The Purchase College Joe Williams Scholars take to the stage in a jazz concert April 22 at 7:30 PM in the Choral Hall of the Music Building with special guests vocalist Cyrille Aime-Daudel and drummer Dan McGuiness. The five Jazz Studies students are on scholarship at Purchase College through the Joe Williams Memorial Scholarship program established by the late great jazz vocalist Joe Williams. The concert is free and open to the public.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
Performing are School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music freshmen Anne Boccato, piano; Dave Saeva, trombone; Cameron Kayne, trombone; Alex Segal, saxophone; and Martin Peters, saxophone.
Born and raised in Brazil, Anne Boccato moved to the United States with her family in 2005. Anne grew up in a very musical environment—her father is a jazz drummer and percussionist—and began her early music training studying classical piano in a conservatory in Sãn Paulo. She began playing jazz soon after moving to West Hartford, Conn., joining the jazz band at Hall High School, where she also performed with other musical ensembles.
Bass trombonist David Saeva was raised in Brockport, N.Y., where he began studying music at the age of nine in his public elementary school. Jazz became his favorite musical genre when he was introduced to it five years ago. He has performed with several school groups as well as the Roberts Wesleyan College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, the Fredonia Jazz Workshop, the Brockport Community Big Band and the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Bassist Cameron Kayne’s father is also a jazz musician, exposing Cameron to a strong jazz influence from an early age. He has performed in various venues and around his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. and studied privately with many guest bassists including Paul LaDuca, Mike Downes, John Patitucci, Jeff Campbell and Gil Pease. He is currently a student of Todd Coolman, Director of the Jazz Studies program at Purchase.
Alex Segal is a New York City native who has been playing jazz for several years as a leader and a sideman. He is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in New York City, studying privately with tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama. He frequently attends master classes led by Eric Alexander, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman and others. He performs in New York with several projects including the Lucky Chops Brass Band and the Musical Chairs, a hip-hop/funk collective led by artist/producer E.E. Delrey.
Martin Peters of Hamden, Conn., began studying piano at the age of eight and became deeply interested in jazz in middle school after hearing Illinois Jacquet play his solo on the song “Flyin’ Home.” He played in many different jazz ensembles at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Conn., and at a local arts magnet high school, where he played a variety of music and learned how to express himself through the language of jazz.
Purchase College junior Cyrille-Aimée Daudel was the winner of the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition last July in Switzerland. In March she recorded her debut CD in Switzerland, tentatively titled As Long As You’re Living, one of several prizes she received for winning the competition. The recording is slated for a summer 2008 release. Her impressive list of performance credits include stints with such New York City jazz mainstays as Joel Frahm, Doug Weiss and Spike Wilner, as well as Latin heavyweights Jorge Taveras, Guarionex Aquino and Gilberto Santa Rosa.
The Joe Williams Memorial Scholarships are awarded through the Joe Williams Every Day Foundation to talented music students who are also driven to succeed and show good character. Currently, scholarships have been awarded to jazz students at Purchase College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition to helping build the next generation of musicians, the Foundation also seeks to determine which schools and other music organizations are most effective in their teaching, and communicated best on scholarship winners’ progress and achievements.
Joe Williams was one of the great voices of jazz. His rich baritone voice, clear diction, masterly interpretation of lyrics and tremendous stage presence brought him international fame. He first came to broad attention in 1955 with his hit version of Memphis Slim’s “Every Day I Have the Blues,” recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra. Williams remained the start singer of the Basie Orchestra until 1961. As a solo artist he performed for almost 40 years in top jazz clubs and concert halls around the world. He performed in concert and on record with such stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw, Mel Torme, and with celebrated blues shouters Jimmy Rushing and Big Joe Turner. He is known to television audiences for his supporting role on “The Cosby Show.” Among his many awards are a Grammy in 1985 for his recording of “Nothing but the Blues.” Williams died at the age of 80 in 1999.