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The Lee Shaw Scholarship Fund
At our next concert (March 11, 2018):
Bronte Roman will be performing with her Quintet…Popular Jazz, Swing and Latin Hits of the Decades!
A native of Brooklyn, Bronte Roman is an exciting and wonderful talent. She has been performing since the age of five in local churches and talent shows. Her father was a Gospel vocalist who inspired her love and appreciation for vocal performance. Her musical feel for a variety of genres is her distinctively unique gift. Bronte performs lush jazz ballads and delightfully swings to hits from the Great American Songbook and Big Band Era. Bronte truly shines with her rich tones, melodic sounds and powerhouse vocals when singing soul-funk inspired hits. She also surprises and excites her audiences when performing jazz, Latin-infused merengue and salsa classics! Bronte’s stage presence and infectious smile reflects the joy and high-spirited energy she brings to each and every performance. Bronte has performed with numerous jazz ensembles and musical bands in the New York tri-state area for over 15 years. She has also worked with the popular Greg Nazarian Big Band, and numerous pop-dance and wedding bands. She currently studies with jazz legend Sheila Jordan to creatively mark her own jazz style and with Dr. Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins, professor of voice at Skidmore College. Bronte is also pursuing an online music degree at the Berklee School of Music in Boston for vocal performance. As an avid champion and supporter of charity work, Bronte has been asked to participate in numerous fundraiser efforts in the Berkshires and New York. Most recently, in 2017 for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, she has performed two fundraiser shows that generated $67,000…most notably at Albany’s “The Egg” with her 10-piece band. Since relocating from Long Island to Saratoga County, she has worked with a wealth of musical talent and has performed in many of the top venues in Saratoga Springs, the Berkshires and Vermont. Today, Bronte performs regionally and nationally with her musicians offering performances from intimate trios to a 15-piece ensemble.
Eric Walentowicz is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator and woodwinds player with 35 years of performing experience, having started playing professionally at age 13. A highly skilled, versatile, talented and very in-demand reedman, he is known for his improvised saxophone solos and has performed with 20 to 30 groups at over 70 venues a year for over 10 years. Originally from Detroit, he won several scholarships to attend the famed Interlochen Arts summer programs in Interlochen, MI. He majored in studio music and jazz on scholarship at the University of Miami and University of North Texas.
Eric has worked as a musician in New York City, Detroit, Miami, Dallas, the Caribbean and the Capital District. He has backed such artists as Johnny Mathis at the Palace Theatre in Albany and Laurel Massé (Manhattan Transfer) at The Egg. He’s played at Skidmore "UpBeat on the Roof" Tang Museum Concert Series with Terry Gordon Quintet and Jill Hughes Group, the Bridge Jazz Festival at Troy Savings Music Hall with the Tim Olsen-Eric Walentowicz Duo, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival with New Regime and also Troika, the Pittsfield Ethnic Festival and Rock the Block Music Festival with Bronte Roman Pop, Latin and Jazz Ensemble, over 500 weddings and fundraisers for the New York Players Entertainment Group, The Dallas Jazz Orchestra, The One O'clock Jazz Lab Band at North Texas, The Platters and Jackie Mason at the Fontainebleau in Miami, Rick DellaRatta’s Jazz For Peace, the Schenectady Symphony, the Fox Theater in Detroit, the Miami Symphony Orchestra (Rhapsody in Blue) and several Miami-based Latin bands specializing in salsa, merengue and cumbia styles. As a staff musician for Norwegian Cruise lines, he backed Bobby Rydell, Fabian, Eddie Fisher, George Merritt and Ray Anthony. Eric has also recorded on many CDs including his own groups: The New Regime, Eric Walentowicz Quartet (EW Quartet) and Troika as well as the Tim Olsen Band, Michael Dimin, Dave Calarco’s Jazz Conclave, Joe Barna, Jeff Gonzales Blues Band, XPO Studios and CYRAH. Eric has studied saxophone, flute, clarinet and jazz improvisation privately with Ed Calle (Arturo Sandoval, Miami Sound Machine, Julio Iglesias), Rick Margitza (Miles Davis, Maria Schneider, Moutin Bros.), Gary Campbell (Fulbright Scholar at Florida International University, co-author of Patterns For Jazz/Expansions), Gary Keller (University of Miami, Sonny Stitt Transcriptions), Andy Middleton, Ted Nash (Wynton Marsalis), Bob Franceschini (Mike Stern), Dave Tofani (NYC Broadway musician), George F. Benson (Detroit), Tony DiMaria (Rochester Hills, MI), and Clemente Barone (flutist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra). He has been performing with the Bronte Roman Band since 2013 and most recently at Albany’s The Egg in 2017.
A versatile pianist and keyboardist, Wayne Hawkins performs throughout the country, collaborating with artists of varying styles of music. As both composer and arranger, Hawkins has written for a variety of films, commercials and recording artists. In addition, his discography includes over 40 recordings with a wide variety of artists. As a leader, his recordings include the critically acclaimed “Wayne Hawkins Trio” and his recently released "Solo." As a teacher, Hawkins was on faculty at the University of Kansas for eight years and recently taught at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. In September 2014 he moved with his family to Ballston Lake. He recently wrote Piano Aerobics for Hal Leonard Publishing, a book that teaches contemporary technique in popular styles. Hawkins is currently writing a second book for Hal Leonard Publishing on keyboard harmony. He has performed numerous times with the Bronte Roman Band and most recently with her 10-piece Ensemble at Albany’s The Egg in 2017.
Pat Perkinson has been playing bass professionally for over 30 years. A native of the Albany area, he has performed live and recorded with countless local artists. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles and New York City and has journeyed throughout the country with various bands as well as a tour of Italy and Japan. He has performed numerous times with the Bronte Roman Band and most recently with her 10-piece ensemble at Albany’s The Egg in 2017.
Ernest LaRouche is a native of upstate New York. He moved to Boston to attend The Berklee School of Music and graduated with a performance degree. While at Berklee, he performed with the Berklee Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dean Anderson for two years. After graduating, he played percussion in an early incarnation of “Powerman 5000” from 1991 to 1992. In 1992 he became the drummer for the J. Geils lead singer Peter Wolfe. He then joined the Motown band “Marsels” performing all through New England, backing headlining acts such as Jeffrey Osbourne and opened for the 4 Tops at Madison Square Garden; Ernest still performs with them. In 1998, he toured with “The Peasants” featuring Pete Cassani and traveled throughout the East Coast and Midwest. In 2003 he joined “Mappari," featuring singer-songwriter Will Dailey, and toured throughout the East Coast again. From 2003-2008 he was the drum, piano and ensemble instructor at Northeastern University. In 2008 he became a member of “World Play” with Ray Greene (Tower of Power) and Tracy Bonham opening up for Roger Daltrey, Joss Stone, Darious Rucker and Goo Goo Dolls. In 2013 he became the full-time drummer for Britney Spears and performed her “Piece of Me” residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas through 2015. He has performed with the Bronte Roman 10-piece Ensemble at Albany’s The Egg in 2017.