WMNR host Fred Velardi speaks to Monroe Congregational Church's Senior Pastor Jenn Gingras and Music Director Will Duchon about the emergence of the Monroe MusicFest as a new cultural tradition. Also, Fred speaks with several MusicFest performers: Mary Beth Sippin from Goldrush, singer/songwriter Sylvie Abate from The Beekeepers, and cellist Larry Wissink. Silver Steel Band's director Jim Royle speaks about his group, and even gives an in studio demonstration of their music along with band member Brian Ente.
At the WMNR studio: (left to right) Larry Wissink, WMNR broadcaster/host Fred Velardi, Jim Royle, Mary Beth Sippin, Brian Ente. Will Duchon in back.
The Award Winning Silver Steel Band is a Steel Drum Band based in Bridgeport, CT, directed by Jim Royle of Jim Royle Drum Studios. You can find Silver Steel playing many of your favorite Caribbean favorites as well as Soca and Calypso styled music from Trinidad and Tobago.
Jazz guitarist Ed Chervansky has been a fixture on the
CT music scene for many years. He will be joined by several other top-notch
jazz players at MusicFest. Influenced by such guitar greats as Wes Montgomery and George Benson, the Connecticut native has played for nearly 30 years in blues, jazz, funk, rock, and country swing bands. On the local scene, Ed has played with such notable jazz players as Bobby Buster and Eddie Buster, as well as bluesman Jesse "Wild Bill" Austin. On this occasion he'll be performing a genre mix of mainstream jazz, latin jazz, bebop, fusion and blues.
CellistLarry Wissink returns to MusicFest. Larry studied with Steve Stalker at SUNY Binghamton, and with Andres Diaz at Boston University. He has been active in chamber and orchestral performance in the Boston and San Francisco areas.
Donald Alfano maintains an
independent piano studio in the New Haven area, as well as teaching Music History,
Latin & Caribbean Music and Music in America from Jazz to Rock at
Housatonic Community College. Dr. Alfano studied at Boston University,
Manhattan School of Music and Case Western University, and has performed as
soloist and in chamber music recitals in North America and Europe.