Chris White has been exploring new directions for the cello since the late 1970's. Whether playing in an intimate duo with piano or guitar, with a jazz string quartet, or with his jazz group, the Cayuga Jazz Ensemble, Chris' playing has the vibrancy and the urgency of someone who is excited about what he is communicating. White's development as a jazz cellist has been strongly affected by his guitar studies of folk, rock and jazz during his formative years. He is the founder and director of the New Directions Cello Asociation and Festival, an international organization dedicated to broadening horizons for cellists. His first solo CD is called Cello Again. Chris is also a private cello teacher and a member of the Binghamton (NY) Phiharmonic. Pianist Eric Hangen studied at Brown University and at Berklee School of Music. He has been a freelance latin jazz pianist since 1990 performing with Celia Cruz, Willie Rosario, Andy Montanez, Ismael Miranda, Cano Estremera, Giovanni Hidalgo, Dave Valentin, and many others. The bass player for the group is Peter Chwazik. Drummer Tom Killian lives in Corning,NY and is a graduate of Ithaca College in Percussion Performance. Tom has played with many of upstate New Yorks finest jazz musicians including, Dino Losito, Joe Columbo Big Band, Brian Murphy, Gap Mangione, Steve Brown, Marcia Rutledge, Jeff Stockam, Joe Carello, and Tom Brigandi. Tom teaches public school and college, and lives with his wife Patricia and their two children Peter and Amanda. Kora (a 21 string West African harp-like instrument) player Mamadou Diabate plays internationally with various ensembles. A native of Mali, Diabate has been living in New York for several years, and is performing with an increasingly diverse number of musicians in jazz, pop and world music. Trumpeter Paul Merril teaches and directs jazz bands at Ithaca College and at Cornell University. He has played and recorded with numerous artists in NY including guitarist Steve Brown.
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