BENNINGTON -- Inspired by Southern Vermont College’s (SVC’s) collection of paintings and prints by renowned artist Stephen Hannock (and specifically a portrait of Jazz Legend Duke Ellington), the College will present an "Evening of Jazz" on Thursday, April 4.
The "Evening of Jazz" begins at 6 p.m. in the Burgdorff Gallery with students from the SVC jazz band and choir performing jazz standards and contemporary popular music. At 7 p.m. in the Everett Theatre, some of the area’s finest musicians will perform music from Jazz Luminaries including works by Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. The group features SVC’s Music Director and Adjunct Professor, guitarist Eric Despard; pianist Michelle Labieniec Despard; bassist Daniel Broad; drummer Jeff McRea; and alto saxophonist Phelan Gallagher.
Gallagher teaches instrumental music and media studies at Arlington Memorial High School. He grew up in a musical family on the coast of Maine and studied jazz saxophone in New Orleans before completing a graduate degree in music education at Hunter College.
McRea is a writer and drummer and plays with a variety of groups in the tri-state area. He holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Washington University (St. Louis) and an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire.
Broad has been one of the most sought-after bassists in New England for the past 20 years. He has performed with The Drifters, The Platters, The Albert Cummings Band, The Rev. Tor Band, Bernice Lewis and the North Shire String Band.
Broad earned a degree in Bass studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and teaches privately.
Labieniec Despard teaches general music at the Pine Cobble School. She earned a BM in jazz piano performance from the Hartt School of Music and an M.A. in jazz history and research from Rutgers University, Newark.
Despard has performed throughout the region presenting solo classical guitar concerts and playing in various rock, blues and jazz groups. In addition to teaching at SVC, Eric is an affiliate artist at Middlebury College and teaches guitar at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
He holds a B.M. from the Hartt School of Music and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music.