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Feisty. Cultured. A musical force “to be reckoned with.” That’s the Hartford Jazz Orchestra - a world-class ensemble for those who appreciate the nimble flexibility of small groups, but dig the considerable power of 16 musical stalwarts rendering sophisticated arrangements with skill and crisp precision.

The band’s colorful history dates back to 1965. For many years, they were led by the late Charles "Chic" Cicchetti, who created hundreds of original compositions and arrangements for the band. Upon his passing in 2000, the ensemble continued to pay tribute to “Chic” each Monday night, under the direction of the late Donn Trenner, who we lost in 2020.

The HJO now begins a new era. While continuing to honor the legacies of Cicchetti and Trenner, the band is committed to moving forward artistically and pushing musical boundaries. Its members are some of the foremost jazz artists and educators in Connecticut, all of whom have deep ties to the music education community.

Check them out at https://hartfordjazzorchestra.com/

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Guitarist, singer, and composer Chris Leigh is graduate of Connecticut College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a concentration in classical guitar performance. He was also a student of jazz guitar legend Sal Salvador and attended the University of North Texas jazz studies program as a graduate student. A love of blues and roots based music from an early age however was the driving force behind his passion for the guitar and is the inspiration for this latest incarnation of The Chris Leigh Band. As a freelance, professional guitarist Chris has worked with numerous rhythm and blues and jazz groups, most recent and notably with Eight to the Bar. Over a thirty year performing career he has had the privilege of opening for or performing on stage with James Cotton, Robert Randolph, Pine Top Perkins, Johnny Winter, Jaimoe, Earl King, and many other musical luminaries. A private guitar instructor for nearly thirty years, he is the co owner of String Theory School of Music in East Lyme, Connecticut which he began with his wife Amy in 2007. They are also co-founders of the Mystic Blues Festival.

Check them out at https://www.chrisleighband.com/

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For over 25 years Ed has written and arranged music inspired by
some of the legends of the Afro Cuban genre. His band
Congabop has released two recordings featuring artists including
the Curtis Brothers, Larry Coryell, Steve Davis, and legendary
conguero Bill Fitch.


In addition to appearing at major jazz festivals and events in the
area, Ed is equally pleased and enthusiastic to share Congabop's
Afro Cuban-style repertoire with younger musicians. For years the band Congabop has served as an introduction and opportunity for many up-and-coming artists to gain valuable experience,
knowledge, and hone their skills.


Ed Fast & Congabop work in a format that ranges from a classic
quintet featuring vibraphone, to a nine-member unit including a
three horn frontline & vocals.

Check them out at https://congabop.com/

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Kicking off our 2024 Festival once again is STATTIC! 

STATTIC is a CT-based band aiming to create and perform engaging, exciting live music. Performing regularly in New England, STATTIC has built a reputation of bringing a unique live show to any venue. 

STATTIC brings original house and hip hop music along with honoring and reimagining the classics of these genres. With influences spanning from A Tribe Called Quest to Kaytranada to Michael Jackson, this band continues to study and push the music they love. 

In recent months, STATTIC has been on an upward trajectory, beginning with winning the 2023 UCONN Battle of the Bands. Following this success, STATTIC has performed at the ECPAA Jazz Festival, Rose Arts Festival, Particle Accelerator Festival, and will be playing at the 2023 Hartbeat Music Festival. 

Check them out at https://evanwoodlive.com/stattic

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