Paul Asbell's Burmese Panther Quintet plays music from their eponymous CD
The musicians in the Paul Asbell Jazz Quintet have played together for many decades, and the resultant chemistry is obvious to jazz aficionados and casual listeners alike. Individually and collectively, each of the players boasts a long history— both regionally, and on the national stage— performing with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Stitt, Joe Lovano, Peter Apfelbaum, Clark Terry, Fontella Bass, Kilimanjaro, and countless others.
After a string of gigs during Discover Jazz Festival 2018, the musicians went into the studio and emerged with the CD "Burmese Panther". The recording showcases a polished set of Asbell originals in diverse mainstream jazz flavors, from classic Blue Note-era to fiery latin-jazz to New Orleans funk to fingerpoppin' blues. One reviewer called them “flat-out gorgeous songs with the potential to become standards themselves”, and noted they were “performed by genuinely world-class players.” Their Discover Jazz Festival 2022 set on the City Hall Stage will feature the identical lineup, performing both the "Burmese Panther" material and newer compositions.
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.
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 "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!
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.
Special Guest: Michael Zsoldos
Michael Zsoldos has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Sheila Jordan, Kevin Mahogony, Houston Person, Luis Perdomo, Jason Palmer, Matt Wilson, Helen Sung, George Schuller, Armen Donelian, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, the Temptations, 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 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.