SCHENECTADY— The final 2016 concert in the free Jazz on Jay series will feature the Gals Who Play Jazz from noon to 1:30 p.m. today on the Jay Street pedestrian mall. The rain site is Robb Alley in Proctors.
The group is a project of professional jazz artists and friends Patti Melita, vocals; Peg Delaney, piano; Linda Brown, bass; and Kristina Johnson, sax. They can be seen and heard at an assortment of venues, performing selections from the Great American Song Book and original compositions in the creative and improvisational idiom of jazz.
Melita, known for her smooth renditions of traditional swing tunes, was a longtime co-director of the Dance Flurry Festival in Saratoga Springs. Together with fellow vocalist Teresa Broadwell, she coordinated the DanceFlurry Organization’s monthly swing dances for sixteen years.
Melita is the leader of Patti-O and The Hip Hooligans and has recorded a CD titled “Swing It!” She is president of the New York State Conference of Musicians, treasurer of The Swingtime Jazz Society, and a board member of A Place For Jazz.
Jazz on Jay
WHEN: Today, noon to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Jay Street pedestrian mall, downtown Schenectady.
HOW MUCH: Free
Johnson grew up in Los Angeles and majored in music at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Currently, she is an assistant professor at SUNY Cobleskill, directing the jazz band, choir and teaching music history. She performs with a number of bands including being lead alto sax for the Joey Thomas Big Band since 1999, jamming with the Catskill dance band The Blues Maneuver, along with playing in jazz quartets and the occasional zydeco gig.
Delaney plays sophisticated piano jazz, drawing from American, Latin and Brazilian idioms. Her recent CD “Hotline” features Latin Jazz melodies with interplay between guitar and piano. She has been a two-time recipient of the New York State Council for The Arts: Meet the Composer Grant and was semifinalist in the Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band Competition. She has written a book of transcriptions of solos by baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola.
Brown has performed in jazz chamber groups, big bands, musical theatre; radio and concert venues. She studied guitar with Jack Fragomeni; theory with Nick Brignola and Leo Russo and double bass with Steve LaSpina, Mike Wicks and Rich Syracuse. She leads the “Linda Brown Jazz Project” and can be heard on Michael Benedict’s recording “The New Beat.” She was a member of the “Airwaves” jazz group for two decades. She holds a bachelor’s degree in arts management from Sage College in Troy and a master’s in public administration from the University at Albany.
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