Building Community Through the Arts

Teresa Broadwell Sextet and the Music of Nat King Cole

May 1, 2017

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Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Teresa Broadwell Sextet Celebrates the Music of Nat King Cole

Spencertown, New York— Teresa Broadwell, jazz vocalist, violinist, bandleader, and arranger, brings her jazz sextet to the Spencertown Academy Arts Center for an evening devoted to the music of Nat King Cole on Saturday, June 10 at 7:00pm. General admission tickets ($20 general public/$15 Academy member/$10 students) may be purchased in advance via and will be available at the door.

Nat King Cole’s repertoire included many of the most popular standards of his day, such as “Unforgettable,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Mona Lisa.” In addition to his well known interpretations of the gems of his era, Broadwell and her group will perform some of his rarely heard songs. The band features Mike Novakowski on guitar, bassist Pete Toigo, sax man Leo Russo, Michael Lamkin on piano, and drummer Cliff Brucker.

“You haven’t heard ‘Swing’ until you’ve heard Teresa. She has spent a lifetime honing her skills as a musician and entertainer,” said Rob Fisch, chair of the Academy’s music programming committee. “Her bandmates are superb, all performing in the Capital District for dozens of years. They are all masters of their trade.”

Teresa Broadwell is formally trained, holding a BM from the Crane School of Music and an MA in Jazz Studies from the College of St. Rose. Her vocal influences include: Lambert, Hendricks and Ross; Eddie Jefferson; King Pleasure; Sarah Vaughan; Betty Carter; Ella Fitzgerald; and Anita O’Day. On fiddle, she draws from Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, and Stephan Grappelli. She has two recordings: “Sunny Side of the Street,” with the New Moon Swing Band (a group that performed on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”) and her latest, “Everything’s Jake,” featuring her swing band Thrivin’ on A Riff. Broadwell moved to the Capital Region in the early 80s, where she formed her own groups, performing at concerts, festivals, radio and television shows, and jazz clubs in the greater Northeast. Her groups have performed with and/or opened concerts for musical luminaries such as Stan Getz, Jon Hendricks, Marc O’Connor, Asleep at the Wheel; Leon Redbone, and baritone sax great Nick Brignola.

Guitarist Mike Novakowski plays in the post-bebop jazz style made popular by Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, and Jim Hall. He provides tasteful support for the groups’ improvisations and adds his own warm and swinging solos to the powerful front line. He performs regularly in the Capital Region with many groups, including Cliff Brucker’s Full Circle, the Wee Be3 organ trio, and the Jon Leroy Trio, and he holds the guitar chair in the Empire Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band in residence at Schenectady County Community College.

Jazz saxophone master Leo Russo has been a mainstay of, and an inspiration to, the Capital District jazz scene for many decades. With his buttery tone and formidable improvisational virtuosity, he captivates listeners and makes each song a unique treasure. In his long career, he has performed with Paul Whiteman, Major Bows, Woody Herman, Bobby Sherwood, and many other top names too numerous to mention. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music and, in addition to his performing, has taught instrumental music in public schools and at the college level.

Pete Toigo, a versatile and masterful bassist, propels Broadwell’s group with a relentlessly swinging energy. His bass lines are the rhythmic and harmonic foundation for the ensembles and his bowed (arco) solos delight audiences wherever he performs. He has played and/or toured with NRBQ, The Lustre Kings, Jay Unger, and Molly Mason, and contributed his tasteful bass lines to many artist’s recordings.

Jazz pianist and organist Michael Lamkin is from the Boston area via Miami, where he attended Miami Dade College and studied with the late pianist Wally Cirillo of Red Norvo and Joe Diorio fame. He also led a number of trios and quintets. In Miami, he performed with multi-horn man Ira Sullivan and altoist Jay Corre of the Buddy Rich band. He relocated to Los Angeles for various studio sessions before returning to the Northeast. Lamkin has performed extensively throughout the region with groups that include his jazz organ trio Wee B3, the Latin jazz group Caribe Mambo, Groove Nouveau, One Eyed Cat, saxophonist Charles Neville, and the swing band Nitro Jive.

Drummer Cliff Brucker is a versatile musician who, in addition to being a world-class percussionist, is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, producer, arranger, and educator. He has performed as a professional musician for over 40 years and has worked with some of the finest talent in the Capital District, including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Region Wind Ensemble, and the Empire Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with a variety of internationally known jazz and pop artists, including Aretha Franklin, Buddy Greco, Rex Richardson, Bob Mintzer, and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see or call 518-392-3693.


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