GIACOMO GATES

Giacomo Gates"Mr. Gates is a solid example of a performer who is doing something that no one else does. He evokes an age (that I would hope is not so terribly bygone) when musicians were entertainers and entertainers were musicians, and a sense of humor was as important as a sense of rhythm." Will Friedwald in The New York Sun.

Giacomo Gates is truly an entertainer, for all ages and styles. Audiences enjoy the music, his interaction on the bandstand, the spontaneity, the humor, and the stories about the music and composers. What usually lacks in most of today's performances is obviously present... fun!
In his own words, "In this kind of music it's about intention, honesty and what comes through in your voice - the Experience of Life."

Blessed with a full-bodied and mellifluous voice, extraordinary rhythmic precision and an unerring sense of lyricism, Gates' total command of the vernacular, boundless creativity and exuberant passion set him apart from nearly every other vocalist on the scene. However, he didn't display his talents to the public-at-large until 1990.

Although he had always been exposed to music since early childhood, singing and playing guitar through his teenage years, it was for the love of the music, not as a vocation. After many years in a non-musical career, and after much encouragement from local and visiting performers, Giacomo decided to return to his native Connecticut and devote full attention to music.

Like his mentors, Gates would sometimes translate great instrumental solos into Vocalese, including the works of Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, Gene Ammons, Charlie Rouse and many others, also penning lyrics to classic jazz compositions. In citing his influences, Giacomo states "Some of my favorite singers are Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Lester Young. They were singing through the horn. If that isn't singing, I don't know what is!"

From that perspective, Giacomo sometimes vocalizes as an instrument - trombone, trumpet, bass and even drums. There's no contrivance or gimmickry for its own sake involved in this, as it's entirely conceived within the context of the music. In June of 2004, Giacomo and Andy Bey joined Mark Murphy and Kurt Elling in Europe, performing with Kurt Elling's The Four Brothers vocal ensemble. Giacomo has also performed with such notables as Lou Donaldson, Freddie Hubbard, Richie Cole, Rufus Reid, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis and many other world class performers. His primary focus has been leading his own groups, which has taken him all over the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Playing major U.S. clubs, New York's Birdland, Smoke, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, and Dizzy's, Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Cafe, Blues Alley and The Kennedy Center in D.C., Scullers in Boston and Snug Harbor in New Orleans, Dazzles in Denver, The Jazz Bakery in LA, Pearl's in San Francisco; and major festivals like Detroit/Montreux, Telluride, Caramoor, Sedona, Rochester, Syracuse, Clearwater, Fairbanks Summer Arts, California's Jazz at the Plazz, and New York's Lost Shrine Series; and at countless universities and jazz societies, Giacomo's enormous appeal and popularity are obvious from the many repeat engagements he has had at these venues.

His international touring includes several tours of Russia, Italy and Belgium, teaching in Europe, three Australian tours and doing a Coca Cola commercial in Madrid.

Gates has six heavily acclaimed CDs, with his most recent release, Miles Tones - Giacomo Gates Sings the Music of Miles Davis, garnering rave reviews and topping the National Jazz Radio Playlist at #1 for four weeks. His preceding CD, The Revolution Will Be Jazz, The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron, was #1 for six weeks on the National Jazz Radio Playlist. Both CD's spent over three months in the top 20 of the Jazz Week charts, on over 300 stations.

Heavily committed to education, Giacomo teaches regularly at Wesleyan University, Southern Connecticut State University, Sacred Heart University and New Haven's Neighborhood Music School and has conducted workshops and residencies at numerous educational institutions all over the U.S.

Giacomo's sheer joy, exuberance, wit and unlimited creativity make him one of jazz' most compelling artists.

Website: www.giacomogates.com

GOLD COAST JAZZ SOCIETY BAND
Formed in 1994 by past artistic director of the Gold Coast Jazz Society, the late Lee Amlie, and Simon Salz, the band is now led by Eric Allison. Band members are South Florida resident musicians, many with international reputations and credits, who share in their desire to perform and thereby preserve America’s musical heritage of jazz. The band has performed each year as a part of the Society’s jazz concert series and for audiences in Sarasota, West Palm Beach and Miami, with such jazz greats as Dick Hyman, Howard Alden, Frank Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Shelly Berg, Richie Cole and Jiggs Whigham. They have performed at the Kravis Center, The Amaturo Theater at the Broward Performing Arts Center, the Bonnet House JazzFest, and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society’s and annually at the SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch in Fort Lauderdale. The group also performs numerous education concerts in regional schools, libraries and museums for the Gold Coast Jazz Society.

MARTIN HAND, MUSIC DIRECTOR – Gold Coast Jazz Society Band
Born in England in the late 50's, Martin’s early musical influences were the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and many skiffle artists of the time. In 1967 he immigrated to the United States where he exposed to "Motown" and the emerging rock scene. Following high school, he attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA. Martin has performed numerous musical luminaries including Dizzy Gillespie, Warren Vaché, Harry Allen, Dave Valentin, Peter Nero, Nell Carter, Eddie Harris, Henry Mancini, Darius Rucker, Bernadette Peters, Andrea McCardle, Trini Lopez, Burt Bacharach, Barbara McNair, Julie Budd, Blackstone, Jack Jones, Al Martino, The Lettermen, The Fifth Dimension, Eartha Kit, Destino, Vic Damone, Dinah Shore, Maureen McGovern, Melissa Manchester, Maria Osmond, Monica Mancini, Patti Austin, Robert Klein, Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Calloway, Arturo Sandoval, David Benoit, Jeff Kashua, The Supremes, The Platters, Sam and Dave, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Rupert Holmes, Roy Clark, Tommy Tune, Joel Gray, Joe Piscopo, Tommy Mitchell and Doc Severinson. He has performed in many shows and musicals and his orchestral credits include appearance with the New World Symphony, the Symphonic Pops of Boca Raton, the Palm Beach Pops, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Pops, the Peter Graves Orchestra and the Sunshine Pops.

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