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Tri-C JazzFest marks 40th anniversary with alumni ‘Flying Home’

October 4, 2018

Tri-C JazzFest marks 40th anniversary with alumni ‘Flying Home’

CLEVELAND, Ohio – With apologies to Jon Bon Jovi, apparently you can go home . . . and the Tri-C JazzFest is making sure of it.

The celebrated festival turns 40 next summer, and in honor of that milestone birthday, organizers have come up with a plan to have six former Cuyahoga Community College jazz students who are now making a mark in the genre come home for a special series of concerts.

The “Flying Home″ series will be co-curated by Tri-C alum and jazz fixture Dominick Farinacci. In that role he’ll welcome trumpeter Curtis Taylor; pianist, drummer and organist Phillip Jones; drummer Jerome Jennings; guitarist Lucas Kadish; and guitarist, singer and songwriter Luca Mundaca; and bassist Walter Barnes back to their alma mater for shows at the Bop Stop at the Music Settlement, Nighttown, East Cleveland Public Library and Karamu House.

The JazzFest itself is next summer, from June 27 to 29 at the Playhouse Square Complex. But the “Flying Home” series – it gets its moniker from a song of that name written by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton, according to a Tri-C release announcing the program -- actually begins later this month.

Here are the details:

Sunday, Oct. 14 

Curtis Taylor Quartet — 7:30 p.m., Bop Stop at The Music Settlement. Tickets: $20/www.themusicsettlement.org 

Trumpeter Curtis Taylor attended Tri-C from 1999 to 2003. He completed a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies at Michigan State University and a master’s degree at Rutgers University. He has performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the Kennedy Center for NPR’s JazzSet and toured internationally with James Carter. Taylor can be heard on Gregory Porter’s 2014 Grammy-winning album Liquid Spirit. 

 Friday, Nov. 9 

Phillip Jones — 8:30 p.m., Nighttown. Tickets: $10/www.nighttowncleveland.com 

Pianist, drummer and organist Phillip Jones attended Tri-C between 2001 and 2003. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree from Cleveland State University. He is currently a working musician in Houston, Texas.  

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 

Jerome Jennings — 4 p.m., East Cleveland Public Library. FREE  

Drummer Jerome Jennings attended Tri-C from 1999 to 2003. He graduated from Rutgers University and earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he serves as resident director of The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. In addition to leading his own sextet, he performs with the Christian McBride Big Band and Christian Sands Trio. His 2016 debut, The Beast, was named a Top Three jazz release by NPR. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Lucas Kadish — 7:30 p.m., Bop Stop at The Music Settlement. Tickets: $20 (Sales to begin at a later date) 

After attending Tri-C between 2012 and 2014, guitarist Lucas Kadish graduated from the New School for Jazz in New York City before starting his own group, TUNDRA. He has performed with Les McCann, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Javon Jackson and Dominick Farinacci. With TUNDRA, he has played jazz festivals in Bern, Winnipeg and Montreux. Living in New York, he is regularly seen at Small’s Jazz Club, JALC and Nublu. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Luca Mundaca — 7 p.m., Nighttown. Tickets: $15 (Sales to begin at a later date) 

Brazilian Luca Mundaca is a guitarist, singer and songwriter who relocated to Cleveland in 2014 to study in Tri-C’s Recording Arts and Technology program. She won the 2008 Independent Music Award in the World Fusion category. Her songs have been featured in films such as End of Watch (2013), The Visitor (2008) and Kissing Paris (2008), as well as in television series Mistresses (2013) and Californication (2008). 

Monday, June 3, 2019 

Walter Barnes — 6 p.m., Karamu House. FREE 

One year after beginning his studies at Tri-C in 1998, bassist Walter Barnes Jr. began touring with national acts. He has recorded and performed with acts such as Yolanda Adams, the O’Jays and Kim Burrell while straddling the worlds of gospel and soul. He currently plays with Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Barnes attended Berklee School of Music and Morgan State University. 

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