Christmas Is for Us Kids
Style Is Back in Style represents a rare opportunity for some of the most accomplished jazz musicians ever assembled to perform memorable renditions of new and traditional holiday songs. Each member of the group has a long history of playing professionally together and the recorded music presented here is a living testament to their success. 'Christmas is for us Kids' is a well-produced CD, demonstrating a high caliber of professional musicianship, layered with distinctive, unique vocals. It has an intimate, mellow and accessible feel, with an eclectic and interesting choice of cover songs - not the overdone, overly commercialized jazz 'tunes' that are all too frequently marketed. It includes a pleasing selection of songs from some of the best songwriters in history, and they are performed with respect. Perhaps it's the unique vocal style and camaraderie among the musicians that lends such a 'personal' feeling to these tracks. The recording of the title track, 'Christmas is for us Kids', makes it sound as if Renato Ocanez wrote the song for Style Is Back in Style! ____ Biography of Jim Karolides Jim Karolides was born September 17, 1933 in Peabody, Ma. He began singing in minstrel shows at the age of ten. Within five years, Jim was invited to appear as a singer on the radio station WESX-AM in Salem, Ma. where he performed on the well-known show, Stairway to the Stars. Jim left Massachusetts in 1953 and traveled to California where he appeared on local television programs singing from the American songbook. After a military tour in Korea, he returned in 1955 to the USA and was stationed in New Jersey where he started singing with jazz groups, comprised of fellow members from the Army Band. Within a few years, Jim returned to Massachusetts, where he studied bass and started performing with dance bands, mainly as a singer. In 1959, while serving as a Danvers police officer, Jim met Arthur Prysoc, who was singing nearby in Peabody at the famous jazz club, Lennie's on the Turnpike. Arthur introduced Jim to the renowned jazz stride pianist, Herman Chittison. Later, Jim studied with Chittison for one year, focusing on voice, tempos, song styling and delivery. Meanwhile, Jim gigged as a rhythm guitarist and singer with the K-Mors, a vocal group that played colleges and nightclubs throughout the New England region. In the late sixties, Jim commenced a two-decade career as a US Treasury ATF agent. In the '80s he also performed as a stage actor and did TV commercials. In 1989, he retired from federal service and started his own private investigative business. During that period, Jim Karolides was diagnosed with cancer of the vocal chords. He beat the cancer, but his voice changed drastically and he lost his low register, forcing him to restyle all the songs he loved to perform. In 1995, Jim began sitting in with jam sessions at Angelica's in Middleton, Ma. He was eventually featured on Saturday nights, and it rejuvenated his singing career. Since 1996 he has played bass and sung with Al Muise's Dixieland band. In 1998, Jim Karolides met pianist Lou Silvestri, and within the year they formed the group, Style Is Back in Style, and began performing in clubs and concerts throughout the North Shore and New England region. ____ Biography of Lou Silvestri Louis Silvestri was born March 21, 1942 in Somerville, Ma. He began studying both classical and popular music at age 8. While attending Boston Latin High School, Lou played his first professional jobs at church dances and social events. After graduating from Boston University in 1964, with a degree in Behavioral Science, Lou decided to make music his career. He headed to Berklee College, where he studied jazz piano with the great pianist, Ray Santisi. In the early '60s, Lou Silvestri worked at Fred Taylor's legendary music complex, Paul's Mall, and The Jazz Workshop. In the late '60s, he played with saxophone tenor greats, Joe Henderson and Junior Cook, trombonist, Slide Hampton, and bassist, John Neves. In the '80s, Lou and his trio were the opening act for the celebrated jazz vocalist Joe Williams, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Lynn, Ma. Lou's gig credits, to date, include the Della Reese/George Kirby Show and performances with comedians Flip Wilson, Professor Irwin Corey, and Mort Sahl, and Boston vocalists Rebecca Paris and Steve Marvin. In Boston, Lou has performed with Ron Della Chiesa's Music America radio program on WGBH-FM, Tony Cennamo's jazz radio show on WBUR-FM, and on Boston's WBZ-TV Children's Hospital Telethon. He has played virtually every major club in Boston: Top of the Hub, Copley Plaza Bar, The Ritz Carlton, The Point After, The Playboy Club, Regatta Bar, Sculler's, and Sandy's Jazz Revival. ____ Biography of Jerry Fuller Jerry Fuller was born September 15, 1929 in Santa Maria, Ca. He has recorded movie sound tracks and was employed as a studio musician in Southern California. As the featured clarinetist with the Jack Teagarden Orchestra, Jerry is the last surviving member of the Dukes of Dixieland Jazz Band. He has also played with Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, and Bobby Hackett. In addition, he has made recordings on several major album labels, including Capitol Records, Columbia Records, Decca Records, the RCA Recording Company, and Audio Fidelity. Jerry has performed at National and International Jazz Festivals as a band member, in ensembles, and as a featured soloist on clarinet. Rounding out his wide-ranging career, Jerry has appeared on the following national television shows: The Gary Moore Show, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Dean Martin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Jimmy Dean Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Jerry Fuller is a clarinet aficionado and genuine musical pioneer who helped define the lexicon of traditional jazz music. Amazingly, he continues to attract new generations of jazz enthusiasts with his melodically rich and original clarinet sounds, echoing a long-ago era when jazz was at it's pinnacle of elegance and sophistication. Currently, Jerry's playing can be heard with Style Is Back in Style. ____ Biography of George Zonce George Zonce began playing the trumpet in the fourth grade, which prepared him well for his professional career starting in the mid 1950s. He gained a strong foundation after joining the US Navy School of Music in 1959, and later when he played in the Navy band from 1960-1963. In 1965, George went on to join the house band at the Harlem Club in Atlantic City, NJ. Performers included: Sammy Davis Jr, The Ink Spots, Al Hibbler, The Trenneres, and Lola Falana. George received a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College in 1968 and later taught there. As a busy performer he was the lead trumpet player with Brass 68, including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. He was part of the house band at The Surf in Revere, MA, performing with Jimmy Roselli, Pat Cooper, and Enzo Stuarti. In addition, George joined the house band at the celebrated Blinstrubs in Boston, Ma. appearing with Vicki Carr and Trini Lopez. At the Back Bay Theater he accompanied Judy Garland on trumpet. George became a highly sought after band member and soloist in the 1970s. He played with the Buddy Rich Band, and appeared on the incredibly popular album 'Keep The Customer Satisfied.' He was part of a Command Performance at the famous London Palladium in November 1969. George has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the Monterey Jazz Festival 1969-1970, the Concord Jazz Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, and the Boston Globe Jazz Festival. Artists he accompanied include: Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, John Hendricks, Annie Ross, O.C. Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Petula Clark, and Urbie Green. In January 1971, George Zonce resumed his educational training position at The Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA, where he continues to teach today. However, giving instruction has not diminished George's desire to perform locally. He played opposite Burt Bacharach at Boston's Symphony Hall, and as a member of the house band at Monticellos in Framingham, MA, where he performed with Frankie Avalon, Al Martino, Jerry Lewis, Joey Heatherton, The Lettermen, Carol Channing, Sandler and Young, Jerry Vale, Tony Bennett, and Wayne Newton. In addition, George played as a member of the house band at The Harbor House in Lynn, MA, with The Four Tops, Thelma Huston, and the Temptations. At the North Shore Music Theater he accompanied Pearl Bailey along with Louis Bellson, for the Broadway musical Mame. It is difficult to chronicle all of the rich musical experience that George has accumulated over the years, having played at numerous clubs, shows, performance centers, and other venues. Needless to say, he has remained a popular trumpet virtuoso on the Greater Boston musical landscape. Therefore, it is especially gratifying to include George Zonce as a trumpet soloist with Style Is Back in Style. ____ Biography of Richard [Rick] Kress Rick Kress is a skilled percussionist and composer. He is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music where he teaches harmony and arranging. He also instructs in the City Music After School Program, a theory in performance course for aspiring high school students. Mr. Kress attended DePauw University and the New England Conservatory of Music and studied with Fred Buda, composer George Russell, and former Tonight Show drummer, Ed Shaughnessy. As a performer, he has played with David Baker, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bobby Hackett and Herb Pomeroy. The son of noted jazz guitarist, Carl Kress, Rick has performed at Eddie Condons and the American Place Theater in New York City and the Palmer House in Chicago. He appeared with Mezzo-soprano, D'Anna Fortunato, and the Newton Symphony Orchestra in Boston, and with Ms. Fortunato at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. He has recently performed and recorded with J. Geils and the New Guitar Summit featuring Duke Robillard on WGBH public radio in Boston and with the Barbara London Quartet in New York and New England. As a composer, Rick has written many pieces for jazz ensembles and an extended work for string orchestra. Given his hectic agenda, Rick Kress has dedicated time to join the Style Is Back in Style ensemble of talented local instrumentalists who are challenged by reinterpreting elegant music from an era when sophistication was in fashion. In addition to performing in several local clubs, concerts, and other venues, Rick's artistry can be heard on two CDs, 'Style Is Back in Style' and 'Christmas is for Kids.' When it seems as though quality and musicianship are at an all-time low, it's artists like Rick Kress who rise above the noise and mediocrity to demonstrate that all is not lost, and alternatives do exist, for those who demand refinement in life and music. We're thrilled to have Rick Kress as a member of the Style Is Back in Style team. ____ Biography of Mark Carlsen Mark Carlsen is originally from Minneapolis, MN. and moved to Boston in 1977 to attend Berklee College of Music. In 1981 he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band, led by Buddy Morrow, and continued touring until 1984. He later returned to Boston, becoming one of it's most sought after bassists. He has accompanied singers such as Cab Callaway, Vic Damone and Jimmy Witherspoon. He can be heard, as of late, with Herb Pomeroy, Ray Santisi and Dick Johnson. Mark Carlsen has performed with Style Is Back in Style at concerts, club dates, and recording studio sessions. He appeared with Style Is Back in Style for the Firehouse Concert, in Newburyport, Ma. on June 3, 2000 (please refer to photos in the CONCERTS section on this web site). In addition, Mark's playing can be heard on the CD: 'Christmas is for Kids' and seen on the DVD: 'Swing'in in Style' (please refer to the CD SOUNDS section on this web site for audio samples and CD/DVD ordering information). Of all the musical instruments that can provide a unique and distinctive sound, the acoustic bass, like the beating of your heart, is the life force that brings together everything around it. We know Mark Carlsen, a skilled practitioner of the acoustic upright bass, is in enormous demand for his time and talent, therefore, we are especially delighted to welcome him as a regular member of the Style Is Back in Style family.