Debbie Gifford & The Sextet
International Jazz Vocalist & Recording Artist Debbie Gifford will perform with her new group The Sextet in a jazzy evening of music including Ballads, Latin, Swing, Jazz/ Funk and Jazz/Pop showcasing the arranging talents of Cleveland Pianist/ Arranger/ Composer John Trzcinski.
The Sextet :
- John Trzcinski - Piano
- Tommy First - Saxophone & Flute
- J Scott Franklin - Trumpet & Flugelhorn
- Chris Anderson - Trombone
- Chris Vance- Bass
- Evan Mitchell - Drums
Debbie Gifford has been nominated “Jazz Musician of the Year, “Jazz Band of the Year”, and “Vocalist of the Year” in the Annual Free Times Music Awards. She performs all styles of music including Ballads, Swing, Latin, Pop, Rhythm & Blues, and Funk. She has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Cleveland State University. Debbie is a versatile vocalist that has proven her talent performing a variety of styles in numerous festivals, concerts & clubs in the USA, Europe & Asia and has shared the stage with jazz greats: Marcus Belgrave, Bobby Watson, Joe Lovano, and Dominick Farinacci. She is the only woman singer to perform with the Birdland Big Band, under musical director Tommy Igoe, at the famous Birdland Jazz Club, NYC. Discography includes: “You Taught My Heart to Sing”, “So Many Songs About Love”, Double Live CD set “Open Airs” recorded in France , "One Day At A Time" - all original music written by songwriting team Debbie Gifford & John Trzcinski. One of their original tracks "Little Girl Waltz" was acquired by Cat Movie Studios (France) as a movie soundtrack. Gifford & Trzcinski’s latest CD titled “Changes” was released worldwide in 2018.
- John Trzcinski, Pianist, Composer, Arranger is a prominent figure in the International Jazz music scene. Trzcinski's composing accolades include his classical compositions for “String Quartet” which was performed and recorded by the Cleveland Orchestra String Quartet. His compositions and arrangements are not only limited to classical, but crossover into pop, jazz, funk and rock. John has completed extensive work in recording studio’s arranging and composing for jazz, pop and classic rock groups including the Classic rock sensation “The Outsiders”. John appears in many of the top jazz clubs, festivals, and concert venues in the United States, Asia and Europe. He has arranged and performed with various international recording artists including vocalists Liz Mc Comb and Geri Brown.
- Chris Anderson is the founder of Open Tone Music, which works to make music accessible through world class education programming and performances. After studying music education at Baldwin Wallace University, where he received his Bachelors Degree, he went on to earn his Masters Degree in Music at the University of Akron. In addition to being a successful music educator, Chris composes and performs many different styles of music. He has performed trombone with some of the best in the Classical, Jazz, Gospel, Latin and other musical idioms both in the United States and abroad. He has also displayed success in local and national competitions. In addition, you can hear Chris featured on several CD’s.
- J Scott Franklin Scott is best known as the songwriter, trumpet player, guitarist and front man for the Americana group Lost State of Franklin. He has performed in Europe, Canada and across the United States. Scott is the winner of the 2013 Frank Brown International Songwriter Festival Award. He studied trumpet at Bowling Green State University and also with Ingrid Jensen in
New York City. Scott is featured performing original works on two
episodes of the nationally syndicated Songs From the Center on PBS.
- Chris Vance, holds a Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory - S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo and is equally versed in many realms of Music. His current projects include guitar work in The Killerwatt Hours, bass work in The Syncopated Sin Swing Band, Third Stream, a duo with Bobby Ferrazza as well as various pick-up gigs. He has served as a substitute player for The Buffalo Philharmonic, The Akron Symphony, The Erie Symphony as well as local groups 15 60 75 (The Numbers Band), Blue Lunch & Steev Inglish (aka "Mr. Downchild") and national acts Michael Civisca, Mark Gridley, and Abdou Mboup (Paul Simon, Jean Luc-Ponty) just to name a few. Mr. Vance has recently played with Mike Clark & Jeff Berlin, filled in with Bobby Rydell ('Volare'), and has led a trio that opened for Joey DeFrancesco. He is featured on recordings by Kassaba & The Syncopated Sin Swing Band.
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- Evan Mitchell, drummer and percussionist from Cleveland, Ohio attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was a recipient of the Avedis Zildjian Scholarship and was a prize winner in the Darius Milhaud Performance Competition. He studied with Richard Weiner, Paul Yancich, and Marc Damoulakis of The Cleveland Orchestra and World Percussion with Jamey Haddad. As a drummer he’s performed with a number of groups including The FiveOne Experimental Orchestra, The Cleveland Settlement Jazz Orchestra, The MOJO Jazz Orchestra, The Madison Jazz Project, and The Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Project. He has worked with several composers including Marta Ptaszyaska, Gunther Schuller, Keith Fitch, Joan Tower, and Steven Stucky. He works on Staff as a Percussion Coach with The Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, and also serves as a percussion instructor at several schools throughout Eastern Lake County.