Noted by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times as a saxophonist who is “...making the connections among about 70 years’ worth of contemplative, articulate and light-toned players”, Manhattan-based saxophonist and composer Alex LoRe is quickly making himself known throughout the New York City jazz scene. Internationally acclaimed saxophonist and educator Bunky Green says saxophonist/composer Alex LoRe “…will emerge to become one of the leading voices on the international jazz scene.” With a strong upbringing in classical music, LoRe’s playing and compositions are influenced by a variety genres, ranging from European classical music through today’s most influential artists on both the jazz and popular music scenes. LoRe’s quartet features some of the most in demand musicians of his generation- pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Desmond White, and drummer Colin Stranahan. Most recently, LoRe released the debut album of his trio on Greg Osby’s “Inner Circle Music” label. Entitled Dream House, the album has been praised by The New York Times, All About Jazz, and Jazz Wise Magazine (UK), among others.
Jonathan Ragonese, composer-saxophonist-poet, is a native of New Cumberland Pennsylvania. He lives in New York City, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music. As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with Terell Stafford, David Liebman, Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, JD Walter, The Harrisburg Symphony and Stuart Malina. As a composer his works have been commissioned and premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, MOMA, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, Bucknell University, and West Chester University. In the fall of 2013 Ragonese released his first album, Ardent Marigolds with long-time musical father Steve Rudolph on PACT Records.
Tenor Saxophonist Lucas Pino works frequently as a sideman for artists including Gideon van Gelder, Richard Boukas, David Lopato, Bryan Carter, Rafal Sarnecki, Nick Finzer, and Jeremy Siskind. His past performance experience includes Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Carl Allen, Benny Green and David Sanborn. Lucas has appeared at The Blue Note, Dizzy's, The Jazz Standard, Yoshi's, The Jazz Kitchen, The Rex, and Chicago Symphony Hall. As a leader, he has a monthly residency at Smalls with the No Net Nonet. Lucas won the Downbeat award for Best Instrumental Soloist in 2004. He attended the Brubeck Institute from 2005-2007, and finished his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Performance at The New School in 2009. He attended Juilliard from 2009- 2011, where he received a Master of Music.
Colin Stranahan has received multiple including the prestigious Betty Carter Fellowship Residency program at the Kennedy Center, which recognizes outstanding young adult jazz composers. He also received the Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award. Colin spent a year at the Brubeck Institute where he worked and studied with Greg Tardy, Lewis Nash, Matt Penman, Brian Lynch, Ravi Coltrane, and many more. He attended the New School in New York, where he worked with Ari Hoenig and Nasheet Waits. He attended the prestigious Monk Institute in New Orleans, where Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter are directing him. While at the institute he worked with John Scofield, Steve Coleman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Lewis Nash, Benny Golsan, Ron Carter, Danilo Perez, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, Dave Holland, and many others.
Bassist/Composer Desmond White is rapidly becoming one of New York City’s most in-demand sidemen, and leads his own group, which draws influence from the worlds of jazz, pop/rock and folk music. He was a founding member of the ARIA winning pop/rock group Washington, touring extensively to major festivals around the country. After building a successful career in Australia, he relocated to NYC in 2009 to pursue his Master’s degree on full scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music. He now performs regularly with New York-based artists including Gilad Hekselman, Nir Felder, Camila Meza, Shai Maestro, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, Marko Djordevic, Barney McCall and numerous others. He is a recipient of the ArtsWA Creative Development Fellowship, the Australia Council’s Skills and Development grant and the PPCA Performers Trust Fellowship. His 2008 release “Open Land” showcased his unique compositional style, and was critically acclaimed by press and radio in Australia.
Glenn Zaleski is one of the most in-demand pianists on the New York City jazz scene. Originally from Boylston, MA, Glenn has made a name for himself playing with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Lage Lund, and Ari Hoenig. His debut album, My Ideal, was released in March of 2015 on Sunnyside, and has been receiving critical acclaim: Downbeat Magazine named it “sublime”, Jazz Times called it "an engaging set by a talent worth watching," and the The New York Times named the record a "strong statement," praising its "fluent but unhurried sense of phrase”. Glenn has also released two popular albums with the collective Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato: Limitless (Capri, 2013), and Anticipation (Capri, 2011). In 2011, Glenn was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, as well as a finalist for the 2011 APA Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz. He attended the Brubeck Institute and finished his undergraduate studies at The New School.
Sarah Lucie is a PhD student in Theater at the CUNY Graduate Center and has an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. Research interests include puppetry and material performance, vital materialism in the context of performance, and experimental and participatory theatre. She has worked as Editor for the Times Square theatre guide entitled Broadway Today, as Editor and theater critic for Show Business Magazine, and as the Assistant Editor at TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. Other reviews appear in e-misférica, Puppetry International, and on The Huffington Post. Sarah is also the General Manager of East Coast Artists, a production company dedicated to boldly reinventing classic texts founded by Richard Schechner and artistically directed by Benjamin Mosse, in addition to working as a freelance producer. In 2013, Sarah became a founding member of The Grace Period Blog, a collective who writes and performs original work focused on the impact of the student debt crisis in the United States.
Christopher Zuar’s music has been performed by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, The Westchester Jazz Orchestra, The New York Youth Symphony, and the New York/BMI Jazz Orchestra. Feeling at home writing both contemporary jazz and classical, Zuar’s music has been hailed by acclaimed pianist and composer Mike Holober as “clever, intuitive, engaging, accessible and ultimately beautiful.” His compositions explore rich harmonies, lyrical melodies, and atmospheric textures that combine to create a compositional voice wholly his own. Zuar has garnered numerous awards and commissions. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Award, the First Music Commission from the New York Youth Symphony and reached the finals in both the 2010 BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Competition and the 2013 Brussels Jazz Orchestra Jazz Composition Competition. His most recent work, Native Tongue, will receive its premiere by the NYYS Jazz in May 2016 in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In September 2014, Zuar assembled a world-class band to record his debut album, Musings, a collection of 8 original compositions for jazz orchestra. The album will be released on the Sunnyside label in early 2016. Zuar holds a BM from the New England Conservatory and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music.