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Upcoming Events

Chris Vadala & CNY Jazz Orchestra

8pm Friday June 1, 2007
Center for the Arts
Homer, NY

Chris Vadala & CNY Jazz Orchestra Bring Big Band Sound to the Center

Homer: On Friday, June 1, at 8:00 PM, the Center for the Arts of Homer will be swinging to the sounds of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra and special guests Chris Vadala on saxophone and Nancy Kelly, vocalist. The Central New York Jazz Orchestra (CNYJO) is an award-winning, all-star, "big band" comprised of the region's finest jazz musicians. Led by internationally acclaimed Music Director Bret Zvacek, the CNYJO performs a season of concerts in the Crouse-Hinds Civic Center featuring the world's finest guest soloists, a full schedule of regional concerts, and day residencies in schools across upstate New York. And now you can enjoy this fantastic big band music in the intimate surroundings of the Center's 400 seat theater with its incredible acoustics.

The Central New York Jazz Orchestra is the flagship program of the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation, whose mission is to positively affect the quality of life in the region by preserving, supporting and advancing the art form of jazz by presenting events in concert, cabaret, festival and educational settings. The CNYJAF is the largest jazz presenter in upstate New York, drawing a total audience of 80,000 to its over 150 events, including totally free "Jazz in the Square" international jazz festival and year-round presentations of all kinds in Jazz Central, its jazz arts and education center in downtown Syracuse. For more information, go to www.cnyjazz.org.

Special guest saxophonist, Chris Vadala, is recognized as one of the country's foremost woodwind artists and is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. Mr. Vadala's performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Joe Lovano, and many others. He is a frequent performer with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. His recorded performance credits performing credits include five gold and two platinum albums, plus two Grammy, one Emmy, one Georgie (AGVA) and on Golden Globe Award. A native of Poughkeepsie, NY, he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer's Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman. Chris Vadala is currently the Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone Professor at the University of Maryland.

Guest vocalist, Nancy Kelly's refined stage presence, style, grace, and the ability to quickly capture the emotions of her audience isn't the only thing that places Nancy in a league of her own--the lady was born to swing, and she means business. Starting at age four in her hometown of Rochester, New York, Nancy studied piano, clarinet, drama and dance with private instructors, and voice at the Eastman School of Music. During her thirty-plus year career she has honed her trademark swing/bop 'take no prisoners' style in front of audiences across the U.S. and abroad--from Singapore to Switzerland, from Turkey to her 3 tours of Japan. Nancy appears regularly in New York City including performances at The Blue Note, Birdland and The Rainbow Room. She works frequently in Los Angeles and Miami, as well as countless jazz clubs, festivals, and symphony orchestra engagements across the country.

Downbeat magazine's reader's poll voted Kelly the title of "best female jazz vocalist" two years in a row. All of Miss Kelly's accomplishments and accolades are testament to the fact that a great jazz voice doesn't happen overnight. More than any other instrument the voice gains its resonance and soulfullness from the life experiences of the body that surrounds it. To paraphrase Bird--If you haven't lived it isn't going to come out of your horn. Nancy Kelly has lived it. She is, in every respect, "The Real Deal".

Tickets for this rare opportunity to see the CNYJO and its guest artists in the up close and personal venue at the Center for Arts are $25 for General Admission and $20 for seniors (membership discounts apply). Admission for children under 14 is free. Balcony seating for this performance is free for college and high school students with valid student IDs. Please present your ID when you attend the performance to insure your free admittance. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Jodi's Hallmark and Sheridan's Fine Jewelry in Cortland, Linani's in Homer, Ithaca Guitarworks in Ithaca, through the Center's website at www.center4art.org , or by calling 607-877-ARTS (2787), or at the door the evening of the performance. The Center Social Hour begins at 7:00 PM offering desserts, coffee, tea, wine and beer for purchase as a fundraiser for the Center.

This performance is supported by The New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. This performance is also supported in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

The Center for the Arts in Homer, located at 72 South Main Street in the village, at the corner of Routes 11 and 90, just off exit 12 of I-81, provides the region and community with a broad spectrum of cultural and artistic activities that provide education, enlightenment, and entertainment. While performance is premium at the Center for the Arts, the Center is an accessible facility for year-round classes, workshops, exhibits, summer camps, and conferences devoted to the visual and performing arts.