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Fall 2016 Jazz Series: Gary Smulyan

October 14, 2016
Fall 2016 Jazz Series: Gary Smulyan

Born in Bethpage, New York, Gary Smulyan started out playing the alto saxophone at a young age before changing to the baritone saxophone. In high school he was encouraged to look to jazz as a means of self-expression and he went on to sit in with several noted touring musicians, including Chet Baker, Lee Konitz and Jimmy Knepper. In the mid- to late 70s he studied at SUNY-Potsdam and Hofstra University before joining Woody Herman in 1978. In addition to playing at many venues in the USA, he also played at festivals overseas during succeeding decades. From the early 80s he played with several noted leaders, often affiliated with big bands. In the 90s Smulyan began associations with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and with Three Baritone Saxophone Band, in which he is teamed with Nick Brignola and Ronnie Cuber.

Smulyan has acknowledged that his baritone idols are Harry Carney and Pepper Adams, and something of the richly flavored sound of the former, and the sometimes detached approach of the latter, make an intriguing blend that is apparent in his work. Smulyan’s Homage pays tribute to Adams not only as player but also by using his idol’s compositions on all tracks.

Smulyan has consistently been ranked as the Number 1 baritone saxophone player in the annual Down Beat Readers and Critics polls. He is considered the standard bearer of his generation for the baritone saxophone.

This concert is part of New England Arts & Entertainment's Fall Jazz Series in the Poli Club. Subscriptions to all five shows, which include reserved seating, can be purchased for either the 7pm or 9pm performances. You can also call the Box Office at 203-346-2000.

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