Washington 2019: Earshot Jazz-The 2nd Century Series, Seattle

Francesco Crosara (piano), Osama Afifi (bass), Steven Bentley (drums & percussion)
Photo credits: Julia Crosara

July 18, 2019, 7pm
Chapel Performance Space
Seattle, WA 98103

Read the entire article on Earshot Jazz

Earshot’s annual juried series, Jazz: The Second Century, returns this July at the Chapel Performance Space with three evenings of innovative music.

33 years ago, the newly founded Earshot Jazz organization presented its first programming initiative, a concert series called New Jazz/New City, hosted in the New City Theater on Capitol Hill. While its name has evolved over the years—from New Jazz/New City, to the Earshot Spring Series, to Voice and Vision, and now Jazz: The Second Century—it has always remained true to our core values of cultivating community and supporting the progression of the genre.

For the Second Century Series, Seattle artists are selected by a peer panel through a blind jury process to perform original work in a concert setting that is questioning and expanding the conventions of the jazz form.

This year’s panel of four gathered in early June to review the entries. After careful consideration and deliberation, the jury selected six ensembles. Their choices reflect our city’s current dialogue surrounding the art form, in all its nuances and subtleties.

Thank you to all of the enterprising musicians who submitted work, to our panel for their thoughtful curation, and to the audience members who support the series.

Francesco Crosara–Piano
Osama Afifi–Acoustic and electric bass
Steven Bentley–Drums and Percussion

Pianist Francesco Crosara’s eclectic brand of jazz was born from early classical studies in harmony and composition at the Conservatory of Rome, steeped in the tradition of Italian and European romantic musical heritage, and honed by exposure to mainstream jazz and world music. His style is heavily influenced by improvisation and bouncy lyrical expressions drawn from jazz and Latin vocabularies. Crosara’s compositions are considerate of their audience, providing a source of joy, comfort, escape, and healing. Crosara believes jazz is a collective experience and a “living language” that distills a multitude of identities, backgrounds, and personalities.

Washington 2019: First Sundays Concerts, Bainbridge Island

Francesco Crosara (piano), Osama Afifi (bass), Jeff Busch (drums & percussion)
Photo credits: Julia Crosara

Sunday, April 7, 2019
First Sundays Concerts
Waterfront Park Community Center
370 Brien Dr SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

“A pianist who originally hails from Italy, Crosara is well-versed in bop lore, and his delicate flow might indicate a debt to Bill Evans”   Down Beat Magazine    

Jazz pianist and composer Francesco Crosara will appear at the Waterfront Park Community Center in Bainbridge Island on April 7th as part of the First Sunday Concerts series. He will be joined by bassist Osama Afifi and drummer Jeff Busch. The program will feature Francesco’s original compositions in a blend of Jazz, Latin, and World music, plus select jazz standards.

Born in Milan, Italy, and residing in the Pacific Northwest since 2017, Francesco Crosara is a Jazz pianist, composer and educator who has played at festivals and venues across the USA, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy.

He has performed with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Richie Cole, Bobby Shew, Ira Sullivan, Don Menza, John Heard, Gabe Baltazar, Mayuto Correa, Bruce Forman, Barbara Morrison, Earl Palmer, Mark Lewis, and more.
Francesco has produced 6 jazz albums recorded internationally over the course of over two decades, featuring guest artists such as Von Freeman and Lilian Terry. His album “Colors” received 4 stars from Downbeat magazine.

Francesco’s mother, Lilian Terry, was one of Europe’s foremost jazz vocalists across four decades.  Also a TV/radio personality, and educator in Italy, she recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, and with Tommy Flanagan, and co-founded the Dizzy Gillespie Popular School of Music in Bassano, Italy.  Lilian’s memoirs, “Dizzy, Duke, Brother Ray, and Friends”, (2017-University of Illinois Press) received a highly positive review from Downbeat magazine and others.

A master of jazz improvisation, Francesco’s piano style mixes a strong romantic vein from his classical training at the Music Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome with bouncy lyrical expression in the jazz and Latin idioms. He feels equally at ease as a solo pianist and sharing the stage with fellow musicians on both acoustic and electric keyboards. His favorite format is the jazz piano trio for the intimacy that it creates, and the subtle interplay with bass and drums.

Osama Afifi has been a professional Bassist since the early 1980’s. He has recorded and performed live with many artists including John Densmore, Kurt Elling,The Cadillacs, Eric Reed,The 5th Dimension, Yanni, Jeff Lorber, Vanessa Paradis, Mindi Abair, Jeff Kashiwa,Billy Preston, Nenna Freelon, The B Sharp Jazz Quartet and has even appeared on VH1’s show “Storytellers” with The Doors.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest from Los Angeles he has worked with LaVon Hardison, The Tacoma Symphony, Darelle Holden, Jacqueline Tabor, Judy Collins, Kareem Kandi, Darren Motamedy, David Keys, Hook Me Up, Gail Pettis, Michael Powers, Wally and the Beaves, Michael Benson and many others. His education includes studies at the Dick Grove School of Music. He also studied with Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis.

Jeff Busch is an exuberant drummer/percussionist, vocalist, and composer whose passion for soulful music of varied traditions has led him to perform with jazz, gospel, samba and Cuban ensembles. In addition, Jeff is committed to exploring the vital interconnection between musicians and dancers.

Jeff has spent the last 20 years in Seattle drumming for two-time Latin Grammy winner Carlos Cascante from Costa Rica, as well as three-time Latin Grammy nominee, Jovino Santos Neto of Brazil.

This high-powered event promises to be an inspiring night of jazz music celebration for musicians and fans alike.

Sponsored by: www.firstsundaysconcerts.org
For information and tickets, please visit www.brownpapertickets.com

Washington 2018: Piano Vibes Duet with Dan Duval


Instrumental jazz duet performances are a unique experience, one which transports the audience into a more intimate setting, and allows close introspection into the artists’ inner creativity. Arguably, no other duo has better defined the magic of the piano and vibraphone jazz duet more than Chick Corea and Gary Burton. They paved the way for this new format, enabling newer generations to express themselves creatively.

Join Francesco Crosara and Dan Duval in a special piano & vibraphone duet performance. Travel through original compositions, Jazz and Latin standards, Brazilian rhythms, Blues
and improvisation.

FRANCESCO CROSARA (piano) – Born in Milan, Italy, Francesco is a jazz pianist and composer who has played at festivals and venues across the USA, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. He has performed with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Richie Cole, Ira Sullivan, Mark Lewis, and more. He has produced 6 CDs, featuring guest artists such as Von Freeman and Lilian Terry.

DAN DUVAL (vibraphone) – Dan studied music at Mt. Hood Community College Western Washington University. He has performed with Marc Seals, Scott Reeves, Dave Peterson, Rich Cole, Michael Powers, Milo Petersen, Clipper Anderson, Mark Ivester, Mark Lewis and more. Dan is the leader of the Good Vibes Quartet, whose first CD Badlands Express was released in winter 2017.

CASA MEXICO, 1918 NE Poulsbo Ave, Keyport, WA 98345, Tel. 360-598-2727

Find out more about Dan Duval: www.danduvalvibes.com

Washington 2017: Live at the Admiral Theater

Francesco Crosara & Jazz Impressions Quartet

Benefit Concert at Admiral Theatre, Bremerton, WA – October 7, 2017
Featuring Jeff Winslow (sax, clarinet, and flute), Derick Polk (acoustic bass), and Glenn Young (drums).
Benefit gala for the Bremerton Central Lions Club & Charitable Foundation – 30th Annual Dinner & Auction. Focus of this year’s event is on the job skills program for homeless youth provided by Bremerton’s The Coffee Oasis HOPE Inc. Program.

Hawaii 2014: Piano Vibes Duet with Noel Okimoto

Francesco Crosara & Noel Okimoto, Piano & Vibes: The Art of the Jazz Duet
Atherton Performing Arts Studio, June 22

Hawaii Public Radio’s intimate Atherton Performing Arts Studio is the ideal setting for the magical piano and vibraphone jazz duet of Francesco Crosara and Noel Okimoto. In their first reunion concert since their acclaimed appearance at the Atherton in 1994, “The Art of the Jazz Duet” on June 22 will include choice jazz standards from a romantic repertoire, blues interpretations, extemporaneous improvisations, plus the world premiere of Crosara’s latest original work, the “Harmony Suite,” which has been composed especially for this event and tailored to reflect the unique sensibilities of each player.In a slight departure from regular Atherton Season concert schedules, “The Art of the Duet” takes place on a Sunday (June 22) at 6:00 p.m. Reservations may be made online at www.hprtickets.org or by calling the station (955-8821) during business hours. Tickets are $30 general, $25 for HPR members, and $15 for students with ID. The Atherton Studio is located at Hawaii Public Radio, 738 Kaheka Street.Francesco Crosara, a former Honolulu resident, is currently based in Southern California. He has performed at festivals and venues across the United States, Hawaiʻi, Canada, Mexico, and throughout Europe. Born and raised in Italy, Francesco studied classical composition at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles where he was the pianist for the USC Jazz Band and performed with Lionel Hampton and Freddie Hubbard. Through the years he has also performed with Richie Cole, Von Freeman, Bruce Forman, Roy Hargrove, John Heard, Don Menza, Barbara Morrison, Bobby Shew, and Ira Sullivan. Hawaiʻi jazz fans will remember him for his trio work and participation in Gabe Baltazar’s band in the early 90s.Francesco’s discography includes five albums featuring Chicago tenor sax legend Von Freeman, Lilian Terry on vocals, and musicians from the US, Brazil, Hawaiʻi, and Egypt. The jazz magazine Downbeat awarded a rating of “4 stars” to his CD Colors in 2000. Noel Okimoto also appeared playing drums on the CD in memorable interpretations of “Someday My Prince Will Come” and Francesco’s own “Suite Venus.”

Noel Okimoto was born and raised in Honolulu, and has been playing professionally since the age of ten. Noel’s primary instrument is the drum set, but he is also an accomplished orchestral percussionist, vibraphonist, composer, and clinician. He received his bachelor’s degree in Percussion from the University of Hawaiʻi. Noel has played in Hawaiʻi, the mainland USA, and internationally with Freddie Hubbard, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson, Richie Cole, Bill Watrous, Ernie Watts, Bud Shank, Barney Kessel, Lew Tabackin, Sadao Watanabe, Wynton Marsalis, Ronnie Cuber, Makoto Ozone, Jeff Richman, Larry Coryell, Nestor Torres, Gene Harris, Take 6, David Benoit, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Steve Allen, Natalie Cole, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page, Dionne Warwick, and Jake Shimabukuro, among others. He was also a member of the Gabe Baltazar Group for five years. He is also the percussion section leader of the historic Royal Hawaiian Band.

Okimoto recorded an award-winning jazz CD in 2004 entitled ʻOhana, which received a 4-star review in Downbeat magazine and positive reviews in other national and international publications.

About HPR’s Atherton Performing Arts Studio
The Atherton Studio seats 75 people and is home to a magnificent Bösendorfer concert grand piano. The Studio is available for rent for musical performances, community group meetings, and lectures. It is located in the HPR office and studio complex at 738 Kaheka Street, across from the Honolulu Don Quijote. Metered street parking is available, as are paid lots at the First Hawaiian Bank (Kapiʻolani branch) and in the Pan Am building.

From Hawaii Public Radio website: http://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/content/francesco-crosara-noel-okimoto-piano-vibes-art-jazz-duet-atherton-studio-june-22