Rayford Griffin

Randy Brecker

Hans Zermuehlen

Brian Bromberg

Andy Snitzer

Friday, April 13 / 7:30 p.m.
WRTI 90.1 FM presents
Club ECP: The Jazz Cruises of Entertainment Cruise Productions
DoubleTree by Hilton Reading
Tickets: $39 (General Admission)

Clifford Brown’s death in a car accident at the age of 25 was one of the great tragedies in jazz history. Already ranking with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis as one of the top trumpeters in jazz, Brownie was still improving at the time of his passing in 1956.

Brown left behind only four years’ worth of recordings. Nonetheless, he had a considerable influence on later jazz trumpet players such as Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Arturo Sandoval and Freddie Hubbard.

His compositions “Joy Spring” and “Daahoud” have become jazz standards.

Rayford Griffin is the nephew of Clifford Brown and it was the drum solos of Art Blakey and Max Roach on his uncle’s albums that lured Griffin to the drums.

Griffin’s second album as a leader, Reflections of Brownie, is a tribute to his uncle. Brian Bromberg is one of many outstanding jazz artists who perform on the album, which pays tribute to the pioneering trumpeter not by trying to replicate Brownie’s 1950s sound but by updating it and giving it a new millennium sheen.

A driving Bromberg electric bass and Griffin’s deep groove drumming drive the horns, a rotating cast of trumpeters and saxophonists.

Griffin is internationally respected as among the most inventive, volcanic and versatile drummers in the world, having amassed stellar credits with virtuosos ranging from Jean-Luc Ponty, The Stanley Clarke Band, George Duke, Dave Koz, Anita Baker and Michael Jackson.

Griffin has roots that extend back to the most revolutionary era of jazz – bebop – thanks to his Uncle Clifford. Studying his uncle’s music deeply influenced Griffin to become the far-reaching musician he is today.

Legendary trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa.

Brecker was with the iconic Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967 and later teamed up with his brother, the late Michael Brecker, in the popular funk-oriented Brecker Brothers and in the 1990s he toured with the reunited Brecker Brothers.

As a solo artist Brecker has released numerous outstanding albums.

Bromberg is one of the world’s most ground-breaking and diverse bassists of our time, pushing the barriers of the acoustic and electric bass to their limits.

Commonly using as many as 10 or more basses on his recordings, using different tunings, string configurations, acoustic basses, electric basses, piccolo basses etc., Bromberg has taken the bass and truly turned it into a vehicle for him to make music, write melodies, and be the lead melodic voice as well as the rhythmic foundation of the music.

Keyboardist Hans Zermuehlen, whose credits include performing with Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso Frank Gambale, the band Air Supply and a 1993 tour with Cher, can really rock the house with his mastery.

He has played with just about everyone in the smooth jazz industry, including Braun, Jeff Lorber, Steve Oliver, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Brian Simpson, Blake Aaron and Michael Lington.

While perhaps best known in the pop/rock worlds for his multiple tours with Paul Simon and his travels with The Rolling Stones on their Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon tours, saxophonist Andy Snitzer has amassed a dynamic solo discography driven by his evolving lead voice on the horn and his interest in ambiences and rhythms.

In addition to being a road warrior and one of contemporary jazz’s most acclaimed solo performers, composers and producers, Snitzer is a first-call New York sideman.