February 16 – Barnhart/Fryer International All-Star Jazz Band

Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert

2020 Season sponsored by Masonicare at Chester Village

Concert Co-sponsored by The Clark Group and Tower Laboratories, Ltd.

Where and When:

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River, CT
Click here to view in Google Maps

Sunday, February 16

Concert begins at 3:00 pm; doors open at 2:00 pm


Concert Program:

“Old Friends and New Discoveries”
Simon Wettenhall,  trumpet
Evan Arntzen, reeds
Jim Fryer, trombone
Jeff Barnhart, band leader/piano
Arnt Arntzen, banjo/guitar
Vince Giordano, string bass/tuba/bass sax/vocals
Bill Reynolds, drum kit
 The Barnhart-Fryer International All-Star Jazz Band will live up to its rather lengthy title and bold claim! The countries represented include Canada, Australia and the US and these musicians are indeed All-Stars! Concentrating on the Hot Jazz styles and titles of the 1920’s and 1930’s, this band of merry men will combine virtuosity, wit and charm to breathe new life into the music of Early Jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton and more. Veteran jazzman/band leader Vince Giordano will join fellow New Yorkers trombonist Jim Fryer, trumpeter Simon Wettenhall and the dynamic youthful Arntzen brothers: Evan on reeds and Arnt on banjo and guitar. Representing New England will be the celebrated Boston-based percussionist Bill Reynolds and our own Jeff Barnhart on piano. In the true spirit of Jazz, this septet is appearing for the first time EVER on our stage, so the music will be on-the-edge-of your-seat, spontaneous and created just for us–never heard before and never to be heard again!

Artist Biography:

Jeff Barnhart, piano

Jeff Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, an ASCAP composer, educator and entertainer.  Jeff began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut. Here he began to learn the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century. The 21st century has found Jeff constantly appearing as a soloist and band pianist at parties, festivals, clubs and cruises throughout the world.  In addition, he leads two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band, which concentrates on hot music of the 1920’s, and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s. Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Jeff is in constant demand as a participant in international jazz events as either a soloist or as pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles. In addition to his widely acclaimed solo and band appearances, Jeff is enjoying great success performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his talented wife, flutist/vocalist Anne Barnhart. Ivory&Gold® has become a mainstay at many jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the US, the UK and Europe.

Jeff enjoys playing dual piano and has done so with such jazz luminaries as Ralph Sutton, Neville Dickie, Louis Mazetier, John Sheridan and Brian Holland. In addition to his own label, Jazz Alive Records, Jeff plays piano and sings on the international labels GHB, Summit-World Jazz Records, Music Minus One, and the two largest jazz labels in the UK, Lake Records and P.E.K. Sound.  In 2006, Jeff joined the roster of artists featured on the Arbors Records label, with 4 recordings currently available:  the most recent featuring jazz legends Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli. Jeff has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full-length albums.  He averages 40 weeks a year on the road, bringing his music to all corners of the globe. Music composer, performer and reviewer Jack Rummel, recently summed up the reason for Jeff’s popularity, averring, “When it comes to talent, speed, versatility, creativity, mastery of multiple genres and just plain entertaining zaniness, Jeff Barnhart stands alone”.

In addition to his active performance and recording schedule, Jeff is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator.  His double BA in Music and English, combined with his MA in Education, make Jeff a formidable and entertaining force in the clinic, master class and inspirational speaking forums. In the first quarter of 2015, he and Anne have appeared as clinicians at Lone Star College in Kingwood, TX, The University of Colorado Denver and Mississippi State University.

Jim Fryer, trombone

Jim Fryer began his professional career playing traditional jazz trombone in the Boston area during the 1970’s. He has played gigs in many disparate genres, including Broadway, Salsa, Big Band, Classical, and many others. He has performed at Festivals the world over, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and the Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. As a longstanding member of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Fryer recorded on the Grammy-winning sound track compilation for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”.

Mr. Fryer is active in a variety of educational settings, continuing 35 years of school performances and workshops (currently on the roster of Connecticut Arts For Learning), recent work at PS228 in Queens via the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and the Hot Jazz Camp NYC. Mr. Fryer is a resident of the Inwood neighborhood in Northern Manhattan.

Arnt Arntzen, banjo and guitar

Arnt Arntzen has been involved with music from a young age, mostly learning from his immediate and extended family. He has a degree in music, majoring in Jazz and Contemporary Guitar, from Vancouver Community College, where he was the recipient of many awards and scholarships throughout his four years there. His first foray into playing live jazz was around 2012 with the Hot Foot Five, formed with a bunch of like-minded school friends.

Arnt started on Guitar, but is now also known as a Plectrum Banjo player and singer, specializing in Traditional Jazz. He has participated in the Three Generations of Jazz band with his Grandfather Lloyd, parents Georgina and Tom, brother Evan, and many other family members. He has also co-led a band with his brother Evan Arntzen, calling themselves the Brothers Arntzen. Since moving to New York City in 2017, he has begun playing regularly with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, as well as the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland.

Arnt has also worked with the Jen Hodge All-Stars, Diane Lines, Baby Soda Jazz Band, Gordon Webster Swing Band, Avalon Jazz Band, Cait and the Critters, Milkman and Sons, Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, and many others in and around New York City and Vancouver.

These days, Arnt is mostly a sideman, but will occasionally lead small trios exploring obscure parts of the American lexicon of Jazz from the early half of the 20th century, where a banjo can feel at home playing with cornet and trombone.

Evan Arntzen, reeds

Possessing a powerful tone on both clarinet and saxophone, as well as a charismatic singing voice, Evan Arntzen is a natural born musician steeped in the history of jazz. Hailing from Vancouver BC and born into a family of musicians, he was instructed by his grandfather in the New Orleans tradition of clarinet playing from the age of 7. He has since developed into an expert in early styles of jazz, cultivating his own voice within these traditions.

Evan moved to New York City in 2014 and maintains a busy performing schedule with the likes of Catherine Russell, Bria Skonberg, Terry Waldo, Jon-Erik Kellso, and the Grammy Award-winning Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. He performs at such venues as Town Hall, Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Evan has also performed at the world-renowned Newport, Monterey and New Orleans jazz festivals, and has been a star soloist at festivals in Japan, Hungary, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain.

Vince Giordano, string bass/tuba/bass sax/vocals

Grammy-winner, New York native and multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano has played in New York nightclubs, appeared in films such as The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, Cafe Society, HBOs Boardwalk Empire and for concerts at the Town Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, the Newport Jazz Festival and the 92nd St Y for the past four decades. Recording projects include soundtracks for the award-winning Boardwalk Empire with vocalist like Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Neko Case, Leon Redbone, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Russell, Rufus Wainwright and David Johansen. Vince and his band have also recorded for Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages, Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd, Sam Mendes’ Away We Go, Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies, and John Krokidas’ debut feature, Kill Your Darlings, along with HBO’s Grey Gardens and the miniseries Mildred Pierce. The Nighthawks are also seen and heard in the USA Network series Royal Pains and in the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook. The band’s has also worked on Todd Haynes’ Academy Award nominated film Carol; the Emmy-winning Bessie bio-pic on HBO, and Cinemax’s The Knick starring Clive Owen. The guys have also recorded music for Maggie Greenwald film called Sophie and the Rising Sun that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks have provided musical accompaniment to several silent films at MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) in NYC and in Los Angeles at the TCM Film Festival.

More recent projects include Woody Allen’s Café Society starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart; an Amazon series called, Z: The Beginning of Everything about Zelda Fitzgerald and most recently Vince and the Nighthawks have recorded soundtracks for Amazon’s Emmy winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Warner Brother feature film, The Joker. Vince also has a bit part in Martin Scorsese’s, The Irishman.

Hudson West Productions feature documentary “Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past” complete and for sale! A special thanks to the directors Dave Davidson and Amber Edwards who found us as a worthy subject!

Giordano’s passion for music from the 1920’s & 30’s and the people that made it began at age 5. He has amassed an amazing collection of over 60,000 band arrangements, 1920’s and 30’s films, 78 recordings and jazz-age memorabilia. Giordano sought out and studied with important survivors from the period; Whiteman’s hot arranger Bill Challis and drummer Chauncey Morehouse, as well as bassist Joe Tarto among others. Giordano’s passion, commitment to authenticity, and knowledge led him to create a sensational band of like-minded players, the Nighthawks. For over 40 years, Vince Giordano has single handedly kept alive a wonderful genre of American music that continues to spread the joy and pathos of an era that shaped our nation. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks can be heard every Monday and Tuesday at Iguana NYC.

Bill Reynolds, drum kit

Bill Reynolds is an extremely versatile and highly sought after jazz and studio drummer. He is an alumnus of the Berklee School of Music and the Navy School of Music where he served on the staff as percussion teacher and drummer with the renowned Faculty Lab Band.

He has performed and/or recorded with such varied artists as Jerry Bergonzi, Gene Bertoncini, Keith Ingham’s Manhatten Swingtet, Ernie Watts, Rufus Ried, Dick Oatts, Vince Giordano, Mark Soskin, Harold Danko, Scott Robinson, The New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Billy Novick, The Washington Ballet, The New Direction Jazz Ensemble, The Back Bay Ramblers and many others.

Performances include The Gateway Jazz Festival, The Sacramento Jazz Festival, The Smithsonian Concert Series, The Wirral International Jazz Festival, The Hot Steam Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Newport Jazz Festival, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, and many more.

As a studio artist, a sampling of his soundtrack and jingle credits include the following movie and television productions: Seabiscuit, The Honeydripper, Eight Men Out, This Old House, The 2006 Academy Awards, Sex In the City, Ally McBeal, and The American Experience to name a few.

Bill has enjoyed 20 plus years of teaching jazz drum set and directing small ensembles at The University of Connecticut and is currently busy as a freelance performer, clinician, and private teacher in the Boston area.

Simon Wettenhall, trumpet

Simon Wettenhall is a professional musician, composer, arranger and lyricist residing in New York City. Born in Australia, Simon began music studies on the piano at the age of ten. After hearing a recording of Louis Armstrong, the trumpet became the center of his musical focus. Studies with two Australian masters of the orchestral trumpet soon followed, then the school military band, and at age fifteen, his first forays into the world of professional music playing the early music of New Orleans.
While attending art school in Australia, music performances in Jazz and Blues combos at Jazz festivals, concerts and clubs reflected Simon’s growing interest in the early origins of Jazz. After studying classical trumpet with Mervyn Simpson and Barry McKim in the late 1960s in Melbourne Australia, Simon moved to the United States and studied trumpet with Sam Bivens. After spending a year in Minnesota playing and recording with the Whole Earth Rainbow band and receiving a positive review in downbeat magazine,

Simon returned to Australia to apply some of the lessons learned in the U.S. with like-minded musicians in the group NIAGGARA. Discovering the music of Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh led Simon to return to the U.S. to study with Warne Marsh from 1975 to 1980 during which time he moved to New York and settled.

A regular performer in established New York bands, Simon has played and recorded with The Cayenne Jazz Band, Judy Niemack, Robbie Scott’s New Deal Orchestra, Terry Waldo’s Gotham City Jazz Band, The Red Onion Jazz Band, The Oceanic Orchestra, Woody Allen’s Jazz Band, The Constitution Jazz Band, The Lucky Dogs Jazz Band, Kevin Dorn’s Big 72 and Baby Soda. Since 1996, Simon has played and recorded with Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band appearing in the films Wild Man Blues and Sweet and Lowdown. The Band performs every Monday night at the Carlyle Hotel and has toured European concert venues and festivals extensively.

Contact Information:

Essex Winter Series
PO Box 383
Essex, CT 06426


Email: office@essexwinterseries.com

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Our Venues:

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road
Deep River, CT 06417

Click here to view in Google maps.

John Winthrop Middle School
1 Winthrop Road
Deep River, CT 06417
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