• 7/5/2018 ~ Rich Goldstein & The Gratitude Ensemble

    Presently he is working to finish a co-produced project with Jesse Hameen II (drums), Kris Jensen (Sax), and Brian Charette (organ). Rich is in demand as an educator and holds positions as professor of jazz guitar at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music (Jackie McLean Institute), Central and Southern Connecticut State Universities, has been involved with various jazz camps including the “Litchfield Jazz Camp”, and performs a number of lectures and master classes yearly. Rich keeps a busy schedule as a jazz educator, freelance guitarist, composer and recording artist, group leader and organizer, member of the CT Guitar Society, the Jazz Society, Jazz Ed Network (Jen) and AAUP. Rich received his initial training at the Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz and completed his masters in jazz studies at Purchase College in New York.
    A former Soviet expatriate, Ian Frenkel is a pianist, composer, and arranger, presently working and performing in the New England area. His portfolio includes numerous arrangements and orchestrations for various highly acclaimed singers such as Placido Domingo, Martha Reeves, and Lorrie Morgan, with whom he also performed. Additionally he has often been commissioned by a New York-based new music group: “The Absolute Ensemble”. Mr. Frenkel’s settings of Leonard Bernstein songs were performed by soprano Liuba Kazarnovskaja (of the Metropolitan Opera) at the 1995 Morris International Music Festival, Morristown, New Jersey. He is currently employed as the Director of Cadet Music at the United States Coast Guard Academy, and holds a title of the Director of Music at Bozrah Center Congregational Church, Bozrah, Connecticut. In the past he has also served as a musical director and organist at Saint Mary Roman Catholic Church in Groton, Connecticut. As a jazz organ player he has performed with various renowned players including saxophonist Bobby Watson, and recently appeared on a Japanese release “TV Jazz USA,” with New York guitarist Lee Metcalf. Mr. Frenkel specializes in the early jazz styles, frequently performing with nationally known Dixieland and swing ensembles and artists. One such artist, clarinetist Andy Sherwood, featured Ian Frenkel on his latest release: “While We Danced at The Mardi Gras.” Mr. Frenkel holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music.

    Ben Bilello (percussion) received his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies at the Hartt School of music, where he studied with Ben Toth, Glen Velez, Michael Carvin, and Tony Leone. Since graduating from Hartt, Ben has performed and recorded with musicians such as Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Joe Wilder, Branford Marsalis, Anthony Braxton, Javon Jackson, Charles Flores, Steve Davis, Charmaine Clamor, Jimmy Greene, Josh Evans, Wayne Escoffery, and Dezron Douglas/New Jazz Workshop, among many others. In addition to performing with noted jazz musicians, Ben has toured with the South American folk groups Viva Quetzal and Markamusic. At this time, Ben can be seen performing with his own trio, Earl MacDonald’s Yankee Gumbo Ensemble, Atla & Matt DeChamplain, and bassist Jeff Fuller, as well as many others.

    After a decade on the New York jazz scene, vibraphonist Behn Gillece has built a reputation as a virtuosic instrumentalist and prolific composer. Walk of Fire, his third album as a leader was just released on the Posi-Tone Label. The album showcases Gillece’s compositions with an exciting septet, featuring trumpeter Bruce Harris, tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, and
    trombonist Michael Dease. It also features a stellar rhythm section with Adam Birnbaum on piano, Clovis Nicolas on bass, and Jason Tiemann on drums. His other two leader dates, Dare to Be and debut album Mindset, received excellent reviews in reputable jazz periodicals such as
    Downbeat and Jazziz. Both albums received extensive radio airplay and rose to the top 50 on the Jazzweek radio charts for several weeks.
    While he was a percussion student at Rowan University, he quickly developed a desire to play jazz. In the early years of his career he performed regularly in his home state of New Jersey and Philadelphia. In 2006 Gillece moved to New York to study at SUNY Purchase. During his development as a jazz composer, Gillece worked closely with saxophonist Ken Fowser in a co-led project. The pair has four acclaimed albums released by Posi-Tone which include 2009’s Full View, 2010’s Little Echo, 2011’s Duotone, and 2013’s Top Shelf. All four have received international acclaim and extensive radio play. Gillece has also been featured as a sideman on more than 30 other recordings. The most recent of these include albums by Walt Weiskopf, Michael Dease, Melody Gardot, and Ensemble Novo, a Philadelphia-based group dedicated to Brazilian repertoire. Gillece continues to tirelessly play and compose for new projects based all over the tristate area. He has performed his music throughout the country at venues like Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, Fat Cat, Yoshi’s, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, and many others. He has also appeared at festivals worldwide, including the North Sea, Montreux, Nice, Molde, Ghent, Montreal, and Toronto festivals.
    In addition to his robust performance life, Gillece also has a burgeoning career as a music educator. Gillece is a member of the faculty at New Jersey City University and Rowan University, where he teaches vibraphone and jazz ensembles. In addition to the various workshops he has been asked to give at colleges and universities across the world, he has prepared over 200 lessons for online instruction on vibesworkshop.com, which benefits percussion students internationally.
    In the spring of 2008, Gillece finished his master’s degree at SUNY Purchase. Some of his awards and honors include winning the 2008 Jazz Improvisation competition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, participating in the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, and winning the Generations competition in 2009.