Press Releases Index

October 25, 2004
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)

Make a Jazz Journey of The American Song Book at Kean University
Jazz Vocalist Roseanna Vitro in Live Performance with Alto Saxophonist Andy Fusco

UNION, N.J. ––Jazz Vocalist Roseanna Vitro and Her Ensemble, featuring Andy Fusco, Kean affiliate artist in jazz and alto saxophone; Joe Elefante, piano; Tim Horner, drums; and Mike Richmond, bass, will take guests on a Jazz Journey of The American Song Book on Monday, November 22, at 8 p.m. at Kean University’s Wilkins Theatre, at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

According to the vocalist’s Web site, Vitro “brings a wealth of swing, melodic improvisation and heartfelt expression to the jazz idiom. She combines a vibrant energy and spirit, with a deep understanding of the history and theoretical elements of jazz with her rhythmic, soulful Southern roots, to produce her own unique sound and style. Her many CDs have featured Elvin Jones, ‘Fat Head’ Newman, George Coleman, Al Foster, Kenny Barron, Kenny Werner, Gary Bartz and Fred Hersch. Vitro was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998 along with Bob Dorough and John Stubbelfield. This was a great homecoming and return to her roots, having grown up in Texarkana, Ark. She moved to Houston, where she was mentored by the great Arnett Cobb. After a very successful run at Houston’s Greenroom, where she presented live radio shows and sang with the likes of Oscar Peterson, she made her move to New York City. Soon after her arrival, she began touring with jazz great Lionel Hampton and became a regular at The Blue Note, Fat Tuesday's, Birdland and The Five Spot.”

Vitro is currently in her ninth year as director of the Jazz Vocal Program at New Jersey City University. She was a resident faculty member at SUNY Purchase from 1999-2002 and has taught vocal jazz at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Gifted Teens Program for five years. Earlier this year, Challenge/A Records of the Netherlands released Vitro’s newest recording, Tropical Postcards.

In addition to being an affiliate artist of jazz and saxophone at Kean, Fusco runs the jazz program, is the leader of several of his own ensembles, and also performs with the John Pizzarelli Octet, well known for its Foxwoods Casino commercial and CD. Fusco first came to fame as a member of the Buddy Rich Big Band. From 1978 to 1983, he was the lead alto saxophonist of the band and has since toured with a number of esteemed performers including Gerry Mulligan, Mel Lewis and Frank Sinatra.

Dr. Anthony Scelba is founder and director of the Affiliate Artist Program at Kean. "The program brings to the University faculty artists of international distinction to teach, perform and reach out to the community. It has also distinguished itself with very successful concert series," said Scelba.

Tickets are $10 for the public; $8 for seniors and alumni; and $6 for students and children, and can be purchased by calling the Wilkins Theatre Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469). For more information about the Affiliate Artist Program, please call 908-737-4325.