the very first musicians in New Jersey to have two of his guitars, along with a recorded history of his lifetime in music, inducted into the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.


Steve Davis Quintet feat. Larry Willis w/ Nat Reeves, Abraham Burton & Billy Williams

Steve Davis Quintet feat. Larry Willis w/ Nat Reeves, Abraham Burton & Billy Williams – Saturday Sept 6th – Doors 7:30pm – Show 8:30pm* 860-434-0886

Steve Davis is widely regarded as one of today’s leading improvisers on the trombone.  His lyrical, hard-swinging style first gained him broad recognition during the 1990′s while working with the bands of jazz legends Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea’s Origin and the cooperative sextet, One For All. Steve has appeared in Downbeat Magazine’s Reader’s and Critic’s Polls numerous times, winning the TDWR (Rising Star) Trombone Category in 1998.  Steve was also recently nominated by The JJA as 2010 Trombonist of the Year.

Born in Worcester, MA in 1967, Steve was raised in Binghamton, NY and graduated in 1989 from The Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute (University of Hartford, CT).  It was Mc Lean’s guidance and recommendation that helped Davis land his first major gig with Art Blakey in NYC in Dec 1989.  Returning to Hartford in 1992, Davis joined McLean’s sextet and begin teaching alongside his mentor at both the Hartt School and Artist’s Collective. Steve has resided in Hartford ever since.

Larry Willis – Pianist Larry Willis has had an important and distinguished 40-year career in jazz. Since making his recording debut on Jackie McLean’s landmark 1965 album “Right Now!,” the New York-born Willis has played everything from free jazz to fusion to rock while performing as a valued sideman with such jazz titans as Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey, Roy Hargrove and Woody Shaw. He has performed in a wide range of styles, including jazz fusion, Bebop and Avant-guard.

Since our humble beginnings, Nat Reeves has become a friend and supporter and we are always thrilled to have him play….. In 1982 Nat moved to Hartford, Connecticut and started working with Jackie McLean, to this day the most important musical influence in his life. Nat found a calling in teaching and developed musical skills while traveling throughout the world performing and recording with Jackie and other living jazz legends, too many to list here!

Today, Nat is committed to perpetuating Jackie McLean’s legacy at The Hartt School, as well as continuing his career performing. Influenced most by bassists Sam Jones, Paul Chambers and Ron Carter, Nat is a gifted musician, who can be seen performing in every major jazz venue in the world. (

Steve Davis Quintet feat. Larry Willis w/ Nat Reeves, Abraham Burton & Billy Williams. Saturday Sept 6th – Doors 7:30pm – Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886

*tickets are non-refundable.


The Girls Are Back In Town! JANE BUNNETT & All Female Cuban Sextet MAQUEQUE

JANE BUNNET & MAQUEQUE – Fri Sept 12th – Doors 7:30pm Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886

Four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Officer of the Order of Canada, soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett once again brings the soul of Cuba to the hearts of Canadian music-lovers. Along with her new and exquisite all-female sextet, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, she will reveal the band’s fresh sound and unveil the new self-titled CD with summer festival stops in Winnipeg, Toronto, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Stratford and more!

A long-time jazz musician on the scene, Bunnett began digging deep into the music of Cuba during a trip there in 1982, and falling in love with its intricate folkloric Afro-Cuban rhythms, blending them with contemporary jazz sounds. Bunnett has been credited with introducing a lot of great Cuban musicians to North American audiences over the past couple of decades, including Dafnis Prieto, Yosvanny Terry, Pedrito Martínez and David Virelles. Her latest project is an assembly of all-star Cuban musicians, a sextet which includes herself and five extraordinary young females.

Maqueque band members are Jane, on flute and soprano sax, virtuoso drummer Yissy García, dynamic percussionist Daymé Arceno, (who is also a powerhouse vocalist), Yusa on tres guitar and fretless bass, pianist Danae, and Magdelys on batás and congas.

JANE BUNNET & MAQUEQUE – Fri Sept 12th – Doors 7:30pm Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886



BRUCE BARTH QUARTET – Saturday Sept 13th – Doors 7:30 – Show 8:30pm* 860-434-0886

Bruce will bring the incredible talents of Jerry Bergonzi on tenor saxophone, Linda Oh on bass and Montez Coleman on drums!

Jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than two decades. In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, as well as collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation. And in a recent review in the Newark Star-Ledger, Zan Stewart writes “No one sounds quite like Barth. His solos are characterized by robust swing, his ability to tell a story, and by his rich, beguiling sound.”

Originally from Pasadena, California, Bruce arrived on the New York jazz scene in 1988, and soon started working in the bands of Stanley Turrentine and Terence Blanchard. While in Terence’s band, Bruce recorded his first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call for the Enja label; both were chosen for the New York Times’ top ten lists.

Throughout his professional life, Bruce has had extended collaborations with Terell Stafford, Steve Wilson, Tony Bennett, Luciana Souza, Steve Nelson, and Karrin Allyson. And he has performed with James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Art Farmer, and the Mingus Big Band.

Finally, Bruce is a dedicated teacher, currently on the faculties of Temple University and Columbia University. He also teaches private students from around the globe. For more artist details please visit

Recent Recordings: Three Things of Beauty, Savant, 2012 – Live at Smalls, Smalls Live, 2011

BRUCE BARTH QUARTET – Saturday Sept 13th – Doors 7:30pm for cocktails – Show 8:30pm

(*all tickets are non refundable)



GREG ABATE Quartet – Friday Sept 19th – Doors open at 7:30pm for cocktails, showtime 8:30pm* 860-434-0886

Greg Abate jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer continues as an International Jazz/Recording Artist with 225 days a year touring the globe. In the mid 70’s after finishing a four year program at Berklee College Of Music, Greg played lead alto for the Ray Charles Orchestra for 2 years.

Greg is joined by the incomparable talents of Kent Hewitt on piano, Harvie S on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums!

In 1978 Greg formed his group Channel One which was a favorite in the New England area and from there had the opportunity to play tenor sax with the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under leadership of Dick Johnson from 1986 to ’87. Following this experience Greg ventured out as post hard bop soloist playing Jazz Festivals, Jazz Societies and Jazz Clubs throughout the U.S. Canada and abroad, including most of Europe, UK, and Moscow and Georgia Russia.

Greg is also an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and is also a very active jazz clinician with co. sponsorship from the Conn -Selmer Instrument Co., conducting workshops and master classes through the U.S and abroad. For more artist details visit:

What some say about Greg Abate: Abate is not content to rely on stock bebop riffs and standard chord progressions. Rather, the sharp angularity of his phrases and the often startling pauses in his fast-moving lines give his work a feeling of constant invention and creativity.” –Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune.

Friday Sept 19th – Doors open at 7:30pm for cocktails, showtime 8:30pm  860-434-0886

*tickets are non refundable



THE WHITFIELD FAMILY BAND – Sat Sept 20 – Doors 7:30 Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886*

A very special night of incredible jazz talent – all in one family!! Mark Whitfield Sr. on guitar, Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums, Davis Whitfield on piano and Yasushi Nakamura on bass!

Mark Whitfield graduated from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, the world’s foremost institute for the study of Jazz and modern American music, in the Spring of 1987 having studied composition and arranging as well as all styles of guitar performance. Upon graduation, he returned to his native New York to embark on a career as a jazz guitarist that afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with many legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Clark Terry, Jimmy Smith, Carmen McCrae, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Jack McDuff, Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Joe Williams, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine and his greatest teacher and mentor, George Benson.

Along the way, the New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business” and in September of 1990 Warner Bros. released his solo debut, “The Marksman”. The success of this release has led to a recording career that has produced 14 solo projects to date and a myriad of collaborative efforts with the some of the most important artists in recent years; Sting, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Jill Scott, Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall, Lauryn Hill, Sy Smith and Chris Botti.

In September of 2005, Mark Whitfield accepted the invitation to join the faculty at his alma mater, teaming up with Joe Lovano, Ralph Peterson, Danilo Perez, and Terry Lynn Carrington as “Artists in Residence” at the Berklee College of Music. In 2009 Whitfield released “Songs of Wonder”, an imaginative and well received tribute to the great Stevie Wonder featuring Chris Botti, John Mayer and Sy Smith.

Aside from working as one of the most in demand guitarists in jazz, Mark is currently focusing on “The Whitfield Family Band”.

This exciting new group features the great James Genus on bass and 2 brand new members of the jazz community, Mark Whitfield Jr on drums and Davis Whitfield on piano. Aside from playing with “Dad”, Mark Jr has been touring extensively with Kenny Garrett and many of his young contemporaries and is widely recognized as one of the important new voices on his instrument in jazz. Davis, while still attending Berklee, has been performing regularly with Jimmy Cobb, Ralph Peterson and Neal Smith and adds a very distinct voice to this exciting new group.

For Mark Whitfield’s extensive Discography:

As A Leader: The Marksman… Warner Bros – Patrice… Warner Bros. Mark Whitfield… Warner Bros Blue and Sentimental… Forever Love… Verve – Fingerpainting… Verve – Raw… Transparent Records – Soul Conversation… Transparent Records – Trio Paradise… Vega Records – Groove Masters… Vega Records – Songs Of Wonder… Marksman Productions.

As A Sideman: Damn… Jimmy Smith, Angel Eyes… Jimmy Smith, 7th Ave Stroll, Blue and Sentimental… Cleo Laine, From This Moment… Nicholas Payton, Roots… Cedar Walton, Bringin’ It Home… Jack McDuff, The Long Road Home… Ernie Watts, Brown Sugar… D’Angelo, No More Drama…Mary J. Blige, Live in Boston… Chris Botti, Testimonial… Carl Allen.

THE WHITFIELD FAMILY BAND – Sat Sept 20 – Doors 7:30 Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886*

*tickets are non-refundable



RYAN KEBERLE & CATHARSIS – feat. CAMILA MEZA on voice – Fri Sept 26 Door 7:30 Show 8:30      860-434-0886*

Ryan Keberle – Trombone, Mike Rodriguez – Trumpet, Jorge Roeder – Bass, Eric Doob – Drums, Camila Meza – Voice, Special Guest

Few musicians have managed to navigate the richly varied avenues of New York City’s abundant music scene with the same passion and adaptability as trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle. Hailed by the New York Times as a “young trombonist of vision and composure”, Keberle’s diverse talents have earned him a place alongside a staggering array of legends, superstars, and up-and-coming innovators. That includes playing with jazz greats Maria Schneider, Rufus Reid and Wynton Marsalis; hip-hop and R&B superstars like Philip Phillips and Alicia Keys; Latin jazz leaders like Pedro Giraudo and Ivan Lins; indie rock ground-breakers such as Sufjan Stevens; or playing in the house band at Saturday Night Live, on the soundtrack of a Woody Allen film, or in the pit for a Tony-winning Broadway musical.

Early 2012 marked the debut of Keberle’s latest group, the pianoless quartet Catharsis, comprising some of the music’s most compelling young voices: Mike Rodriguez (trumpet), Jorge Roeder (bass), and Eric Doob (drums). On Music is Emotion, their 2013 debut release, described as “a potent blend of cinematic sweep and lush, ear-grabbing melodies” by the Los Angeles Times, Keberle’s writing for the band reveals his more melodic and emotional side on pieces driven by groove, the blues, and Latin jazz, with which all four members have extensive experience. In September of 2014 Ryan Keberle & Catharsis will release their sophomore record, Into the Zone, on the critically acclaimed record label, Greenleaf Music. For this record, their most expressive and personal musical output to date, Keberle has added the wonderful Chilean vocalist, Camila Meza.

RYAN KEBERLE & CATHARSIS – feat. CAMILA MEZA on voice – Fri Sept 26 Door 7:30 Show 8:30      860-434-0886

(*all tickets are non refundable)


Brian McCarthy Quartet

Brian McCarthy QuartetSat Sept 27th. Doors 7:30 Show 8:30* 860-434-0886

An intoxicating improviser, with a mature sound and adaptive skills make McCarthy a highly sought after musician and arranger. His sophomore album as a leader, “This Just In” (2013), has received widespread acclaim.   All About Jazz says “[McCarthy] touches those roads Joshua Redman travels on with a fresh footing. This band excels at building anticipation… exciting” and “[McCarthy’s] alto has plenty of fire without surrendering its lighter touch.” John Barron, of Jazz World Blog says “Saxophonist Brian McCarthy takes a progressive approach to straight-ahead jazz, demonstrating a strong command of the jazz saxophone lineage.” The album can be heard from coast to coast on radio stations and syndicated programming like Jazz After Hours with Jim Wilke.

When he is not headlining, you can find him rounding out the horn section with mogul jazz trumpeter Ray Vega and his Quintet. And those who frequent Burlington’s most popular night clubs can catch him with the area’s most popular funk establishment, The Grippo Funk Band. In 2010, bassist Mike Gordon, of the superstar jam band Phish, called upon McCarthy’s talents to arrange and play on his latest solo release “Moss.”

Already a respected professional and educator, McCarthy continues to expand his work as a leader, composer, first-call sideman, and sought after teacher. Certainly the future holds many remarkable developments from this up-and-coming artist.  See more artist details at

Sat Sept 27th.  Doors 7:30 Show 8:30 – 860-434-0886

(* Tickets are non refundable)



HAROLD LOPEZ-NUSSA TRIO – Fri Oct 3 – Door 7:30 Show 8:30 860-434-0886

Harold Lopez-Nussa was born in Havana, Cuba, on July 13, 1983. At the age of eight he began piano studies at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory. In 1995, Harold went on to study at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory before graduating with a specialty in Classical Piano from the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA).

As a young emerging artist, Harold has performed at Cuba’s most important theatres and also as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra. He has played with outstanding figures of Cuban traditional music and popular music, as well as known jazz musicians such as Chucho Valdés, David Sánchez, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Christian Scott, Stefon Harris, Bobby Carcassés, Elmer Ferrer, and Alexander Brown. He toured internationally with Omara Portuondo during 2008-2011 and also as a member of Maraca & The Monterey Latin Jazz All-Stars.

Other major performances include appearances at international venues such as the Olympia Theater, the anthological New Moring in Paris, the Barbican Center in London, and the Satin Doll in Bordeux. Major festival appearances include the Wien Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Oslo World Music Festival, Barcelona Jazz International Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Martinique Jazz Festival, Verona Jazz Festival, the 33rd Conference of International Association for Jazz Educators (IAJE), Enghien Les Bains 1st Piano Festival, OLoron Jazz Festival, Jazz a Viennes, and the Puebla International Festival, among others.

He brings his incredible trio for this Side Door performance! For more details check

and watch here:

HAROLD LOPEZ-NUSSA – Fri Oct 3 – Door 7:30 Show 8:30 860-434-0886

*tickets are non refundable non transferable



We will be closed tonight for private event.

See you next Friday 10/10 for DAN TEPFER Quartet! And Saturday 10/11 for Hector Martingnon!



DAN TEPFER Quartet – Fri Oct 10 – Doors 7:30 Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886*

Born in Paris to American parents, “tremendously gifted” (LA Times) pianist-composer Dan Tepfer has translated his bi-cultural identity into an exploration of music that ignores stylistic bounds. His 2011 Goldberg Variations / Variations, which pairs his performance of Bach’s work with improvised variations of his own, has received broad praise as a “riveting, inspired, fresh musical exploration” (New York Times).

He has worked with the leading lights in jazz, including extensively with saxophone luminary Lee Konitz, while releasing seven albums as a leader. As a composer, he is a recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for works including Concerto for Piano and Winds, premiered in the Prague Castle with himself on piano, and Solo Blues for Violin and Piano, premiered at Carnegie Hall.

Bringing together his undergraduate studies in astrophysics with his passion for music, he is currently working on integrating computer-driven algorithms into his improvisational approach. Awards include first prize and audience prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, first prize at the East Coast Jazz Festival Competition, and the Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. His recent soundtrack for the independent feature Movement and Location was voted Best Original Score at the 2014 Brooklyn Film Festival.

For more details, check

We are looking forward to welcoming Dan back to The Side Door! See you there…..

DAN TEPFER Quartet – Fri Oct 10 – Doors 7:30 Show 8:30pm 860-434-0886*

*tickets are nonrefundable/non transferable


Hector Martignon FOREIGN AFFAIR Quartet

HECTOR MARTIGNON FOREIGN AFFAIR QUARTET – Sat Oct 11 – door 7:30 Show 8:30       860-434-0886*

We are thrilled to welcome back Hector Martignon who brings his amazing “Foreign Affair” Quartet to The Side Door - truly a cosmopolitan ensemble from all over the globe!! Samuel Torres on percussion, Christos Rafalides on vibes, Hector on Piano and John Benitez on bass.

New York based, Colombian born Hector Martignon has composed, orchestrated, produced, performed and recorded music in a wide spectrum of genres, from classical and crossover, to Jazz and World Music. His five albums as a leader, two as co-leader (MOZART’s BLUE FANTASIES and BACH’s SECRET FILES) as well as his work on over a hundred albums, scores for five feature films, three Broadway Musicals and multiple other projects, showcase his wide-ranging area of expertise.

After several nominations as a sideman, two of his five solo CDs were nominated for a GRAMMY Award (REFUGEE, 2008, and SECOND CHANCE, 2010) . He arranged and performed parts of the score of Ang Lee’s OSCAR-nominated movie EAT, DRINK, MAN, WOMAN.

The Hector Martignon sound is shaped by the virtuosity and individuality of the members of the band. Christos Rafalides is matchless at effortlessly bringing his expression of rhythmic complexity to any level of harmonic and melodic intimacy. John Benitez is probably the world’s best bass player when it comes to unify Latin-, Brazilian- and straight ahead Jazz, both on upright and electric. Samuel Torres on percussion guaranties subtlety, sensitivity as well as power, when needed, in a wide musical spectrum encompassing an eclectic range of musical idioms.

As a pianist/accordionist and composer coming from a background of both classical as well as Jazz musical development, underscored by his South American roots, Hector aims at bringing the best of what he calls New World  (North, Central and South American) music with musical forms and techniques of the classical tradition along with some little known African and European rhythms. We all look forward to seeing him perform at The Side Door!

HECTOR MARTIGNON FOREIGN AFFAIR QUARTET – Sat Oct 11 – door 7:30 Show 8:30       860-434-0886*

*tickets are non refundable, non transfrerable



EXPANSIONS:THE DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP – Sunday Oct 12 – Doors 7pm Show 8pm 860-434-0886

Dave Liebman’s new group, looks towards the present generation of jazz musicians who have been schooled in conservatory and university settings. Lieb is continuing the time tested tradition of master musician passing it on. “EXPANSIONS” features the up and coming pianist Bobby Avey, reedman Matt Vashlishan, drummer Alex Ritz and a continuation of Lieb’s long relationship with bassist Tony Marino.

EXPANSIONS:THE DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP – Bringing in younger musicians, Dave is following in the footsteps of Miles Davis and Elvin Jones who mentored him in the early 1970s providing the kind of experience that can only happen on the bandstand. Reaching across generations to both teach and learn is a time worn process in the jazz legacy. In the case of two of the members, their relationship with Lieb is already a decade old as they have been students, accompanists and bandstand mates.

DAVE LIEBMAN (soprano saxophone, wooden flute) – David Liebman’s career has spanned over four decades, beginning in the 1970s as the saxophone/flautist in both the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups, continuing as a leader since. He has played on nearly three hundred recordings with over one hundred under his leadership or co-leadership. In jazz education he is a renowned lecturer and author of several milestone books.

He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) existing since 1989. He is currently Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music and has consistently placed in the top three places for Soprano Saxophone in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll since 1973, winning first place in both the Downbeat and Jazz Times Critic’s Poll in both 2011 and 2012. (complete details at

BOBBY AVEY (PIANO) – Praised by the New Yorker magazine as a “ young pianist of invention and refinement,” Bobby Avey has established himself as an emerging star in the jazz community. In 2011, he won the esteemed Thelonious Monk Competition for composition. This award followed his 2010 debut record as a leader, A New Face, lauded by the NY Times as a “promising debut.” In 2011 Avey received the New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant from Chamber Music America. The grant enabled Avey to travel to Haiti to record a Vodou Ceremony in the small village of Soukri and then create an hour-long suite grounded in rhythms found in Haitian drumming. The suite entitled “Authority Melts From Me” pays homage to the Haitian Revolution and was premiered and recorded in 2012 featuring another rising voice on saxophone, Miguel Zenon along with guitarist Ben Monder. The New York Times wrote about Avey’s Symphony Space concert: ”Avey isn’t laying claim to an ancestral heritage, but rather digging into a tradition outside his experience, with scholarly enthusiasm.” Bobby graduated from the Purchase Conservatory of Music Summa Cum Laude in 2007.

MATT VASHLISHAN (REEDS) – Matt Vashlishan is currently located in the New York area where he is actively developing his reputation as a freelance musician and educator. He holds a DMA in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami, a Masters degree in Performance from William Paterson University, and a Bachelor’s of Jazz Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

Matt has performed with numerous artists such as Phil Woods, Bruce Hornsby, Patty Austin, Nester Torres, and many others. His large ensemble credentials include the Phil Woods Big Band, Michael Feinstein Orchestra, the Charles Tolliver Big Band and Larry Rosen’s “Jazz Roots” including solo and ensemble work on “An Evening with Dave Grusin.” He has co-authored and collaborated with David Liebman on several publications available through Jamey Aebersold Jazz.

ALEX RITZ (DRUMS/PERCUSSION) – Alex started young, already sitting in and performing in the Hudson Valley area where he lived not far from New York City in the Hudson Valley already at age twelve. He went on to attend both the Oberlin Conservatory and College graduating with degrees in Music and Mathematics. While there he studied with jazz drum legend Billy Hart (the present drummer in Liebman’s “Sax Summit” and “Quest” groups) along with the renowned percussionist Jamey Haddad (also a member of the former Dave Liebman Group). After graduating Ritz spent two years living in Shanghai, China, performing in styles ranging from jazz to Afrobeat including collaborations with players of traditional Chinese instruments. During this time, he appeared at festivals and venues in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland.

Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Ritz has been playing with a wide array of artists and ensembles. He has been featured on several recordings, including Rafiq Bhatia’s Yes It Will, which was listed among the Best Jazz Albums of 2012 by critics from The New York Times, Village Voice and Jazz Times. Modern Drummer magazine observes that Ritz’s “pleasantly disorienting” playing “keeps the music aloft,” and the New York Times speaks of his “drum rhythms in broken-field runs with stuttering delays before downstrokes.”

TONY MARINO (BASS) – Tony is the rock of the new group with decades of experience in music ranging from folk, rock, country, bebop to free jazz. His playing credits range from Mose Allison to Phil Woods while his association with Dave Liebman extends well over twenty years and dozens of recordings and tours worldwide. As Lieb describes Tony: “I may have said three words to Tony about how or what to play in these years. He is the most instinctive musician I have known…something realized by all who hear him.”

EXPANSIONS:THE DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP – Sunday Oct 12 – Doors 7pm Show 8pm 860-434-0886

*tickets nonrefundable non transferrable



STEVE WILSON/LEWIS NASH DUO – Fri Oct 17 – doors 7:30 show 8:30 – 860-434-0886*

We are thrilled to welcome our friends Steve and Lewis back to The Side Door with this very special performance in conjunction with the release of their new CD “Duologue” (see glowing review below!).

Wilson & Nash are two instrumentalists whose playing is richly steeped in the history of jazz. They are leaders of their generation concocting their own brand of elegant and intricate music. Together they click like two gears, reaching their audience in more than musical ways. Their performances are brimming with virtuosic command of rhythm, coloration, melodic flare, and their exquisite gifts for phrasing and lyricism. Two of the most sought after musicians on the jazz scene, they are improvisation and creativity at its very best!

“These … players really don’t need anyone else around them.” – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“They’re exceptional” – The Express Times

“Duologue” with Steve Wilson & Lewis Nash – A Duo of saxophone and drums – Released on MCG Jazz August 5, 2014.

Watch and Enjoy here:

STEVE WILSON/LEWIS NASH DUO – Fri Oct 17 – doors 7:30 show 8:30 – 860-434-0886*

*tickets are non-refundable, non transferable


Closed-Private Event Tonight

Closed tonight – but hope to see you next week for saxophonist Chelsea Baratz on Friday night 10/24 with a killing ensemble, and amazing vocalist Marianne Solivan on Saturday!! The Girls rule next weekend!! See you there ;-)


Marianne Solivan Quartet

Marianne Solivan Quartet – Sat Oct 25 – doors 7:30 Show 8:30 860-434-0886*

Solivan has made a name for herself as a hard swinging, passionate, vocalist who has a commanding stage presence and is able to captivate audiences with her joyous exuberance and whit. Having performed and recorded with the likes of Christian McBride, Peter Bernstein, Jeremy Pelt, Bruce Barth, Gregory Hutchinson, Jonathan Blake, Xavier Davis, Michael Kanan, Steve Wilson, Gene Bertoncini and Lewis Nash, Solivan has been consistently raising the bar for singers of her generation.

Jordan Richardson at Blinded by Sound concludes “The exquisiteness, expression and sentiment of her singing are supreme. She is well beyond the go-through-the-motions singers of the genre by an enormous margin.”

With years of steady gigging (5 or 6 days a week) in Boston during her school days at Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory, Solivan has had a unique opportunity to learn on the bandstand. Solivan’s singing is a mixture of honest storytelling with a modern sense of self and determination.

In 2007 Solivan made the move to New York and began to sit in at many of the jam sessions the city has to offer. Smoke Supper Club was her first consistent “hang” and a venue that led to many of her later musical collaborations with Jeremy Pelt, Ugonna Okegwo, and others.

In 2012 Solivan brought together her years of experience and musical collaborations to the studio and recorded a series of duos, trios, and quartet pieces that became her first CD, Prisoner of Love, on HiPNOTIC Records.

The OTTOWA CITIZEN gets right to the heart of the beauty of the disc “On Prisoner of Love, vocalist Marianne Solivan surrounds herself with some A-list, hard-swinging company [and] sounds every bit in the same league as these seasoned accompanists. Solivan’s expression of classic jazz feeling and values is so room-filling and personal, you really can’t fault her disc one bit.”

Currently on tour celebrating the release of her 2nd CD, Spark, which features pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Matthew Parrish and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, Solivan is sure to bring her energized swing and honest straight forward storytelling to a wider jazz audience. There is a bright and long future for this one of a kind vocalist so make sure to see her soon! Visit here for all the details:

*tickets are no refundable/non transferable



85 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371


Buy Advance Tickets Here General Admission only. Doors 7:30pm. Show 8:30pm unless otherwise advertised. No standing room.

(860) 434-0886 | Email

Club Opens

7:30pm for cocktails and seating. Show 8:30pm unless otherwise advertised. General admission only.

Small bar/dessert menu available.

Dinner reservations available at The Old Lyme Inn

Enjoy our "All That Jazz" package at The Old Lyme Inn. #TasteStayGroove!

Featured Show

8:30pm to 11:00pm (approx. unless otherwise noted).

Small bar/dessert menu available. Dinner reservations available at The Old Lyme Inn

Gift Certificates Available

Enjoy our "All That Jazz" Package

#TasteStayGroove! We invite you to stay the night, or the weekend, here!



The CURTIS Brothers 4/26/14


Bill Charlap

Etienne Charles Quartet 5/31/14

Cyrille Aimee & Diego Figueiredo

PHAREZ WHITTED Quartet! 6/13/14


Fred Hersch

RENE MARIE 5/14/14






Mr. Nat Reeves Quartet (pictured with #1 fan!)

Javon Jackson WE FOUR (Jimmy Cobb, George Cables, Nat Reeves)

Jimmy Greene Quartet 10/19/13

Hector Martignon (Foreign Affair 7/13 and Pau Brasil 10/13)

Jonathan Michel BAM Quartet (and Marcus Strickland)

Dario Boente 9/28/13

Buce Barth Trio w/Steve Nelson on vibes

Freddy Cole Quartet 11/14/13

Manuel Valera Quintet 11/15/13

Samuel Torres Sextet - Premier of Forced Displacement 12/7/13

Donny McCaslin Trio

Orrin Evans Quartet

Chelsea Baratz (w/Orrin Evans Quartet Christmas Program!) 12/21/13

The tireless Christmas elves at the Side Door - Seasons Greetings from Ken and Jan

Happy Holidays from Ken and Jan!

Curtis Fuller (with Javon Jackson All Star Birthday Bash) 12/20/13

Curtis Fuller Birthday Celebration!

Rene McLean with Gary Bartz and Nat Reeves

Samuel Torres Octet. Forced Displacement CT Debut 12/6

Jani Siegel Trio 1/10/14

To name just a few.....

Grace Kelly

Benny Green Trio 4/18/14

Nicholas Payton Trio 1/17&18/14



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Great piece with ZACH BROCK in the Hartford Courant. Come through Friday night - its going to be a LOT of fun! Tickets on the website (bugs all fixed!)

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Monday Schmonday......! Look what we have for you to look forward to (besides a great week at the beach!) Friday night - Guitarist, ED CHERRY Quartet (originally from New Haven CT!) Saturday -...

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Kavita Shah and Co. Well on her way....

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Incredible sets from Darren Barrett's dB Quintet last night! Thank you guys for truly bringing it to The Sidedoor...!. Tonight caps off our killing three night run with the talented female...

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dB Quintet swinging hard

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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
The SideDoor Announces Its Fall Line Up!
September 26, 2013 | see full article
Wine, dine, spend the night, and all that jazz!
September 17, 2013 | see full article
Old Lyme Inn opens the SideDoor
MAY 9, 2013 | see full article
Old Lyme Inn jazzed about new venue
MAY 6, 2013 | see full article
All About Jazz - Old Lyme Inn Goes Live At The Side Door Jazz Club
June 21, 2013 | see full article
Wallace Roney, Two Explosive Nights At The Side Door Jazz Club
July 21, 2013 | see full article
The SideDoor Opens to a Standing Ovation in Old Lyme
May 13 2013 | see full article



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.




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
  • “…First of all congratulations on a wonderful jazz joint – the SideDoor has all the Vibe a real top jazzclub should have and can easily be looked upon with both envy and fascination by other clubs around the world; because the SideDoor is based upon one man’s sheer and honest passion for a certain kind of music that thrives best when surrounded by loving and open-minded enthusiasts – and Ken’s passion for jazz nurtures exactly that exquisite atmosphere in which both musicians and audience will get the finest and rarest music experiences…”

    ~ Benjamin Koppel, renowned Saxaphonist
  • Hi Ken and Jan; I just wanted to thank you both again for a fantastic weekend. You have created a special environment (with both the inn and the club) where both Christos and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Thank you also for being so kind to my family – they really loved it! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    ~ Sergio Salvatore
  • “It was a pleasure to experience The Old Lyme Inn and The SideDoor jazz club, and to witness again first hand your passion for and support of great music. We’ll be back!”

    ~ Luciano Salvatore
  • “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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