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‘A Brazilian Christmas’ Features Trumpeter Claudio Roditi and Bassist John Lee

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)December 3, 2002

(Mahwah) – Celebrate the holidays Rio De Janeiro-style with legendary Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi and an all-star ensemble including John Lee on bass at Ramapo College of New Jersey Friday, December 20 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater. Tickets are $21 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students.

Born in 1946 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Claudio Roditi began his musical studies when he was five years old. By the time he was 12, he had already become a serious jazz listener. Eight years later, he was named a finalist in the International Jazz Competition in Vienna, and the following year, he moved to Mexico City, where he was active on the contemporary music scene.

Moving still closer to New York, Roditi relocated to Boston in 1970 and studied at Berklee College of Music. Later, he joined the faculty of the School of Contemporary Music and rounded out his schedule with club and concert performances. In 1976, Roditi moved to New York, which, between tours and worldwide performances, he continues to call home.

Roditi has performed and/or recorded with Joe Henderson, Charlie Rouse, Herbie Mann, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera and McCoy Tyner, among others. Beginning in 1989, Roditi traveled for several years as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra and then toured with The JazzMasters, a Gillespie tribute group led by Slide Hampton. His solo work on Symphonic Bossa Nova with Ettore Stratta and the Royal Philharmonic earned Roditi a Grammy nomination in 1995. Roditi has 11 critically-acclaimed albums to his credit including Claudio Roditi – Metropole Orchestra, Samba – Manhattan Style, Jazz Turns Samba and Milestones.

The son of a Methodist minister, bassist, composer, educator and producer John Lee’s earliest musical impressions were formed in church and through listening to his father’s extensive jazz record collection. As a student at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, he began appearing in New York City, working with the bands of Carlos Garnett, Joe Henderson and Pharoah Sanders. In 1972, Lee was hired as bassist for the Max Roach Quartet. Later that year, he moved to Europe for a stay that would last until 1974. During that period, he worked and recorded with Gary Bartz, Philip Catherine, Joe Henderson, Chris Hinze, Jasper Van T” Hof and Toots Thielemans. With drummer Gerry Brown he recorded his first solo effort entitled Infinite Jones.”

After returning to the United States, Lee began to work with the bands of Norman Connors, Gil Evans, Joe Henderson and Lonnie Liston Smith. In 1975, he joined Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House while also forming his own band with Gerry Brown. Together they recorded two albums for Blue Note and two for Columbia.

In 1982, Lee joined the McCoy Tyner Quintet, where he worked until joining the Dizzy Gillespie Group in 1984. Lee was a member of Gillespie’s various bands including the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, the 70th Anniversary Big Band and the United Nation Orchestra until 1992.

Currently, Lee is producing and writing as well as working with the Dizzie Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Sonny Rollins, Jon Faddis, Claudio Roditi, Slide Hampton and Gregory Hines, among others. He also is the program director for Dizzy: The Man and the Music,” the official concert and clinic program celebrating the life and work of Dizzy Gillespie.

Tickets for A Brazilian Christmas” are $21 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students. For information, call (201) 684-7844. The Sharp Theater is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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