At our next concert (October 14, 2018):
Scott Bassinson Quintet
Bassinson is a solo pianist, ensemble
performer and composer. Beginning classical piano study at the age of 4
at the St. Louis Institute of Music, he later attended Berklee College
of Music, and performed with several commercial bands throughout the
Northeast. Since moving to the Capital Region, he has performed in a
variety of contexts including solo piano, jazz trio, as a
multi-keyboardist with various jazz, funk, folk and pop groups, and as
an accompanist for folk and jazz vocalists. His most recent recording as
leader, Loving Hearts, Smiling Faces, is available through
iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, or directly from him.
began playing trumpet at age 8 and was already playing professionally in
high school. While at
studied privately with jazz trumpet legends Jon Faddis, Jim Rotondi and
Ray Vega, and had the opportunity to interact with several other
notables such as saxophonists Steve Wilson, Jon Gordon and Jimmy Greene,
pianists Hal Galper and Pete Malinverni, bassist Todd Coolman and
drummer John Riley.
His compositions, arrangements and transcriptions have been performed or
recorded by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Jon Faddis Jazz
Orchestra, Keith Pray's Big Soul Ensemble and the Phil Allen Concert
Jazz Band. He is an adjunct member of the faculty of the Schenectady
County Community College School of Music, where he teaches jazz history,
and has conducted clinics and master classes at several local schools.
Lee Russo was
inspired by his father, Leo Russo, a saxophonist and a longtime Albany
legend. Leo introduced Lee to the music of Stan Getz and soon after that
Lee heard the Miles Davis Quintet and became a fan of tenor saxophonist
Hank Mobley. Following high school, Lee started undergraduate studies at
The College of Saint Rose, where he studied saxophone with Paul
Evoskevich. He played in the Saint Rose Jazz Ensemble and worked with
many guest artists, including Claudio Roditi, Bill Watrous, Bill
Cunliffe, Nick Brignola and others. He transferred to The Crane School
of Music at SUNY Potsdam and, after receiving his degree there, he began
teaching in the Niskayuna
He taught there for two years and then took a position at
where he currently directs two jazz ensembles and concert band.
years as a musician include playing, teaching, and recording throughout
California and Canada.
He was a founding member of
Empire Jazz Orchestra, in which he has played for more than 22 years,
along with such Jazz Master guests as Jimmy Heath, Lou Soloff, Curtis
Fuller, Rufus Reid, and Benny Golson. He has played with scores of other
artists including James Spalding, J. R. Monterose,
Buddy Greco, Margaret Whiting, Hal Galper,
Nick Brignola, Randy Brecker, Lee Shaw and Lincoln Mayorga. In addition
to his performance and recording, his teaching experience spans three
decades. He has shared his talents and insights through individual bass
lessons whenever his schedule allowed. Since 2010 Otto has been a member
community as an adjunct professor in the Jazz Department.
where he focused his efforts on orchestral percussion
performance/education. In fall of 1999 he transferred to the Purchase
College Conservatory of Music in Westchester,
where he received his BFA in jazz studies with a focus on drum set
performance & composition. He has shared the stage with many of the
world’s top musicians, including Gary Smulyan, Ralph Lalama, Joe
Magnarelli, Ray Vega, Grant Stewart and others.
He has also performed with many
regional greats, such as Keith Pray, Brian Patneaude, John Menegon, Lee
Shaw, David Gleason, Mark Kleinhaut, Michael Louis Smith, George
Muscatello, Lee & Leo Russo and his own original group Sketches of
Influence. He has performed in pit orchestras for many musical theaters,
and toured the world as a member of ship orchestras on leading cruise
lines. He has also recorded on more than 10 albums.