Sunday, May 31
$15 music charge, $10 minimum, call for reservations 203 792 1500

Akiko Tsuruga, organ Christopher Morrison, guitar Roger Post, drums

"Queen of the organ!"—Lou Donaldson

“A killer player with a million dollar smile! She makes one glad to be in the audience.”—Jazz Mobile

A Hammond organist and pianist from Osaka, Japan, Akiko Tsuruga is a huge talent and dynamic performer. Her exciting performances with Basie saxophonist Marshall McDonald at the Pizzeria brought down the house. With Akiko as bandleader and the talented trio of Chris Morrison and Roger Post, this will be a night of electrifying jazz!

Akiko began her jazz career in Osaka, where she had opportunities to play with world-renowned jazz musicians from the United States. Grady Tate had a strong influence on her career, and her talent also drew Lou Donaldson’s attention, who chose her as his quartet’s organist in 2007. She considers Dr. Lonnie Smith as her biggest influence. After landing in New York City, it didn’t take long for Akiko to make her mark. She was embraced by audiences and by her fellow musicians as one of the top organ players in the city. She's been a regular on the DownBeat magazine critics poll since 2008, and in 2012, she placed 6th in the Rising Star category. Akiko has headlined such NYC clubs as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Blue Note, Birdland, and Smoke, as well as national venues like Yoshi’s in Oakland and The Green Mill in Chicago; and she's a regular performer for Harlem’s Jazz Mobile and their summer concert series.


"Sweet Yam Potato"


Sunday May 24
closed for Memorial Day

Sunday May 31
Akiko Tsuruga Trio

Sunday, June 7
Arthur Lipner & Brazilian Soul, featuring Vanessa Falabella 

Sunday, June 14
Michael Leventhal, Orgone Jazz Quintet

Sunday, June 21, Father's Day
Renard Boissiere Quartet—a New Orleans house party!

Sunday June 28
Jens Wendelboe Quartet

Live jazz Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 
Reservations Recommended, 203 792 1500 
Find the schedule below right, or email us to get on our email distribution list for weekly notification with more information about the musicians and their music.

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.

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