Fairfield University’s Jazz Ensemble presents its Fall Jazz Concertwith special guest vocalist Darryl Tookes at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, December 6, 2012, at Fairfield University’s Gonzaga Auditorium. Fairfield University’s Jazz Ensemble is directed by Brian Q. Torff, Fairfield University’s Director of Jazz and Popular Music, with student leader Jenna Taylor. Also performing is the Fairfield University Gospel Choir directed by Maurice Wiley. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Special guest artist Darryl Tookes is a prolific composer, lyricist, pianist, singer and arranger who is recognized throughout the music world as a truly original, uncompromising artist. Upon graduating from high school, Mr. Tookes received a full scholarship to study physics at Florida A&M University, which he accepted, and graduated in three years magna cum laude. During that time he also matriculated at MIT, and was offered admission to medical school. While still a college student, Mr. Tookes met and befriended several members of the group Earth, Wind and Fire, who took him under their wings and further ignited his imagination. Darryl Tookes has sung at Carnegie Hall with Roberta Flack, recorded and toured with Sting, and performed at the White House for President and Ms. Clinton. Mr. Tookes sang on the recording and the PBS Television show Great Performanceswith Leonard Bernstein conducting West Side Story, and on Soulful Messiah with Quincy Jones. Mr. Tookes has worked with producer Phil Ramone, the composer and pianist Dave Grusin, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Laurie Anderson, Carly Simon, Diana Ross and many others.
Darryl Tookes has seven recordings as a leader, and is a featured artist on O Great Spirit with Gerry Mulligan; In Love’s Time with Dave Valentin, Salute! – The Official WW2 Tribute CD along with Kenny Rogers and Crystal Gayle; and Foot On The Road with Tonhino Horta. Mr. Tookes’ debut solo recording, Lifeguard, a Tookes composition, co-produced with Danny Leake, reached #3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. Darryl Tookes is the featured singer on a new four-song EP entitled, My Daughter, produced by Charles Wallert, the writer of the title song. The Darryl Tookes Band is working with 14-time Grammy-winning engineer Eric Schilling on its new CD, which will be a collection of new Darryl Tookes songs, featuring Tookes on piano and vocals.
An educator, Tookes is Adjunct Professor at the Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU. He also mentors a growing number of private students at the Lagond Music School in Westchester County, NY. Tookes has taught master classes at universities and secondary schools, arranged for student a cappella groups, and been awarded numerous commissions for composing and arranging choral works. In the realm of sacred music, Darryl Tookes is artist-in-residence at First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT.
The Jazz Ensemble’s program for the evening includes: “Tenor Madness” by Sonny Rollins, “Green Onions” by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr., and Lewie Steinberg, “Dominating” by Brian Torff, “Memphis Underground” by Herbie Mann and arranged by Jenna Taylor, “Afro Blue” by Mongo Santamaria, “Petite Fleur Africaine” by Duke Ellington, “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson and arranged by Jamie Debicella, and “Love Notes” by Darryl Tookes.
The Jazz Ensemble consists of Chris Finelli on trumpets, Michael Mauro, Stan Grundes, Amanda Ocasio, and Alexis Ellis on saxes, Jenna Taylor on flute, Brian Krackel and guest Arthur Ashman on trombones, Robby Schwartz on piano, John Domenico and Jamie Debicella on guitar, Brian Torff on bass, and Chuck DeFilippo and DJ Horstmann on drums.
Gonzaga Auditorium is located in Gonzaga Hall on the campus of Fairfield University. Tickets will be available at the door of Gonzaga Auditorium the evening of the performance. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com