$15 music charge, $10 minimum, call for reservations 203 792 1500
Mike Leventhal, saxophone Dan Donofrio, flugelhorn
Chris Morrison, guitar Henry Lugo, bass Bobby Leonard, drums
We're proud to present the debut of this exciting new group! Five of Connecticut's top jazz musicians align in Orgone Jazz Quintet, a new project named for the "universal life force" described by Austrian analyst William Reich. This new Quintet epitomizes what J A Z Z at the Pizzeria is all about—creative, accomplished players with deep roots in modern jazz. The group has formed from playing together in different bands around the region, including Macaroni Mafia. Expect serious swing and inspired improvisations, bebop and brand new tunes.
Mike Leventhal has played professionally for more than 30 years with groups like the Count Basie Orchestra, Manhattan Transfer, and artists like Eartha Kitt. Dan Donofrio has also played professionally in the NY Tri-state area for more than 30 years. Chris Morrison is a sought-after guitarist, who recently played at Jack Wilkins birthday celebration at NYC's Jazz Standard with John Abercrombie and Vic Juris. Henry Lugo is a popular bass player in the region and has performed at the Pizzeria with Maydie Myles, Marshall McDonald, Nick Bariluk and Kelly Mittleman. Bob Leonard is one of area's finest drummers and has played with Woody Herman, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker.
Sunday, December 7
Maydie Myles and the Tom Devino Trio
Sunday, December 14
James Moss and Emanon
Sunday, December 21
Jarrod Cattey Trio with A Charlie Brown Christmas
Sunday, December, 28
Ray Blue Quartet
Sunday, December, 28
Lou Soloff and the Roger Post Trio
Live jazz Sunday evenings from 6 to 8
Reservations Recommended, 203 792 1500
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Live jazz on menu each Sunday
Robert Miller, The Danbury News-Times
Published 11:17 p.m., Wednesday, March 14, 2012
In California, a legendary jazz club, The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, has been around since 1964.
"They have Sunday concerts,'' said Michael Lauretano, owner of Pizzeria Lauretano on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. "The performers who played San Francisco on the weekends would go there to play Sundays.''
That is why, in part, Sundays at Pizzeria Lauretano are generally booked solid as its jazz concerts fill the room nearly every week.
"It's part of our identity,'' said Lauretano, who loves the music he brings to his restaurant. "It's part of our value.''
"It enriches the legacy of the music,'' said master vibraphonist Arthur Lipner, of Wilton, who ended a two-week European concert tour by jetting back to Connecticut and playing two enthralling sets Sunday at the pizzeria with his quartet. "And it enriches our community.''
Lauretano said saxophonist Michael Leventhal, of Redding, pushed him to start featuring live music four or five years ago. Leventhal came in to eat one day, heard the recorded jazz Lauretano was playing for customers and urged him to start having live concerts. The Sunday concert series was born.
"It started very organically,'' said Judith Joiner, who handles the restaurant's publicity. "At first, it was 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It was an occasional concert, and it was free. Then we started having music every Sunday. We gradually added a cover charge. Now, you have to call ahead for reservations every week.''
Lauretano said Leventhal and other musicians have helped him book excellent jazz artists who live in the area. By now, he said, he has a regular rotation of repeat performers. "They all want to come back,'' he said.