Salon Series: The Matt Slocum Trio

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Salon Series: The Matt Slocum Trio

December 18, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join us in the Wharton Black Box Theater for the final 2022 Salon Series concert featuring the Matt Slocum Jazz Trio.

Tickets are $12/Adults, $6/Students & Seniors. Wine and cheese will be served.


About the Matt Slocum Jazz Trio

Drummer and composer Matt Slocum has released six recordings of original music as a leader. Sanctuary (Sunnyside Records, 2019) was named one of Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Recordings of 2019.” Modern Drummer writes that “Slocum’s writing and playing emphasize a breathing, expressive, virtually speech-like flow of shifting meters… A fresh voice.” JazzTimes writes that “Slocum has established the one thing all musicians desire: a singular sound.” Slocum’s work has been supported with composition grants from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, New Music USA, and the Puffin Foundation. Slocum recently composed, premiered, and recorded With Love and Sadness, a project he was commissioned to write in 2020 through Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program. Slocum has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Steve Cardenas, Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Grenadier, Jon Irabagon, Lage Lund, Linda Oh, Jaleel Shaw, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Anthony Wilson, Ben Wendel, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In addition to teaching individual and ensemble lessons, Matt Slocum has also worked with students through teaching masterclasses and clinics at programs such as Berklee College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Brubeck Institute, San Francisco State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota, Los Angeles County High School For the Arts, Sonoma State University, the University of Montana, and the University of the Arts. He is currently an adjunct instructor at Newark Academy and NJYS Jazz.

Pianist/composer Carmen Staaf is a rising force in the NYC and global music scenes. She has performed and recorded with some of the most influential and important musicians of our era. Currently, she is the pianist and Musical Director for NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater. Her past major performances have included the Playboy Jazz Festival in a two-piano setting with the legendary Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center alongside Kenny Barron and Fred Hersch. She has been heard at the Village Vanguard, Blue Note, SFJazz and major jazz festivals around the world including the Newport, Monterey, Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, among many others. Carmen graduated with a double degree from Tufts University (Anthropology) and the New England Conservatory (Jazz Performance), and immediately thereafter became one of the youngest faculty members ever hired by Berklee College of Music, joining their piano department in 2005. After spending some years touring and recording while based in New York (including winning the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Pianist competition), she was accepted to the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, where she was mentored by the most important living jazz musicians. Carmen’s most recent album as a leader is “Science Fair” (Sunnyside), which was released in 2018 to wide critical and audience acclaim (NY Times “Best Jazz of 2018”, LA Times “Best of 2018”, 4.5 stars in DownBeat).

In the 21st century jazz is truly a global movement, and New York bassist Massimo Biolcati embodies the music’s creative reach. A first-call accompanist, producer, composer and bandleader, he’s best known as a founding member of Gilfema, the acclaimed collective trio with Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth and Beninese guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke that recorded two albums for Obliqsound. The group also recorded three albums for Blue Note as the Lionel Loueke Trio, including Karibu with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Once again known as Gilfema, the trio recently recorded a third album, which Biolcati produced. Slated for release in the spring of 2020, the project features new music from all three players.

Hailing from a Swedish/Italian family, Biolcati has worked with some of jazz’s most celebrated artists, including tours with Paquito D’Rivera, Terence Blanchard, Ravi Coltrane, Lizz Wright, and Luciana Souza. As a leader he released 2008’s Persona on Obliqsound, an ambitious debut album of original compositions played by Loueke, pianist/accordionist Peter Rende, and drummer Jeff Ballard, with vocal contributions by Lizz Wright and Gretchen Parlato. He also continues to run iReal Pro, the app he created in 2009 that has become an essential tool for musicians and music students, providing access to chord charts and custom generated backing tracks for thousands of compositions.

Dayna Stephens is globally recognized as a saxophonist, composer and arranger, and is the first place recipient of the 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll in the category Rising Star—Tenor Saxophone. His highly anticipated 10th album, Right Now! Live at the Village Vanguard, was released on October 3, 2020 and features Aaron Parks, Ben Street, and Greg Hutchinson. Playing with purity of intention, Dayna admits he’s always searching to find what’s “singable.” That search often results in live improvisations and written compositions that challenge traditional concepts of harmony, pushing phrasing and sending beautiful and unintentional melodies in unlikely directions. Dayna’s soulful lines have resonated through the halls of such internationally renowned venues as the Village Vanguard, Blue Note Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Yoshi’s, The Blue Whale, Marians Jazzroom in Switzerland, Blue Note Milano, Philharmonie de Paris, Le Duc des Lombards, Red Rocks and San Francisco Jazz Center. Rhythmic dialogue excites the Brooklyn-born, Bay Area-raised artist, as both an improviser and a written composer. His creative expression leads him to uncover different rhythmic interpretations of harmonic ideas as part of a spontaneous interchange with other players. These evolving interpretations help serve Dayna’s commitment to authenticity of the moment, whether he’s playing live or in the studio. And his rhythmic inquiry has earned him the attention and admiration of some of the music’s most beloved drummers—many of whom have collaborated with him on recordings, on the bandstand and on the road, including Al Foster, Idris Muhammad, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Billy Hart, Marcus Gilmore, Bill Stewart, Eric Harland, Johnathan Blake, Jaimeo Brown, Brian Blade, Victor Lewis, Lewis Nash, Jorge Rossy, Jeff Ballard and Justin Brown. Dayna has traveled and recorded with a cross section of such distinctive voices, including pianists Kenny Barron, Aaron Parks, Fred Hersch, Billy Childs, Geoffrey Keezer, Taylor Eigsti, Herbie Hancock, Muhal Richard Abrams, Brad Mehldau, and Gerald Clayton; trumpet players Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Sean Jones, Terell Stafford, Philip Dizack, Ambrose Akinmusire, Michael Rodriguez, and Terence Blanchard; saxophone players Wayne Shorter, Walter Smith III, Mark Turner, Jaleel Shaw, Ben Wendel, Chris Potter, and John Ellis; bass players Ben Street, Rufus Reid, Kiyoshi Kitagawa, Joe Sanders, Linda Oh, Doug Weiss, Larry Grenadier and Harish Raghavan; vocalists Alicia Olatuja, Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens and Sachal Vasandani; and guitar players Julian Lage, Charles Altura, Mike Moreno, Lage Lund, Peter Bernstein, John Scofield, and Carlos Santana. Dayna currently teaches at Manhattan School of Music and William Paterson University.


December 18, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Wharton Arts
(908) 790-0700
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Wharton Black Box Theater
60 Locust Ave
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922 United States
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