Sax Man Guided by Love of Jazz — Gary Smulyan on the Cover of the Hartford Courant Calender August 8, 2013. READ ARTICLE HERE.
Gary Smulyan is the undisputed King of Baritone Sax. With six Grammy’s under his belt and perennial “Top Bari Sax Player” in every poll every year, he’s tops in everyone’s book. But it’s not just his amazing playing that makes him such a treasure—it’s his imagination! Everything he does is fresh, and his Baritone Sax Summit for this year’s Festival proves it. Gary put it together for the 2012 Litchfield Jazz Camp Concerts and we bought it on the spot! This year marks Gary’s third appearance on the LJF. His Baritone Summit features Lauren Sevian, Claire Daly and Andrew Hadro on baritone saxophones. This great quartet of baris will be backed by the rhythm section of Helen Sung, piano, Jon Michel, bass and Matt Wilson on drums.
Gary got the jazz bug early in high school sitting in with artists like Chet Baker and Lee Konitz. After college he joined Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd. In 1980, he became part of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, and then worked with the Mingus Big Band and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He has shared the stage and studio with Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Tito Puente, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Diana Ross. With more than 10 CDs as a leader, he works regularly with Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Joe Lovano Nonet (with whom he appeared on the 2011 Litchfield Jazz Festival), the Dave Holland Octet and Big Band, tenor great George Coleman and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. He is a faculty member of Amherst College and joined the Litchfield Jazz Camp as a teaching artist in 2011. This is his second year as Artist-in- Residence at Litchfield Jazz Festival.
Downbeat Critics Poll Baritone Saxophone rising star nominee, Lauren Sevian, is a new voice on the big horn. She is a member of the Grammy Award winning Mingus Big Band, and has shared the stage with a wide range of artists such as Greg Osby, Delfeayo Marsalis, Denis Leary, Christian McBride, Rachel Z, and Jane Monheit. She has performed at practically every major jazz club in New York City, internationally at festivals all over the world, in movies & TV, and is an educator, adjudicator & clinician. In December 2008 she released her first recording as a leader, Blueprint, on saxophonist Greg Osby’s label, Inner Circle Music, with her quartet which features George Colligan (piano), Boris Kozlov (bass), & Johnathan Blake (drums). Blueprint spent over 15 weeks on the jazzweek chart in the top 20, and won a SESAC jazz award in 2010. Expect to hear much more from the baritone saxophonist. She has been on the LJC faculty since 2007.
Claire Daly’s first CD as a leader, “Swing Low” (1999) is in the William Jefferson Clinton Library as a CD significant to him while in office. She has won Downbeat Magazine “Rising Star” 8 times in 10 years. Her most recent CD, “Baritone Monk” hit number one on the CMJ Jazz Charts, and rose to number nine on the Jazz Week Charts. It is sponsored by the North Coast Brewery, makers of Brother Thelonious Ale and all proceeds from the CD go to the Monk Institute for jazz education. She was the Jazz Journalist Association’s Baritonist of the Year in 2005. A veteran Litchfield Jazz Camp teaching artist (13 years), Claire heads the Litchfield in NY combos during the school year, as well as teaching at Jazz at Lincoln Center MSJA and privately in New York City. In 2011, she premiered her “Nothing to Lose” CD in Juneau, Alaska. The CD features her on both sax and flute in a work she wrote with Steve Hudson to honor her second cousin, Mary Joyce, who made a 1,000 mile solo dogsled trip from Juneau to Fairbanks in 1935-1936. She has 8 Cds to her credit and tours with her own quartet, as well as performing as a sideperson. She head’s the LJC Litchfield in New York combo program.
Andrew Hadro fell in love with jazz and has dedicated his life to music and working to hone his talents. Born in Mexico City, shuffled early on to Brazil, with a stop for a couple of years on the east coast, Andrew and family eventually settled in the Chicago area. He began his st
udies on flute and soon found his way to the baritone saxophone. He attended the prestigious New Trier High School and performed with several DownBeat award-winning ensembles there. He was the Salutatorian in 2007 New School class and soon after made several records with New School Jazz program’s founding faculty members. Andrew has toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, James Moody, Bjorkestra, Tony Malaby, Chico Hamilton, and Junior Mance, among many others. He is on faculty at LJC, serves as the organization’s Director of Technology, all while maintaining an active private practice. He is currently curator of JazzBariSax.com, a website dedicated to the baritone sax.