Jerry Bergonzi, saxophone
A fine, high-powered tenor saxophonist with a tone influenced by John Coltrane, a mastery of chord changes, and a strong musical imagination, Jerry Bergonzi has long had an underground following in the Boston area. He started on clarinet when he was eight, switching to alto at 12, and finally to tenor two years later. Bergonzi was inspired early on by Sonny Rollins, Coltrane, and Hank Mobley. He attended Lowell University and then after graduation played electric bass in local bands behind singers and strippers, saving up enough money to move to New York in 1972. After struggling in the Big Apple for seven years and gaining some recognition as a member of Two Generations of Brubeck and of the Dave Brubeck Quartet (with whom he appeared on several Concord albums during 1979-1981), Bergonzi moved back to Boston in 1981, where he developed a strong career both as a tenorman and as an educator. He has since led several groups (including two called Con Brio and Gonz) and recorded for the Plug, Not Fat, Red, and Blue Note labels. – Scott Yanow
Phil Grenadier, trumpet
Throughout a career that spans nearly three decades, trumpeter Phil Grenadier has emerged as one of jazz’s most imaginative and innovative players. His two albums as leader, 2000’s Sweet Transients and 2003’s Playful Intentions, have won him copious international acclaim, while his collaborations with a broad array of notable musicians demonstrate the raw talent and adventurousness that led the San Jose Mercury News to call him “a trumpeter of rare fluency and depth.”
Grenadier has played on more than 50 albums while working with a varied assortment of artists, including Kenny Barron, Larry Goldings, Kevin Hays, Marc Copland, Bill Carrothers, Chris Potter, Anthony Braxton, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, Brad Shepik, Billy Kilson, John Hollenbeck, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Moses, Drew Gress, Ira Coleman, Bob Nieske, Harvey Wainapel and brother Larry Grenadier.
Luther Gray – drums
Drummer Luther Gray, though largely self-taught, his musical training involved drum lessons from Kim Martin, Larry Bright, Steve Bagby, and Mickey Newman. In 1995 he graduated the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Music, after which he taught privately and performed in the Washington , D.C. area with, among others, Butch Warren, Cecil Payne, Webster Young, Tsunami, Liquorice, Peter Edelman, Jenny Toomey, Bob Butta, and Buck Hill. Since moving to Boston he has resumed teaching private drum lessons and has played with Joe Morris, Jay Hoggard, Joe McPhee, Timo Shanko, Cameron Brown, Allan Chase, Joseph Daley, Sabir Mateen, Roy Campbell, Ida, Geoff Farina, Andrew White, Rob Brown, Bill Lowe, Greg Abate, Raqib Hassan, Bill Pierce, Mitch Seidman, Steve Swell, Joe Beck, Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark and many others. In addition to his performing schedule Luther teaches art and music at an after-school program for elementary school children.