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Roy Guzman Quintet To Perform At George Wein's Jazz Festival 55

Modern jazz guitarist is winner of prestigious Billboard and Jimi Hendrix Awards

NEWPORT, RI, June 1, 2009 - The Roy Guzman Quintet, from Berklee College of Music, will perform at George Wein's JAZZ FESTIVAL 55 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI, on Sunday, August 9. Mentored by the cream of Berklee's jazz faculty and alumnus and MacArthur "genius" recipient Miguel Zenón (who performs at Fort Adams on August 8), Roy Guzman and his quintet also have been chosen to play the 2009 Duke Ellington and Monterey Jazz Festivals.

The Roy Guzman Quintet was formed by five of the finest creative musicians at Boston's Berklee College of Music, who together share the necessity to explore, learn, and present their view of jazz improvisation through composing and playing new music. The group's approach has been compared to the guitar/horn bands co-led by Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mark Turner, and the knotty, searching sound of the Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano trio.

Guitarist and composer Roy Guzman Rodriguez is a 21-year-old guitarist and composer from Cupey, Puerto Rico. He is the recipient of the Billboard Magazine Endowed Scholarship, presented each year to Berklee's most promising musician headed into their final year at the college. He is also the recipient of the Jimi Hendrix Award, presented to the college's top guitarist; at any one time, there are more than 1,000 guitar principals at Berklee. Roy began playing popular Latin guitar at the age of eight, followed by studies of classical guitar in the conservatory. At age 13, influenced by the Latin jazz present in Puerto Rico, began studying jazz. Since age 16, Roy has been a part of the growing jazz scene in the San Juan metropolitan area.

Roy has released two albums with his previous group, Orbits Quintet, "12-6-5" (Fall 2005) and "Desahogo" (October 2008). The group attended jazz seminars at the Banff Centre of the Arts in Canada with full scholarship support provided by Dave Douglas, Miguel Zenón, and the Banff Centre. Other performances include the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest, Carolina Jazz Fest, San Juan Jazz Fest, and Xalapa Jazz Fest. Roy has been attending Berklee thanks to a scholarship received at the Berklee in Puerto Rico Summer Program. His teachers include Hal Crook, Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller, Dave Santoro, Dave Tronzo, and Greg Osby

Playing trumpet since the age of nine, Berkeley, CA native Billy Buss has received numerous awards, including Berklee College of Music's full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, two Outstanding Performance/Soloist awards from the DownBeat Student Music Awards, as well as the Gold Award in Jazz from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and recognition from the White House as a 2006 Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He has been fortunate to perform at the Monterey, Umbria, Montreal, Montreux, and JVC Jazz Festivals; the Dubrovnik Summer Music Festival in Croatia; numerous festivals in Japan; and a variety of clubs in New York. This past May, Billy graduated from Berklee, where he has played in a variety of ensembles, including the Berklee Rainbow Band under the direction of Phil Wilson, the Joe Lovano Octet, and the Dave Santoro Berklee Scholarship Jazz Ensemble, Terri Lyne Carrington Ensemble, and Greg Hopkins' Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra. At the end of August, Billy will join the eighth class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, in New Orleans, along with four other Berklee alumni.

Since his first concert appearance, as a two-year-old guest drummer with his guitarist father, at Louisiana State University's Varsity Theater, Mark Whitfield Jr. has made appearances on Good Morning America, CNN Lifestyle, and CBS Sunday Morning. Mark studied drums and bassoon as part of the Jersey City University Visual and Performing Arts Program, and performed with their main ensemble in the fall of 2005 at a major jazz festival in Berlin, Germany. He has performed with his father's group in several venues in New York City, including the Iridium, as part of the JVC Jazz Festival, and occasional appearances at the Smoke jazz club. Other appearances include the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, opening for Peter Cincotti and Chris Botti. Most recently, Mark participated in Betty Carter's "Jazz Ahead" program at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Dr. Billy Taylor and Dr. Nathan Davis, and performed at the Blue Note and on Newark's WBGO-FM, as part of Darren Barrett's Berklee Scholarship Sextet.

Michael Sachs, from Los Angeles, started out playing clarinet when he was six years old. He switched to the saxophone in the 9th grade, when his jazz band at the Colburn School needed an alto player. He has studied privately and on an instructive ensemble basis with saxophonist Lee Secard throughout his elementary and high school career. Other major influences have been his band directors, Derek Finch and Megan Foley. Michael has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Colburn High School Quintet, and at the Los Angeles County Spotlight Awards. Awarded a full tuition scholarship, he entered Berklee in 2006, where Shannon LeClaire, Greg Hopkins, George Garzone, and Joe Lovano have been strong influences. A Performance major, Michael's goal is to become a professional musician, after he completes his Berklee studies this summer.

Greg Chaplin began studying music at the age of seven, started performing regularly when he was 12, and hasn't stopped since. In February of 2007, he was selected as the bassist for the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Combo, where he played withPhil Woods, James Moody, Tom Scott, and Patti Austin, and in 2008 with Eric Marienthal, Christian Scott, and McCoy Tyner. He has performed original music at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Ravinia Park in Illinois, and IAJE in Toronto. Greg is fortunate to have studied with, among others, Winard Harper, George Cables, Carmen Lundy, Nathan Davis, Chip Jackson, Curtis Fuller, and Dr. Billy Taylor, James Moody, David Baker, Nathan Davis, and Billy Childs. He was a part of the five-week Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop 2007, where he worked with Rick DiMuzio and Terri Lyne Carrington. Greg is a full scholarship recipient at Berklee, where he began his college career last fall. Dave Santoro, Joe Lovano, and Hal Crook have been particularly influential in his first year at the college.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over half a century, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry "who's who" of alumni, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today -- and tomorrow.

George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 kicks off August 7 at 8:00 pm with Etta James and The Roots Band at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino followed by sets featuring Mos Def, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Joshua Redman Double Trio, Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi's SonicBloom, Vandermark 5, Christian McBride, Miguel Zenón Quartet and othersat Fort Adams from 11:30 am - 7:00 pm on August 8. On August 9, The Roy Guzman Quintet joins Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Michel Camilo, Joe Lovano UsFive, Ernest Ranglin, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition and others.


Friday, August 7 (8:00 pm) at International Tennis Hall of Fame at The Newport Casino, 194 Bellevue Avenue: Etta James and The Roots Band. All seats reserved: $89, 69, $49 and $35.

Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 at Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Avenue (11:30 am - 7:00 pm): General admission: $69.00 in advance, $75.00 on festival weekend, if available. Children 3 - 15, $15.00 at all times; under 3, free. Reserved seating, $85 - 100. Adult Two-Day Passes, for admission Saturday and Sunday, $125.00 while they last. On site festival parking, $12.00 per vehicle in advance and $15.00 on festival weekend.

Tickets are availableon-line at and by phone at (800) 514-3849. General Admission tickets (Single-day passes only) can be purchased in person at the Visitor's Center at the Newport County Convention Center & Visitor's Bureau at 23 America's Cup Avenue. To order tickets by mail, send a note specifying the number of tickets you wish to order for each event and include a phone number where you can be reached. Include your address and credit card information (with expiration date and CVC Code from back of card), check or money order plus $4.00 per order for postage and handling to: George Wein's Jazz Festival 55, PO BOX 3865, Newport, RI 02840.

Service Charges: Per ticket service charges apply to all tickets purchased on-line or by phone and there is an additional per order charge for phone orders. There is a $4.00 handling charge per order for tickets ordered by mail.

For general information, craft vendor information or to leave a message for festival staff, call the festival hotline at (401) 848-5055.

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Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Roy Guzman Quintet
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