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Greg Abate Jazz Quartet
Friday, Dec. 29, 2023
International jazz artist Greg Abate and his Jazz Quartet will perform at the Mass Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 29. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and will be preceded by a cocktail hour at 7.
A celebrated New England saxophonist, flutist, and composer, Abate has had an impressively diverse international career. From 1972-’74, he played lead alto for the iconic Ray Charles Orchestra, followed by playing tenor sax for the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under the direction of Dick Johnson. He’s had more than 24 recordings as a band leader with notable greats Phil Woods, Kenny Barron, Red Rodney, and many more.
Abate’s insatiable drive keeps him on the move, touring 275 days a year. In addition to his hectic schedule, he works as an adjunct professor of jazz at Rhode Island College. He is an artist representative for instrument maker Conn-Selmer and he often teaches master classes.
Abate, a Fall River native, said he just returned from a monthlong tour of the United Kingdom and he’s looking forward to local concerts. He added that the Mass Arts Center show will feature American songbook selections, jazz standards, popular tunes, and some of his original music.
“It will be swinging,” he said. Abate’s quartet also consists of Matt DeChamplain on piano, Todd Baker on bass, and Gary Johnson on drums.
In 2016, Abate was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. More recently, he clinched the 2nd and 3rd spots in the 2021-22 Downbeat Readers Poll, marking his undeniable influence in the jazz arena.
Phil Woods, a fellow saxophonist and legend, aptly remarked, “I sleep a lot better knowing there are alto players like Greg Abate.” Mike Joyce of The Washington Post writes: “Greg Abate is considered by jazz writers and aficionados to be one of the most exciting saxophone players out there today.”
For more information about Abate, visit his website.