Top-tier jazz bassist and Fair Haven resident Gary Mazzaroppi (below) is among the sought-after players helping the Brookdale Big Band celebrate its 30th anniversary, with an 8 pm concert this Saturday, November 14.
From press materials furnished by Brookdale Community College
It was founded by faculty members of Brookdale Community College in 1985, as a crowd-pleasing vehicle that showcased the talents of a revolving lineup of acclaimed jazz and swing musicians from Monmouth County and across New Jersey. Thirty years later, The Brookdale Big Band is still in full swing — and this Saturday, November 14, the BBB celebrates three decades of high-energy entertainment with a special anniversary concert in the BCC Performing Arts Center on the Lincroft campus.
Scheduled for 8 pm, the concert promises a program of jazz standards from the great organizations of the 1940s and 50s (Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman and Red Bank’s own Count Basie); delivered by a top-notch collection of 18 area players that includes longtime BBB vocalist Barbara Baron, renowned Broadway trumpeter Joe Mosello, and a sought-after musician’s musician whose standup bass has walked with legends — Fair Haven’s Gary Mazzaroppi.
An instructor at Brookdale and a veteran virtuoso who enjoyed a long-running association with the late great guitar innovator and raconteur Les Paul, Mazzaroppi has accompanied jazz giants from across the spectrum, ranging from vintage greats Lionel Hampton and Clark Terry, to Marian McPartland, fusionists Bela Fleck and Chuck Mangione; even Willie Nelson in his songbook excursions. A special Jersey Shore connection was forged in his work with Tal Farlow, the internationally renowned guitarist who retired to a quiet life of sign painting at his home in Sea Bright (with occasional intimate sets at a highwayside restaurant in Highlands). The veteran bassist joins a rhythm section that boasts a young Brookdale student on drums.
“It has been a labor of love, and we have enjoyed every minute,” said founding member Barbara Baron. “The world recognizes swing music as one of America’s great contributions to world culture, and it has been very fulfilling to be a part of its preservation. We have introduced thousands of people to this music over the past three decades, and we are proud of that.”
Tickets for Saturday night’s concert are $17, with discount admission offered to seniors, local high students and Brookdale students and alumni. To purchase tickets or for more information call the Box Office at (732)224-2411.