High Life Jazz Series

Get ready to be taken on a multicultural musical journey spanning decades in the realm of jazz! The Arts Council of Greater Palatka presents the second installment in the High Life Jazz Series: “An Evening of Jazz” with Erika Sassmann and the Harry Rios Trio.

You are invited to join us on a musical adventure Saturday, August 19th at 7pm at the Larimer Arts Center, 216 Reid St, Palatka, FL 32177 with Erika Sassmann and the Harry Rios Trio.

Imagine you are sitting with your loved one in a theater full of other couples and the stage curtains open to reveal a beautiful exotic woman with a professional band behind her. The music starts and you hear her singing in Portuguese! The Latin rhythms take you to Brazil circa 1962 and you hear a tune you recognize. “Tall and tan and young and lovely, the Girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she passes each one goes…Ah…”. Later in the night, the tone shifts to funky baselines, bebop and straight ahead swing. It is truly an eclectic evening with a variety of music spanning all tastes. You can’t hold it in anymore and you grab your partner to dance the night away. Before you know it, the end of the evening has come. You were having such a delightful evening, you did not even notice the hours going by. Satisfied by the evening of music, ambiance, and the array of h’orderves, you use all the excitement built up in you for one last applause. The performers take a bow.

Tickets are available NOW and Limited seating is available so get your tickets TODAY by calling the Arts Council of Greater Palatka at (386) 328-8998 or emailing artsinputnam@aol.com. Got to http://artsinputnam.org for more info. You will not want to miss this premiere event for the High Life Jazz Series.

Arts Council High Life Jazz with Erika Sassmann is sponsored in part by The City of Palatka, memberships, the Putnam County Tourist Development Council, Michael Gagnon, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

For more info please visit www.artsinputnam.org or call 386-328-8998

Pianist and jazz vocalist Harry L. Rios, continues to excel in his artistic endeavors covering a wide range of repertoire from Johann Sebastian Bach to Aaron Copland. In May of 2011, Harry completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Stetson University as a student of internationally renowned pianist Dr. Michael Rickman and a William E. Duckwitz Talent Scholar and Stetson Piano Scholar. Additionally, he studied composition at Stetson with Dr. Manuel DeMurga, piano improvisation with Harold Blanchard and organ with Dr. Boyd Jones. Harry began his formal training with pianist Drucilla Engel and vocalist Carla Delvillaggio at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida.

At the age of seven, when playing his first notes on the piano, Harry quickly learned that he wanted to be a pianist performing in the styles of Jazz, Latin and classical music. Growing up in New Orleans, he was exposed to a wide array of jazz forms ranging from Ragtime to bebop, ballads and fast swing. At the age of 12 he was featured in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritgae Festival. His Puerto Rican heritage influenced him to blend the styles of salsa and jazz into Latin jazz. Since 2006, Harry had studied and excelled rapidly in Classical music.

With his arranging, teaching and performing, Mr. Rios maintains an active schedule collaborating with musicians throughout Central Florida. As the Music Director and Worship Leader for St. Clare Catholic Church in Deltona, Florida, Mr. Rios is responsible for weekly choir rehearsals, music arrangements and performances for his Children’s Choir and Adult choir. As a private piano instructor, he maintains a following of students in Central Florida teaching beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of piano playing. As a jazz pianist and singer, Harry regularly performs at Sinatra’s L’Aldila Ristorante and Café in the Historic Cassadega Hotel in Lake Helen, FL. He has also been featured in the Pensacola Jazz Festival, the New Smyrna Jazz Festival and the Thin Man Watts Jazz Festival in Deland FL.

Harry L, Rios Sr.

Born in New York, raised in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Harry started his musical education in the late seventies at the age of 12 by joining the local band. Eight months later he would be playing trombone professionally in local venues in Ponce, PR. Under the tutelage of master trumpeter and Puerto Rican legend Kito Velez, he learned improvisation in salsa music. Later on, Harry would go on to study at the Inter American University in San German, PR, for studies in Musical Education.

In 1983, Harry moved to San Francisco, California, where he played his trombone with the likes of Chepito Areas, Francisco Aguavella and who at the time was a young Karl Perazzo, now a long standing member at the Carlos Santana group. Upon joining the US Navy Band, Harry worked in South Carolina and New Orleans military bands. While in New Orleans, he played bass and steel drums with the Navy Steel Band and traveled the world.

Upon his completion of military tour, Harry was recruited for the Al Hirt band in New Orleans, while also playing with legends like “Deacon” John Moore, The Neville Brothers, The Batiste Brothers, Marva Wright and many more. While there, Harry formed his own band called “Harry Rios y Los Monstros” (Harry Rios and the Monsters), a high energy Latin Jazz 7 piece band, where they played Latin Jazz originals for the Archbishop of New Orleans, the Mayor and many other upscale clientele for many years.

In 2000, He moved to Orlando, Florida, and worked with many Latin artists as a trombonist, bassist and arranger. Harry also founded Broken Slide Music, along with his partner and fellow trombonist Terry Baber. BrokenSlideMusic.com is a website dedicated to supplying band leaders, directors and conductors with music of all styles and genre including but not limited to: Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Latin Jazz, Big Band, Jazz Standards, and other popular music.

Harry has two kids, Carmen A. Hodgins and Harry L. Rios, a jazz pianist in Central Fl. respected in his own right.

Felix Guerra was born in Venezuela on April 25th 1960. He started playing drums for Church in 1977. He also played for local Salsa band in the Andes region -1978. In 1979, Felix played TV show alongside the notorious Madera band. He was the first drummer for Cheese Factory rock band located in Caracas. Felix has also done large-scale orchestral work as the drummer for the Symphonic Prog Rock band Obertura TV shows and concerts. He was the drummer for the Paul Gillman band, Concerts, Over 50 TV presentations and recorded three albums. He expanded his musical repertoire playing for rock band Kashmir, Hit No se decir adios, and appeared in concerts, TV shows and Album La respuesta. In 1987, Felix opened concert for Canadian Band Saga. He was a drummer for Jazz band at La Petite Suisse Caracas and drummer for Rock band EXPRESS Caracas.

 

From the early 90’s until now, Felix has toured the USA with various bands including Hand Dog NYC 1992, Crying Shame Atlanta Ga local shows, the whole dam band, N Dakota, Colorado, Georgia, Alabama, Slaughter Creek Americus Ga . Rockabilly band Big Red Rocket, shows in Ashville NC and Atlanta Ga Funky Blues Messiahs Orlando FL; shows at Mardi Gras Universal Studios, Recorded 2 albums for the band, and many concerts and shows. He played for Rico Monaco & Sol sons 2005-2007 Concerts, TV shows, Percussion for Caribbean band Pop & Steel, House Party for the month of January in Nevada Tropicana Express Casino

2010, Sound Table Collective, and Motown meets Jazz show.

Erika Sassmann recently graduated from Stetson University in Deland, Florida. Erika was awarded the Duckwitz Talent Scholarship, Olive T. Rosa Music Scholarship, named a Dean’s Scholar, and was winner of the Giffin Competition. Shortly after her graduation, Erika recently traveled to Wales, United Kingdom, where she performed as a visiting artist in residence at the Beaumaris Festival.

Erika has performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John Passion, and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Erika has performed the role of Nancy in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Ottone in Scarlatti’s Griselda, a Cretan woman from Mozart’s Idomeneo. Erika has also premiered new works by Marcus Jones The Mountain, Gloria Patri by Christopher Enloe, Elijah Garland’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and the deepest blue by Maggie Nicks.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Erika has been surrounded by a vast array of musical styles such as choral music, musical theater, classical, opera, jazz, reggae, and many other contemporary styles. The Miami Children’s Chorus in Miami, Florida, performed Craig Hella Johnson’s arrangement of Light of a Clear Blue Morning in which Erika was a featured alumni soloist in their spring concert.

Erika has traveled to over six countries, including Germany, Italy, South Africa, Czech Republic, and the UK for various musical experiences with ensembles and for personal musical growth. Erika will be moving to Chicago, Illinois, to work and study privately for the next stages in her musical career.

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216 Reid Street
Palatka, Florida
(386) 328-8998

Arts Council of Greater Palatka
P.O. Box 936
Palatka, FL 32178