FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ January 30, 2023
Composer, bassist and educator Jeff Fuller is proud to announce the world premiere performance of his new composition, the Afro-Cuban Suite, by the Yale Concert Band on Friday, February 10, 2023, in Woolsey Hall on the campus of Yale University. The concert starts at 7:30 pm and is free and open to the public. The Afro-Cuban Suite was commissioned by the Yale Concert Band, under the direction of Thomas C. Duffy, in 2022.
New Haven-based composer Jeff Fuller is widely known as a jazz bassist who specializes in Latin music. In his Afro-Cuban Suite he has assembled newly composed music and some of his older pieces into a 10-minute long composition, which ranges stylistically from bembé to bolero, from rumba to mambo. The Suite will be played by the 40-member concert band, featuring an enlarged Latin percussion section.
“The Afro-Cuban Suite is my sincere homage to the music, musicians and culture of Cuba,” says Fuller. “Cuban music has forged a deep river of inspiration which has carried me through decades of my professional life. To me, Cuban music and American jazz are two branches of the same tree.”
While living in New York City during the 70s and 80s, Fuller gigged, recorded and toured with Paquito D’Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Ignacio Berroa, Orlando “Puntilla” Rios, and others. In Europe and in Cuba he toured alongside groups like Manguaré and Pedro Luis Ferrer. He honed his writing and arranging skills with Grupo Irazú, whose albums featured soloists Arturo Sandoval and Tata Güines.
2022 CD ~ Keep Hope Alive
Keep Hope Alive
Jeff Fuller & Friends
Jeff Fuller, bass • Darren Litzie, piano •
Ben Bilello, drums
The newest and latest (2022) jazz release from Jeff Fuller & Friends is “Keep Hope Alive,” a collection of tunes that developed and percolated during two years of a global pandemic. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the new CD will go to Ukrainian war relief efforts.
The song titles themselves tell a lot of the story: Keep Hope Alive, Some Night Music, Breathing On A Bike, Small World, A Change of Plans, Come What May, Sad Samba, Thrivin’ and Survivin’ … and so on. This music has percolated through two years of a global pandemic. Our plans were changed and our lives were altered as quarantines and the collapse of work left us virtually imprisoned in our own small worlds for much of the time. With ‘nobody else but me’ to turn to for what seemed like days and weeks at a time, I practiced, composed, taught students and ensembles online… and rode my bike as often as I could, breathing in the fresh New England air. Some of the trio tunes that came out of this period project a feeling of night music and sad samba. But ultimately in true New England spirit we were able to thrive, survive and keep hope alive!
2020 CD ~ Round & Round
The newest and latest jazz release from Jeff Fuller & Friends, “Round & Round,” is now available through this website and online at CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. Jeff Fuller's bass playing and his original jazz compositions are heard on the group’s 4th CD release since 2014, Jeff Fuller & Friends provide thoughtful and engaging original jazz compositions in an intimate piano trio setting. "Round & Round" features Fuller's virtuosic bass playing, pianist Darren Litzie's inventive improvisations, and drummer Ben Bilello's great soloing and accompaniment. Beautifully recorded by Norman Johnson, the trio explores all new territory on such compositions as "Round & Round," "Rest, Dear," "Sambeleza,” and the classically oriented "Never So Long," which features Fuller's bowed upright bass. This is music made for listening, so settle back and enjoy the journey!
2018 CD ~ Happenstance
‘Happenstance’ by definition means a fortuitous coincidence; an unusually good event that arises by chance. Jeff Fuller & Friends is made up of Jeff Fuller on bass, Darren Litzie on piano, and Ben Bilello on drums. Atla DeChamplain is featured on vocals. The classic jazz trio format gives rise to and makes room for many delightful moments of serendipitous exchange. In no small part this is due to listening – each member of the trio evidently hears the conversation as a whole while adding their own thoughts to the process. The result is an emotional, intelligent and lucid story that carries through from the first note to the last.
“The keen musicianship on display throughout is nearly flawless, both in each player’s proficiency on his instrument and in his chemistry with the other band members. The musicians’ skill is matched by an unfussy, crystal-clear production.” Brian Slattery, New Haven Independent.
2016 CD ~ Shoreline Blues
2014 CD ~ The Call From Within
My first CD of all original music - The Call From Within - is available on CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes. Also, you may order it from me! Of course, we will be selling it at live gigs. Visit Performances for a listing of current gigs where I will have the CD available.
Photo by Ben Bilello
Thrivin' & Survivin'!
WNHH-FM video interview, March 27, 2019