Jazz Great Greg Abate Leads Spring Jazz Combo Concert 

World-renowned jazz artist and educator Greg Abate will lead RIC students in interpretations of classic jazz standards in the American art form on Wednesday, April 16, in the Forman Theater, starting at 7 p.m.

The RIC Jazz Combos Concert is free and open to the public.

“This is a special concert,” said Abate, an adjunct professor of jazz. “It’s really interesting each year to see each jazz combo class come in and put their heart and soul into their music.”

The concert features four groups of students completing their minor in jazz studies. Students will play arrangements on songs by jazz greats, including Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, among others.

“We keep in form of the tunes, and it’s a challenge for the students to learn about the endless  possibilities of forms, harmony nad melodic content,” Abate said.

Jazz Studies minor students take four semesters of Jazz Combo ensemble participation in addition to Applied Jazz, History of Jazz and two semesters of Jazz Theory to complete their course work.

Abate has taught in the jazz studies program for 13 years. He said the program attracts RIC students studying a variety of disciplines, including students majoring in music education, management, psychology and nursing, among others.

Abate, who was nominated for a Grammy in 2004, travels more than 200 days per year for performances. This year his gigs include dates in California, New Mexico New Jersey, New York City, Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado and England.

Abate was named to the Downbeat Jazz Readers Poll as a notable player in America in January. He will record a new album of original recordings this month to be released later in the year.