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The Paul Asbell Jazz Quintet "Burmese Panther" CD Release Concert

Paul Asbell’s “Burmese Panther” is the culmination of several years of composing, arranging, and fine-tuning his original compositions with a regular group of world-class players.

Paul Asbell, on the "Burmese Panther" CD project:

"After a string of gigs during Discover Jazz Festival 2017, my long-time music compatriot and studio engineer Chuck Eller suggested that I consider recording the band, and the original tunes we’d worked up together, while they were still fresh in our minds, and tightly worked into our fingers.

It was an excellent idea... but one which didn’t come to fruition until late August. That recording session wound up serving as a “dry run” for the real deal, which began in earnest after a similar run of gigs after DJF ‘18, and continued throughout the summer.

The recording owes its existence to the generosity of 135 friends, fans, and well-wishers who contributed to a successful Kickstarter for the project that took place in April. I remain overwhelmed by their support, and am deeply grateful to all who contributed!

I’m also deeply grateful to the musicians who contributed so much time and emotional energy to learning these tunes, and personalizing them in various ways to create the recording.

Thanks, guys... I think we created something pretty cool!"

In his 50 year professional career, Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Paul Siebel, Mary McCaslin, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. His jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro has released several award-winning recordings, and performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Roskilde, in Copenhagen. Their “Homecoming" CD was picked by Jazziz magazine for their “Best of 2009” CD, along with tracks by Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, and other heavyweights. Paul’s three solo acoustic CDs, Steel-String Americana, Roots and Branches, and From Adamant To Atchafalaya, received numerous rave reviews for their fresh takes on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country tunes, and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition. Recent appearances include Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, MerleFest, Lunenburg Folk Festival, and many other venues. Acoustic Guitar magazine recently did an article on him, featuring his composition Chunky Monkey Gumbo.

“Asbell is as authentic as it gets and a true master of the jazz/blues/Americana genres. He gave the audience just enough history about the music to pique interest and inform without ever coming off as stodgy or stiff. His presence onstage and off is altogether very pleasant, his demeanor guileless and his music very, very soulful."
Robin Ralston, Coolwater Concerts

Musician Bios:

Paul Asbell
In his 50 year professional career, Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and many others.

His jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro has released several award-winning recordings, and performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Roskilde, in Copenhagen. Their latest, "Homecoming", was picked by Jazziz magazine for their "Best of 2009" CD, along with tracks by Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, and other heavyweights. He was a founding member of The Unknown Blues Band, featuring Big Joe Burrell, which played regionally for 25 years.

Paul’s three solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and “From Adamant To Atchafalaya”, received rave reviews in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, Downbeat, Sing Out!, and Blues Revue for their fresh takes on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country tunes, and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition.

Paul has taught guitar for over 50 years, including positions at Dartmouth, Skidmore, and other colleges. He presently teaches at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. Visit Paul's website at: paulasbell.com


Gabe Jarrett
A lifelong musician, Gabe began playing music at age 5 and was performing by 12. A NJ/NY native, Gabe studied drum-set/composition at the New School Jazz program in NYC before relocating to New England.  As studies with Charlie Persip and Bob Gullotti honed his technique, demand for Gabe as a musical and creative sideman grew.

He has joined artists such as Peter Apfelbaum, Joe Lovano, Greg Tardy, Nina Nastasia, Thomas Chapin, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, Will Bernard, Marco Benevento, Karl Berger and many others for musical performances large and small.

Gabe has performed internationally at venues including the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Holland; The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA; High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA; Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN; the Gramercy Theater in NYC; and the Willisau Jazz Festival in Willisau, Austria.

When at home in VT, Gabe teaches music/percussion at SUNY Plattsburgh, Johnson State, and Saint Michael's College.


Clyde Stats
Clyde "cut his musical teeth" performing with a variety of blues artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Otis Rush in Chicago in the 1960's, which is where he first met and played with Paul Asbell.  

Since settling in Vermont in 1978, he has played every style of popular music from bluegrass to r&b to jazz with groups such as Banjo Dan and the Midnite Plowboys, Pure Pressure, the Sneakers Jazz Band, and the Will Patton Ensemble.

Clyde is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music and Dance at UVM, where he teaches courses in the History of Rock and Roll, Blues and Related Traditions, Introduction to Jazz History, and Music and Culture of New Orleans, both online and in the classroom.  Paul and Clyde’s musical partnership has spanned over 50 years! 


Michael Zsoldos
Based in Woodstock, Vermont, woodwind specialist, educator, composer, conductor, Michael Zsoldos has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Sheila Jordan, Kevin Mahogony, Houston Person, Luis Perdomo, Jason Palmer, Matt Wilson, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Ben Vereen, Bebe Winans, Yolanda
Adams, and many others. Michael’s debut CD as a leader, Off the Cuff, is playing on streaming services and jazz radio stations worldwide.

Currently, Michael is a member of the NYC-based Miro Sprague Quintet, the Jason Ennis Quartet, and Eugene Uman’s Convergence Project; a group whose original music merges Colombian rhythms with jazz harmonies.

Since 2005, Michael has been the instrumental arranger for the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir and Dartmouth Idol. Michael composed the music for the 2017 documentary “Seeing Through The Wall: Meeting Ourselves in Palestine and Israel”. He was the orchestrator for the musical,“21”, based on the life of baseball legend, Roberto Clemente, which had its premiere at Pointe Park University in Pittsburgh in October 2014.

Michael is a lecturer in classical saxophone and music theory at Dartmouth College, and was the jazz and classical saxophone instructor at the University of Vermont from 2009-2017. He is on the teaching faculties of the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, and Interplay Jazz and Arts, based in the Upper Valley.


Tom Cleary
Tom Cleary has studied jazz improvisation with teachers including Yusef Lateef and Archie Shepp and piano with teachers including Chuck Eller, Elizabeth Metcalfe, Sylvia Parker and Harold Danko.

He has been featured on recordings with his wife, singer/pianist/songwriter Amber deLaurentis, trombonist Rick Davies, saxophonist Brian McCarthy and bassist Mike Gordon, with whom he played in a band between 2008 and 2014.

He has accompanied artists including Lester Bowie, Clark Terry, Fontella Bass, Joan Rivers, Steve Earle, Judi Silvano and Ernie Watts, has been commissioned as a composer by groups including Social Band and Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. He teaches in UVM Department of Music and Dance, the Flynn Arts jazz program and in his home studio.