WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange community is invited to a Christmas Jazz Vespers, to be held in the beautifully decorated Sanctuary at Pleasantdale Church on Sunday, December 1, at 7:30 pm. The December Vespers will feature two very talented West Orange music teachers – Gregory Elementary School’s Ryan Krewer(trumpet) and Liberty Middle School’s Dave Rimelis (bandleader, guitar, strings). They will be joined by Matt King on piano and Dave Longworth on drums.
Jazz Vespers combines the age-old tradition of evening meditation with the unique musical language of jazz. It includes contemporary prose and poetry and outstanding music performed by internationally recognized jazz musicians.
Light refreshments are offered before and after the event in the Church Narthex, where visitors will enjoy the wonderful photography of West Orange resident Namrta Shah, an exhibit sponsored in collaboration with the West Orange Arts Council.
Jazz Vespers is held in the main building at Pleasantdale Church, 471 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. The building is fully accessible. Vespers are held on the first Sunday evening of each month (October through May) at 7:30 PM.
About the December musicians:
Dave Rimelis (bandleader and guitar, banjo, violin) – Dave Rimelis’ music has been performed by orchestras all over the world, including the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Western Australia Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, among others. He has been a featured artist with many orchestras and symphonies, including the Colorado Symphony, Eugene Oregon Symphony, Waco Texas Symphony, The Cascade Festival of Music Orchestra, the Oregon Festival of American Music Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra.
Dave is artist-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on The Arts and teaching artist for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He is also Director of Music Education for the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children in Newark. He served as composer-in-residence for the Concordia Orchestra in New York City from 1990 - 2002. His music is featured in the film about violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg “Speaking in Strings”, PBS and New Jersey Network documentaries “Summer Camp”, “It’s Red It’s Edible It Bounces”, the Mo Willems cartoon “The Man Who Yelled,” and the feature film “She Devil.”
National Television appearances as featured musician include “Emeril Live” (improvising original music as “Dr Strings), CBS’s “The Guiding Light” (fiddler and country band leader), and NBC’s “Four Stories” (volunteer music teacher to HIV affected children). Dave has toured the United States, South America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. His unique charanga violin style has been featured with many prominent Latin ensembles, including Jose Fajardo, Johnny Pacheco, Roberto Torres, Orchestra Broadway, and Africando. Rimelis is the founder and leader of the band “Life,” which performs original world jazz. The son of country western singer “Idaho Ed,” Dave was raised on American folk and popular music; he has won prizes in a number of regional fiddle contests.
Ryan Krewer (Featured Musician, Trumpet) – A native of Clifton, NJ, Ryan Krewer has been playing big band music since the age of 14. He received his music education degree from William Paterson University. Ryan regularly plays with bands all over the New York Metropolitan Area.
Matt King (Piano / Keyboards) – Pianist, organist, vocalist and composer Matt King began his musical studies at age 5, his professional career at age 14, and has since performed to audiences throughout the country- and 16 other countries. He has toured extensively with distinguished jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb, and the legendary band Blood, Sweat & Tears, and recorded and performed with many other notables including pop vocalist Phoebe Snow, blues legend Earl King, and leading jazz artists such as Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Joe Lovano, Vic Juris, and Dave Stryker. Matt has appeared at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair with Billy Hart, Claudio Roditi, Charles MacPherson, Joe Morello, Enrico Granafei, and many others. He has also performed with four symphony orchestras in the United States, appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, and at Holland's North Sea Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and New Jersey's Liberty Jazz Fest. He has garnered awards for his playing, composing, and arranging, and was a Composition Fellowship recipient from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. A prior Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist, Matt won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000.
David Longworth (Drums/Percussion) - From CBGB to Carnegie Hall, David Longworth brings over 30 years of performing experience to our Jazz Vespers. He has toured internationally with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Ben E. King, and Phoebe Snow. He has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Jon BonJovi, Michael McDonald, and countless R&B acts. He has worked Off-Broadway in 'Lone Star Love', featuring the Tony award winning "Red Clay Ramblers', 'Almost Heaven', the John Denver musical, and more recently, 'Godspell' at Bergen Community College. He has been a member of LaBamba and the Hubcaps for over 25 years, featuring the horn players from the Conan O'Brien Show.