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Video of their 3/13/22 concert
Erin Connelly | trumpet
Derrick Michaels | saxophone
Zach Swanson | bass
Tony Martucci | drums
Erin Connelly is a Baltimore-based trumpet player, improviser, and teacher. At an early age, Erin was inspired by the beauty, vulnerability, and romance in the music of trumpeter, Chet Baker. As an improviser, Erin embodies a warm, lyrical, and sensitive approach to the trumpet. With a sound that is dark, round, and nuanced, her compassionate sensibilities cultivate space in which layers of music may unfold around her. This ensemble-oriented approach allows Erin to create and deliver stories through her music, encompassing the sonic forces around her into her narrative tapestry. She holds a B.M. in Jazz Trumpet Performance from Towson University. Erin has studied under many acclaimed trumpet players.
Baltimore-native Derrick Michaels is a saxophonist | composer | bandleader and an audacious force in the creative music community. He boasts a sonorous tone, a rich expressive palette, and a propensity for dynamic improvised performances. As a bandleader, he invites a wide array of brilliant musicians into the creative fold, engaging with an expressive continuum that spans the history of written and improvised music. With deep roots in straight-ahead jazz, along with decades of experience collaborating in indie-rock, pop, and other eclectic music scenes, his expressive gamut reflects a love for the universal expression of human nature through musical vibrations.
Michaels’ 2019 concert series “Derrick Michaels Presents” (in partnership with An Die Musik) positioned his own tenor saxophone playing amid 28 brilliant improvisers from Baltimore and New York City, delivering 12 engaging improvised concerts full of depth, nuance, sensitivity, and imagination. These ensembles ranged in instrumentation from classic jazz quartets to lush chamber ensembles, demonstrating the unifying power of improvisation
With more than 65 years in music, Tony Martucci has cultivated an original and interpretive drum style that is both supportive and interactive, reflecting his deep understanding of the jazz tradition and his vast stylistic influence. Tony has performed and recorded with some of the greatest names in music. His extensive discography includes four critically acclaimed recordings under his own name. HIs most recent release on Sound Judgment Records, "Ancestral Voices '' is being celebrated for its vision and uncompromising creativity.
Martucci is an adjunct professor of music at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he teaches drum set, Latin percussion, and small jazz ensemble. He has been a teaching artist for the Washington Performing Arts Society and a founding member of The Capitol Jazz Project. He is also a teaching artist for the Kennedy Center Jazz Outreach program.
Using gut strings and a personalized technique, bassist Zach Swanson has developed a conception of the double bass that heightens the integrity of various musical environments.
In 2021, Swanson performed on Playfield's Volumes 1-3 on Orbit577 which was included in Gary Chapin of The Free Jazz Collective's Top 10 albums of the year. Swanson appeared on Ayumi Ishito's 2022 release Open Question Vol. 1 on 577 Records, which was called "brilliant and lasting music" by John Pietaro in The New York City Jazz Record. Swanson will be releasing Trio Xolo's debut album with saxophonist Derrick Michaels and percussionist Dalius Naujo on 577 records in summer 2022.