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Wharton Music Center Library Concert Series Features “The American Song Book”

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Wharton Music Center’s Library Concert Series begins this Saturday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Library of the Chathams located at 214 Main Street in Chatham. The first of three concerts features “The American Song Book and Other Swingin’ Sounds” as performed by guitarist Joel Perry, vocalist Frank Noviello, and bassist Rick Crane. the concert sponsored in part by the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation is free and open to the public.

Guitarist Joel Perry is one of the premier guitarists and musicians of our time. Mr. Perry has performed in over fifteen countries and in venues including: Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Garden State Arts Center, and many clubs on the east coast including Trumpets, The Blue Note, Sounds of Brazil, The 55 Bar, Tramps and, The Famished Frog. Some of the artists that Joel Perry has performed with include Papa John Creach, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Joni Mitchel, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Gore, Margaret Whiting, Eddie Fischer, James Cotton, Percy France, Leon Thomas, Jimmy Dawkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Ken Peplowski and Al Hibbler. Some of the artists he has recorded with are Johnny Copeland and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His three CD releases include “Rainbow Skylight,” “Perry Airs,” and “Sonata to the Blues.”

Joel Perry has an extensive educational background to compliment his performing and recording credentials. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Magna Cum Laude) and Master’s Degree in Education from The University of Buffalo, a Master’s Degree in Performance from Jersey City State University, and a Summer Fellowship at Northwestern University.

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Vocalist Frank Noviello has performed and recorded with many of the area’s world-class jazz players and appeared at such notable jazz venues as Birdland, Village Gate, Shanghai Jazz, Kitano, and the Blue Note. Festival appearances include featured vocalist for the Dewar’s Greenwich Village Jazz Festival program and the Jersey Jazz Festival. Mr. Noviello was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious jazz program at William Paterson University. He has studied with Rufus Reid, Norman Simmons, and David Berger.

Bassist Rick Crane started to play in rhythm sections backing visiting featured jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, Jackie Byard, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Joanne Brackeen while he was enrolled in the Jazz Studies program at William Paterson University. In his senior year, he was selected to perform at the Music Educators National Conference along with fellow classmate saxophonist Bill Evans. He held a five-year Monday night trio gig with long time friend, guitarist Vic Juris, and the late drummer Ron Davis.

He performed in clubs, concerts, jazz festivals and recording studios nationally and internationally with some of the top jazz artists on the scene such as Les Paul, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Baron, Billy Drummond, Claudio Roditti, Warren Vache, Billy Eckstine, and Jeanie Bryson. He has been recording and performing with alto saxophonist, Richie Cole, who released two well-received recordings “Rise’s Rose Garden.” Mr. Crane also released his own CD with pianist Bob Himmelberger entitled “Duality”. Mr. Crane graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree as a performance major on the double bass.

Upcoming concerts to be held at the Library of the Chathams this spring include:

May 11 at 2:30 p.m. Classical Harp featuring Diane Michaels, harp

June 8 at 2:30 p.m. An Afternoon of Broadway’s Best with Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim featuring vocal quartet Jamie Baer Peterson, Ken Magos, Karen Cantor, and David Cantor, vocalists

All concerts are free and open to the public. The Library Concert Series is sponsored in part by the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation.

Wharton Music Center (WMC), located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, provides music, theater, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, WMC offers classes in musical theater, dance, drama, choral music, music theory, audio recording, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offering a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, WMC is one of New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community music centers serving students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties. WMC is a founding school of The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.

New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), the orchestral and ensemble division of Wharton Music Center, offers music education for grades 3 through 12. NJYS is located at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence, New Jersey. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has eleven orchestras and ensembles including Flute Forum, Percussion Ensemble, and New Jersey Youth Jazz Orchestra for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally-renowned concert halls such as Carnegie all in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

Throughout the summer, WMC and NJYS offer full-day and half-day camps for children and teens ages 5 through 18. WMC’s multi-faceted “Who’s Got Talent?” Camp gives campers an opportunity to experience music, dance, and theater and includes swimming at Berkeley Heights Community Pool. FOCUS camps offer intensive workshops in music, dance, and theater. The NJYS Orchestral Camp, a two-week camp, features performance ensembles, music classes in music theory and ear training, and improvisation. “Tune-Up” Camp at NJYS offers students a chance to get in musical shape for the upcoming school year.

The mission of Wharton Music Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to advance excellence and education in the performing arts. For more information, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or www.NJYS.org.

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