The 8 p.m. concert, part of the University Artist Series offered by URI’s Department of Music, will also feature pianist Jessie Lo, Steve Langone on drum set, and Dave Zinno, string bass. It follows a full day of junior high and high school jazz at the university, which will host the RI Music Educators Association Jazz Festival from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the same day. Both events will take place in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Admission to the concert is $8.00 general public, $2.00 students, with proceeds going to support Music Department scholarships. The daytime festival admission is free. The concert has a snow date of February 13.
The concert program will include traditional repertoire such as the Concerto by Glazounov and jazz compositions by Charles Mingus. In addition, Sims promises “a few surprises” and also an original piece in the jazz portion of the concert.
“I am performing classical AND jazz for several reasons–first, I teach both classical and jazz at URI. Most importantly, though, my philosophy is that there is a common approach that can be taken to playing all music. I may sound like two different people in the concert–one playing classical and one playing jazz, but there should be some similarities in tone quality, sonority, and the approach to playing the instrument,” Sims comments. “The classical portion will be very traditional and the jazz portion will be swingin’!”
A native of Virginia, Sims began to study piano and saxophone at a young age and now performs on all of the saxophones, as well as clarinet and flute. He has toured throughout the United States and in Europe and India. Sims was a founding member of the jazz/rock quartet Miracle Orchestra, awarded “Best of Boston 1996,” who toured from 1995 through 2001. Today, he regularly performs with the Jared Sims Trio as heard on the recording Acoustic Shadow. He has also performed and recorded with Mango Blue, a Boston-based Afro-Latin band and performs regularly with the organ funk band Akashic Record, a staple of the New England club scene. His longest association is with the jazz group Blueprint Project with guitarist Eric Hofbauer and pianist Tyson Rogers. They have performed and toured together for more than a decade and have made four studio recordings.
Sims has appeared as leader or sideman on more than thirty different albums crossing several genres and his studio work has been featured on national and international television as well as several popular video games. He has played numerous festivals, and is also a member of the adventurous jazz group Dead Cat Bounce, which has won several Boston Phoenix Jazz Polls and grants from Chamber Music America. A guest artist/teacher at URI, Sims is currently pursuing a doctorate in performance at Boston University in addition to his active performance and teaching schedule.
Award-winning pianist Jessie Lo will accompany Sims for the classical portion of the concert. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, where she studied with Hans Petermandl and Michael Krist. She has performed in many different countries around the world: Taiwan, Japan, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belarus, and the U.S., and she is a prize-winner in numerous international competitions. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree at Boston University, where she is also a Teaching Assistant and piano accompanist.
Jazz percussionist Steve Langone performs regularly in the Boston and New York club scenes and has performed at jazz festivals and clubs in the United States, South America and Europe. He earned his BA from the Berklee College of Music, where he had the opportunity to work and study with many of the area’s and the world’s top performers. Founder of the Jinga Trio (now quintet) with bassist Fernando Huergo and a “rotating cast of inspiring pianists”, he released his first album as a leader, the well received Finders Keepers, featuring Jerry Bergonzi, in 2001, and the Steve Langone Group in 2009.
Bassist David Zinno studied at Berklee College and at URI. He studied bass with Bill Piacitelli, Gary Peacock, and Walter Booker, Jr. and has performed with Dianne Schurr. He lived in New York City for ten years, where he performed with Jimmy Cobb, John Medeski, Larry Willis, Sonny Fortune and others. He played in the Broadway pit orchestra for Sugar Babies and An Evening with Michael Feinstein. He also wrote, produced and performed music for national advertising campaigns and is currently teaching at URI and Brown University. Recent recordings include Un (Rope a Dope Records), BTYZ and Man on a Bridge, among others.
Concert tickets are available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert. The URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the building, off Bills Road.
For more information, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website: www.uri.edu/artsci/mus.