Artists’ Profiles

Vocalist Christine Correa is a native of Bombay, India currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. After relocating to the U.S. in 1979, she soon became involved in a variety of improvisational contexts. Christine has performed and recorded with artists such as Ran Blake, Steve Lacy and John LaPorta and has appeared at numerous festivals and clubs in the U.S., Europe, South America and India. In addition to the US, Christine has performed in Scandinavia, France, Spain, Africa, Switzerland, Poland, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Israel, Argentina and India and at venues and festivals such as The National Center of Performing Arts (Mumbai), The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.) and Finnish National Opera (Helsinki), Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NY), Rubin Museum of Art (NY), Symphony Space (NY), Jordan Hall (Boston), Jumo Jazz (Helsinki), Gdansk Jazz Festival (Poland), SIGMA Festival (Bordeaux), Span Festival (Nigeria), Jazz Yatra (India), Bordeaux Jazz Festival, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, etc. Christine is currently on the faculty at Columbia University’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program and has been Director of the Maine Jazz Camp since 1994.



Dan Kaufman has emerged as a leading and promising voice in jazz piano. His playing is adventurous and dynamic while firmly rooted in the tradition. As a versatile and sensitive sideman Kaufman has performed for audiences around the world, with many prominent figures in jazz such as Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride and Mark Turner. He is also an accomplished composer and arranger. Kaufman began classical piano studies at age four and was working professionally as a teenager. He moved to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory where he studied with Fred Hersch and Danilo Perez. Kaufman joined the Grammy-nominated group The Either/Orchestra and quickly became one of the most in demand young talents on the Boston scene, working extensively with Jeremy Pelt, Miguel Zenon and Bob Moses, among many others. After a brief stint as a member of the highly selective Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Kaufman moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School on a full scholarship and joined their inaugural class of jazz studies. At Juilliard he studied with the great Kenny Barron. Kaufman has established himself as an in demand pianist in New York, joining the working bands of Donald Harrison, Ben Wolfe, Wycliffe Gordon, Rodney Green, Wayne Escoffery and Dominck Farinacci. He also works with many of the world’s top jazz vocalists including Nnenna Freelon, Kevin Mahoganny, Robin McKelle, Allan Harris, Gretchen Parlato, Marilyn Maye, and KD Lang. Kaufman has appeared on numerous recordings as a sideman.



Since moving to New York in 1985, David Berkman has been an important part of the jazz community. He is an award-winning composer/bandleader (2000 Doris Duke/Chamber Music America New Works Creation and Presentation Grant), a recording artist whose 9 recordings as a leader have appeared on numerous best records of the year critic’s lists (the New York Times, the Village Voice, Downbeat, JazzIz, Jazz Times and others) and an award-winning jazz clinician who has performed and taught at numerous jazz camps, universities and conservatories around the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. He has published three books with Sher Music Publishing, “The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing” (2007) and “The Jazz Singer’s Guidebook” (2009) and “The Jazz Harmony Book” (2014). David Berkman has performed solo, trio and with his quartet, quintet and sextet at festivals and clubs in the United States, South America, Europe and Japan, most recently at the Edinburgh festival, the Cork Festival and the London Jazz Festival. Recent tours include: clubs and concert performances in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and around the United States.



After saxophonist and composer Dick de Graaf debuted 1986 with his LP ‘Hot, hazy and humid’, he played all over the world as a soloist and as a leader of a variety of projects. He performed and recorded with a.o. Chet Baker, Kenny Weeler, Benny Golson, Billy Hart, Toumani Diabaté and Erkan Ogur. De Graaf produced 25 CD’s. Among them ‘Sailing’, ‘New York Straight Ahead’, ‘The Burning of the Midnight Lamp: Dick de Graaf plays Jimi Hendrix’, ‘Trio Nuevo: Jazz Meets Tango’ and Out Of The Blues: Celebrating The Music Of Oliver Nelson (2012). Following his project Schubert Impressions for Jazzquintet (2003) Dick was commissioned to compose A Touch of Bela (2005) by the Hungarian Eztergom Festival, his Bach Reflections (2007) by the Bachfest in Leipzig and his Bach DNA Suite (2014) by the International Bach Festival in Dordrecht (NL).Last year his original saxophone quartet Carillon (2014) in 12 movements, based on the Tone Clock of Dutch composer Peter Schat, was released on Red Piano Records. The Dick de Graaf New Quartet (2015) again displays de Graaf’s eclectic approach in a repertoire inspired by compositional techniques of Olivier Messiaen, Milton Babbitt and Peter Schat. Dick de Graaf is a teacher of saxophone and master ensembles at Codarts University of the Performing Arts in his hometown Rotterdam.

…with his warm, full tone, thoughtful pacing and mounting of substantive ideas on phrases that slowly burn to the heart … Downbeat, Frank-John Hadley



Originally a native of Helsinki, Finland, Frank Carlberg has carved himself quite a niche in the New York jazz community. As a leader, Frank’s groups include the Frank Carlberg Quintet and Word Circus (performing settings of a wide variety of texts including poems by poets), the Tivoli Trio (a classic jazz piano trio playing an eclectic mix of Carlberg’s compositions drawn from cinematic and circus inspirations) and the Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble (performing original compositions as well as arrangements and re-compositions of standards and folk materials).
His own bands aside, the Brooklyn-based pianist has been involved in many crossover projects throughout the years. Some of his most notable collaborations have included performances and recordings with the likes of saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. He has been commissioned to write music for big bands, small ensembles, symphony orchestras as well as modern dance companies and has written close to 200 songs to texts by contemporary poets. Carlberg has released 18 CDs as a leader or co-leader and appears on numerous others as a sideman. In addition to his playing and composing activities Carlberg also serves on the faculty at New England Conservatory.



Since 1995, jazz trumpeter Gerard Kleijn has led a very wide variety of his own groups and has made 10 CDs as bandleader, all very well received by press and audiences. Currently he is active with Wild Man Conspiracy, Clazz Ensemble and Bach Reflections, among others. His groups are welcome guests on many stages in Holland and abroad. He has been seen at festivals and on stage throughout Europe, Syria, Mexico and the United States.Gerard has made four CDs with his own compositions (Big Moves (1998), Love Quotes (2001), New World (2003)) and has arranged piano works by the French composer (Le Flirt de Satie (2007)) with the Gerard Kleijn Group. He makes pure chamber jazz with J.S. Bach as his source of inspiration with Bach Reflections (To B or not to B (2014)). Since 2007 he has co-led, together with saxophone player Dick de Graaf, the 12-piece Clazz Ensemble with which he plays new compositions especially written for the ensemble (Adventures live at the Bimhuis (2009), Delta Suite (2010), Federico on Broadway (2012), Monk Inside Out (2014), Bach DNA (2014)). He leads his latest band Wild Man Conspiracy with the Argentine guitarist Guillermo Celano and drummer Joost Kesselaar (Knots (2014)). The CD was released in January on the New York label Red Piano Records. In addition he can regularly be seen as side man in a wide variety of ensembles and big bands, including the Konrad Koselleck Big Band. Gerard studied jazz trumpet at Conservatories in Hilversum and Rotterdam. In 2004 he studied in New York. In addition to his work as trumpeter, he is a dedicated educator, workshop leader and big band conductor. He’s also regularly guest lecturer and/or big band conductor at e.g. the conservatories in Rotterdam, Enschede, Damascus, Mexico City and Alkmaar. Since 2006 he has been artistic and business director of Clazz Music, with which he develops concert series and music productions.



John O’Gallagher is considered one of the most compelling alto saxophonists and composers at work today on the avant-jazz scene. Based in New York City for over two decades, he is known for his projects as a leader (The Anton Webern Project, Abacus), and as a sought after sideman, working with artists such as the Joe Henderson Big Band (1998 Grammy winning recording), Maria Schneider Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler Large Ensemble, Ben Monder, Bob Belden, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress, Richie Beirach, Mike Formanek, Tom Rainey, Chris Cheek, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Jeff Williams among others. He has appeared on over fifty CD’s with Downbeat magazine declaring his recordings as a leader “all bear O’Gallagher’s exquisite melodic stamp…a roughhewn majesty permeates the music”. He is the author of the book “12 tone improvisation” published by Advance Music.

“…an alto saxophonist of dry tone and daring temperament” – The New York Times



Born in Los Angeles, California in 1985, Nicholas Urie was a recipient of the first annual ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Award at the age of 17. He left Los Angeles to study composition with Bob Brookmeyer in Boston, receiving both bachelors and masters degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music. Urie is an active arranger and has been commissioned to write music for concerts, recordings, and television broadcasts. Performances by: Vince Mendoza, Kurt Elling, John Scofield, Donny McCaslin, Bill Stewart, Dave Samuels, Dominique Eade, the Metropole Orchestra, NPS Channel 3, Skavlan TV, the Klüvers Big Band, the NDR Big Band, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, the Berklee Chamber Orchestra, and the Clazz Ensemble among others. Both of Urie’s CD’s of original music, Excerpts from an Online Dating Service (2009) and My Garden (2011), earned wide critical acclaim. “All About Jazz” praised Urie’s sui generis saying, “Urie does not simply blow off the dust of the large jazz ensemble, he sandblasts it off with Uranium.” At the same time, Urie’s unique ability to transform unlikely source material through subtle musical treatment has been widely noted. “Downbeat” magazine observed that, “Urie succeeds wonderfully in transferring the grime of skid row to the sheen of the concert hall without sacrificing any of the bite and desperate humanity.” Urie is an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he teaches in the harmony department.



In a career that now spans five decades, pianist Ran Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solos, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions, and themes from classic Film Noir, Blake’s singular sound has earned him a dedicated following all over the world. His dual musical legacy includes more than 40 albums on some of the world’s finest jazz labels, as well nearly 40 years as a groundbreaking educator at Boston’s New England Conservatory.

2012 marked Blake’s fifty years as a professional recording artist, making him one of most resilient artists in jazz history. In the tradition of two of his idols, Ellington and Monk, Ran Blake has incorporated and synthesized several otherwise divergent styles and influences into a single innovative and cohesive style all his own, ranking him among the geniuses of the genre. The addition of his innovative aural based teaching approach, and the nearly thirty years he has spent influencing future generations of musicians, makes his contributions to the long tradition of jazz even more impressive.



Sax-led indie jazz quartet Ro Sham Beaux is excited to announce the release of their self-titled debut album on Red Piano Records. At a time of frequent overlap between jazz and indie rock, the 11-track release couldn’t feel more current.

“We want to make music that’s fun and honest to ourselves,” says drummer Jacob Cole, which means fusing the members’ prestigious New England Conservatory jazz training with their love of indie favorites like Deerhoof and The Dirty Projectors. From the album’s most raucous, distorted breakdowns to the grainy simmer that underlies its lyrical interludes, a myriad of genres breaks through, revealing a set of songs whose energy attracts indie fans and whose stylistic heft fascinates jazz enthusiasts.



Born in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, vocalist and songwriter Roxana Amed is considered one of the most important voices in Argentine music, being mostly related to jazz and original music. She has released six albums, LIMBO and ENTREMUNDOS, produced with Pedro Aznar, LA VOZ MÁS ALLA (DVD), CINEMATECA FINLANDESA, dúo album with Grammy nominee Adrián Iaies, INOCENCIA, tribute to Argentine folk music, LA SOMBRA DE SU SOMBRA, dúo album with NY pianist composer Frank Carlberg (with Christine Correa as guest vocalist), featuring original music to the poetry by Argentine author Alejandra Pizarnik. Her albums, now released by SONY Music US Latin, have received Gardel Awards and Gardel Award nominations.Amed is exclusive author for SONY/ATV Music Publishing also works as a songwriter. Now a resident in South Florida, Amed leads a Quintet there featuring Martín Bejerano, Mark Small, Josh Allen and Rodolfo Zuñiga, performing original jazz and Argentine music.



Vardan Ovsepian is an Armenia-born pianist/composer whose studies include Yerevan State Conservatory, Estonian Music Academy, Helsinki Jazz Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. He performs solo as well as with artists such as Mick Goodrick, Peter Erskine and Jerry Bergonzi. In addition to teaching at The Musical Suite in Newburyport, MA, Vardan hasper formed and taught master classes at Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Maine Jazz Camp (ME), Towson University (MD), Susquehanna University (PA), Bucknell University (PA), Wheeler School (RI), Estonian Music Academy (Tallinn, Estonia), Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (Chennai, India), CalArts (CA).Vardan has released 5 CDs with “Fresh Sound New Talent” label, plus independent releases of VOCE – Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble (2006 and 2013). Recent works also include a publication of a book “Mirror Exercises”, a release of Peter Erskine New Trio album “Joy Luck” and several duo/trio albums with alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher and vocalist Tatiana Parra. Presently Vardan resides in Los Angeles.



Drummer/composer Steve Grover has led jazz groups in the New England area since the mid 1980’s. A Maine native In 1994, Steve, a Maine, native won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz/BMI Jazz Composers Competition, and in 1996 was a winner in JAZZIZ Magazine’s “Percussion On Fire” talent search. He received an honorable mention in the 2004 Billboard Song Contest, and his composition “Breath” (from the album of the same name) was featured that same year on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”. In 2008 Steve’s original composition “Art Advocate” was chosen as the theme song for the MPBN program “Conversations With Maine”. Steve’s group won “Best Jazz Act of 2009” in The Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll, and was voted one of the “Ten Most Influential Bands of the Last Ten Years” by The Phoenix that same year.

Steve has released ten CDs, with reviews appearing in Down Beat, JazzTimes, and Cadence magazines. The Garden Above, a collaborative CD with saxophonist David Wells and guitarist Tony Gaboury, was included in The Portland Phoenix Top Ten CDs of 2006, and “Statement” was in the Top Ten CDs of 2010. In addition to performing with his own groups and with clarinetist Brad Terry, Steve has performed in concert with Buddy Tate, Jay McShann, Eddie Gomez, Chris Potter, Marvin Stamm, Greg Tardy, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Kurt Rosenwinkel and many others. Steve lives in Farmingdale, ME.

GROVER - WALTON Variations