By Litchfield Performing Arts, a not-for-profit educational charity.

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Mario Pavone Orange Double Tenor

“This is toe-tapping, misty-swirling, percolating, mind-bending, heat-emitting music, all wrapped in one.”  –All About Jazz critic Nils Jacobson

ARTIST TALK: On Saturday, August 7th at 8:00 PM, Artist-in-Residence and drummer Matt Wilson will host an Artist Talk with Mr. Pavone on the second stage.

We could not have said it better, and wish we had! Mario Pavone has collaborated with legendary innovators and today’s most respected young musicians to define the cutting edge of jazz for the past 40 years.

Pavone was born in Waterbury Connecticut nearly 70 years ago.  Although a long career in jazz awaited him, Pavone never received formal music training and didn’t seriously encounter jazz until his freshman year at the University of Connecticut in 1958. Growing up in Waterbury he developed a fondness for black R&B vocal groups, as well as the 1940’s movie music he heard as a child, but a college friend’s jazz record collection–and seeing John Coltrane one fateful night at the Village Vanguard in 1961–set him on his musical path.

Photo By Steven Sussman

With legendary guitarist and fellow Waterbury native Joe Diorio’s encouragement, Pavone rented a bass in the summer of 1964 and began plucking out the percussive sound that would become his trademark. By 1965 he was playing professionally, though his full-time job was putting his Industrial Engineering degree to work for major corporations. Upon hearing the news of Coltrane’s death in 1967, he left his briefcase on his desk, got in the car, and drove to the funeral, where he decided on the spot to dedicate the rest of his life to music.

Since then Pavone has anchored the trios of Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, and the late Thomas Chapin, and co-led a variety of notable ensembles with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, and Michael Musillami. His list of sidemen includes Steven Bernstein, Gerald Cleaver, Dave Douglas, Peter Madsen, Tony Malaby, Joshua Redman, George Schuller, Michael Sarin, and Matt Wilson. And, in an about face for most artists whose careers span five decades, his most recent recordings are his most widely acclaimed, appearing on best-of-the-year lists from,, Down Beat, AllAboutJazz-New York, Coda, the Village Voice , and the New York Times.

Photo By Steven Sussman

Mr. Pavone’s discography (most recently on Playscape) is extensive and critically acclaimed.  His recordings showcase his own compositions, works for which he has received the Connecticut Commission on the Culture and Tourism’s Artist Fellowship for Composition (2007) and the 2009 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development award.  With this new work, Mario appears on the LJF with his sextet, Orange Double Tenor with Mario Pavone on bass, Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene on soprano and tenor saxophones, Dave Ballou on trumpet, Peter Madsen on piano, and Gerald Cleaver on drums.  Mr. Pavone, a long time board member of Litchfield Performing Arts, now serves as its President. He also serves as a clinician at Litchfield Jazz Camp. He appeared on the very first Litchfield Jazz Festival in 1996. This is his seventh Litchfield Jazz Festival appearance.

Artist Website

Arc Suite by Mario Pavone and Orange Double Tenor has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2009 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.