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The Zac Chester Trio

Sunday, August 17

Savannah Arts Academy auditorium
500 Washington Avenue, Savannah

Zac Chester is yet another exceptional Florida musician who has been shaped by the Jazz Studies program at the University of North Florida. Although he hasn’t performed often in Savannah, I was fortunate to work with Zac several times this year and become acquainted with his informed, comprehensive and exciting approach to jazz piano.

Zac was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He began lessons with David Cook at the age of five. He later studied jazz piano with Frank Sullivan. In his early twenties, Zac was accepted into The University of North Florida’s jazz program, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and received a world-class education. While at UNF, he took private piano lessons with Kevin Bales, Keith Javors, Dennis Marks, Lynne Arielle and Bunky Green.

As a bandleader, Chester has performed throughout the Jacksonville, Gainesville and St. Augustine area. He has performed as a solo pianist at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, and at the Cloister and Sea Island Resorts, St. Simons Island. He has been the pianist for the Casa Monica, St Augustine for over ten years, and his trio performs there on a regular basis. He has worked as the Musical Director and house pianist at Rhett’s Piano Bar, St Augustine, and continues to perform there regularly, as well. He also currently works as a solo pianist at 60 North, a new restaurant in High Springs. He’s worked as a sideman with world-renowned jazz artists Longineu Parsons, Phil Morrison, and Von Barlow.

Zac has been playing gospel music on the Hammond B3 organ and keyboards in African-American churches for over ten years. He first played with drummer and musical director, John Lumpkin, at the Family Life Fellowship of Arlington for close to six years. He currently plays at Ephesians Baptist Church in downtown Jacksonville, FL.

Zac is currently a working towards earning a Masters in Classical Performance at the University of Florida, where he is studying with Dr. Kevin Sharpe. As a TA he is teaching jazz improvisation class, private piano students, and playing in the jazz big band.

Joining him in this performance will be world-traveled drummer Von Barlow, inducted to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame in 2007, Savannah bassist Mitch Hennes, and vocalist Natalie Rella. Expect to hear some fresh interpretations of jazz tunes, classic standards and perhaps some originals as well.

$20 General Admission at the door. FREE to members and students with valid student I.D.


 

The Mike Frost Band  Featuring Lauren Meccia

Sunday, July 20th  @ 5pm

BubBaQ’s Restaurant — 514 Martin Luther King Blvd $20 Admission — FREE  to Members and Students with valid student IDs

 

The Mike Frost Band –  featuring the superb vocals and saxophone of Lauren Meccia – is energizing the music scene by blending together several styles to create a sound that’s all their own. Anchored by the dynamic bass playing of Mike Frost – an artist with decades of worldwide touring and performing experience – they combine a crowd-pleasing sense of fun with adventurous, turn-on-a-dime musicianship.  As evidenced by their stellar CD releases, Riddle Me This? (2011), Get Frosted! Live at the Blue Horse (2011), Frosty Christmas (2012), and Live at the Red Pepper (2013), their sound contains elements of danceable funk, classic rock, and R&B, while their approach to jazz standards and modern ballads is laced with undeniable verve and performed with a soulful spirit.

Mike Frost is former student of jazz legends Pat Martino and Jaco Pastorius.  Mr. Frost is a life- long composer, studio musician, educator, recording engineer, and the designer of Brickhouse speaker enclosures. He leads his own Mike Frost Band and tours with Jesse Colin Young and with guitarist Esteban.

Lauren Meccia is well known for her work on the saxophone. She is branching into new territory with her vocal performance and incorporation of the EWI (Electric Wind Instrument). Ms. Meccia is the director of instrumental ensembles at the University of South Carolina-Aiken including the University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and the Pacer Pulse Athletic Band. She also serves as Instructor of Saxophone and Associate Conductor of the Aiken Concert Band. Ms. Meccia is the founder and director of the Central Savannah River Area New Horizons Band, a beginning band for adults.

Active in jazz and concert music, Ms. Meccia has performed with many regional ensembles including the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Palmetto Concert Band, and the Aiken Big Band, and has appeared in concert with the Temptations and with Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

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