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Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead

Friday, May 13, 2022

$35 – $45
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Seating times: 7:00pm, 8:30pm, & 10:15pm. Doors open 30 minutes early.


JAZZ@theEDGE! Presents: Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead

Jonathan Barber – Drums
Shenel Johns – Vocals
Andrew Renfore – Guitar
Taber Gable – Piano
Matt Dwonszyk – Bass

International Recorded artist, composer, educator and bandleader Jonathan Barber was voted the #1 Up-and-Coming Drummer of 2018 in Modern Drummer. Barber has already recorded and toured worldwide with such artists as Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, Erykah Badu, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams, Jimmy Greene, Jeremy Pelt, Wallace Roney, Terrace Martin, Jennifer Holiday, Harold Mabern, Steve Davis, J.D. Allen, The Brooklyn Philharmonic and many more.

In addition to his first-call status as a sideman, Barber has recently stepped forth as a composer and leader with his Vision Ahead band. Even with Barber’s history of high-profile gigs and recordings taken into consideration, DownBeat magazine gave his latest album “Legacy Holder” 4.5 stars. Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead is a powerful declaration of intent for a band that’s been making waves on the modern jazz scene. The group’s blend of classic, swinging jazz with elements of gospel, rock, soul, and fusion is a compelling showcase of Barber’s broad stylistic range as a composer and performer. Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead was featured and headline the 2018 Rainy Days Jazz Festival held in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, 2019 Hartford Jazz Festival and 2020 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. During the Spring the 2020, Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead completed their first national tour performing throughout the West-Coast,

Being an independent artist Jonathan Barber just released his third album with Vision Ahead entitled “Live at Jazz Standard” which is exclusively on Bandcamp. Newly appointed Jazz Drum Instructor at University of Connecticut, Barber expands his artistry as a educator. May 2022 Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead releases their newest album “Poetic” collaborating with Rainy Days Records.

“I recognize my God given gift. Maximizing this gift to its full potential is the best thing you can do for yourself. Operating in this gift is how you give back to the world.”

Performing since she was 14, Shenel has developed her own eclectic style, counting among her influences Ella Fitzgerald, Abbey Lincoln, and Sarah Vaughn. She has shared the stage with music royalty including Curtis Fuller, Hank Jones, Dionne Warwick, and Sheila Jordan.

Returning recently from Qatar where she served a musical residency at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha, Shenel next honoured Billie Holiday as part of JALC’s New York production of “Billie and the Boys.” And has performed a tribute to another of her idols, Lena Horne, at New York City’s famed Appel Theater.

A native of Hartford, CT, Shenel has studied performance with such jazz legends as Rene McLean, Jimmy Greene, and Nat Reeves. She graduated from the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in music management.

From Jupiter, Florida, with a Master of Music from Juilliard (2016), Andrew Renfroe credits much of his sound to his development at The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz in Hartford, CT, where he earned his Bachelor of Music in 2013.

He has performed in the bands of Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Javon Jackson, Terrace Martin, Mike LeDonne, and J.D.  Allen.  Currently, he is a member of many working groups including those led by veterans Carmen Lundy, David Weiss and Ned Goold, as well as groups led by his peers Braxton Cook, Jonathan Barber, Jonathon Pinson, Luke Sellick, Arnold Lee, and countless others.

Renfroe’s own projects reflect his diverse influences and have included a re-imagining of Delta Blues legend and originator Son House’s music through the aesthetic of the John Coltrane Quartet, as well as a project which takes traditional music from Burkina Faso and Mali, West Africa and places it in a modern jazz quartet setting. Both of these projects were presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

He is currently working on arrangements of French composer Olivier Messiaen’s Organ Works. An accomplished composer, he attended the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2013, and is a co-writer in the group BONOMO,  led by his long-time collaborator Adam Bonomo.

Born in Hartford, CT, Dwonszyk started playing the electric bass at age eleven. His journey into the world of jazz began at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School where he began playing the upright bass. He also started attending the Artists Collective after school program playing in the Youth Jazz Orchestra. The Artist Collective, founded by jazz saxophone legend Jackie McLean, propelled Dwonszyk to continue his studies at the The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The University of Hartford.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies in 2013, Dwonszyk went on to obtain a Master’s of Music at SUNY Purchase College in New York where he studied with Professor’s Todd Coolman, Doug Weiss, John Faddis and John Abercrombie. With the SUNY Purchase Big Band, Dwonszyk performed at the Blue Note featuring Terell Stafford and at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola featuring Steve Turee. Dwonszyk would soon become a resident of Brooklyn, NY performing in some of New York’s top jazz venues including Smalls, Smoke, Minton’s, Zinc Bar,  Birdland and the Jazz Standard.

In 2018, Dwonszyk toured through Russia a part of the Rainy Days Jazz Festival and in 2019 he toured through Canada with the Oleg Butman Trio. His last tour was in 2020 with Jonathan Barber and Vision Ahead through the West Coast of the U.S. Dwonszyk has performed at many well known festivals including the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, BRIC Jazz festival, Clifford Brown Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, the Jazz & Colors Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, D.C Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Saskatoon Jazz Festival, Edmonton Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Hartford Jazz Festival, Hartford Baby Grand Jazz Series, New Haven Jazz Festival and the Baikal Jazz Festival in Yakutsk, Siberia.

He has performed with numerous contemporaries as well as legendary jazz artists including Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, David Hazeltine, Anthony Wonsey, Rick Germanson, Hal Galper, Dave Kikoski, Donald Vega, Pete Malinverni, Steve Wilson, Abraham Burton, Javon Jackson, Gary Smulyan, Bill Saxton, Bennie Wallace, Wayne Escoffery, Mike Diruboo, Myron Walden, J.D. Allen, John Farnsworth, Steve Davis, Steve Turre, Joe Farnsworth, Carl Allen, Winard Harper, Herlin Riley, Willie Jones III, Joe Strasser, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Joe Magnarelli, Jeremy Pelt, Jumaane Smith, Wallace Roney, Freddie Hendrix and Duane Eubanks.

Taber Gable brings as many influences to the piano as possible. Gable at a young age started enjoying and applying many different styles which include Jazz, Gospel, Classical, Pop, R&B, Soul, Neo Soul and a variety of other genres. Taber started playing piano at the age of 9 in church and has gone on to receive a Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies from The University of Hartford where he had the opportunity to study with Andy LaVerne, Steve Davis, Rene McLean, Javon Jackson, Nat Reeves. He recently graduated The Juilliard School with his Masters in Jazz performance where he studied under Kenny Barron, Wynton Marsalis, and many more notable teachers.

Taber Gable has been called on to play and tour alongside many extraordinary talents in the last few years such as Marcus Strickland, EJ Strickland, Terrace Martin, Jonathan Barber, Josh Crumbly, Jimmy Greene, Steve Davis, Trevor Lawrence, Myron Walden, Braxton Cook, Nubya Garcia, and Carolyn Leonhart. Taber is a highly sought after musician in the New York jazz scene as well as internationally know for his cross genre abilities and captivating live performance style.


Friday, May 13, 2022
$35 – $45