Charter Oak Jazz, featuring Brett Bottomley, plays Best Video Performance Space Wednesday, Apr. 4. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. Opening will be Brett Bottomley with colleagues from New Haven Improvisers Collective.
Charter Oak Jazz is a Hartford-area jazz combo that plays both jazz standards and more modern works, including originals, keeping the tradition alive. Charter Oak Jazz currently plays chiefly as a trio: Brett Bottomley on Chapman Stick, Alec McCandless on Piano, and Bob Ahern on Drums.
Internationally known Chapman Stick player Brett Bottomley began his musical journey as a teenager on the electric bass. After several years playing in successful rock bands in the New Haven area, Brett discovered Jazz and enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, Brett played Donny McCaslin, Julian Joseph and Danielo Perez, among others. After graduating from Berklee, Brett decided to pursue a career in music education and was accepted into the music ed program at the Hartt School of Music as an upright bass player. At Hartt, Brett played in Jackie McLean’s advanced ensemble and performed with notable jazz musicians including Art Taylor, Eric McPherson, Abraham Burton and Jimmy Greene. For the past 15 years, Brett has dedicated himself to the mastery of the Chapman Stick and its incorporation into the jazz world. Brett has become one of the most sought after performers and teachers of this specialized instrument, playing in regular showcases from Los Angeles to New York, Boston, and the United Kingdom.
Alec McCandless plays keys for Charter Oak Jazz. Alec came to Jazz through the Blues – a not uncommon route, and hasn’t looked back since. A professional educator (and the band’s manager) during the day, Alec’s passion in the off-hours is seeking inspiration on the ivories from Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, and Cedar Walton. Alec studies with Matt DeChamplain and is a regular participant in jazz programs run by the Berklee College of Music, Arturo O’Farrill (Lincoln Center’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra) and Jamey Aebersold (University of Louisville).
Bob Ahern began playing drums at the age of 3. Inspired by his father Bob Sr, drummer with Woody Herman and Charlie Spivak, Bob became completely devoted to mastering the drums. At the age of 10 Bob won a local talent show. This was the beginning of several years participating in regional and national drum contests. At 17, Bob was runner up in the Slingerland Louis Bellson National Drum Competition, from a field of over 20 thousand contestants. After many years of performing with some of the finest Jazz and Big Bands , Bob settled in Connecticut where he gained National prominence as a Drum Corps arranger and percussion composer. One of Bob’s proudest accomplishments was when he was invited to perform in several drum clinics and performances with some of the greatest drummers in the world, most notably Louis Bellson, Dennis Chambers, Joe Morello, Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Roy Burns. Bob’s greatest influences are his dad, Bob Sr., and Buddy Rich.
The New Haven Improvisers Collective is an ever expanding group of musicians in New Haven, CT. They host monthly workshops, present performances of NHIC members and visiting like minded folks. They also get together to form particular groups to play particular music in a particular moment.