At our next concert (January 12, 2014):
Dave Gleason is a pianist, composer, music educator and ethnomusicologist living in New York's Capital Region. He received an M.A. in music from Tufts University where he studied ethnomusicology and composition. As an ethnomusicologist, he researched Caribbean folk and popular music in Puerto Rico and Cuba. His fieldwork culminated in a thesis entitled "La Parranda Puertorriquena: The Music, Symbolism and Cultural Nationalism of Puerto Rico's Christmas Serenading Tradition."
As a jazz and Latin pianist, he has performed with ensembles such as RumbaNaMa, The Boston Latin Band, The Either/Orchestra, Altiplano, Mojive, and the Kinewe African Drum Ensemble as well as renown musicians like Laurel Masse, Fred Wesley, Danilo Perez, and John Fedchock. He currently leads the acclaimed Latin jazz ensemble, Sensemaya.
Mr. Gleason studied music education and jazz studies at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. He also studied jazz piano with Capital Region guru Lee Shaw. He has taught Music Theory, I.B. Music, and Jazz Ensemble at the Sayles School of Fine Arts and World Music at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York.
Pete Sweeney is a drummer, author, and educator living in Troy, NY. Pete studied with Dave Calarco and Joe Morello. He has performed, toured, and recorded with many great musicians such as Pat Metheny, Larry Coryell, Lee Ritenour, John Abercrombie, Robben Ford, Andy Summers (The Police), Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Ed Mann (Frank Zappa), Frank Gambale, Lorne Lofsky, “Dangerous” Dan Toler, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Mick Goodrick, and Steve Bailey. He has written 20 instructional books for the Alfred publishing company including the “30 Day Drum Workout," “The Versatile Drummer," and the “Drum Atlas” books on Cuba, Jamaica, Salsa, and Brazil. Pete currently teaches at the Berkshire Music School, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the Troy Music Academy, Union College, and the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation. He is a member of the Latin jazz group Sensemaya, as well as the leader of his own groups. He is an endorser of Mapex drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Aquarian drum heads.
Mike Lawrence has been playing the upright bass since age 10 and had a great foundation with the Empire State Youth Orchestra and the various orchestras and jazz ensemble at school. Playing out in bars and clubs with bands from age 16, Mike has been hooked on playing music for a live audience ever since. Rich Syracuse at the College of Saint Rose along with the Berklee summer music program in Boston really turned him on to the art of jazz bass playing. He has performed with a number of jazz artists in and around the Capital District at a variety of venues and is currently a regular member of Michael Benedict's Bopitude, Dave Gleason/Sensemaya Trio and Keith Pray’s Soul Jazz Revival. Mike teaches instrumental music in the Schenectady City School District as well as private bass lessons and recently became a proud father with the birth of his daughter. He holds a bachelor's degree from the College of St Rose and a master's degree from Boston University, both in music education.