SUNY Fredonia to Host Masterclasses and Performances by Acclaimed Jazz Saxophonist Leali
Renowned saxophonist Brad Leali will be at SUNY Fredonia on Thursday and Friday, March 31 and April 1 to conduct masterclasses, lead rehearsal sessions with students, and perform, both on campus and in the community, with the Fredonia Jazz Faculty Collective and the Fredonia Jazz Orchestra. .
“Brad Leali is without a doubt one of the most celebrated saxophonists today,” said guest speaker Elliot Scozzaro. “It will provide a unique opportunity for SUNY Fredonia students to learn from someone who has spent decades playing with some of the greatest musicians in the world.
Leali toured and recorded with the Harry Connick Jr. Orchestra as principal alto saxophonist and musical director after earning a BA in Music Education from the University of North Texas. He has also played in the Count Basie Orchestra and since 2013 has toured with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. Leali was a permanent member of the Kennedy Center Honors Band, performed at President Barack Obama’s inaugural celebration, and recorded with famed GRAMMY-winning singer Michael Bublé.
Leali’s performances will provide an opportunity for students and audience members to hear what Mr. Scozzaro describes as Leali’s virtuoso musicianship. “Masterclasses will allow students to engage with Brad in an informal environment and learn about his experiences playing music around the world as well as his thoughts on practice, performance and working as a professional musician. “, added Scozzaro.
A New York Times reviewer hailed Leali as “among the most moving and exciting I’ve heard recently”.
A master class for students enrolled in Espace Jazz will take place at the Diers Recital Hall on campus on Thursday March 31 from 11:20 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Leali will perform with the Fredonia Jazz Faculty Collective at Jazz at Domus Fare, 41 W. Main St., Fredonia, at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Domus Fare performance information is available online
Fredonia High School will host a master class with Leali on Friday, April 1 from 8-9 a.m.
Leali will also be the featured artist of the Fredonia Jazz Orchestra during a concert at Rosch Recital Hall on Friday at 8 p.m.
All on-campus events are free and open to the public.
Scozzaro has known Leali since 2014, having met him shortly before starting his master’s degree at the University of North Texas.
“Right from the start he had this amazing energy. He’s been a lifelong student of music – he often showed me ideas in our lessons that he practiced himself and really pushed me beyond what I thought. be possible. He’s been an exceptional role model, not just as a musician, but in the way he treats others and lives his life,” Scozzaro explained.
“He’s been an incredible mentor to me for the past eight years,” Scozzaro said.
Leali, who is also a composer and educator, is a professor of jazz saxophone at the University of North Texas, where he leads small ensembles and teaches the basics of jazz performance and jazz saxophone. Leali holds an MM from Rutgers University and also continues to perform, tour and record and serve as a guest artist, clinician and referee at educational institutions.
Leali’s visit is primarily funded by the Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities of the Fredonia College Foundation, with additional support from the Fredonia School of Music, Fredonia Jazz Society, Fredonia Jazz Workshop and Fredonia High School.