Friday, September 9, 2011

Russ Kassoff Big Band w/ Catherine Dupuis @ Gillespie Auditorium, NY, next Tuesday

The Russ Kassoff Big Band, led by renowned jazz pianist, composer and arranger Russ Kassoff, will perform in concert at the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium, NYC Baha'i Center in New York City, located at 53 East 11th Street (between Broadway and University), on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - sets at 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm. The band will once again feature guest vocalist Catherine Dupuis. Information (212) 222-5159,, or Tickets are $15 at the door; $10 for students (w/ID) and WBGO members. Copies of Mr. Kassoff's critically acclaimed CDs "Bird Fly By" (voted CD of the Month last month here on the Jazz Station blog) and "Somewhere" will be available at the concert. Both are also available at

The Russ Kassoff Big Band was formed in 2003 after a successful run of concerts featuring Russ as featured composer, arranger, orchestrator, and piano soloist. The virtuosity of the magnificent musicians in the band contributes to the new fresh sound of these hard-swinging original charts. Russ's repertoire is eclectic and diverse, including many new and innovative arrangements of his original compositions in addition to such classics as Ellington's Perdido, Horace Silver's The Preacher, Fats Waller's The Joint Is Jumpin', and Tori Amos' Winter.

The roster of players who have regularly performed in the band over the years includes: Ted Nash, Lawrence Feldman, Kurt Bacher, Andy Fusco, Matt Hong, Rick Kriska, Kristy Norter, Dan Block, Gary Keller, Ken Hitchcock, Gerry Niewood, Dave Noland, Carl Maraghi, Ed Xiques, Bob Millikan, Tony Kadleck, Mike Ponella, Glenn Drewes, Brian Pareschi, Shawn Edmonds, Kenny Rampton, Colin Brigstocke, Bud Burridge, John Chudoba, Greg Gisbert, Dave Trigg, Clint Sharman, Charley Gordon, Bruce Bonvissutto (contractor), George Flynn, Nathan Mayland, Pete McGuinness, Dale Kirkland, Bob Suttman, Dave Bargeron, Johannes Pfannkuch, Jennifer Wharton, Tim Sessions, Jack Schatz, Jay Anderson, Jay Leonhart, Gary Mazzaroppi, Ray Kilday, Dick Sarpola, Mike Hall, Maryanne McSweeney, John Arbo, Chip Jackson, John Miller, Joe Cohn, Gene Bertoncini, James Cirillo, Dennis Mackrel, Ray Marchica, Warren Odze, Ronnie Zito, Rich Derosa and vocalists Catherine Dupuis, Martha Lorin and Tony winner Debbie Gravitte (Big Band Broadway!) just to name a few. Most likely the band performing will be from this tremendous roster!

Russ toured extensively with legends Frank Sinatra by request ('80-'91) and Liza Minnelli ('82-'01). As a writer, Russ counts among his major influences Rob McConnell, Thad Jones, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa and Don Sebesky naming just a few.

As a pianist his influences include Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett. All members of the Russ Kassoff Big Band are among a small group of the best free lance musicians in the world. Together they form a vast bio of many worlds of performing experience. Russ - with Sinatra, Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Mimi Hines, Susannah McCorkle, Carol Sloan, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Chris Connor, Bucky Pizzarelli, and countless others - is joined by his band members who also bring their experience - with Count Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Gerry Mulligan, Sting, Natalie Cole - just about everyone in the traditions of American jazz and show business - not to mention the Broadway shows currently being played by these marvelous players.

The 17-piece band has performed regularly at the Bahai Center in NYC as part of the wonderful Tuesday night jazz series in the Dizzy Gillespie auditorium produced by jazz great Mike Longo, and has backed Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte in a show/concert created by Russ and Debbie called "BIG BAND BROADWAY" at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ct., and at Birdland in NYC, has been the featured performer at the 2nd annual Milford, PA Music Festival under the coordination of Martha Lorin, and has been heard on the 1010 WINS Radio Jingle promoting live music in the NY Metropolitan area sponsored by LOCAL 802 AFM, NY's musicians union! The RKBB also has appeared annually in the sanctuary at St. Peter's Lutheran Church at the Citicorp Center most recently honoring in tribute to Gerry Niewood, a founding member and world class saxophonist who perished in the Buffalo plane crash of February 12, 2009.

Kassoff was a guest (May '07) on NPR with Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz celebrating his critically acclaimed solo/trio CD, Somewhere. Russ also appears regularly on Lise Avery's Anything Goes Radio - as they can be heard exchanging many stories, fun and banter as well as promoting many of Russ's local gigs in the NY area.

Vocalist Catherine Dupuis has been the featured vocalist with the RKBB since its inception. Her style is soulful, innovative, and fresh and she is a consummate artist. With the RKBB she performs a repertoire of original RK arrangements that she and Russ have worked on as musical partners for several years. Dupuis' three CDs recorded for Bearheart Records have received rave reviews. About "Rules of the Road" (2005) arranged and conducted by Russ Kassoff, featuring the Russ Kassoff Trio, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ted Nash, Marvin Stamm and Joe Cohn, Scott Yanow (All Music Guide) writes: "Although not overly famous, Catherine Dupuis shows on this CD that she is one of the most interesting jazz singers of the early 21st century. Her song selection is particularly strong, with a few standards performed in fresh ways and joined by vintage obscurities and newer material. "I've Never Been in Love Before" and "Lonesome Road" are reinvented. "The Rules of the Road" is highly recommended and a perfect introduction to the singing of Catherine Dupuis." Catherine is also the chairman of the JazzPA board - an annual jazz festival she produces that this year will feature Russ, Jay Anderson, Dennis Mackrel and special guest Ted Nash.

(Catherine, Bucky Pizzarelli, Russ Kassoff & Ted Nash)

Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.
Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.
For more about the NYSAJE and other acts at "Jazz Tuesdays", check out our websites at

Jazz Tuesdays
in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)
Two shows: 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.

For more details about Russ Kassoff's "Bird Fly By," elected CD of the Month in August here on the Jazz Station blog, and surely one of the best jazz albums of the year, please check:

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