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At our next concert (January 11, 2015):

 Mark Kleinhaut Quartet

The Mark Kleinhaut Quartet is a performance platform for featuring some of the numerous compositions penned by Kleinhaut along with select jazz standards from "the songbook." Guitarist Kleinhaut is joined by some of his favorite accomplices, Chris Pasin on trumpet, John Menegon on bass and Bob Halek on drums. Of this lineup Kleinhaut says, "These gentlemen are more than seasoned pros, more than the sum all their credentials of who's played with whom, and of course each is a recognized band leaders in his own right. I think of them as alchemists because every time we play together, there is that excitement of living in the moment to create something fresh, unplanned and truly spontaneous.  When I compose something, it's really just the starting point. It's the same if we take a standard....it's just the beginning, and it's where it goes that's really happening.  Above all, these guys have huge ears and small egos, two essential ingredients for the right chemistry."

Mark Kleinhaut is an accomplished jazz guitarist known for his elegant melodic improvisations, striking technical execution and responsive accompaniment. In 2013,  Kleinhaut was recognized with an entry in Scott Yanow’s new book The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide published by Backbeat Books, and was honored to be included. During Kleinhaut’s thirty-year career, he has delved deeply into the standard repertoire, explored his taste for modern and forward sounds, and incorporates a myriad of influences. Mark looks for the spontaneous composition within the composition, and feels a jazz group’s arranging on the fly is one of the most inspiring and magical experiences in music. Additionally, Kleinhaut   relishes the opportunity to create original pieces. He has over 60 recorded compositions spanning six CDs released on the Invisible Music label, including a Jazzweek Top 20 disc with saxophonist Bobby Watson and another album with trumpeter Tiger Okoshi. His latest project, Jones Street, a guitar duo with 7-string player Neil Lamb, was spontaneously composed, utilizing motifs from classical, jazz and folk music in a completely “free” setting.

Chris Pasin earned a dual bachelor's degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in classical and jazz trumpet performance, playing and recording under Jimmy Giuffre, Gunther Schuller, George Russell and Jaki Byard, under the last of which he studied jazz improvisation and composition. During this time, he helped found the Medium Rare Big Band, which had the likes of musicians Jed Levy, Jeremy Kahn, and Steve Johns in it, and earned accolades at various jazz competitions and performed with Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis and Slide Hampton. He was also performing with the George Russell orchestra at the Village Vanguard in New York, and worked regularly as a sideman and studio musician in Boston for five years. Pasin spent two and a half years playing trumpet with the Buddy Rich band in the early '80s, at which time he relocated to New York City. This was a great growth period as the bus rides were like a listening room and had the influence of many of the great musicians of band in that era, like Walt Weiskopf, Conrad Herwig and Dave Stahl. Much of the next decade was spent playing jazz with various groups, including several years with the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin big band, which provided daily exposure to an even more inspiring group of great musicians, including Frank Wess.

John Menegon, having worked for several years on the Canadian jazz scene with the great guitarists Sonny Greenwich, Mike Gauthier and Nelson Simons, and saxophonists Steve Grossman and Pat LaBarbara, went on to hone his skills in NYC in the mid-'80s. Since moving to New York City to study jazz at Long Island University on a full scholarship, John has performed and recorded with Dewey Redman, David “Fathead” Newman, Matt Wilson, Frank Kimbrough, John Hicks, Yoron Israel, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Burrell, Kenny Barron, Bruce Barth, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra, Nick Brignola, Bob Meyer, Jimmy Cobb, Al Foster, Slide Hampton, Sheila Jordan, Lee Konitz, J.R. Monterose, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Judy Silvano, Teri Roiger, Tineke Postma, Greg Osby, James Weidman, Steve Williams and many others.  John was an integral member of the Dewey Redman Quartet, as well as the David “Fathead” Newman Quintet, and spent over a decade performing, touring and recording with each of them. These jazz legends have taken John around the world, playing at jazz festivals in South Africa, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Europe and the U.S., and have been a major influence in his playing and compositions. John appears on Newman’s four most recent CDs on High Note Records. The influence of these jazz legends, as well as master drummer Paul Motian, Brazilian vocalist Gal Costa and Ray Charles, are remembered and reflected in Menegon’s compositions on his new recording, I REMEMBER YOU.

Bob Halek, teacher and percussionist, is a native of upstate New York. As a musician, his versatility keeps him very active recording and performing with artists from many different disciplines: big band, jazz, Latin, funk, country, classical and R&B. He has performed on the Food Network and at the Newport Jazz Festival, as well as concerts, festivals and clubs throughout the Northeast. His current schedule includes performances with The Empire Jazz Orchestra, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble, The Capitol Region Wind Ensemble, City Rhythm and various club bands. Halek was named the 2012 district-wide teacher of the year in the East Greenbush School District, where he teaches instrumental music. He also has appeared as a clinician and guest conductor for various concert bands, jazz bands and percussion ensembles.