Live at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
The birth of the Chassidic Jazz Project occurred in conjunction with the celebration of Israel's 50th anniversary at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida in 1998. This performance featured guitarist Tom Lippincott and Reuben Hoch. In the years prior to this performance, Reuben Hoch, the group leader and drummer, was urged by Dizzy Gillespie's manager, Charles Fishman, and bassist Jeff Andrews to unfold his heritage by applying his jazz abilities to his religious background. After relocating to South Florida in 1996, Reuben was commissioned by the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood in 1998 to hold a performance in celebration of Israel's 50th anniversary. Reuben chose to perform Chassidic melodies set to jazz arrangements, as these melodies are close to his heart and part of his Jewish Orthodox upbringing. The liturgical origin of the group's material is clearly different from klezmer music. In 2001, the Chassidic Jazz Project was invited to perform during the tenth anniversary season of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The show was produced with support from the Broward Center's prestigious Arts Access Program. The crowd was mesmerized by the stunning performance, which featured local and internationally renowned musicians. To quote a listener, 'It's here! This is a group that celebrates the music of the Jews as has never been done before.' Reuben teamed up with the world-renowned percussionist, Robert Thomas Jr. who also resides in South Florida. The excitement created by these two masterful drummers places the Chassidic Jazz Project amongst the greatest jazz acts on the scene. Reuben speaks with enormous excitement regarding Bobby's contribution to the band; 'Bobby has been one of my favorite musicians since his Weather Report days. As a member of the Chassidic Jazz Project, we're able to take the band to new heights.' Reuben also recognizes the contribution of guitarist Tom Lippincott. Tom has been with the group since the very beginning. His unique sound and creative arrangements have provided a framework for original expression. In Reuben's opinion, Tom Lippincott is one of the most creative musicians out there. The group's interesting instrumentation of viola, cello, saxophone, guitar, bass, drums and percussion, creates a gorgeous chamber music effect. In his approach to the Chassidic Jazz Project, Reuben draws on the influence of musicians that include Charles Mingus, Joe Zawinul and Charlie Haden. The Chassidic Jazz Project's Members Are: Reuben Hoch: Drummer and composer Reuben Hoch was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. He was raised as an Orthodox Jew, attended Yeshiva, and prayed in the synagogues of various Chassidic Sects, including Munkatch and Satmar. He began playing the drums at the age of 12 and became interested in jazz while in high school. He began playing professionally at the age of 16. By the time he was a senior in high school, Reuben was quite active on the New York jazz scene and recorded with his first group, Repercussions. Heavily influenced by Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette and Elvin Jones, by age 19, Reuben was playing with Art Blakey sidemen Valery Ponomaerov, David Schnitter and Lonnie Plaxico. He remained musically active throughout college and while attending medical school in Tel Aviv from 1984 to 1988, became a member of the Israeli jazz quartet Zaviot. Zaviot toured extensively throughout Europe performing in major festivals, winning an award for most originality in the Red Sea Jazz Festival in 1986. Reuben has appeared on many albums including two as a leader of his own group, The RH Factor, which features Miles David alumnus Dave Liebman. Reuben's debut CD was recorded live at New York's Knitting Factory. Amongst the many musicians that Reuben has performed and recorded with are Greg Osby, Lonnie Plaxico, Jim Pepper, Ron McClure, Don Friedman, Joey Calderazzo, Ed Schuller, Leni Stern and Jeff Andrews. He was co-leader of the group West End Avenue, which featured the great Native American Saxophonist, Jim Pepper. West End Avenue released four CD's. The group's 1989 release 'West End Avenue ', featuring Jim Pepper, Christoph Spendel and Ron McClure, was record of the month in Germany. This recording, which contains two of Reuben's original compositions, was given three stars in 'The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD'. The Chassidic Jazz Project, Reuben's most recent effort, combines traditional Chassidic melodies with contemporary jazz arrangements. For Reuben, this project is the realization of a dream. [See also: Discography of Reuben Hoch] Tom Lippincott: Guitarist Tom Lippincott was born in New Jersey in 1966 and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his bachelor's degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas and a master's degree in jazz performance from the University of Miami, where he performed with jazz greats Randy Brecker and Bob Mintzer. Since 1990, Tom has been performing in the South Florida area. He composed and performs on the album 'Extra Strength', by the group Active Ingredient. He was also the winner of the jazz category of Guitar Player magazine's 1992 Ultimate Jazz Competition. Having been a music professor at Broward Community College and Florida Atlantic University, Tom is currently a private music teacher and recently released his first solo CD, entitled 'Painting the Slow Train Brown'. Tom is musical director of The Chassidic Jazz Project. Marie Randel: Violinist Marie Randel was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Hartt College of the University of Hartford, Connecticut. Her primary teachers included Raphael Bronstein and Arianna Bronne of the Manhattan School of Music, and she studied at Kneisel Hall. Marie was a recipient of a chamber music scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. She has performed with orchestras throughout Florida and has played both in concert and in recording sessions with many international stars. Marie has served on the faculty of the Coral Ridge School of Arts and is a founding member of the Rhapsody Trio, which performs throughout South Florida. She is Conductor of the Starter Strings Florida Youth Orchestra. Since embarking on a solo career, she has played throughout the Southeastern United States with her accompanist, pianist, Sergio J. Puig. Barbara Corcillo: Cellist Barbara Corcillo grew up in New York. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Juilliard School of Music, and has now lived in the South Florida area for 15 years. She manages her own chamber ensemble, the Encore Chamber Players, which performs all over South Florida. Barbara also performs with many Broadway shows here, including Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, and Titanic; and she has played for stars, such as Frank Sinatra, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Tony Bennett, Marvin Hamlisch, Ray Charles, and Natalie Cole. Barbara has toured all over the world with a chamber ensemble, Quintessence, on Cunard Cruise Lines, and has traveled to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, with the Mantovani Orchestra. Her dream is to continue to combine playing the cello with travelling all over the world. Felipe Lamoglia: Saxophonist Felipe Lamoglia was born in Holguin Cuba in 1972. He began his music studies at age 9, and studied at the Institute of Superior Art before moving to Brazil in 1992 to join 'ONI ACHE ORCHESTRA'. While in Brazil, Felipe played with many great composers and players, including Raul de Souza, Hermeto Pascoal and Bocato. Felipe came to the United States in 1999, and continues to play around the world. He appeared on Bocato's two most recent albums and with Arturo Sandoval in San Paulo, Brazil where he worked at the Music University. Felipe has played in the Berlin Jazz Festival and at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. Earlier this year he played in New York with the Mingus Dynasty Big Band as well as the Conrad Herwig Quartet. Most recently, he has been playing with Ron Miller and the Gerry Keller Quartet, in addition to his work with Reuben Hoch. He also plays with Celia Cruz and performs his own Latin jazz compositions. Dan Feiszli: Bassist Dan Feiszli was born on January 20, 1976 in Oakland, New Jersey. In 1994, he attended the University of Miami School of Music on Scholarship. In 1998 he received his B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz along with the School of Music Student of the Year Award. Since graduation, Dan has played around the world with artists including Julio Iglesias, Raul DiBlasio, Ignacio Berroa, Silvano Monasterios, Raul Midon and Nicole Yarling. His recording credits include many local and regional artists as well as numerous jingles. In addition to his performing career, Dan currently works as a producer and engineer from his Fort Lauderdale studio. Robert Thomas Jr. Percussionist Robert Thomas Jr. was born in Miami Beach Florida in December of 1955. A self taught musician and avid traveler, Bobby combines the traditional playing styles of many instruments and many lands, both ancient and contemporary. Bobby is known worldwide for his work with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter of the group Weather Report. Percussionist Robert Thomas Jr. was born in Miami Beach Florida in December of 1955. A self taught musician and avid traveler, Bobby combines the traditional playing styles of many instruments and many lands, both ancient and contemporary. Bobby is known worldwide for his work with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter of the group Weather Report. A two time Grammy nominee, Bobby has played with David Sanborn, Monty Alexander, Art Blakey, Stan Getz, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Jaco Pastorius and Herbie Mann. He is considered one of the greatest percussionists in the world. He leads his own group joined by Felix Pastorius, son of the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.