Legendary Jazz Vocalist, Giacomo Gates Performs at GCC, April 11.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Giacomo Gates will perform at Gateway Community College on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Multipurpose room.  

Hailed as "one of the most extraordinary singers working in jazz today,"  Gates does more than sing “a bunch of songs.”He is truly an entertainer, for all ages and styles, as audiences enjoy the music, the interaction on the bandstand between him and his musicians, the spontaneity, the humor, the stories about the music and composers, along with their relation to everyday life. People are smiling, having a good time, while thoroughly enjoying the music. What usually lacks in most of today’s performances is obviously present … fun.

The criteria for defining jazz singing will probably be argued for the rest of time. But no matter which side of the argument one may be on, there can be no doubt that Giacomo Gates is an authentic jazz vocalist. Heavily steeped in the traditions of the original vocal improvisers from Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald through their modern counterparts Betty Carter and Leon Thomas, Giacomo’s own approach draws most heavily from the bebop-rooted masters like Jon Hendricks, Babs Gonzales, King Pleasure and most of all, Eddie Jefferson. Like his influences, Gates has forged his own unique path.

In his own words, “In this kind of music it’s about intention, honesty and what comes through in your voice – the Experience of Life.” Without question, Giacomo’s life experience is unlike any other jazz artist that may come to mind. Blessed with a full-bodied and mellifluous voice, extraordinary rhythmic precision and an unerring sense of lyricism, Gates’ total command of the vernacular, boundless creativity and exuberant passion set him apart from nearly every other vocalist on the scene. 

Playing major U.S. clubs, major festivals and at countless universities and jazz societies, Giacomo’s enormous appeal and popularity are obvious from the many repeat engagements he has had at these venues. He’s also performed and taught in Europe, Russia and Australia.

Gates has eight heavily acclaimed CDs, all charting in the Top 20, with two #1 recordings, for six and four weeks! The most recent release in April 2017, “What Time is it?” on Savant Records (his 4th on Savant), garnering rave reviews and receiving heavy airplay and reaching number 8 on the national jazz radio charts.

“Everything is Cool,” Savant, July 2015, also rave reviews, with heavy national and international airplay as well. “Milestones – Giacomo Gates Sings the Music of Miles Davis,” garnered rave reviews and topped the National Jazz Radio playlist at #1 for four weeks. “The Revolution Will Be Jazz, the Songs of Gil Scott-Heron, (Savant), was #1 for six weeks on the National Jazz Radio Playlist. Both records spent over three months in the Top 20.

Heavily committed to education, Giacomo teaches at Wesleyan University, and Sacred Heart University, and has conducted workshops and residencies at numerous educational institutions all over the U.S.

Like all seriously committed jazz artists, Giacomo Gates is a student of the music’s great legacy. Known for his interaction with his live audience through witty patter and informative introductions, every performance becomes a lesson in jazz history. Giacomo’s sheer joy, exuberance, wit and unlimited creativity make him one of jazz’s most compelling artists.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the Esther Haseltine Schiavone Endowment for the Arts and the Gateway Community College Foundation.