Sunday, June 05, 2011





  • DominiQue

    Song List Includes
    But Is Not Limited To:

    Soul Sacrifice

    What's Goin On

    Oye Como Va

    Various Standards And Progressive Jazz Tunes

    This Land Is Your Land, blues version

    Say A Little Prayer




    Seating Limited

    You are cordially invited to attend the
    14TH Annual CT Young Writers
    Statewide Ceremony

    Saturday, June 11, 2011
    Central Connecticut State University
    Constitution Room / Davidson Hall & Torp Theater
    4 p.m. Workshops
    5-6:15 p.m. Reception
    Hors D'oeuvres,
    Cash Bar

    Special Guests
    Charlotte Crowe, 2005 State Prose Champion,
    Brown, 2011; Greater Hartford Academy / Canton HS, 2007
    Patricia Smith, Poet, Blood Dazzler
    Bruce DeSilva, Novelist, Rogue Island

    Co-Masters of Ceremonies
    Rand Richards Cooper, Author,
    Bon App├ętit travel writer
    Diane Smith, Author,
    Connecticut Network Anchor
    Ravi 'I Don't Play The Sitar' Shankar
    Poet, CCSU English Professor

    Reception Entertainment
    Jen Allen Big Band / Cosmic Jibaros As One
    Latin Rock-Jazz Fusion Featuring DominiQue

    $50 per person
    RSVP by June 8, 2011

    Checks to CT Young Writers Trust
    390 Shore Drive, Branford CT 06405
    Young Writers Complimentary, everyone else $50

    Reception Entertainment
    For The 14th Annual
    CT Young Writers Celebration

    [more bios, photos to follow]

    Jen Allen, keyboard

    Saxophonist and composer Kris Allen was a young protege of the great Jackie McLean, with whom he studied at the Artists Collective and the University of Hartford.

    He went on to perform and/or record with jazz legends such as Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, and Curtis Fuller, as well as with modern starts such as Winard Harper, Andy Laverne, Mario Pavone and the Mingus Dynasty.

    Kris can be found appearing as the leader of his own quintet, in duo with percussionist Rogerio Boccato, and as both saxophonist and artistic director of the Hartford Jazz Society New Directions Ensemble. He is also very involved with education, as a part time faculty member of The Hartt School, Trinity College, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts. Kris has also been been a teaching artist with the Litchfield Jazz Festival since 2001.

    Stephen Brookes of the Jen Allen Big Band is the Instrumental Music Director at Newington High School.

    At NHS, he directs both the Band and Orchestra. He has been playing and teaching in the state for 12 years, since attending the University of Connecticut. He taught at Litchfield High School and Bristol Eastern High School before moving to Newington.

    He freelances on saxophone and teaches private lessons in addition to his public school schedule.

    Josh Evans, born and raised in Wethersfield, CT, was drawn to the trumpet after hearing a Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie recording at the age of 10.

    Josh began studying with Raymond “Dr. Rackle” Williams and within a year he would be performing regularly with “Dr. Rackle’s Sound Griot Brass Band.” By age13 his musical career would begin to take shape when he began to study with and be mentored by the celebrated alto saxohonist/ composer and educator Jackie McLean.

    Studying under McLean -- who shared the bandstand with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Art Blakey -- would be pivotal in Josh's career. The experience would blaze the path for performances with Jackie McLean which included the Blue Note, Iridium, Regattabar, and the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts.

    In April 2005, Josh began a three and a half year stint with the Winard Harper Sextet, touring the United States performing and conducting master classes. The group personnel at different points consisted of Billy Taylor, Frank Wess and George Cables, as well as trumpet players Terrell Stafford, Claudio Roditi and Phillip Harper. The group would also record a wonderful album for Piadrum Records.

    In April 2007, Josh was invited to perform a two-week tour of Siberia with master saxophonist, and composer Benny Golson. It was during this time period that Evans would also start performing with master Drummer Rashied Ali and would become the band’s trumpet player for the next two years. The Rashied Ali Quintet toured 18 different countries and recorded one CD “Live in Europe.” Josh Evans would play with Rashied Ali until the drummer’s untimely death in 2009.

    Evans excelled as a sideman with such notables as Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, Ralph Peterson, Rene McLean, Steve Davis, Winard Harper, Shelia Davis, and Rashied Ali.

    Geoff Brookes is a sixth-grade band director in the town of Fairfield, CT.

    Geoff studied music education and trumpet at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 2006. He studied trumpet with James Ackley and jazz with Earl Macdonald, as well as other CT and NYC jazz artists.

    Bassist Henry Lugo holds an undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

    He performs throughout the tri-state area with the Noah Baerman Trio and the Playdate Quintet as well as a freelance bassist with various other artists. As a sideman Henry has performed with numerous artists including Jimmy Greene, Steve Wilson, Dick Oatts, Ralph Lalama, Melvin Sparks, Joe Beck, Ted Rosenthal and Adam Nussbaum.

    As a studio musician he has recorded for numerous film and television productions. Henry also teaches bass, small group ensembles and jazz history at Southern Connecticut State, Naugatuck Valley Community College and Charter Oak State College.

    Ben Bilello, Drums
    Originally from Narragansett, Rhode Island, Ben began playing the snare drum in the fifth grade school band. As time passed, Ben became interested in learning the drum set. It was not until age fourteen that he received his first drum set. Ben spent hour upon hour in his basement, learning Led Zeppelin songs. One day, Ben’s sister left the album “When Harry Met Sally,” by Harry Connick, Jr., on the kitchen table. He listened to a song called “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and was immediately drawn to jazz music. After graduating from Narragansett High School in 1995, Ben moved to West Hartford, Connecticut to begin college.

    In the autumn of 1995, Ben entered The Hartt School of Music as an eager freshman, majoring in jazz studies. The jazz students were under the watchful eye of master saxophonist Jackie McLean. Hartt afforded Ben numerous opportunities in the areas of performance and study. While at Hartt, Ben studied drums and percussion with Ben Toth, Tony Leone, and Michael Carvin. He also studied frame drum and riq with master drummer Glen Velez. During his time at Hartt, Ben was frequently called upon to perform with students, faculty members, and guest artists. In 1997, Ben won the Hartt Award of Excellence in Jazz Studies, presented by Professor McLean. Ben graduated cum laude from Hartt in the spring of 1999 with a BM in Jazz Studies.

    Since graduation, Ben has forged a career as a noted performer and as a much sought after private instructor. He has performed and recorded with many of the biggest names in the field of jazz; Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Joe Wilder, Branford Marsalis, Anthony Braxton, Charles Flores, Steve Davis, Eddie Bert, Nat Reeves, Doug Wamble, Aaron Goldberg, Greg Tardy, Phil Bowler, Jimmy Greene, Shelton “Fatman” Laster, and Wayne Escoffery, among many others. In addition to performing with noted jazz musicians, Ben has toured with the South American folk groups Viva Quetzal and Markamusic.

    Since his senior year of college, Ben has maintained a full roster of private students. From 1998 to 2000, Ben was on faculty at the Artists Collective, a non-profit arts school in Hartford’s north end. From 1999 to early 2004, Ben was on staff at Riccardo’s Music Center, teaching in both their East and West Hartford, Connecticut locations. Currently residing in Durham, Connecticut, Ben is a self-employed private instructor and clinician. He maintains a schedule of twenty to twenty-five students that study with him on a weekly basis. Ben has taught classes and workshops at many local public and private schools as well as at many local colleges and universities. As of July 2004, Ben is a member of the percussion/jazz faculty at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Connecticut’s top performing arts magnet high school.

    As one of the most in demand freelance jazz drummers in New England, Ben can be seen at numerous clubs, concert halls and festivals with a wide variety of artists. At this time, Ben can be seen performing with his own trio, the Josh Evans Quartet, the Bill Lowe/Andy Jaffe Big Band, the Rich Goldstein Quartet, and vocalist Charmaine Clamor, as well as many others.
    Ricardo Reyes, guitar / vocals

    Johnny Durkin, percussion
    My life pretty much revolves around music. That is my passion and I'm lucky enough to make a living off it at the same time. I play congas, timbales and drums. I also sing.

    I've had the privilege to perform and / or record with John Scofield, Chris Wood, The Allman Bros., George Porter Jr., Johnny Almendra, Oteil Burbridge, Kenwood Denard, Clyde Stubblefield, Fred Wesley, Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks, The Rebirth Brass Band, Breeze Evahflowin, GFE , B-Side Players, Benevento-Russo Duo, TOPR, DJ Logic and The Motet. I've also continued to enjoy main-stays in Deep Banana Blackout, Vinyl, The Cosmic Jibaros and Manchado.

    I am putting a band together with my sister Jen Durkin that will be debuting in the coming months. I live about an hour outside Manhattan in a city called Bridgeport.

    James Burton III, trombonist, composer, arranger and educator is among a new wave of musicians hitting the jazz scene with an expressive sound, steeped in the tradition. James is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Jackie McLean’s Institute for Jazz Studies, and the Juilliard Jazz Studies Artist Diploma program. During this time he was a student of world-renowned trombonists Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Davis and jazz luminary Jackie McLean. James has also had the opportunity to study with NEA Jazz Master Curtis Fuller via the Skidmore Jazz Institute and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at the Kennedy Center. James has recently completed a master’s degree in jazz studies from the Juilliard School, studying with trombone icon Steve Turre.

    James has performed alongside many great jazz artists, including Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, James Moody, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, and Eric Alexander. James has also performed with the Ray Charles Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Roy Hargrove Big Band. In addition to his musical credits, James has appeared in the major motion picture Bolden, as well as a national television ad campaign for Grey Goose. James has played many venues and festivals around the world, some of these include Tanglewood, the Litchfield Jazz festival, the Berghausen jazz festival (Germany), the Spoleto festival (Italy), the Tim Festival (Rio de Janeiro), the JVC jazz festival (NYC), the Lionel Hampton Festival, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Aaron Davis Hall, the Blue Note, Birdland, Iridium, Jazz Standard, Smoke, Dizzy’s Club, Rose Theater, Smalls, Scullers, Regatta Bar, B.B. King’s Club and the Sporting Club of Monte Carlo, Monaco.

    James has also participated in many educational outreach programs including two NEA Jazz in the Schools tours in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as residencies at Georgia Academy for the Blind and the University of Costa Rica. James has also taught at Jackie McLean’s Artist Collective and served in an adjunct capacity at the Hartt School of Music’s jazz program since 2002. James is currently a Morse Fellow, and a Gluck Fellow at the Juilliard School, providing musical instruction for 2nd grade students in Harlem, as well as providing jazz performances for nursing homes and pediatric care facilities in NYC.

    Dean of Fine Arts, Vance Larsen adds, "Burton first attended college on a football scholarship and reports he can still bench press over 300 lbs. and is also rumored to be the 'best basketball player of any active jazz musician in Manhattan."


    DominiQue "Ms. Q" Padilla is an independent R&B / Soul vocalist from Connecticut who's made a name for herself as the DominiQue with the capital Q.

    She is a graduate of Litchfield High School and studied at the Hartford Conservatory, majoring in music production / engineering & voice. DominiQue writes her own music and performs all over the state at public and private events including clubs, parties, competitions and sporting events. She performed at year's W.O.W. seminar as a positive role model for the high school girls.

    DominiQue is pursuing a career in entertainment and also has plans to start her own production company. She continues working toward a bachelor's of science in music business.

    Cassie Martin studied vocal performance at The Hartford Conservatory. She has studied musical theater, classical, and jazz music.

    She currently sang with vocal ensemble at the conservatory as well as a madrigal group. Cassie has also been in music theater productions such as The Producers and Oklahoma!- as well as theater including Graceland and Top Girls.

    - Rachel Elizabeth Perlin is a Musical Theater graduate of the Hartford Conservatory.

    She has been a performer since the tender age of 5 and it has been her passion ever since. Rachel has been in many theater productions including West Side Story, The Boys from Syracuse, Annie, Nunsense, Fiddler on the Roof and The Apple Tree. Since graduating from the Conservatory last year, Rachel has appeared in a production of Urinetown. While patiently waiting for her next audition, Rachel enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and is a sales associate at Pier 1 Imports (and enjoys every second of her job)!

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  • CT Young Writers Trust
    390 Shore Drive, Branford CT 06405

    Executive Director,,

    Administrator,, 203-843-1423

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