On Friday, May 4, 2012, at 12:00 pm., renowned music recording group Groove Apparatus will be presenting a jazz performance in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford Campus. This is the third time that Groove Apparatus has performed at Union Country College. Groove Apparatus is composed of Scott Robert Avidon, saxophone; Steve Swanson, bass; Ed Taylor, drums; and Vic Juris, guitar. The public is invited to this free, dynamic creative, music event.
Formed by Scott Robert Avidon, Steve Swanson, and Edward Taylor, Groove Apparatus gave its very first performance at Greenwich Village’s famed 55 Bar in June 1997, and has since gone on to become a staple of the New York City jazz scene, performing regularly at such venues as Kavehaz, The Garage, Van Gogh’s Ear, and Arka Lounge, to name a few. Jazz legend musician David Leibman is quoted to laud Groove Apparatus’ music as “Straight ahead jazz by some of the best guys on the East Coast.”
In 2001, the group released its first recording, The Enlightened Ones, featuring eight original compositions. The CD would go on to reach number 2 on WRHU’s jazz chart.
Also, in 2001, the group was heard performing on the soundtrack to the award-winning independent film Meemo by writer/director Joe LaPenna (the band also makes an onscreen appearance in the film).
In 2007, they released The Mists of Distant Time featuring special guest trumpeter Terell Stafford. Featuring seven original tunes, the CD received five out of five stars from Jazzreview.com and was described as a “Superb Recording. One of the year’s ten best.” It was in 2007, the group began its association with world-renowned guitarist Vic Juris, which led to the band’s third recording, Into the Labyrinth, released in August 2011.
Some of the musicians who have performed with the band over the years include Jim Ridl, Terell Stafford, Daniel Kelly, Chris Bacas, Joel Frahm, Harvie S, Pete Rodriguez, Yasomoto Takeda, Renato Thoms, Bob Himmelberger, Angelo Versace, Dave Dallon, Dan Fabricatore, Brenda Earle, Greg Berger, Joe Bussey, Tom DiCarlo, Adam Weber, and Colby Inzer.
Groove Apparatus drum player Ed Taylor, holds a Ph.D in Music Theory and Composition from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. He taught as an Adjunct Instructor at Union County College for several years before being hired to join the faculty at the Baylor University School of Music in Wako, Texas, where he currently teaches Music Theory, Composition, and Jazz Drums. Taylor has composed over 50 original jazz compositions ranging from small ensemble pieces to larger works for the band. Further, he has composed over 20 “classical” works in the progressive post-tonal language, ranging from solo pieces for instruments such as piano, cello, and flute, to works for chamber ensemble and orchestra. He has received performances from The New York New Music Ensemble, Helix, Fred Sherry, Harvey Sollberger, and John McMurtery, among others. Taylor’s works have been programmed on concerts and festivals throughout the United States, and his Second Piano Sonata received its European premiere in March 2006, at the American Academy in Rome, by Ashlee Mack. Additionally, Taylor has performed with such artists as John Farnsworth, Joel Frahm, Michael Philip Mossman, Joel Perry, and Ed Fleischman. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including an appearance at Carnegie Hall with vocalist Jewel Crenshaw.
Saxiphonist, Scott Robert Avidon is trained in both Jazz and Classical idioms, having studied in the United States and France. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, and his Master’s degree in Classical Saxophone from Western Michigan University. The recipient of Down Beat Magazine’s “1995 Collegiate Jazz Soloist of the Year Award, Avidon has moved on to an impressive career as a professional, performing with such artists as The Branford Marsalis Quartet, The Dave Liebman Group, Mel Torme, Hannibal Peterson, The Temptations, The Spinners, Martha Reeves, Harvie S, and Eliot Zigmund, among others. Scott has been featured on two recordings of bassist Harvie S, Texas Rumba and Funky Cha, both on Zoho Records. In addition, Avidon has recorded with a number of New York-area musicians including Mike Richmond.
Steve Swanson, bass player, earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, performing with artists such as Michael Philip Mossman, John Farnsworth, Chico Rouse, Henning Stumm, and Mark Kirk. In 1994, Swanson was named an Ambassador of Goodwill prior to a European concert tour, during which he performed at the palace of the Archbishop of Hungary.
Guitarist, Vic Juris has established himself as one of the world’s preeminent jazz guitarists in a career spanning nearly 40 years. He has performed in every major jazz club in the world, alongside a veritable who’s who in jazz, including artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Phil Woods, Richie Cole, Mel Torme, Gary Peacock, Joe Locke, Sarah Vaughn, and Nancy Wilson, to name but a few. Vic has also been an integral member of the Dave Liebman Quartet since 1991. The group has recorded 10 CD’s together and has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Israel, and Japan. As a leader, Vic has nearly 20 recordings to his credit, including the 2005 release A Second Look, about which jazz guitarist John Abercrombie writes, “Vic Juris is the greatest. There’s none better!”
This performance is being sponsored by the following departments or organizations of Union County College: the Fine Arts area of the English/Fine Arts/ Modern Languages Department; CEPAC (College Educational Programs Advisory Committee); the Student Government Association; and the Union County College Art Society. The College’s Cranford campus is located at 1033 Springfield Avenue. For directions or more information on Union County College, visit www.ucc.edu.