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The Lee Shaw Scholarship Fund

At our next concert (October 14, 2018):

Scott Bassinson Quintet

Scott 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.

Dylan Canterbury began playing trumpet at age 8 and was already playing professionally in high school. While at Purchase College, he 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 Central School District. He taught there for two years and then took a position at Guilderland High School, where he currently directs two jazz ensembles and concert band.

Otto Gardner’s years as a musician include playing, teaching, and recording throughout the Northeast, California and Canada. He was a founding member of Schenectady’s 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 of the Bard College community as an adjunct professor in the Jazz Department.

Joe Barna attended Schenectady County Community College, 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.