(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) – The Michael Musillami Trio with Special Guests performs at the Hotchkiss School on Friday, January 8, at 7pm in Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center. Veteran jazz guitarist and composer Michael Musillami and his flagship trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, will perform music from their new Playscape Recordings album, “Zephyr,” released last October 6. The trio will be joined by pianist Peter Madsen, tenor saxophonist and 2016 Grammy nominee Jimmy Greene, alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon & soprano saxophonist, Jason Rigby.
Michael Musillami Trio
“Musillami’s trio, his alliance with his longtime friends and collaborators, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, is a superb, finely tuned unit, empathetic, swinging and dramatically expressive of emotions sweeping from joy to sadness,” explains Owen McNally of the Hartford Courant in his recent feature article. “More impressive than longevity however, is the trio’s remarkably tight, cohesive unity. Nurtured by Musillami’s celebratory music, the band functions as a musical family, a democratic clan in which everyone expresses himself.”
Critics have called the group’s music “truly original” (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com), “challenging and adventurous” (Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe), “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound) and “honest, frequently surprising and consistently exciting” (Ron Wynn, JazzTimes). “Working on an almost telepathic level,” adds Cadence reviewer Troy Collins, “they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split second timing. Although the trio certainly doesn’t need any help navigating Musillami’s compelling tunes, they are occasionally joined by a few guest soloists, always to remarkable effect.”
Musillami’s career spans more than 30 years and includes extensive work as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator. In addition to his trio, which has performed across Europe and North America and released seven other recordings since 2002, he has earned international acclaim as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet. When not working with his own bands, he teaches at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and manages Playscape Recordings, the highly regarded independent label he founded in 1999.