July 17th, 20121:37 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church (Easton), Bnai Abraham Synagogue, and WDIY Present Internationally-Acclaimed Jazz Guitarist, Randy Napoleon
Randy Napoleon is excited to return to Easton, where he will bring his jazz trio to perform at Trinity Episcopal Church on Saturday, August 25, 2012, starting at 8:30 p.m. They will perform original songs by Napoleon as well as fresh arrangements of jazz standards.
“It’s really an exciting process,” Napoleon says of working on the new arrangements. “There’s a fine line between doing something adventurous and doing something that loses what attracted people to the song in the first place. The trick is to balance familiarity and surprise.” The classic trio features Kevin Kanner on drums, Madison Rast on bass and Randy Napoleon on guitar.
Napoleon is known throughout the world as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz guitar tradition. George Benson calls the younger guitarist “spectacular.” Detroit Free Press critic Mark Stryker says Napoleon “plays with a gentle, purring tone that makes you lean in close to hear its range of color and articulation.” Washington Post critic Mike Joyce praises his “exceptionally nimble finger-style technique.” In Jazzwise Magazine, Peter Vacher wrote “guitarist Napoleon, fresh-faced and youthful, solos finger-style, mixing complexity with swing, echoing his heroes, Montgomery and Kessel.” And comparing him to Wes Montgomery once more, music critic Michael G. Nastos says “he displays an even balance of swing, soul, and single-line or chord elements that mark an emerging voice dedicated to tradition and universally accessible jazz values.”
Napoleon recently released his third solo record,The Jukebox Crowd, featuring his powerful, three-horn sextet. In addition to touring with his own band, the New York-based guitarist currently tours with the legendary singer/pianist,Freddy Cole. He is featured onCole’s last three albums: Live at Dizzy’s Club: The Dreamer in Me, the 2010 Grammy-nominated 2010 album, Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B, and the 2011 release Talk to Me; Napoleon did most of the arrangements for the last two.
Randy Napoleon has been exciting audiences for over a decade now. In 1999, on the last day of his last class at the University of Michigan School of Music, the phone rang. Jeff Hamilton was on the other end, inviting the young guitarist to do a series of performances at the Hollywood Bowl with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO). Later, while touring with them, Napoleon performed with a Who’s Who list of luminaries who joined the orchestra on occasion—George Benson, Michael Brecker, Frank Foster, Kenny Garrett, Shirley Horn, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Nicholas Payton, John Pizzarelli, Dianne Reeves, Frank Wess, Nancy Wilson and others. During this tour, CHJO recorded Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG Jazz.
There followed other tours, one year on the road with pianist Benny Green and three years with crooner Michael Bublé. Napoleon has played with other major jazz bands, including the Bill Charlap Trio, and with top cabaret performers Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano. He appears with Comstock on the 2010 release, Bitter/Sweet. He has also recorded with Michael Bublé, Melissa Morgan, Eric Comstock, Josh Brown, Jared Gold, Paul Keller, and others, and he has two other albums out as leader, Enjoy the Moment and Between Friends.
Napoleon has appeared on television all over the globe with Michael Bublé; these appearances include Letterman, Leno, The View, Today, Regis and Kelly, Ellen DeGeneres, a PBS special Caught in the Act, The Radio Music Awards, and Dancing with the Stars. He also appeared on Tokyo television with Clayton-Hamilton and in several European countries and on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Marathon with Cole.
Napoleon is delighted to appear at Trinity Episcopal Church (Easton), a downtown church that welcomes people from all around Easton. To learn more about Trinity, please visit its website at www.trinityeaston.org and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TrinEast.
Trinity is pleased to partner for this event with Easton’s Bnai Abraham Synagogue, a vibrant Jewish center in the Lehigh Valley. Bnai Abraham previously hosted an exciting jazz concert featuring Randy Napoleon, and the community is pleased to welcome Napoleon back to Easton for this event. More information on Bnai Abraham may be found at its website, www.bnaiabraham.org, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BnaiAbraham.
WDIY (Lehigh Valley Community Public Radio), is proud to serve as media sponsor for this event.
To arrange an interview or for more information or photos, please contact Scott Levin at email@example.com.