Greg Diamond was born in New York City, he has a B.M. in Music and an M.A. in Jazz Performance from Queens College (City University of New York). His teaching experience spans over 10 years as a private instructor as well as at various small music schools. Since 2005 he's been an active clinician for the "Jazz Project" a not-for-profit program run by the Kupferberg Center in Flushing, NY. He is currently also a teaching artist for the Bronx Arts Ensemble; another not-for-profit organization. He has given master classes at La Escuela Municipal de Musica de Peñaranda in Spain and La Academia Cristancho in Bogota, Colombia.
Greg and his band have performed at venues such as: The Blue Note Jazz Club, Iridium Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Smalls Jazz Club, Rose Theater (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Nublu, Tutuma Jazz Club, The Knitting Factory, and many others. In 2009 Greg and his band were invited as international guests to perform at the Barranquijazz Festival and the Jazz al Parque Festival in Colombia, The Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain, as well as the First Annual Nublu Jazz Festival in New York City. In 2007, he was a semi-finalist at the Gibson International Jazz Guitar Competition hosted by the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland - presiding the jury was jazz legend George Benson.
Diamond has shared the stage with such notables as: Seamus Blake, Antonio Hart, Rolando Briceño, Michael Philip Mossman, Emilio Solla, Don Friedman, Asha Puthli, and many others.
Gregʼs debut "Dançando Com Ale" (Chasm Records), featuring renown tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, was lauded by All About Jazz as "one of the stronger albums of 2008".
“…a very gifted guitarist and composer…” Bruce Lundvall – President of Blue Note Records
"…a rising star in the New York jazz scene…" Edward Blanco – allaboutjazz.com
“…consistently assertive, delicate, experimental, and intelligent..." Chip Boaz –Latin Jazz Corner
“…Hereʼs a guitarist that youʼve gotta hear…” George W. Harris – jazzweekly.com
"Dançando Com Ale is as hip as it gets..." Bobby Vega - jazztimes.com
"...virtuosic performances from Diamond and his crew..." Dr. Joe Barth -- Just Jazz Guitar
“…look for great things down the road from this pioneering world-jazz maestro…” Jan P. Dennis –audiophileaudition.com
“…here then is a guitarist with the tensile strength, fortitude, and heart to scale greater heights quite soon…”
Fred Draper was born in Kewanee, Illinois. His musical career began at age 14 when he formed a rock-and-roll band, “Fred and the Fenders”. In the late 1960’s, he entered the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to pursue serious training in the classical guitar. While still a Conservatory student, he was named Associate Teacher to his own teacher, José Rey de la Torre, at the Music and Arts Institute.
Fred was fortunate to participate in Andrés Segovia’s 1966 North Carolina master class. Past performance highlights include critically acclaimed Carnegie Recital Hall concerts in 1976, 1978, and 1981. He continues to give concerts in the Segovia tradition. He has recorded two CD’s: A Frederick Draper Recital, and Romance.
Fred teaches in his private studio and joined the Music Conservatory faculty in 2005. In his teaching, he has two basic precepts. The first is that young people know what they like but don’t always know what they could like, if given the chance. "I started out as part owner of a coffee house, exploring rock, jazz, and folk, so I think I can understand what attracts students to music. Initially, I work with my students on what’s familiar and enjoyable to them. I introduce them to the classical form a little later." Second, Fred feels that to keep the spirit of music alive in each person, we must “give that music away” to another person. "I ask students to think about the person(s) with whom they want to share the piece they’re studying. This form of musically "paying it forward" gives perspective to all study."
THOMAS FLIPPIN | GUITAR
Thomas Flippin is an award-winning American classical guitarist, published composer, and acclaimed music educator. Flippin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago; receiving undergraduate degrees in Law and Music. While there, he studied with renowned guitarists Denis Azabagic and Dr. Julie Goldberg. Recently, Flippin completed his Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees at the Yale School of Music on a full-tuition scholarship with Benjamin Verdery. He was honored by the school with an invitation from the dean to be one of six "outstanding performers from the graduating class" featured in the Annual Commencement Concert, which showcases "some of the most accomplished young musicians of the current generation."
Flippin has performed for several of the most distinguished musicians in the world: Sharon Isbin at The Aspen Music Festival, Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Summer Guitar Masterclass, Eliot Fisk, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Ransom Wilson, and David Leisner, among others. He also has studied composition under the tutelage of Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, John Anthony Lennon, and Michelle Mcquade Dewhirst. Flippin's works have been performed at universities, festivals, and guitar societies across the United States and he is a prizewinner in several competitions. Flippin's guitar duo with guitarist Christopher Mallett, Duo Noire was one of the first recipients of the highly competitive Alumni Ventures Grants from Yale University, which funded a tour of low-income communities throughout New England in 2009. Flippin loves chess and hiking in his spare time.
JAMES LORUSSO | GUITAR
James Lorusso has devoted most of his life to the guitar for the past 40 years, as a performer, teacher, arranger, and composer. He has taught at the Music Conservatory of Westchester since 1973, Manhattanville College since 1976, and Westchester Community College since 1993. He has also taught at Marymount College and the American Institute of Guitar. His love of Renaissance and Baroque music, arranging works from piano, harpsichord, and lute (for the guitar), and his studies with Narciso Yepes led him to play the 10-string guitar in 1978. He still performs on both the traditional 6-string as well as the 10-string guitar. His first formal classical guitar recital was in 1972, at Manhattanville College's Reid Hall, known as the Castle. After that first Manhattanville concert, Jim's performances gradually increased throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
James Lorusso is a graduate of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, through its collaboration with Mercy College, where he was the recipient of a Conservatory scholarship as well as a scholarship from the Epstein Fine Arts Fund. He studied guitar with Leo Brouwer, Alirio Diaz, Angel Romero, Manuel Barrueco, and Alice Artzt, and musical interpretation with renowned pianist Bruce Hungerford. He has also studied in Spain with guitarists Narciso Yepes and Jose-Luis Lopategui. Mr. Lorusso was a prizewinner in the 1983 international guitar competition at the Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Puerto Rico, and made his New York debut at CAMI Hall in 1984. He is the president and founder of the Friends of Narciso Yepes. He was also featured in September 2008 edition of Classical Guitar magazine in the column "Letter From New York" by Julia Crowe, giving an account of his friendship with the late guitar maker, Thomas Humphrey.
RALE MICIC | GUITAR
Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, guitarist and composer Rale Micic graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has studied with notable professors such as George Garzone, Hal Crook and Bob Brookmeyer, as well as the legendary guitarist Mick Goodrick.
In addition to being a dedicated educator, Rale is a CTA Records recording artist and has been featured in numerous publications including "DownBeat," "JazzTimes," "LA Times," "San Diego Tribune" and the "Boston Globe." He has performed at prominent jazz clubs and music festivals in the U.S. and Europe including Catalina Jazz Club, Blues Alley, Scullers Jazz Club, Dizzy’s, the San Jose Jazz Festival and the Hartford International Jazz Festival.
His debut album "Bridges," a mix of jazz and haunting melodies from the Balkans, was released on CTA Records in 2003. On his latest release, "Serbia," he was joined by Grammy-nominated trumpet player Tom Harrell, Bob Reynolds on tenor, Sean Conly on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums.
Rale Micic recently signed an endorsement deal with D'Addario strings, joining the likes of guitarists Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Lenny Kravitz.