So Far So Near
Sonic Explorers are a creative and inspired acoustic jazz septet. Their instrumentatin consists of guitar, double bass, drums, trumpet/flugelhorn, trombone, soprano/alto/tenor/baritone saxes and clarinet. Their repertoire focuses on the original instrumental compositions of leader/trumpeter/composer Jerry Sabatini. Improvisational, compositional and highly energetic, their music reflects a deep respect and love for American modern jazz, eastern european folk, middle eastern classical and 20/21st century European classical music. The band performs with a high level of musicality, energy and spirit while combining sensitive group interplay with dynamic solo improvisations. Their explorations of both written and improvisational music make each performance a unique and exciting experience. Their 2002 release 'So Far, So Near' (Nada Brahma Records) features the following players: Jerry Sabatini is the leader and principal composer/arranger for Sonic Explorers. He plays trumpet and flugelhorn with a profoundly unique style influenced by his love for such trumpet greats as Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, Don Cherry and Dave Douglas. He has studied jazz improvisation, theory and arranging at SUNY at Buffalo as well as improvisation and composition for many years with internationally renowned jazz tenor saxophonist, Jerry Bergonzi. His compositional education comes mostly from the "self-taught school" and is inspired by his vast love of jazz, classical and world music. He has led and co-led many musical projects and appears as a sideman on many US New England recordings and live performances including work with avant garde pop group and Sub-Pop recording artists Combustible Edison and modern jazz quartet Kakalla led by bassist Thomson Kneeland. However since 1995, Sonic Explorers remain his brainchild and primary focus, both in terms of his work as a composer as well as a contemporary jazz musician. He is also a private trumpet instructor, teaches jazz improvisation and directs jazz ensembles at the Joy of Music Program in Worcester, MA. Rich Ardizzone is a classically trained trombonist with a Bachelor's degree in performance from Boston University and a Master of Education degree from Tufts University. He has performed with the Paul Fontaine/Jimmy Mosher Big Band, the Brass Mangerie and a variety of Salsa and Latin bands. While playing professionally in the Boston area in the early 1960's he was a member of Conjunto Azul, a Latin Jazz ensemble that played at the legendary Paul's Mall as the house band. For the past ten years he has been active in the area with the Rich Falco Quartet. He is the Associate Director and teaches trombone, jazz ensemble, recorder and Afro-Caribbean drumming classes at the Joy of Music Program in Worcester, MA. Mark Weissman holds a Bachelor's degree in jazz performance from Westfield State College and a Master's Degree in performance from UMASS at Amherst where he also studied composition. He performs on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones as well as flute. He has studied under saxophone greats Yusef Latef, Ted Levine and Jerry Bergonzi and has performed along side some of the greats of jazz including Cecil Bridgewater, Mulgrew Miller, Vanessa Ruben, Antonio Hart and the Mingus Big Band from NYC. Most recently, Mark has joined the prestigious United States Air Force Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble where he tours and performs throughout the US. In addition, Mark is a highly respected freelance musician who also performs frequently around his hometown area, New England. Nate Radley received his Master's Degree from New England Conservatory and plays guitar. In addition to his work with Sonic Explorers, Nate plays in Thomsom Kneeland's Worcester-based ethnic/jazz group, Kakalla. He also leads his own trio and is a member of Field Effect, Trio Falzone and RUS. At NEC he studied with John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, and Bob Brookmeyer. He has performed with such artists as Maria Schneider, Benny Golson and George Russell. In 2000 he worked with composer George Russell to lead a rare performance of Russell's "Concerto for Two Guitars." Nate has performed throughout New England, New York, and Chicago, and has appeared on CDs by bands based in Boston and Chicago. Thomson Kneeland performs on bass and has been featured on over eleven released recordings to date, playing among world renowned jazz greats such as Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone and Matt Wilson. In addition he has also performed with Fred Hersch, Danilo Perez, Tom Rainey, Luciana Souza, Charlie Kolhase, Grey Sargent, John McNeil, Herb Pomeroy, Alan Chase, Mark Turner, Ron Blake, Bob Moses and Joe Hunt as well as poet Lawson Inada, George Russell and conductor Gunther Schuller. Thomson also leads the Worcester-based ethnic/jazz trio Trio Kakalla where he writes and arranges all the material. He works as a freelance musician throughout New England as well as an educator, conducting clinics and teaching privately at the Valley Music School and from his home studio. Mike Connors has studied jazz drumming at Berklee College of Music in Boston with jazz greats Joe Hunt and Alan Dawson. He performs not only on drums and percussion, but also on vibraphone as a freelance musician throughout New England in a variety of settings. Mike has traveled with several National Broadway Tours including Bye Bye Birdie and Anything Goes (the Lincoln Center version). He has toured the Caribbean with trumpeter Andre Rice and has toured the U.S. and Europe with the avant garde pop group Combustible Edison with whom he has also recorded. Along with Sonic Explorer members Thomson Kneeland and Jerry Sabatini, Mike also performs with Kakalla.