Middlebury

Miles Donahue Quintet Brings Leading Jazz Artists to Middlebury

April 14, 2014

May 2 Concert Will Feature Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, Pianist Alain Mallet, and More

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Middlebury, VT—Acclaimed performer, composer, and educator Miles Donahue will lead an all-star lineup of jazz players in a public concert on May 2 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Led by Donahue on saxophone and trumpet, the Miles Donahue Quintet will also feature Jerry Bergonzi (formerly of the Dave Brubeck quartet) on saxophone, Alain Mallet (formerly with Paul Simon) on piano, Ralph Peterson on drums, and John Lockwood on bass. Not only is the concert free and open the public, but everyone who attends will also receive a free copy of Donahue’s latest CD.

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Donahue is a leading sax and trumpet player with decades of high-profile performances, musical collaborations, and recordings to his credit. Though his jazz career did not begin in earnest until he was 45, he performed at many venues in the 1960s with his own group that featured Harvey Swartz, Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Banacos, Nick Goumas, and Jack Diefendorf. In the 1980s, Donahue recorded two albums of original material with New York Philharmonic flutist Paige Brook, released on Tioch Records. In 1992, Donahue’s first major recording as a jazz leader was released on Timeless Records. Later he formed his own label, Amerigo Records, with its first release, “In the Pocket,” in September 2001. Boston Globe jazz critic Bob Blumenthal commented, “Discover a jazz treasure. Miles Donahue is one of the best-kept jazz secrets,” calling Donahue “equally adept on trumpet and various saxophones and a composer of grace and originality.” Donahue is an Affiliate Artist of the Middlebury College Department of Music.

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Donahue has assembled an impressive group of musicians to share the stage. Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi is a renowned player who has toured all around the world for over three decades, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Royal Festival Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. He has performed and toured with jazz luminaries Dave Brubeck, Mike Stern, Joey Calderazzo, Bill Evans with the National Jazz Ensemble, and many more. He teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music.

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The remaining three artists in Donahue’s Quintet all share a connection with the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Pianist Alain Mallet arrived at Berklee when he was just 18. His career highlights include performances with Phil Woods, Paul Simon, Paquito D’Rivera, Marc Johnson, and Madeleine Peyroux. He earned critical acclaim as producer for his work with American folk rock singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke. He currently records and performs with Boston-based jam band sensation Club D’Elf, saxophonist Andy Snitzer, and the Caribbean Jazz Project, and teaches as associate professor at Berklee.

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Drummer Ralph Peterson Jr. is professor of percussion at Berklee. He apprenticed under many jazz greats, including Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, and Walter Davis. He has performed with Michael Brecker, Carmen Lundy, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Don Byron, Don Braden, Walter Davis Jr., Jon Faddis, Terrence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, David Murray, the Count Basie Orchestra, Sean Jones, Ravi Coltrane, and Tia Fuller. He has over a dozen recordings to his name and is president, CEO, and owner of Onyx Productions Music Label.

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Like Mallet, bassist John Lockwood was also a student at Berklee before becoming a faculty member later in life. His career highlights include performances with Gary Burton, Dance Umbrella, Donal Fox, the Fringe, Eddie Harris, Johnny Hartman, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Liebman, Joe Maneri, Tate Montolia, Makoto Ozone, Joe Pass, Danilo Perez, Pharoah Sanders, Carol Sloane, Clark Terry, Kenny Werner, James Williams, and others.

The Miles Donahue Quintet will perform on Friday, May 2 at 8:00 P.M. in the Concert Hall of the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music. Admission is free, and attendees will also receive a free copy of Donahue’s latest CD. Rehearsals Cafe will offer beverages and light refreshments starting an hour before curtain, through intermission, and after the show. The Mahaney Center for the Arts is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. For information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.