The American Band April 14 starts concert splurge at URI


The American Band, one of America’s oldest continuing adult community bands, will lead off the spring splurge of concerts at the University of Rhode Island with a performance as part of the University Artist Series on Sunday, April 14 at 3:00pm.

A concert of classical guitar music and the first two concerts in URI’s Spring Jazz Series will also be offered between April 14-19, all in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Two more jazz concerts will be performed in the following week in between additional events. Admissions are $10 general public, $5 students, with tickets available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert.

The American Band, celebrating their 175th anniversary this year, always open with a fanfare, The American Band Salute by Roger Cichy, and close with John Paul Sousa’s classic Stars and Stripes Forever. In between, they will offer a versatile program of music by Samuel Hazo, Aaron Copeland and many more, ranging from classical to whimsical, from rousing marches and fiery overtures to gentile descriptive pieces. The 60-member band, most of whom have degrees in music, is led by Gene J. Pollart, who is in his 14th year as director there and is also a Professor of Music and the Director of Bands at URI.

Coordinated by John Dennewitz, the URI Guitar Studio will offer an evening of classical guitar music at 7:30 p.m. on April 14, featuring solo, duo, trio, and quartet music spanning four centuries from works by Bach, Barrios, Scarlatti, Giuliani, Rak, Gauffriau, York, and more. The members of the guitar studio, Jared Maynard, Ceili Connors, Raffi Donoian, and Andre Marcelin, will be joined by two members of the URI Flute Studio, Dalita Getzoyan and Lukas Chaves, for some flute/guitar duets.

URI’s Spring Jazz Series kicks off on Tuesday April 16 at 7:30 p.m. with performances by two of this year’s jazz combos. The URI Jazz Collective, directed by Mark Berney, will play original compositions and arrangements by various ensemble members and Berney, plus treatments of an Alicia Keys tune (“If I Aint Got You”), Charlie Parker’s bop classic Confirmation, and an exotic ancient Eastern European melody. Members of the collective are Manny Morales, trumpet; Ben Marcoux, tenor sax; Justin Kisch, piano; Chris Zimmerman, bass; Dan Reagan, drums.

The Standards Combo, directed by Dave Zinno, will play jazz standards from Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Charles Mingus. The Combo members are: Leland Baker and Chris Botelho on tenor sax, Alex Barnhart on guitar, Garrett Campbell on bass, John Giacchi on drums.

Concert II in the Jazz Series will feature the B101 Big Band, directed by Jared Sims, performing at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 19. The band will perform big band standards by Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and more, with vocalist Rebecca Cunha, and Charles Larson, Molly Hammell, and Justin Kisch among others. Special guest will be versatile jazz violinist Lesa Terry, who will also perform with the URI Symphony Orchestra the next evening.

The following week will include Eric Hofbauer’s combo, The Adam’s Apple Project, playing new arrangements of compositions from Wayne Shorter’s 1966 recording, Adam’s Apple at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, in Room C100 (Rehearsal Hall) and the swinging C100 Big Band, directed by John Monllos with vocalist Bianca Sperduti, performing at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in the main concert hall.

The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website,



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