Blackman Murray Russo
with special guests Jeff Antoniuk and Rogerio Boccato
"Turning Point", the first release from this dynamic group, shows a unique musical vision and fresh approach to improvisational music. It showcases everything from the Beatles to Brahms to Peter Gabriel, but is knit together by the writing of pianist Alan Blackman and the incredible
saxophone of guest artist Donny McCaslin.
Tickets: $15/$10 full time students with ID
Internationally respected jazz saxophonist and composer Jeff Antoniuk (pronounced an-TOE-nee-ak) has received numerous awards and commissions, appeared on many albums and toured extensively. Currently based in the Washington, DC area, he is a solid contributor to many activities in the nation’s most cherished cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts Society. He draws many jazz artists to the region to perform and teach at his side.
In the U.S., Antoniuk has performed and recorded with diverse hit makers such as Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, Freddie Hubbard, Marcus Miller and Najee. He has collaborated with fellow saxophonist Jeff Coffin, guitarists Steve Herberman and Steve Rochiniski, percussionists Sherrie Maricle and Joe McCarthy, bassist Gary Grainger and young Latin Jazz pianist Zaccai Curtis.
He's worked with Canadian greats such as PJ Perry, Senator Tommy Banks, big band leader Rob McConnell, the iconic David Foster and trumpet sensation Ingrid Jensen.
His concerts and recordings with the Unified Jazz Ensemble, the Jazz Update and other ensembles have been consistently well received by critics.
Jeff Antoniuk was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1965, to a large Ukrainian family. They lived in Benin City, Nigeria for a time and the colorful sights and sounds of that experience have never left him. He began his musical education there, studying classical piano. Back in Canada in his teens, he took up the saxophone relishing any opportunity to play.
After attending Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Canada Antoniuk swept into the United States like an Alberta Clipper. From the University of North Texas, he earned a master’s degree in jazz performance and West African ethnomusicology. He began making his mark as an artist and educator early in his career: touring, teaching and composing before he even graduated.
He then co-founded the Unified Jazz Ensemble, enjoying numerous accomplishments with that group in his 12-year tenure. The quintet toured North America and Asia and were adjunct faculty at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa for two years.
A grant from the Canada Council and studies with Tim Hagans helped Antoniuk mature as a performer and composer before he became a bandleader - the next step in his career. In 2004 he formed the Jazz Update quartet, featuring some of the most in-demand jazz artists on the East Coast of the United States.
Pianist and composer, Alan Blackman, has been a mainstay in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area for over 15 years. He has performed at Blues Alley, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and nearly all of the area’s Jazz Festivals both as a freelancer and with his group the Blackman/Barke Quartet. This group was runner-up in the DCJazz.com international competition and the Takoma Park Jazz Brawl. Recent concerts have included Warren Wolf, Othello Molineaux, Mike Pope, Alex Norris, Ferenc Nemeth, Margret Grebowicz, Sunna Gunnlaugs and Vardan Ovsepian.
Alan was awarded the eastern regional songwriting award by the Gospel Music Association and was selected to be part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Alan released his first CD of original music, Shadowdance, in January 2000 and is currently working on his first jazz composition book tentatively entitled, Changing Standards, which will be accompanied by an audio CD of his original arrangements.
He received a Maryland State Arts Grant for 2007, 2009, and 2012 in Musical Composition and for performance in 2010 and world music in 2011. His new CD with BlackmanMurrayRusso and special guest(s) Donny McCaslin and Margret Grebowicz is out. His latest award is a CMA New Works Jazz Commission for 2011-13!
Alan has taught the jazz combos at Towson University as well accompanied the Jazz Vocal Master Class. He currently teaches Jazz Improv, coaches the Jazz Ensemble, and teaches private lessons at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. Maryland Summer Jazz Camp has been added to his teaching credentials for 2011.
Bassist Max Murray began making music at the age of four. The son of a professional musician, music was ever-present in his childhood home near Boston, MA. After experimenting with brass & woodwind instruments, the double bass found him at age 13. While in high school, he studied with Boston Symphony Orchestra bassist, Lawrence Wolfe.
At seventeen Max was accepted into the United States Navy Music Program, and upon high school graduation he enlisted in the Navy. After boot camp, he attended the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, VA, and graduated at the top of his class, and ahead of schedule. He then was forced to endure arduous tours of duty with Navy Bands in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Newport, RI. In 1985 Max won an appointment to the Premier United States Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, MD, where he remained until retiring from the Navy in 2000. During his twenty-plus years of service he performed a broad spectrum of music, including; top-40, rock 'n roll, R&B, plenty of marches, classical literature, show tunes, rap, country, salsa, big band & small group contemporary jazz.
Max is honored to have studied with, or participated in master classes with some of the finest bassists on the planet, including Paul Johnson, John Clayton, Rufus Reid, Glen Moore, Buster Williams, and Lynn Seaton.
In addition to the many wonderful regional musicians he collaborates with, Max is honored to have shared the stage with a diverse list of major artists, including Henry Mancini, Don Menza, Mose Allison, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lee Greenwood, Neil Sedaka, Louie Bellson, Gene Bertoncini, Dave Samuels, and Poncho Sanchez.
In 2003 he and longtime partner Frank Russo released their first collaboration with pianist Doug Bickel & John D'earth, "In My Mind's Eye." He also can be heard on recordings by Suede, Rob Vuono Orchestra, Tom Lagana Group, Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, The Fred Hughes Trio , Rob Levit, Pete BarenBregge/Frank Russo Group, The Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band. As a member of Afro Bop Alliance he received a Latin Grammy Award for the 2008 release, "Carribbean Jazz Project - Afro Bop Alliance."
His most recent release, “Turning Point," is with trio mates Alan Blackman & Frank Russo along with the brilliant saxophonist Donny McCaslin and rising vocal star Margret Grebowicz.
Max lives with his family near the Chesapeake Bay, and maintains a steady performing and recording schedule.
Frank Russo joyfully paints colorful soundscapes with his highly skilled, passionate, musical drumming. He's an in demand performer, recording artist and educator who currently resides in Maryland and teaches at Towson University. He is also an artist/educator for Bosphorus Cymbals, MD Drums and The Vic Firth Education Team. Raised in the NYC area, Frank was steeped in the rich musical heritage of the jazz legends at an early age and carriers on the legacy of a musical family.
An incredibly adaptable musician, a partial list of his performances testifies to his diverse talent. He has performed with Mundell Lowe, Dr Lonnie Smith, Hal Crook, Craig Handy, Keter Betts, Ethel Ennis, Greg Gisbert, Chuck Redd, Bill McHenry, John O'Gallagher, Dave Ballou, John D'earth, Denis DiBlasio, Ron McCurdy, The Coasters, Frankie Lane and many more. Highlights of his performances include the Detroit Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Stan Getz Jazz Festival, East Coast Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center and many others. Tours have included several trips to Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. Frank completed a distinguished career with the prestigious Naval Academy Band where he performed in and led several dynamic ensembles. He was stationed in Annapolis, San Diego, Great Lakes, Monterey and Norfolk during his career.
Frank is a Summit Records Recording Artist whose recordings have gained national recognition and praise from Downbeat, Jazztimes and Modern Drummer along with others. He is featured on "Point of Grace" with PF Flyer, "No Turning Back" with Fred Hughes, "Gabrielle's Hand" with Bob Boguslaw and The acclaimed Shook Russo Quartets "Featuring Greg Gisbert" all on Summit Records. As a sought after studio ace he has played on countless sessions, crossing all genres, including PBS Documentaries, "Quiet Now" with John Toomey, "In My Mind's Eye" with Max Murray & Doug Bickel, Kenny Carr's "Turn the Page" featuring brilliant saxophonist Donny McCaslin, "Uncertain Paths" with Rob Levit and many more.
Frank is also a member of the Bob Butta Trio, The Fred Hughes Band, Rob Levit Trio, Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, Bob Boguslaw's The Way, and Mozart to Motown with Stefan Scaggiari, PF Flyer and The Shook Russo Quartet. His most recent release on Summit Records "A Thousand Eyes" is with the superb saxophonist Pete BarenBregge.
Frank is proud to exclusively perform on maple drums designed by Keith Larsen (Maryland Drum Company), Bosphorus Cymbals and Vic Firth Products.