Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash   The BAE welcomes Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, acclaimed performers on the sarod, a large and dramatic string instrument similar to the sitar, a member of the lute family which is indigenous to Hindustani classical music. The Bangashs represent the 7th generation of a musical lineage, as sons and disciples of the sarod icon Amjad Ali Khan. With him they have performed worldwide, including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. They have also collaborated with guitarist Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and London Philharmonia, Avignon Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera and Britten Sinfonia. The Bangashs also recently performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2014 in Oslo. They present traditional Indian classical ragas and folk music interpreted on their unique instruments.

Born in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba, Elio Villafranca was classically trained in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana.

Since his arrival in the U.S. in 1995, Elio Villafranca has been at the forefront of a generation of remarkable pianists, composers and bandleaders. Last year he was among 5 pianists chosen by Chick Corea to perform at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival at JALC. His Letters to Mother Africa was selected by NYC Jazz Records as one of the top concerts of 2016. He also received a 2010 Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year.  Mr. Villafranca was honored with the BMI Jazz Guaranty Award, and received the first NFA/Heineken Green Ribbon Master Artist Music Grant for the creation of Concerto for Mariachi for Afro-Cuban percussion and orchestra. His first album, Incantations/Encantaciones, featuring Pat Martino, Terell Stafford and Dafnis Prieto, was ranked among the 50 best jazz albums of the year by JazzTimes magazine in 2003.

Elio Villafranca’s new album Caribbean Tinge (Motema) received a 2014 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik nomination (German Records Critics Award), as well as selection by JazzTimes and Downbeat magazines for features in their Editor’s Pick sections.

Over the years Elio Villafranca has recorded and performed nationally and internationally as a leader with jazz artists Pat Martino, Terell Stafford, Billy Hart, Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Alexander, Lewis Nash and David Murray. As a sideman Mr. Villafranca has collaborated with leading jazz artists Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Jon Faddis, Billy Harper, Miguel Zenón and Johnny Pacheco. Based in New York City, he is a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard School of Music, as well as Temple University in Philadelphia.

Bassist/vocalist/producer/filmmaker Mimi Jones is a side woman with an impressive coterie of musicians and leader with three CDs on her own label, (Hot Tone Music) featuring the Mimi Jones Band. Her newest release, Feet in the Mud, refers to “being true to one’s own self, despite your race, age, gender, size,” Jones says. Jones is supported by notable musicians pianist Jon Cowherd, drummer Jonathan Barber and saxophonist Samir Zarif.

Born in New York City of parents from Barbados and raised in the Bronx, Jones is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. She has studied with Lisle Atkinson, Ron Carter, Linda McKnight, Milton Hinton and others. She has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands, and is recognized as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador.  Her vast work as a side woman includes collaboration with Kenny Barron, Frank Ocean, Dianne Reeves, Tia Fuller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marc Cary, Toshi Reagon, Rachel Z, Sean Jones, Ravi Coltrane and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy Award-winning Mosaic Project.

Jones also serves as co-director with Arco Iris Sandoval of the D.O.M.E. Experience, a multimedia project created to inspire its audience to become aware of environmental and social issues, within the community and globally, through choreography, composition and cinematography.

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Twitter: @mimijonesmusic, @HotToneMusic

PAQUITO D’RIVERA – Born in Havana, Paquito performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and at 17 became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while he played clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra.  Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative ensemble Irakere.  With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe and won a GRAMMY in 1979.

In 1988, Paquito was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble organized by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with jazz.  Paquito continues to appear as guest conductor. In 1991 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music. Additionally, his highly acclaimed ensembles – the Chamber Jazz Ensemble,  Paquito D’Rivera Big Band and Paquito D’Rivera Quintet are in great demand worldwide.

While Paquito’s discography reflects a dedication and enthusiasm for jazz, bebop and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are notable, including solo performances with the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony.  He has also performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony, Costa Rica National Symphony, Simón Bolivar Orchestra, Bronx Arts Ensemble and St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra.  In his passion to bring Latin repertoire to greater prominence, he has successfully created, championed and promoted all types of classical compositions. Paquito’s three chamber compositions were recorded live in concert with distinguished cellist Yo-Yo Ma in September, 2003.  The chamber work Merengue, from that live concert at Zankel Hall, was released by Sony Records and garnered Paquito his 7th GRAMMY as Best Instrumental Composition in 2004.

Recent recognition of Paquito’s compositional skills came with the award of a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and 2007-2008 appointment as Composer-In-Residence at the Caramoor Center with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.  As part of the Caramoor Latin American music initiative, Sonidos Latinos, his new concerto for double bass and clarinet/saxophone, Conversations with Cachao, pays tribute to Cuba’s legendary bass player, Israel “Cachao” Lopez. Inspiration for another recent composition, The Cape Cod Files, comes from such disparate sources as Benny Goodman, Argentine milonga, improvisations on music of Ernesto Lecuona, and North American boogie-woogie.  His numerous commissions include compositions for Jazz at Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, National Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Ying String Quartet, International Double Reed Society, Syracuse University, Montreal’s Gerald Danovich Saxophone Quartet, and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Paquito is the author of two books, My Sax Life, and a novel, Oh, La Habana.  He is the recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Award 2005 and the National Medal of the Arts 2005, as well as the Living Jazz Legend Award from Kennedy Center in 2007. Other honors include Doctorates Honoris Causa in Music (from the Berklee School of Music in Boston and the University of Pennsylvania), and the Jazz Journalist Association’s Clarinetist of the Year Award in both 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he received the International Association for Jazz Education President’s Award and the Frankfurter Musikpreis in Germany, and the Medal of Honor from the National Arts Club in 2009.  He received his 10th and 11th GRAMMY this year for Panamericana Suite as Best Latin Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition, adding to his previous GRAMMY for Riberas (Best Classical Recording) and Funk Tango (Best Latin Jazz Album 2008).  Paquito is the first artist to win Latin GRAMMYs in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories -for Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat and Brazilian Dreams with New York Voices.  He has served as artistic director of jazz programming at the New Jersey Chamber Music Society and continues as Artistic Director of Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punta Del Este in Uruguay, and the DC Jazz Festival in Washington DC.

In 1999 the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares presented Paquito with a special award recognizing his contribution to the arts, his humane qualities, and his defense of rights and liberties of artists around the world.  The National Endowment for the Arts website affirms, “He has become the consummate multinational ambassador, creating and promoting a cross-culture of music that moves effortlessly among jazz, Latin and Mozart.”

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With memorable melodies and colorful interplay, American composer OLIVER CAPLAN’s music expresses a deeply felt romanticism. Mr. Caplan has been commissioned by the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Columbia University Wind Ensemble, Washington & Jefferson College Wind Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, and Lorelei Ensemble. His music has also been presented by the Cleveland Contemporary Players, Boston New Music Initiative, 11:11 Theatre Company, Nebraska Chamber Players and dance choreographers Mary Chris DeBelina and Susan Graham, among others. Chicago’s 5thHouse Ensemble awarded him the Grand Prize in its Young Composer Competition (2010). Other accolades include a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2011), recognition by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers with ASCAPLUS Awards for emerging artists (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), and selection as a Finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2009).

Mr. Caplan (b. 1982) was raised in the Bronx, New York. He studied Music and Geography at Dartmouth College (B.A. 2004) and Composition at the Boston Conservatory (M.M. 2006). His composition teachers include Dalit Warshaw, Dana Brayton and Charles Dodge. Mr. Caplan currently resides in Somerville, Massachusetts. An avid hiker, he finds inspiration through time outdoors.


Pianist ADRIENNE KIM has performed as soloist with the Central Philharmonic of Beijing, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Portland Chamber Orchestra and Richmond Symphony. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s residency program for emerging young artists, and she is also a founding member of New York Chamber Music Co-op, a new creative performance collaborative based in New York. Ms. Kim has recorded the solo and chamber music of Daniel S. Godfrey with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on the Koch label, and on the Centaur label the violin and piano sonatas of Granados, Turina and Rodrigo with BAE solo artist Jorge Ávila. Adrienne Kim is on the faculty of Mannes College, The New School where she serves as Coordinator of the Piano Department in the Prep division and Coordinator of Secondary Piano in the College division. She is as well coach for the New York Youth Symphony’s chamber music program. Her teachers were Menahem Pressler at Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree, and Leon Fleisher at the Manhattan School of Music, receiving there a Master’s degree.

Recognized as one of the world’s finest solo, chamber and orchestral musicians, ANTHONY McGILL was named Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic in 2014, and was previously Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Associate Principal of the Cincinnati Symphony. Mr. McGill has appeared as soloist with the Met Orchestra, American Symphony and New York String Orchestra as well as the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Baltimore, Kansas City, New Jersey and San Diego. As a chamber musician he has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and at such summer festivals as Tanglewood, Marlboro, Mainly Mozart and Santa Fe. In January of 2009 Mr. McGill performed with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Bard College Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music

Acclaimed vibraphonist/composer JAY HOGGARD has touched the hearts and souls of listeners for over 40 years, blending jazz and gospel roots with African marimba rhythms and offering performances of blues, bop and ballads with original innovations. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Mr. Hoggard has recorded 22 CDs as a leader and over 50 as collaborator, including HARLEM HIEROGLYPHS, SONGS OF SPIRITUAL LOVE, SWING ‘EM GATES and CHRISTMAS VIBES ALL THRU THE YEAR. In 2009 he was commissioned by the dance troupe Sankofa Kuumba and the Hartford Symphony to write THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OCEAN and LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR. Other commissions include Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Hartford Festival of Jazz and Wesleyan University. Mr. Hoggard has performed at the major jazz festivals in St. Lucia, Montreux, Lincoln Center and Mt. Fugi, and has collaborated with Tito Puente, Lionel Hampton, Dr. Billy Taylor, Max Roach and Hilton Ruiz. He is currently an Adjunct Full Professor of Music at Wesleyan University and is the director of the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra, teaching and mentoring hundreds of students.

Throughout its history the quintet has commissioned and premiered the works of a wide range of composers, including jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D’ Rivera. The MB places an emphasis on breaking down barriers between performers and audiences — the group has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, has appeared as featured artists in recital on Japanese network NHK-TV, as well as under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

MBʼs recordings and performances have received international praise; Fanfare magazine declared “Speaking of dazzling, Manhattan Brass is off the chart…this group sounds as though they can do anything.” Their latest CD release; “New York Now” (2010) is a landmark recording featuring original and MB signature works by Marsalis, DʼRivera, Bernstein, and Daniel Schnyderʼs EUPHORIA — an over-the-top jazz/world/classical tone poem, written for the group with Schnyder on soprano sax. Other recent releases include “The Music of David Dzubay” and “BRASS” featuring music written by, as well as performed with, Daniel Schnyder. “Manhattan Brass has opened a whole new world of brass quintet performance. They are carving their own special niche – they are stellar.”

Multi-talented conductor, musical director, pianist, lecturer and arranger PABLO ZINGER has been called this country’s “King of Zarzuela” by Opera News, and we happily welcome him back this season to the BAE, where he presented notable performances with the Ensemble of El Amor Brujo and El retablo de maese Pedro (de Falla) as well as the tango opera Marta Gruni (Jaurés Lamarque Pons). Mr. Zinger is a native of Uruguay, and since coming to the United States in 1976 has worked widely in theatre, opera and the concert hall. His many recordings include the 2001 Grammy-award nominated album The Clarinetist with Paquito D’Rivera, as well as several notable CDs with the Bronx Arts Ensemble of chamber music of Carlos Surinach. Mr. Zinger has presented with Repertorio Español in New York such zarzuelas as Doña Francisquita, Luisa Fernanda, La corte de Faraón and La vida breve. A specialist in the music of Astor Piazzolla, Mr. Zinger tours and records with the Nuevo Tango Zinger Septet, and he has conducted the Costa Rico National Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela and the Montevideo Philharmonic, as well as the Bronx Arts Ensemble.

TED ROSENTHAL is one of the leading jazz pianists of his generation, having performed with such artists as Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods and James Moody. Winner of the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, he has released fifteen CDs as a leader, including Rhapsody in Gershwin (2014) which comprises his arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue for jazz trio, reaching #1 in jazz album sales at iTunes and Amazon. Mr. Rosenthal is artistic director of jazz at the Riverdale Y, and he has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Jon Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. He is the pianist of choice for many top jazz vocalists including Ann Hampton Callaway and Barbara Cook, and his orchestral performances have been with the Detroit Symphony, Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony. Ted Rosenthal received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and is on the faculties of the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music, and presents jazz clinics throughout the world.