May 2016

5/6 The Funky Monkey Cheshire CT 7-10pm
Rachel Merriam guitar
Aidan O’Connell bass
Eric Hallenbeck drums
5/14 The Waverly Inn Cheshire 8-11pm
5/15 Wedding Gig Hamden CT 3pm
5/20 The Shrine Harlem NY 7pm
Sam Parker keyboard
Andrew Zwart bass
Eric Hallenbeck drums
5/22 The Outer Space Hamden CT 7pm
The Research
Nathan Davis trombone
reeds tba
Dan Arcamone guitar
Mike Carabello rhodes
Aidan O’Connell bass
Eric Hallenbeck drums
5/27 Stella Blues New Haven 9pm
Josh Walker Tenor Sax
Andrew Kosiba keyboards
Andrew Zwart bass
Eric Hallenbeck drums

May 2015

5/1 Silvana Harlem NYC 6-8pm
Andrew Latona Guitar
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
5/4/15 The Huntington Street Cafe Shelton CT 7-10pm
Joe Shapiro House Band
Open Jam
5/6 Pies n’ Pints Middlebury 9-11pm
Dan Arcamone Guitar
Keith McDade Bass
Steve Niemitz Drums
5/9 Cave a Vin New Haven 8pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
5/13 Why Not Jazz Room NYC 10pm-Midnight
Mike Carabello Fender Rhodes
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
5/15 The 9th Note New Haven 8pm
Andrew Beals Alto Saxophone
Herb Wilson Tenor Saxophone
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Drums TBA
5/27/15 Wheeler’s Tap Room Woodbridge CT 7:30pm
Eric Hallenbeck Drums

Modernism, Steve Reich, and the threat of Minimalism by Nicholas Di Maria December 12, 2012

World War II changed not only the countries and governments of civilization, but also the human outlook and imagination. The war tore apart lands across the globe, and  even through the very souls of the those who witnessed it first hand. Prior to the war, classical music was still governed by European composers. Primarily with German composers, and their ideas were based on a particular conception of how music should be written. The age of Modernism was becoming the predominant form of expression as atonality and total serialism was at the center of classical compositions.  After the war, the experiences and visions of composers from Europe and the United States would contrast from each other. Although in the United States, Modernistic techniques would be heralded and initiated in works, new and different styles of music would emerge. One of the these styles was Minimalism, which would become a contemporary style of music in the United States. Composer Steve Reich said that traditional Modernists saw Minimalism as a threat to music, yet he thought it was, a “great leveler.” “The American experience had been different and demanded a different medium of expression.” Steve Reich was right to recognize and celebrate the fact that Minimalism was different, because it came from a different experience.  American composers could not pretend they were European.

At the end of World War II, the world saw the west divided between the bombed out European continent and the prosperous beacon of the United States. Both lands gave way to two different experiences of life for the baby boomer generation. American musicians created a pro-American spirit that portrayed a self identity different from the Modernist European style, rich with its own sources, genres and themes. The rise of Minimalism would embrace this new identity through exciting, cerebral, and original compositions. Instead of the academics and elitists pushing the music, the counter culture would be the determining factor in the direction of new music. Steve Reich, along with other composers like Terry Riley and Philip Glass, embraced this perspective and directed music that was separated from Europe. These composers felt they could not emulate their European counterparts, nor did they want to, and thus sought to create music of their own.


Part I: America vs. Europe

“A wasteland, dominated by these maniacs, these creeps, who were trying to make everyone write this crazy, creepy music.” — Philip Glass


In order to understand the stance taken by Steve Reich and the other Minimalistic composers (and American composers of the same time for that matter), the history of Post War America and the European continent must be addressed.

After the war,  Americans lived in an age of prosperity. Soldiers returned home, were educated and employed,  and began to start families. The country saw the largest surge in births in its history; aptly named the Baby Boomer Generation. A status quo was created. The idea of a loving wife, kids, and a modest house in the suburbs gave way to the notion of the American Dream. It was an unwritten status that every American could, and should do right, making a place for themselves.

The rise of manufacturing, advertisement and commercialization created a society of want versus need. Neighbors competed for front lawn supremacy. Fast food chains, department stores and paved highways added to the growing American image. It was like nothing that had ever been seen.

Starting in the 1950’s television would dominate and become a focal point in the American household. Programming would keep Americans at home after dinner, and away from the night clubs that were packed wall to wall during the 1930’s and 40’s.

The post-war era of the United States created a cultural identity. American pride was strong. The world had been saved from tyranny through the hard work and unification of a people. Many felt that the idea of being American was a truly great thing.


This was the world the Minimalists grew up in.


Europe was far different after the war. After the Allied victory, much of the continent was in ruins. Once again people suffered as they suffered during the first world war. However, action was taken to avoid the mistakes that proceeded after the first war and support was given to those who needed it. America led that support and the people of Europe were able to rebuild. The United States became a beacon of prosperity overseas. A country of great power and wealth that would be idolized, imitated, and valued.




Part II: Music in America and the Impact of Jazz

“You couldn’t dance to ‘Ko-Ko;’ you had to sit back and listen as [Charlie] Parker scribbled lightening in the air.” –Amiri Baraka (Blues People 1963)


Since its inception, European classical form and aesthetic were the common practices of composers in the United States. From Charles Ives, to George Gershwin the insertion of either folk, nationalistic or popular music was the only aspect that separated it from the European style starting from the Romantic era through atonality. American composers studied abroad and continued to do so throughout the 20th century.  It was only a matter of time before American composers urned for a true style of their own. From John Cage to Frank Zappa, Steve Reich to Miles Davis, American musicians and composers mastered the concepts of the European masters and applied their theories to the music they created. It was only a matter of time before they began to realize they could create their own American identity.

Morton Feldman in a very cynical stance on American composers noted:

“He starts out as a romantic, a budding genius overflowing with original ideas, or at least with ideas about originality. Then he goes off to a university and discovers that romanticism is defunct. He studies for six years at Princeton or Yale, learning about twelve-tone writing, total serialism, indeterminacy, and the rest. He goes to Darmstadt and samples the latest wares of the European avant-garde. “”He writes a piece occasionally and it is played occasionally. There is the possibility of a performance on the Gunther Schuller series. His pieces are well made. He is not without talent. The reviews aren’t bad. A few award..– this is the official musical life of America.” (The Rest is Noise p. 532)

Although Mr. Feldman’s stance is quite dramatic, I agree that it had to have felt true enough to motivate the minimalist composers to seek a new direction.

The different experience that Steve Reich mentioned was hugely related to the music that was happening in the United States at the time. For the first time movements in music were being created in the U.S. and exported elsewhere; the opposite of what had been the common practice prior. Through American popular music and with a melting pot culture, musicians shared and blended ideas and styles. This gave way to many genres that originated in America.

American popular music was bursting with creativity. “Jazz, blues, country, and gospel evolved into rhythm and blues, rock n’ roll, soul and funk.” “Hank Williams,  crafted country songs of gem-like beauty; Ray Charles and James Brown fused gospel with blues sensuality; Chuck Berry let loose the stripped down anarchy of rock n’ roll; Elvis Presley repackaged rock for a huge youth public (Ross 518). The counter culture that emerged alongside these musical movements and their standards of thought and behavior encompassed the life of the composers as they entered their college years and continued through their lives. This was extremely obvious when Steve Reich worked in Terry Riley’s band as his piano player, when both were students in San Francisco. They collaborated on the use of static harmonic progressions, reminiscent of Modal Jazz similar to Miles Davis’s So What from the 1959 album Kind of Blue and its dreamlike slowness of the harmonic rhythm (Ross 519).

Jazz, and especially Bebop, had a very distinct effect on the Minimalist composers and the American experience. During the war, with large numbers of musicians serving in the armed forces, the size of the commercial jazz ensemble shrank severely. The music moved its focus away from pleasing the audience into dancing to artistic statements.

Starting with the Bebop movement, you see a breaking down of musical boundaries. According to Alex Ross: “The wall separating classical music from neighboring genres appeared ready to crumble, as it had momentarily in the twenties and thirties, when Copland and Gershwin, and Ellington crossed paths at Carnegie Hall.” (Ross 516) An example and poignant moment in jazz was Charlie Parker quoting The Rite of Spring in his solo on the classic: “Salt Peanuts.”

Bebop was not only a musical movement, but an identity. The Beboppers were proud of their music and saw themselves as serious artists and musicians. Trumpeter and Jazz educator Dizzy Gillespie said “We invented our own way of getting from one place to the next” (Ross p.519). It continued through out the 1950‘s and 60‘s. As Thelonious Monk stated: “You play what you want, and let the public pick up what you are doing” (Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: an Encyclopedia by: Todd Jenkins
Greenwood Press). This mentality would be prominent in the counter culture that produced Minimalism.

As stated before, Steve Reich and the Minimalist composers grew up with Jazz from an early age and it would effect their musical tastes and output: “Two sounds caught the ear of fourteen year old Steve Reich: the punch-drunk rhythm of the Rite of Spring and the blindsiding beat of Kenny Clarke (Ross p. 518). For Terry Riley, it was Bebop and ragtime piano. Philip Glass was an avid listener of jazz. The history of minimalism can’t be written without mention of jazz after World War II.

Modern Jazz borrowed and adapted classical music and in turn influenced these composers in their formidable years. Terry Riley literally played his compositions alongside famed trumpeter Chet Baker in the early 1960‘s. Improvising as an art form would be key to the aesthetics of composers like Reich and Riley. Much of minimalism depends on the collective whole working together. The intricate pieces of a song must fit together precisely in order for the piece to be fully actualized. Gunther Schuller wrote: “which holds that all musics are created equal, coexisting in a beautiful brotherhood of musics that complement and fructify each other “ (

Modern Jazz musicians would be irresistible to the American classical composers who were as Ross put it: “looking for a way out of Schoenberg’s maze.”

Reich and his colleagues didn’t just one day protest European music and decide together they were going to do something new or different. It was a very gradual and detailed development. It began at the university level where Terry Riley and Steve Reich, along with John Cage, Pauline Oliveros were formally or many times, as in Cage’s case, informally students of leading composers like La Monte Young, Edgard Varese, Henry Cowell; also, Arnold Schoenberg. (Holmes)

During their college years, the classical avant-garde was in full swing. Composers were taking pilgrimages to Darmstadt, Germany to consult with Karl Stockhausen and in Paris, France with Pierre Scheafer. The modernistic approach to music with electronic experimentation was a direct pathway to minimalism. For example the application of total serialism was applied in conjunction with electronic  experimentation, music concrete and tape loops. The adventurous along with the forms of the past. (Holmes).


PART III: European Modernism and John Cage 

“There is, thank God, a large segment of our population that never heard        of J.S. Bach.” -Harry Partch (


Post war Europe was a laboratory. Full of academically inspired composers who drafted compositions that were at times, scientific in process.  Electronic innovations led to experimentation that influenced many composers. Historians mark the advent of The Modernist movement in music started after World War I and continued through out the century. Many historians argue what years exactly the movement occurred, others simply label the movement as a mindset that a composer have: “In music, the term “modernism” refers generally to the period of change and development in musical language that occurred at or around the turn of the 20th century, a period of diverse reactions in challenging and reinterpreting older categories of music, innovations that lead to new ways of organizing and approaching harmonic, melodic, sonic, and rhythmic aspects of music, and changes in aesthetic world views in close relation to the larger identifiable period of modernism in the arts of the time” (Metzer, David Joel. 2009. Musical Modernism at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Music in the Twentieth Century 26. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press). However, popular music and counter culture that thrived in the United States would be separated from the academic mindset of European composers. The work of jazz artists Coltrane, Monk and Davis, would not effect music on the European continent, nor would Elvis, Chuck Berry or James Brown.

The Modernist approached looked to older forms of music such as structure, narrative, melodic and rhythmic development and applied or advanced those previous writing styles to newer works.  Such is the case with Schoenberg’s serialist music that he developed and applied through the rest of his life.

Total serialism, is the idea of using predetermined notes known as tone rows, harmonies, and rhythms in the creation of a composition, soon the status quo of classical music. The Darmstadt school as it was known, is seen in the work of Olivier Messiaen’s Mode de valeus et d’intensites, written in 1950. In his piece, he created divisions for each chromatic note, dynamic markings and articulations. The piece is remarkable in its systematic aesthetic. [Each division] “containing all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, each represented once. In the score each division has a staff to itself” (Oxford 412) Pierre Boulez continued this idea of divisions with his work Structures Ia in 1951 Messiaen’s music advanced the serial concepts of Arnold Schoenberg and  reflects the sounds of Medieval music and as most of his music, was influenced by his deep religious convictions. Messiaen later served as a mentor to other post war composers in Europe in the Darmstadt school.

Soon after, a 24 year old student composer of Messiaen’s would continue in the serialist style and push it even further in the European way, Karlheinz Stockhausen. The composer studied in Germany and France and worked with other Modernist composers.  He experimented with electronic music techniques such as tape loops and voltage oscillation. Although his music would be presented in nontraditional ensembles or lack of an organized ensemble altogether, like in with prerecorded tape, his compositions were in the style of his European mentors. “Stockhausen’s approach to composing [Studie I] is a good example of the application of serial technique to the tape composition and also illustrates the discipline shown by classically trained composers in creating music… (Holmes 63).

Stockhausen became a figurehead and authority on the electronic classical music scene through out the 50’s and into the 60’s. American composers traveled to discuss music with him (and few received any honest or welcoming attention from the composer). Stockhausen, an elder of the minimalists, did not experience the lifestyle of popular music bombarding the music he was seriously studying and what was on the radio. His music is very different from the Americans’. Unlike his counterparts, after class he did not sneak off in the night in search of jazz or rock n’ roll in a club. He would influence both classical and popular artists, but in turn not from younger composers.


The composer who connected the two continents during the post war era was John Cage. Cage dabbled, experimented, sought and strived in almost every musical technique conducted in the 20th century. During the 1950‘s he visited Europe to learn for himself what Modernist composers were creating first hand, especially on the more experimental level. He is known as a chaotic composer, one who used noises as a means of arguing new music. He incorporated African musical concepts and worked with Chance Operations. His on the cuff attitude and use of improvisation in performances would echo with the minimalists that came up after him. Presently his music is still debated with strong opinions about his work heavily divided between artistic to absurd. He was however, quite the opposite and added to the experience of the young American composers. “Although some of Cage’s music might certainly be described as lacking conventional musical structure and harmony, much of the composer’s music for conventional instruments is much the opposite. The bottom line is that composing by chance operations doesn’t necessarily imply that the outcome is chaotic (Holmes 87).

Cage was an elder to Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Philip Glass and other American composers after the war, through his west coast studies with Henry Cowell, took his knowledge east where his influence spread. His compositions in magnetic tape and experiments with musique concrete  for instance, served as a palette for the younger musicians to explore. He hovered over the “radical end of of American music as a liberating spirit” according to Alex Ross, and was once quoted as saying “Beethoven was wrong!!” at a lecture in 1952. Cage took what he had learned from classical composition and sought a new direction. Steve Reich’s magnetic tape composition Its Gonna Rain is reminiscent of Cage’s work, The Roaratorio and Fontana Mix. John Cage bridged the European and the American.






PART IV: Minimalism

“To be a tonal composer in the 60’s and 70’s was a deeply dispiriting experience. One was shunned as the last teenaged virgin.”–William Mayer (Ross 533)


Minimalism began in the underground music scene of New York City’s downtown lofts and the clubs of San Francisco. Based on consonant harmony and the repetition and development of short motivic devices and/or phrases, the music became very popular amongst composers and experimentalists.

Minimalism is said to have started with composer La Monte Young who credits growing up in the dairy lands of Idaho as the source for his spaciousness in his music. He listened to bebop and twelve tone music (which Gunther Schuller liked to say “often sounded the same”) (Ross 536). He dissected the tone rows of Webern, a student of Schoenberg, and saw connections between the notes. Young extended the notes of the rows into long tones as he put it. He wrote and experimented with drone-based sounds through out the 60’s. He joined the counter culture movement, interacting with artists like Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono. He included eastern philosophy such as Tai Chi into his composing techniques; he even experimented with drugs.

Terry Riley met Young in 1958 and was introduced to the older composer’s teachings. “What La Monte introduced me to was this concept of not having to press ahead to create interest,” said Riley (Ross 539). This was part of the experience Reich was referring to. Riley experimented with marijuana and LSD along with the compositional techniques with tape loops by Cage and Stockhausen. His first tape piece was named Mescalin Mix. 

Riley’s work continued with the experimentation and integration of drones, loops and improvisation. He was attracted to hippie culture, and attracted throngs of tie-dyed fans with all-night improvisations on electronically enhanced saxophone and organ (Ross 541). His most famous work, In C, is held together by two pulsing high C’s played on the piano. It consists of 53 short, musical phrases played at the discretion of the performers (in a Cagian style) in a particular order. In true hippie attitude the pulse (eighth note C’s) is maintained by “a beautiful girl,” noted in the score, and has no specific duration. The most separating aspect of the piece from the European style is the focus on E, the major third of the C major chord, again the focus on diatonic harmony.

If Terry Riley was the west coast hippie of minimalism, Steve Reich was the New York street version. He grew up between living in New York and California while his mother pursued an acting career. “If I had been in Europe during this period, I would have rode on very different trains,” he once said (Ross 541).

Reich was a teenager in the 1950’s and listened to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring along with the Bebop records of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. In college, he was attracted to Modernist Lucian Berio and the serialist method. However, tonality kept slipping into his compositions where Berio said “If you want to write tonal music, why don’t you write tonal music?” (Ross 542)He was influenced by fellow minimalists and his early compositions  were experimental. His first major work It’s Gonna Rain is a result of tape looping and echo effect. Reich’s early forays into composition involved experimentation with twelve-tone composition, but he found the rhythmic aspects of the twelve-tone series more interesting than the melodic aspects (


Outside of his college studies he spent time and performed with other, similarly thinking musicians and eventually decided to leave the academic life for the counter culture one. He didn’t quite accept the psychedelic lifestyle of his collaborators and moved back to New York.  The events of the 1960‘s would always be prevalent in his tone. Like many Americans, the turbulent decade wore at him.

On the east coast he continued to experiment with the phasing that he learned with tape looping. He was influenced by John Cage’s openminded approach to musical opportunities. His piece It’s Gonna Rain relied on the phasing effect that was created by the tape loop; in the mid 60‘s he wanted to apply that to instrumental music. He assembled a performing group for his music that acted more like a jazz group than a classical ensemble. “I want to be able to hear the process happening throughout the sounding music.” The result would be a blend of modal jazz, psychedelic trance, rage of protest music and the sexy bounce of rock n’ roll (Ross 545).


Steve Reich said: “Since the Schoenberg revolution began, audiences has been pleading for contemporary composers to return to plain old major and minor chords” (Ross 547). The post war era created a whole different environment for American composers and their music is a conscience proof of their rejection of European styles. For years American composers sought to create an original style of music and be accepted as serious classical composers. It took the effort of protesting the very academic school of thought and embrace the rebellious counter culture. American musicians grew up listening to American popular music, the domestic history happening before their eyes and the need to experiment freely. The advent of the underground music scene, similar to its rock and jazz contemporaries helped the experimentation grow. Steve Reich, along with his cohorts, were correct to protest a style that did not reflect their own experience. In music, composers and players will often find a reactionary movement threatening. In most cases, with out rebellion, change and progress can not occur.




Accessed 12/12/12



Metzer, David Joel. 2009. Musical Modernism at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Music in the Twentieth Century 26. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press

Oxford Anthology of Western Music. Volume III Oxford Press. New York. Print 2013

Baraka, Amiri, Blues People 1963

Ross, Alex. The Rest is Noise. Picador. New York. Print 2007

Holmes, Thom, Electronic and Experimental Music. Third Edition. Routledge. New York. Print 2002

July 2014

7/10/14 The Outer Space Hamden CT 10pm
Andrew Kosiba Keyboards
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
7/11/14 The Shrine Harlem, NY 6pm
WiRED – Electric Quartet
Andrew Kosiba Fender Rhodes/Effects
Andrew Zwart Electric Bass
Jerrod Cattey Drums
7/12/14 Cave a Vin New Haven CT 8pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Jerrod Cattey Drums
7/13/14 Cave a Vin New Haven 6-8pm
Sunday Night Jazz
7/27/14 Cave a Vin New Haven CT 6-8pm
Sunday Night
7/31/14 Stella Blues New Haven 9pm
WiRED – Electric Quartet
Andrew Kosiba Keyboards/Effects
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums


The grind of running a show

I took over the jazz series at the The Outer Space club back in 2011 in a rather lucky moment of being at the right place at the right time. I’ve known the owner Steve Rodgers for a number years dating back to when my old ska band used to play at his club. He told me he wanted a weekly series and thought I would be the man to run in for him.

I started right away trying to promote and book acts in CT to play our fairly new stage and give jazz, especially original material oriented bands a place to play. I had my connections with students from WCSU and the Hartt school, the New zhaven avant garde scene and various other connections with musicians in the area.

I knew I needed to start with a bang so I asked one of my trumpet heroes, Jeremy Pelt if he would play in a special guest setting to kick off the first set of dates. That show was on 2/17/12 and it was a huge success. I had hired my rhythm section to back up Pelt while he tore it up on some standards. I was able to secure a guarentee for Jeremy and made the money back at the door. We must have had about 60 people in the audience. I spent the rest of that night happy knowing I had something awesome going here.

Then the weekly frustration began…

Starting with the second week,  the show would be the most upsetting task I would volunterrily put myself in. I promoted the shit out of these shows. First online and through facebook. Unfortunately the numbers weren’t happening. The audience wasn’t coming. Every week these great bands would play to virturally no one. Maybe some regulars at the bar if they were lucky. I wasn’t allowed to charge a cover so I tried to tip jar approach. If bands had a good night they could split about $25 in singles.

Most nights are like that. Barely any one in attendance. I’ve heard a slew of excuses but their all so jive. I just don’t understand why people don’t come to check the shows out. I’ve tried everything on my end including flyers, radio promo, online promotion and still no one comes. Funny enough, I am constantly hearing how they’re not enough places to gig.

I’ve had a few more guest artists come in and put together to festival nights. Those are always successful. I then changed the format from all year shows to just two sessions spanning 3 months and the jury is still out on if that is going to work.

The jazz scene struggles and I think it’s because people are selfish. I think they expect people to be at their shows and never pay it forward. I think that regular folk don’t go out to hear music enough due to the evolved-natured idea that paying for music is something you just don’t do. I think people stay in too much and I also think having jazz on a Sunday night is a mistake but not one that should effect people seeing music as much as it does.

Every week I keep plugging along, but I sure as hell need a sign that this wasn’t for nothing.


April 2014

4/3/14 The Outer Space Hamden CT 8pm 
The Zero Dollar Collective
Nick DiMaria Trumpet
Jeff Cedrone Guitar
Pete Brunelli Bass
Pete Riccio Drums
4/5/14 The Shrine Harlem NYC 6-8pm
Andrew Kosiba Fender Rhodes
Andrew Zwart Electric Bass
Mike Rasimas Drums
4/12/14 Integrity n’ Music Wethersfield CT 2pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
4/12/14 Cave a Vin New Haven CT 8pm 
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Jerrod Cattey Drums
4/16/14 Lily Pad Inman Sq. Boston 7pm
Specter Collector    DEBUT PERFORMANCE
Nick Di Maria Trumpet
Neil Patton Bass
Mike Dick Drums
4/18/14 Anna Liffey’s New Haven CT 10pm
Four on Three opening at 9pm
Andrew Kosiba Fender Rhodes
Mike Godette Guitar
Andrew Zwart Electric Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
4/19/14 The Telegraph New London, CT 3pm
Nick Di Maria Trumpet
Isaac Young Keyboards
Jaime Duquette Bass
Jonas Sanchez Drums
4/20/14 First Presbyterian Church Fairfield CT 9am
Laurie Birch Organ
Phil Giampietro Euphonium
4/25/14 The 9th Note New Haven 8pm
Uri Shaham Trio
4/26/14 The 9th Note New Haven 8pm
Justin Vendette Piano
Aidan O’Connell Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums

October 2013

10/5/13 Park Central Hamden CT 8pm 
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Silvain Catellano Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/6/13 The Outer Space Hamden CT 6pm
Brett Bottomley Trio
Brett Bottomley Chapman Stick
Nick Di Maria Trumpet
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/9/13 Maggie McFly’s Brookfield CT 6-9pm
Shane Peters Guitar
Silvain Catellano Bass
10/11/13 Anna Liffey’s New Haven 9pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Andrew Zwart Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/12/13 The Shrine Harlem NYC 6-8pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Ian Haile Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/19/13 Cave a Vin New Haven CT 8pm
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Silvain Catellano Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/23/13 Maggie McFly’s Middlebury CT 6-9pm
Ian Haile Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/25/13 Shish Lounge West Hartford CT 7:30
Andrew Kosiba Piano
Ian Haile Bass
Eric Hallenbeck Drums
10/30/13 Maggie McFly’s Brookfield CT 6-9pm
Shane Peters Guitar
Silvain Catellano Bass


Too Big For Their Britches

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Did anyone realize how unimportant their music is in this world? Music?! Stop there! I should say Total Existence on Planet Earth!

Whether you come from a small, tight knit suburban music scene or a tight middle sized New Haven-esq type scene or a “little fish in a big pond major city” type music scene, let’s face it: Reputation Matters.

Not just, reputation but the way in which you treat others. I work and live within the confines of a tight middle sized music scene in the New Haven area. Many of the musicians in these parts know and work with each other in some degree or fashion. I’ve even known some of these musicians since high school and our garage band days. In fact I’m quite proud to see some of the guys I first played with grow into serious musicians and see their success. Some have even made it a habit of working with some heavy hitting groups and artists. Just recently I got to talk with a pal who I haven’t seen in years but is climbing his way up the indie rock ladder. I’m sure some of you have heard of The Stepkids. Great band and its awesome talking with their drummer Tim, a classmate of mine in college and talking shop. Don’t forget the little people when you spend a day in your gold plated jacuzzi someday!

Since creating the Jazz Series at the Outer Space in Hamden in the winter of 2011, I have been able to work with many more musicians from all around and see the business side of the scene from a different perspective. I started to realize why so many talented musicians never seem to get the amount of work that you would expect. Mostly, because they act like jerks to people.

You wouldn’t believe the demands I receive from musicians when booking a date for the series. From money to food to crowd expectation. I mean don’t get me wrong. Musicians deserve their earnings. I support that just as much as anyone else. However, I know when not to be an asshole to people. Talking down to a fellow musician or booker while talking yourself up, is no way to make a career. I learned from Eddie Henderson once: “You never want animosity on the bandstand, because its the music that suffers the most.” Can’t get any more simple than that.

We all have stories to tell and retell again and again of a time someone was a serious dumb ass on a gig. (I won’t get into firing a bandmate when I found out he said some inappropriate stuff to my friend’s girlfriends…. and mine own… at the same party.) But honestly, are these cats aware of their behavior? Sometimes I hope not because it would be quite irritating knowing they’re aware of it and think its ok.

Maybe I’m just a bleeding heart liberal who thinks of a perfect society where a jazz club exists on every block and every musician treats each other fairly and the gigs are plentiful and the money is astronomical and there’s free candy day and gas costs barely anything and you can watch Looney Tunes  again and your girlfriend doesn’t turn the TV off when you want to watch Lethal Weapon for the 2nd time that day in between Rocky marathons!

I digress.

Let me get to the point of this post because if you’ve read this far, well, I owe you.

When a musician treats you badly, you can just hire another. Simple. When a show promoter treats you badly. It affects the scene. We have such a show promoter in the Nutmeg State. Someone who thinks they are the only game in town and just because they work within the network they can treat people like shit. It grinds my gears this Naplolean-God like complex and I’ve noticed that some club owners embrace it because let’s face it, the organizer brings business. I can’t blame the club owners for it, I want them in business just as much as anyone else. But, I can bitch about it on the internet! Booyah!

I like to think that I treat each musician I work with, whether on the bandstand or as a booking agent for the series, equally. I offer them the same fair deal as everyone else and do my best to spread their sound when I can. But the organizers of one particular booking agency in Connecticut (face it, we all know who I’m talking about) need to realize you can’t act like an asshole to people. It creates negative karma for you. One day there will be a young kid like you, trying to do the same work and they’ll have a better situation because they’ll know your reputation and how 99% of the people who work with you think you’re a fucking scumbag. Lastly, stop treating people like dirt because its only a matter of time before someone “socks you in the mouth.”

Just be cool, people.

Been busy

Hey folks-

I just finally found a moment to sit down and update the website and here goes my attempt at any kind of informational harbinger for all of you to enjoy… because I know you all have been waiting to hear what I’ve been up to.

The newest news! I have yet another album out. This time its by one of my many side projects with Jeff Cedrone and Mike Rasimas called the Zero Dollar Trio. We recorded a live performance at The Outer Space, Hamden’s and perhaps Greater New Haven’s best and only legit jazz club.

The trio plays completely free and full of every genre and style you can think of. Jeff is a gizmo guy who often times also shreds your face off with his riff, Marc Ribot style guitar playing. On the album he also doubled on synthesizer which was absolutely killer to improvise over. Mike Rasimas is one of the best drummers I’ve ever worked with. He’s one of those few drummers who listens to everything you spill out and knows how to support you and give the occasion push off the cliff into musical bitchin’-ness.

The three of us don’t get to play together too often due to our pursuits so its a very exciting feeling to release a record together. Having it from a live gig also makes it enjoyable because any musician can attest to the energy you feel from a crowd.

You can check out the record at

So the snow ruined a lot. Haha, in fact my life is over. Ok, not really.

So in February, we had a record setting blizzard. 30 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. Needless to say it was pretty nuts. It took me three days to shovel out. The snow cancelled 4 gigs in a row including the Winter Jazz Festival we were on the line up for at The Outer Space. The show had us with 4 other groups and all the profits were going to be donated to Jimmy Greene and his family in memory of his daughter. I was so pumped to play the new quartet album for potentially a huge audience. Luckily though, the snow did not cancel the CD Release party the following weekend.

The response to the new album, The Beatnik, is really positive. Modestly I’ll admit people have been saying they not only like the over all sound but the compositions and the playing. Doesn’t get any better than that!

We have gigs every saturday this month so I’m looking forward to playing the material and getting more copies to more, and especially new, sets of ears!

Lastly in terms of new albums, I’m planning another live record for this summer. I’m hoping to do a sextet date with an added tenor saxophone and trombone and play some new originals and lesser known jazz classics. I’ve been obsessed with Herbie Hancock’s Speak Like A Child and am in the process of arranging it so it can be played with the band in the same style we play Toys. In the same vein I’ve been writing new compositions in the style of Mwandishi, and early electric Miles. I really don’t mind it that my influences are so obvious in my sound. They made me who I am and how I play right? Let my voice evolve from that.

I’ve been on a quest to get the band or at least myself in other cities. My ultimate dream is to gig in Portland, Seattle and Frisco with a local rhythm section and hopefully one day my own. In the mean time I’ve been networking for gigs in Philadelphia, Providence and Boston. Being an unknown jazz musician makes it tougher than ever. We’ll see but the more I network and sit in with other bands the better chances.

Well that’s good for now. See you in the funnies.