Trio East Brings Jazz to Brockport on March 29: The College at Brockport

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Trio East Brings Jazz to Brockport on March 29

March 29, 2019 7:30 pm

Three Eastman Faculty Members Celebrate America's One True Original Artform

Everyone has different definitions of what Jazz should sound like. What they may not realize is that jazz in America’s one true original art form. Sure, aspects of jazz can be traced back to Europe or Africa, but the art form itself is inherently American, born in Louisiana in the late 19th century. Trio East, comprised of some of Rochester’s finest jazz musicians, will appear at the Tower Fine Arts Center on Friday, March 29, 2019, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $17/General, $12/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $9/Students.

Trio East is Eastman’s very own world class, recorded and regularly performing jazz combo. The Trio is made up of bassist Jeff Campbell, Clay Jenkins on trumpet, and Rich Thompson on the drums.

The members of Trio East met on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, where continue to teach, and have been continuously active as a group and as the nucleus of several other projects. They also travel extensively performing and conducting music workshops. With deep rhythmic and harmonic interplay, Trio East's trumpet/bass/drums grouping becomes so much more than its parts as they explore a group aesthetic built over more than 15 years of working together. According to the website AllAboutJazz.com, “with no piano or guitar to create the chord structure, harmony is implied through a skillful choice of notes and nuance. In addition, with only two voices on scale-based instruments, drums take on an entirely different role.” The website’s critic sums up their thoughts about Trio East with this: “You will not be disappointed!” Famed drummer Peter Erskine adds: “I’m knocked out by their playing, and the group is a most welcome addition to the jazz scene.”

Jeff Campbell has carved out an impressive career as bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he maintains an active schedule performing with Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko. He also played with Marian McPartland, the first lady of jazz, for many years. In high demand across the globe, Campbell has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu Jazz Festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics.

Clay Jenkins' experience as a performer began at an early age playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band: Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps. Jenkins moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. It was at this time that he studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra. Since moving to Rochester to join the Eastman faculty in 2000, Jenkins has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States (especially NYC and LA) and abroad.

Rich Thompson has been in demand as a top call drummer in Rochester for more than 25 years. Besides serving as the drum set instructor at the Eastman School of Music since the fall of 1996, Thompson has toured, performed, and recorded with the “who’s who” of jazz greats including pianist James Williams, The Count Basie Orchestra, Tito Puente, Frank Foster, The Byron Stripling quartet, saxophonist Rich Perry, the Bill Dobbins Trio, Harold Danko, the late Marian McPartland, trumpeter Snooky Young, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, Carl Fontana, Phil Woods, Joe Pass, and a host of others too numerous to mention. The Boston Globe cited Thompson as “the drummer who drove the Basie sound” when he appeared with them at the Boston Jazz and Blues Festival. Thompson has released his several CDs including, Trio Generations and Less is More, recorded with trumpet sensation Terell Stafford, pianist Gary Versace, and bassist Jeff Campbell on Origin Records. He has performed with numerous symphonies in the U.S. and Canada and his clinics have taken him as far as France, Japan, and Newfoundland.


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Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office: (585) 395-2787

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