4:30 – 6:00 pm – Gaetano Letizia
Guitarist / Composer
Gaetano (Tom) is a multi-genre jazz guitarist based in Ohio with forty years experience performing and teaching. With ten CD’s and enthusiastic reviews in national publications, he is an active composer with 100 copyrighted works to his credit. Downbeat said Tom has “a knack for composition”. Guitar Player Magazine described him as a “powerful player”.
Completing a six year study of The Schillinger System of Composition with Bert Henry, Tom was also a classical guitar major at Baldwin-Wallace. Jazz studies include private lessons with Richie Hart, Pat Martino, George Benson and Wolf Marshall along with live performances in LA with Joe Beck and Mundell Lowe. Tom recently performed at Severance Hall, MOCA, The Bop Stop and Nighttown. The performances go from trio to quintet depending on the event.
Balancing performance with composing and teaching, Tom has a group of young guitarists under his wing with several already performing professionally. “I make great effort to design individualized lessons to help my students enjoy music while reaching their goals” says Tom.
Just recently completing the recording of “Chartreuse, his new jazz suite of works to be released this Summer (2021) on CD/Vinyl. Tom’s compositions are multi-genre jazz, combining numerous styles of jazz, blues, funk and more, making it much easier for both the casual listener and serious music afficionado to enjoy. “All of this music comes from the heart and is quite different from what commercial music often offers” says Tom.
You and see and hear his work on YouTube, Amazon, Spotify, Itunes and all the digital platforms, just plug in Gaetano Letizia in your browser. The main website is www.gaetanoletizia.com .
6:20 – 7:50 pm – Snaps For Sinners
Sassy Swing Ensemble
Snaps for Sinners
Snaps for Sinners is a sassy swing ensemble hellbent on making people dance and have a good time, while also delivering a powerful progressive message that inspires empathy and altruism. With influences ranging from traditional Jazz to Folk-Punk to Country, Snaps for Sinners is dedicated to creating an all-inclusive experience through the blending of multicultural arts.
The core duo of Michael Fierro and Jay Drapes can most commonly be found singing together while playing Upright Bass & guitar, but their multi-instrumentalism and military-grade ADHD have fused into a powerhouse of musical madness. Between just the two of them, arrangements can include dramatic drums, torrential trumpet, seductive saxophone, classy clarinet, majestic mandolin, bombastic banjo, and some promising piano lines. They are even starting to get savvy with synths! It is as if Michael & Jay were one day watching a one-man-band and then thought “Yes, but what if there were TWO of him?” While much of their music is written for duo performance, Snaps for Sinners regularly welcomes veteran musicians to share the stage with them for an enhanced show experience.
Since the release of their first album, “How the Apple Falls” and the success of their debut tour from Northern California to North Carolina and back, Snaps for Sinners have been igniting audiences nationally. Their second Coast-to-Coast tour celebrating the release of their current album, “The Cat’s Medicine,” was sadly interrupted by the international shut-downs related to COVID-19, but the Feline dogma of these dogged musicians had them landing on their feet without missing a beat. Their third album, “Miss You, Missouri” is set to release in 2021 despite the pandemic, and you will be able to find them performing live once again as the restrictions around COVID come to a close.
8:10 – 9:40 pm – The Bobby Floyd Trio
Pianist / Organist / Keyboardist
Floyd has toured and performed extensively with Ray Charles, Rusty Bryant, Jeff Tyzik, Chris Howes, Byron Stripling, Sarah Morrow and his own trio. His current touring schedule includes performances as featured soloist with orchestras throughout the USA and Canada, including the Rochester Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Detroit Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Floyd is also a frequent soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra where his soulful sound has backed artist such as Chuck Mangione, Houston Person, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Mavis Staples, Gerald Wilson, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton and countless others. His recent performances in Europe and Japan have garnered high praise and he continues to accompany the top jazz, blues and gospel artist in the country.
Bobby has completed three recordings: Interpretations, Setting the Standards, and Floyd’s Finest Gift. His next project, soon to be released, is a live performance recorded in Spain. Other accomplishments include recording and composing on several of Vince Andrews’ and Chris Howes’ projects. He has also recorded with Gerald Levert (Groove On) and Faye Robinson (Remembering Marian Anderson). Additionally, he is featured on a Rusty Bryant album, Rusty Rides Again, which received five stars in Downbeatmagazine.
Floyd has taught at The Ohio State University, his own private studio and the world famous Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshops. His critically acclaimed CD’s Interpretations, Setting the Standards, Floyd’s Finest Gift, and Notes to and from My Friends demonstrate his ability to electrify audiences and have received the highest praise from critics and musicians alike
Beginning at 4:00 p.m. Host Performer – The Defiance Dixieland Jazz Band
Talented Local Musicians Led by Scott Rogers
The Fort Defiance Dixieland Jazz Band was created approximately 40 years ago from the necessity for entertainment in the Northwest Ohio and Downtown Defiance area. Musicians from the Defiance area, inspired by Wild Bill Davison, and his historic link to Defiance, started assembling, rehearsing and performing for area schools, and community events in the early 1980’s. The FDDJB has performed for rally’s, jazz festivals, concert series, area school events and downtown noontime concert venues. The spirit of the early days of Defiance and the memory of “Wild Bill” live on with music from the “Roaring 20’s” and “30’s”. The FDDJB seeks to add the authentic spark to any event while bringing the 1920’s history to life through the transformative power of music.
Julie Bok – drums
Tim Booth – trumpet/ cornet
Kari Rosania – metal bass horn
Scott Rogers – trombone or sliphorn
Ned Clark – keyboards
Frank Di Ambrosia – clarinet or licorice stick
The group members combined represent at least 120 years of educational service to our community. The professions represented within the group include educators, band directors, choral directors, music professionals, bus drivers, bankers, higher education advisors, worship and music coordinators, and orchestra directors to name a few.