Tuesday, October 17, 2023
KAYLA WILLIAMS & FRIENDS
Bluegrass, Classical, Jazz & Gospel
Kayla Williams, Viola
Chris McCarthy, Piano
Raffi Boden, Cello
Dan Pappalardo, Bass
“Here’s One” – Traditional
Wayfaring Stranger - Traditional
Romance, Op .23 - Amy Beach
American Haiku - Paul Wiancko
Sylvia - Kayla Williams & Chris McCarthy
Gold & Silver - Hallow Bones
Squirrel Hunters - Traditional
African Queen - Horace Silver
My Little Suede Shoes - Charlie Parker
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Violist Kayla Williams is an advocate for diversifying music through her own experiences as a Black woman. Originally from Florida, Kayla began playing the violin at age four then at age ten she discovered her true passion, the viola. As a winner of the 2018 Lynn Concerto Competition, she made her concerto debut performing Bartok’s Viola Concerto.
Williams has been the guest of music festivals across a range of music including the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Florida Folk Festival, and the 2022 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. Williams has had both live and recorded performances with Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste. As a recitalist, Williams has performed in concert series around the country, including the Island Concert Association February Festival in St. Simons Island,GA, the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Guest Artist Music Series. Her pianist is Christopher McCarthy.
Williams earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida and a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. She is also the recipient of the 2021-2023 Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship.
Raffi Boden is a New York-based cellist, composer, and educator known for his groovy bass lines, lush tone, and versatility. Raffi’s a member of the klezmer band Mamaliga, with whom he’s performed internationally and been a guest artist at Yiddish New York, Yiddish Summer Weimar and KlezKanada. Marnaliga's debut album of original klezmer compositions, Dos Gildn Bletl, was released in 2021 and hailed as “virtuosic and vibrant” (In geveb). Raffi was recently in the Juilliard production of “Indecent”, for which he worked with composer and music director Lisa Gutkin to compose a cello part for the band. In classical contexts, he has performed internationally in Europe and South America, locally in Carnegie Hall, and with members of the New York Philharmonic. He is also a member of the six-piece chamber-jazz ensemble, Simone Baron & Arco Belo. Raffi holds degrees from Juilliard and Oberlin.
After a fateful dog bite in his freshman year, Dan Pappalardo switched from tenor sax to bass and found his voice. Between the good fortune of an excellent high school music program, a music-loving family, and the rich network of mentors in the DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area), he was playing professionally within a year. Pappalardo continued his studies at Oberlin under Peter Dominguez and Gerald Cannon. He earned degrees in both music and psychology, as well as the Wendall Logan prize for leadership and musicianship. His college mentors—Billy Hart, Robin Eubanks, and Sullivan Fortner—recommended moving to New York City, where all three tapped him to perform. Pappalardo’s peers (including Cautious Clay, Max Light, Vanisha Gould, and Guy Mintus) have been an essential source of knowledge, inspiration, and joy. Supporting his friends, Pappalardo has played everywhere from intimate, storied clubs like Smalls and Duc De Lombards to major stages such as the Newport Jazz Festival and Lollapalooza. Most recently, Pappalardo can be heard on Max Light’s “More Light!” and Clay’s Blue Note release, “Karpeh.”
Known for his “high skill and sensitivity,” (New York Times) Chris McCarthy is one of the most in demand pianists in New York City. McCarthy has developed a reputation as “one of the most imaginative and impressive voices on the New York jazz scene” (Hot House Jazz Magazine). McCarthy grew up in the thriving local music scene of Seattle. Early accolades included the 2012 Gerald Wilson Award for big band composition at the Monterey Jazz Festival. After playing with Jerry Bergonzi and Jason Palmer’s working bands in Boston for several years, he moved to New York in 2016 and has been collaborating with artists from around the globe in NYC ever since. He released his debut for Ropeadope Records Still Time To Quit in 2020, featuring Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Michael Blake on sax, Sam Minaie on bass and JK Kim on drums. The album received widespread critical praise, including the #3 slot in Paul Rauch’s “Best Local Jazz Albums of 2020” for the Seattle Times.
McCarthy is known for his sensitive accompanying of vocalists, working with many of New York’s finest: Vanisha Gould, Lucy Yeghizarian, Aubrey Johnson, and Sami Stevens to name a few. McCarthy is also active in the world music scenes, touring with Carnatic vocalist Roopa Mahadevan and Gnawa musician Samir Langus. His playing is featured on albums by rising stars such as vibraphonist Sasha Berliner, (Azalea, 2019) and saxophonist Eden Bareket (Day Dream, 2021). In 2021 his playing was featured on BBC Radio 1 and drummer Questlove’s social media. McCarthy also collaborates with R&B duo Lion Babe, his playing is featured on their album Cosmic Wind. In January 2023 he was a featured artist in legendary pianist Johnny O’Neal’s show, “Tribute to the Crooners,” at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He currently plays in legendary tap dancer Dormeshia’s new show “Rhythm is Life,” a New York Times Critic’s pick. May 12th, 2023 brought the release of Priorities (Fresh Sound Records), McCarthy’s new album of all originals in the piano trio tradition featuring Chris Tordini on bass and Steven Crammer on drums. The international jazz scene will continue to hear from McCarthy for years to come.