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Backstage Cafe Jazz Series to Present Spring Jazz on May 12

Posted 04/19/2018
Submitted by Tricia Coppolo
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

The Backstage Café Jazz Series - Spring Jazz - May 12, 2018

The Backstage Café Jazz Series will be holding its nineteenth performance on May 12, 2018 – Spring Jazz. The concert will take place in the Roberts Theater at the Handel Performing Arts Center, and will feature renowned musician from Hartt faculty Nat Reeves, along with the Nat Reeves Ensemble. The Ensemble are students of The Hartt School, Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Division at the University of Hartford. They have had the privilege to study with Hartt’s celebrated faculty.

Nat Reeves (bass) has built a successful career touring the world with some of the most important figures in jazz in the last half-century. His work as a prominent educator at The Hartt School, Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Division at the University of Hartford has spanned over 30 years. As a bassist, Nat is regarded as a precise accompanist, known for his impeccable time, deep tones and great earthy, organic sound. As an educator, he mentors some of the future greats of jazz. Nat is a gifted musician who continues to learn from his colleagues and students.

Sarah Hanahan (alto saxophone) grew up in Marlborough, MA and is now a resident of Hartford, CT. Sarah grew up listening to a wide variety of music, but always had a special love for jazz. Her father, who plays drums and percussion, introduced Sarah to music and gave Sarah her first saxophone at the age of eight. In early March, Sarah was one of 20 young women jazz musicians who attended the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. It was a very special weekend that included playing with musicians from all over the United States and being able to perform at the festival with her own quartet. Junior

John Hasselback III (trumpet & flugelhorn) is from East Aurora, NY. In early 2016, John was one of 24 young jazz musicians/composers worldwide selected to participate in the prestigious two-week “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” residency at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  John has played at many notable jazz venues and festivals, including Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, The Apollo Music Café and The Lewiston Jazz Festival. Senior

Tim Jones (baritone saxophone) grew up in Bellows Falls, VT where he started playing the alto saxophone. Tim has had the opportunity to perform in master classes given by Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Louis Hayes, and Charles McPherson to name a few. He has also had the opportunity to perform in The Hartt Collage Concert and at the Hartt Gala. Senior

Reagan Shadai Johnson (guitar) was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA and Dallas, TX, she was introduced to the world of jazz when she attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. This school has produced many artists, from Erykah Badu, to Roy Hargrove and Norah Jones. Reagan is now an Acoustical Engineering and Music major, a program that combines elements of the jazz studies degree, along with a complete mechanical engineering course study. She plans to establish a career in the field of architectural acoustic consulting to support her musical ambitions. Junior

Mario Riccardi (guitar) began studying guitar at the age of eight at Connecticut Valley School of Music in Portland, CT. In high school, he studied and played jazz guitar under the instruction of Erik Elligers and had private instruction with Doug Maher. By the end of his senior year Mario received an Outstanding Arts Award from the State of Connecticut. Mario is now an Acoustical Engineering and Music major. Junior

David Winters (piano) is from Framingham, MA and is an alumnus of Framingham High School. As a member of the FHS Jazz Ensemble, he has performed at the 2016 National School Boards Association annual conference and at Boston's Hatch Memorial Shell. David has been playing piano for eight years and is part of the JMI Broadway Songbook Ensemble under the direction of Nat Reeves. Freshman

Andrew Wilcox (piano) is from Boylston, MA where he attended Tahanto Regional High School and studied piano privately with Dick Odgren. While in high school, Andrew had the opportunity to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival and Symphony Hall in Boston. In addition to performing, Andrew also composes music for his own group that performs in the area. Sophomore

Kirk Woodard (drums) began studying music at eight years old. He attended Windsor High school at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts from 2011-2014.  Since he was 14 years old, he has played a variety of gigs in New England. Senior

Enayi Tamakloe (drums) has been interested in music since the age of two, using pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinet as his drums. Won best rhythm soloist and two NJ state titles with the Scotch Plains Fanwood Moonglowers. Senior

Tickets are now on sale through the Lincoln Theater Box Office at: