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The Kennedy Dream at The Jazz Loft 

Over the past year, I've been working on a really exciting project with Tom Manuel at the Jazz Loft and the concerts are happening this weekend.  We will be performing Oliver Nelson's tribute suite to John F Kennedy, The Kennedy Dream, with a 35-piece jazz orchestra.  The 2nd half of the concert features 9 new original compositions by Tom Manuel, Dan Pugatch, Ray Anderson and others, and I have arranged 6 of those new compositions for the 35-piece orchestra, including a new work by Oliver Nelson, Jr.

Concerts are Saturday, March 26th at 7pm at the Jazz Loft, and Sunday, March 27th at 7pm at the Staller Center at Stony Brook University.

More info and tickets are available through The Jazz Loft website:

Here's the original recording of The Kennedy Dream-- check it out and then come hear it live!


The Jazz Loft & The Staller Center Present 

The Kennedy Dream Project 2022 

Performance of musical tribute to ideals of late president will include new compositions by Stony Brook University Jazz Department faculty 

Stony Brook, NY-Fifty-Five years ago American composer/arranger Oliver Nelson recorded The Kennedy Dream: A Musical Tribute to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Nelson drew his inspiration and focus for the music from the universality of JFK’s legacy and the President’s belief that our freedom, comparative wealth, scientific advancement, and problems are all products of the creativeness of the individual. 

Nelson’s 1967 work will be both reproduced and expanded upon as The Kennedy Dream Project 2022, a special series of concert performances, funded in part by a $5,000 New York State Council on the Arts Creative Communities grant, with additional funding from the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. 

The project is also being funded by generous donations from Michael Ardolino, founder and owner of Ardolino Realty, and Dan Oliveri. 

"I am thrilled to once again partner with The Jazz Loft for this creative and timely project,” Ardolino said.  “Music can help to heal and inspire people, and I believe the Kennedy Dream Project is needed in these challenging times." 

The Kennedy Dream Project 2022 will be performed by the Stony Brook University Jazz Department and Indiana University’s Jazz Department faculty including Oliver Nelson, Jr, as well as Ray Anderson and Thomas Manuel, of the University’s Jazz Department. Manuel is also the founder of the Jazz Loft. The second half of this project presents new compositions as produced by artists Manuel, Anderson, Oliver Nelson Jr., Grammy-nominated Dan Pugach, Steven Salerno and Jeff Lederer. These musical statements speak to the struggles of the current time, be it the COVID pandemic, equality, equity, advocacy for the arts and artists, as well as other themes. 

“This project is an attempt of all the artists involved to emphasize and bring to the world’s attention the really important themes, subjects and ideals which Kennedy championed; challenges which confronted mankind in the 1960s, and challenges which, some, sadly still confront us today,” said Manuel. “The motivation and purpose of the addition of these new compositions is to again emphasize that the conversation in Jazz, the conversation begun by Oliver Nelson in 1967 is far from finished.” 

“The Staller Center is honored and delighted to be collaborating with Tom Manuel and the Jazz Loft in hosting this exciting project in our hall,” said Alan Inkles, Director of the Staller Center for the Arts and the Stony Brook Film Festival. “The Jazz Loft continues to be an ever-growing important musical addition to our community and region; exploring all areas of jazz and more. This project is a perfect addition to a season at Staller that has embraced the times and issues we are facing in the world today. Art needs to be entertaining, sometimes challenging and always relevant. The Dream Project embraces all of these and is a perfect continuation of the exciting work being done at The Jazz Loft.” 

“I am both honored and excited to be a part of the Kennedy Dream Project,” said Oliver Nelson, Jr. “My dad saw in President Kennedy a man with a vision of what America could be. Kennedy’s tragic death had a profound impact on him personally and musically. I was at the original recording session and remember the creative energy that was exhibited by all the musicians. The Kennedy Dream Project helps to keep the legacy alive of both President John F. Kennedy, and the prolific composer, arranger, and saxophonist Oliver Nelson.” 

A Sunday, March 27, 2022 performance is scheduled for the Staller Center for the Performing Arts on campus at Stony Brook University. A performance at the Jazz Loft in Stony Brook Village will be on Saturday March 26, at 7 P.M. 

Mr. Nelson will be working with the Stony Brook University Jazz Department students in an open workshop on Friday, March 25 on the University campus, as well as presenting a music business workshop with Loft School of Jazz students at The Jazz Loft on Saturday, March 26.

Music for the Soul Live Streaming Concert 12/16/21 Noon-1pm 

As a part of AFM Local 802, the Musicians Union, support of the New York City Hospitals, I will be doing a live-streaming concert on Thursday December 16th from 12 noon - 1pm that will be available for viewing on my Facebook page as well as the NYC Health + Hospitals Facebook pages here:

Check it out!  And thank you to all our NY Hospital workers!

Carol Sudhalter and Friends Streaming Online - Live from Flushing Town Hall - Wednesday October 6th, 7pm. 

I'm honored to be playing a concert with Carol Sudhalter and an amazing band on Wednesday October 6th, 7pm, at Flushing Town Hall.  This concert will be streamed live on YouTube at this link:

If you can't make it out in person-- tune in online!



Bandleader saxophonist/flutist Carol Sudhalter, long-time leader of Flushing Town Hall's monthly Louis Armstrong Legacy Jazz Jam, will present a concert of her seven-piece ensemble, The Friends of Carol Sudhalter, on Wednesday, October 6 live and in-person in the theater at Flushing Town Hall. 

In the concert, Carol’s band will offer a nod to some of the Queens jazz legends such as Jimmy Heath, Count Basie or Louis Armstrong, by playing tunes written by or associated with them. They will play a mix of compositions written by women and men. 

A special feature will be a guest appearance by the very young and gifted Queens-based violinist/vocalist/composer, Mimi Block. 

Carol Sudhalter - flute, tenor/bari sax 
Chris Rinaman - trombone 
Amanda Monaco - guitar 
Patrick Poladian - piano 
Kevin Hailey - bass 
Paul Shaw - drums 
Frank Senior - vocalist 
Mimi Block - special guest violinist/composer 

This program is made possible by the New York City Artist Corps.


Play It Momma for 4 Trombones 

This is a great Mary Lou Williams tune I arranged for 4 trombones.  This was done for the virtual jazz jam at Flushing Town Hall hosted by Carol Sudhalter.  

It's a really funky, fun tune, but there isn't a traditional melody-- it's more of a groove tune that Mary Lou Williams used to improvise over, so I arranged some of her piano voicings for the main trombone melody.

The Jazz Loft Presents "Music in Conversation" featuring trombonist, arranger and composer Chris Rinaman 

Enjoy the latest installment of our Music in Conversation Series as Jazz Loft founder Tom Manuel talks with trombonist, composer and arranger Chris Rinaman. Tom and Chris got to pull up a chair recently at the Jazz Loft and talk about inspirations and early teachers growing up, Jazz pioneer Jack Teagarden, and their new collaborative project celebrating the music of Oliver Nelson and his 1968 album "The Kennedy Dream".


How Trombones Are Made 

Here's a really interesting feature on how trombones are made at the Rath factory in England.  I've visited a couple of trombone factories--  Shires and Kanstul were both really amazing places to see the work that goes into making a brass instrument!


Virtual Jazz Jam 

I recorded a great Quincy Jones ballad on euphonium for the Flushing Town Hall Virtual Jazz Jam.  I first heard this song on an album of Ake Persson, a really beautiful Swedish trombonist, and fell in love with the tune.  The whole evening is online here:

There are some great performances, so check it out!

But here is my recording:


Dance Theater of Harlem Video 

I recently recorded some trombone for my friends Tim Rosser & Charlie Sohne-- they've put together a beautiful feature for Dance Theater of Harlem again!  Also featuring Marty Bound on trumpet.

Check out the video here:


Band Of Bones Annual JJ Johnson Birthday Tribute Concert 

Continue the New Year Celebrations with Dave Chamberlain's Band of Bones featuring Guest Artists Steve Turre and Steve Davis as they celebrate the Great J.J. Johnson's Birthday at "Jazz Tuesdays" on Tuesday, January 22 in the Gillespie Auditorium at the New York Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway), with a concert of music with tunes composed by or arranged by the great JJ Johnson.

Grammy Time! 

I've been involved with a few projects this year that are up for voting (if you're a NARAS member) for Grammy consideration this year:

  • My arrangement of Quincy Jones' song from The Color Purple, called "Sister" on the most recent Band of Bones album, "Picadillo? Yes, Madly!" featuring The Band of Bones and vocalist Antoinette Montague.  Check it out!
  • The Band of Bones album "Picadillo? Yes, Madly!" is up for consideration in the Best Latin Jazz Recording Category
  • I played trombone on the Original Cast Recording to the show "Kris Kringle: The Musical" -- up for consideration in the Musical Theater category

Good luck to everyone with projects up for consideration this year!

Check out Sister and the Band of Bones here:

On Eagle's Wings Single Released 

Today a single I recorded in 2008 was released to be available online wherever you get your digital music, as well as on my site here.  This is a track I recorded as a gift to my mother, in memory of her mother-- Elva Lois Greene.  I hadn't planned on releasing it, but have shared it with people over the last 10 years.  It's a song that has a lot of meaning for many people and I hope you will enjoy hearing it and remember the special people in your life who may have passed on.  

Kris Kringle Cast Album 

I performed in the orchestra for a new Christmas show, orchestrated by the amazing Frank Galgano and Matt Castle, last November at Town Hall in NYC, and we recently recorded the cast album which is available here:


I also worked with Frank and Matt on the revival of "Once Upon A Mattress" at Transport Theater in 2016!  Check out the orchestrations on this new recording! 

What Child - the 2017 Pliska Harris Holiday Orchestra ft. Kurt Elling 

In December I played in a great project, written and coordinated by Joanne Harris and Greg Pliska, to benefit the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. We recorded on November 20th, at the fabled Avatar studios in Manhattan, an arrangement of Greg Pliska and JoAnne Harris' "What Child" - - with the Grammy winning vocalist Kurt Elling! 

This was a fun project to benefit a great cause-- check out the video and contribute!

"High Above" feat. India Arie - Dance Theater of Harlem Video 

Check out this beautiful song "High Above" and video-- with music by Tim Rosser, lyrics by Charlie Sohne and vocals by India Arie.  I recorded the tenor and bass trombone tracks on this, along with Tony Kadleck on trumpet.  It's also been released as a single on iTunes:

High Above

Tim and Charlie are great to work with-- and also have a new musical in the works.  Keep an eye on them!