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Brazillian Jazz at Smithfield Church

Music Preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Mon Oct 1st, 2018

Smithfield Church

Composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist horn player Matt Finley brings together a small group of world-class performers for an hour of live jazz. This concert will feature the music of Brazil, jazz standards, and original compositions. In the intimate atmosphere of the church, the acoustic sounds will be anchored by the church's exceptional 1866 Steinway grand piano. Due to renovations, handicap access is temporarily limited; call for information. The concert is sponsored by the Bang Family Gift.

Matt has played shows, concerts, recordings and television for fifty-five years and has performed and recorded with many of the finest jazz musicians in the world. He performed for seven years with Grammy-winning baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola and studied composition with Edgar Curtis, Director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Matt plays flugelhorn, trumpet, soprano sax, flute & vibes and led the Brazilian jazz concert band Rio JAZZ for 31 years. Matt orchestrated and performed his compositions as headliner with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra and is currently playing the jazz trumpet chair in three professional big bands. He also plays piccolo trumpet and is the instrumental arranger and director for special services at the Smithfield Church. A retired dean of academic affairs and professor of computer information systems and music, Matt lives in Pine Plains and Lake George.

Pianist, composer, and arranger Larry Ham is a veteran New York sideman, performing, touring, and recording with many great jazz artists. His own recordings have also received international critical acclaim. As a United States Department of State Jazz Ambassador, Larry toured eleven West African nations in 2001-02 in a cultural exchange program, performing in concert and conducting workshops on the art of playing jazz. During the past few years he has toured extensively in the US and performed in Russia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Canada, Germany, Poland, England, Switzerland, Austria and France. Larry lives in Millbrook.

Bass-player Lou Pappas performs with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra, the Chappaqua Chamber Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic and the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is presently Instructor of Double Bass at Vassar College and the State University of New York at New Paltz. Heavily in demand by all the jazz players in the region, Lou has performed many concerts with Matt, Larry and Tom was also the featured artist at the Smithfield Christmas Concert & Tea in 2016.

Drummer Tom Melito has been a mainstay on the New York City jazz scene for many years. His drumming has been heard behind such varied artists as John Pizzarelli, Frank Wess, Harry Allen, "Sweets" Edison, Lew Soloff, and Bill Watrus. Frequently performing with Larry Ham, Tom's talents have been in demand internationally, including numerous tours of Japan, China, Europe, and South America. He also performs at most of the largest jazz events, including the JVC, Montreal, and Berne Jazz Festivals. His various television appearances include the CBS Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN World Beat. Active in jazz education, he also plays on Jerry Bergonzi’s CD play along method, and is recording a series of jazz educational CDs for “Windplayer” magazine. Currently a lecturer at Central Connecticut University, Tom lives in Danbury, Connecticut.

The likely program is as follows:

‘Madalena’                                                    Ivan Lins

‘Peaceful Day’                                                   Matt Finley

‘Holiday Bell Waltz’                                     Matt Finley

‘Book’s Bossa’                                               Walter Booker

‘Crystal Silence’                                            Chick Corea

‘When She’s Gone’                                       Matt & Denise Finley

‘Now That We Know’                                  Matt Finley

‘Sometime Ago’                                             Sergio Mihanovich

‘Heather’s Veil’                                             Lou Pappas

‘Lullaby’                                                        Larry Ham

‘Kind and Gentle’                                         Matt Finley

There will be a meet and greet reception with refreshments after the Saturday, October 6, 4 pm concert. There is a suggested donation of $20. Smithfield Church is located at 656 Smithfield Rd., Amenia, NY. A video of Matt Finley and friends appears below.