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Jazz@Nite: The Music of Sam Blakeslee & Chris Coles

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Join us for a special jazz performance at 8 p.m. Monday, June 26 in Hoover Auditorium with artists-in-residence of Chautauqua Jazz Week, featuring the music of trombonist/composer Sam Blakeslee and saxophonist/composer Chris Coles.

Listen to the next generation of jazz compositions. The audience will have the opportunity to sit on stage with the musicians and stay for a talkback with Blakeslee and Coles over their compositions and processes of writing music. Joining the two will be Jackie Warren (piano), Dean Hulett (bass) and Jerry Powell (drums).

Blakeslee is a New York City-based, award-winning trombonist and composer who has performed at multiple jazz festivals across the world, such as the Fano Jazz Festival, Mosciano San Angelo Jazz Festival and Parma Jazz Festival in Italy, as well as the Deutsche Musikfest in Chemnitz, Germany.

He has performed at iconic jazz clubs like The 55 Bar, Smalls, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, Zinc Bar and the Blue Note. Blakeslee can be found performing and/or recording regularly with top-tier large ensembles like the Terraza Big Band, Dan Pugach Nonet, Emilio Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra, Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows, Manuel Valera’s New Cuban Express Big Band, New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra and the New York Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band.

Blakeslee has also performed with artists such as Joe Lovano, Sean Jones, Dan Wilson, Dick Oatts, Ingrid Jensen, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominick Farinacci, Chris Coles, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and Derrick Gardner.

Coles serves on the faculty at the University of Akron and holds a bachelor’s degree in performance from Youngstown State University and a master’s degree in performance from the University of Akron.

At the 2015 Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, Coles had the distinct honor of studying with influential jazz pioneers like Vijay Iyer, Mark Turner, Imani Izuri, Tia Fuller, Billy Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Zakir Hussain, Somi, Vosany Terry and Miles Okazaki.

He is the winner of the 2017 Knight Foundation Arts Challenge in Akron, Ohio for his composition “Nine Lives.” “Nine Lives” was written in 2015 in memory of the nine lives lost at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which features other art forms such as dance, animation and spoken word.

Coles regularly appears with many local ensembles, including Black Dog Octet, Red Rhinoceros Revival Octet, Bluelight, The Admirables, Sam Blakeslee Large Group and his own jazz quartet, Gleam, which released its debut album in 2018.

He has performed with many notable local and international jazz musicians, such as Eddie Baccus Sr., Melvin Burks, Kenny Davis, Glenn Holmes, Bill Ransom, Cecil Rucker, Grammy Award winner Slide Hampton, Ralph Lalama, Allen Vizzutti and Wessell Anderson.

If you love jazz music, take part in our Chautauqua Lecture Series, special performances and workshops this week. Pre-registration is required for workshops.

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Jun 26, 2023


8:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Hoover Auditorium
Hoover Auditorium
115 West 3rd Street, Lakeside, Lakeside Marblehead, OH, USA


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