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Gracenotes Entertainment: Press

Dear Mr. Bubbeo,

It was a pleasure to read about the various local cool LI spots where Jazz
is played. I am certain there are many other available Jazz venues that were
not mentioned in today's article. One of these venues which comes to mind is
the weekly Monday evening Jam at the Fox Hollow in Woodbury. The Jazz trio
performing there are under the leadership of Bob Lepley on piano, also
featuring Al Cardillo on bass and Frank Bellucci on drums. These are three
of the finest jazz players around and deserve to be mentioned in future
articles regarding Jazz being played on Long Island.

Hi,

Thank you so much for writing. I appreciate it.

I'm sure there are some places I missed, and I thank you so much for
bringing the Fox Hollow to my attention. While it's too late for the print
edition, I can add it to the Web version of the story.

Thanks for letting me know.

Take care,
Dan Bubbeo

Sol Herman - Newsday (Apr 20, 2010)

Al Cardillo Reviews

Al Cardillo and Friends is the biggest jazz band in the world. At last count, there were 25 piano players, 20 saxophonists and clarinet players, nine horn players, 13 vocalists and 11 guitarists. . .but just one bass player: Al Cardillo.

Of course they don’t all play at the same time. This is no orchestra. It’s more like a jazz repertory group, adding new members all the time from the endless group of jazz musicians and session players who live and work in and around New York City. "I prefer playing the repertory style; you never know what’s gonna go down," says Cardillo.

Working the phones, the Internet and showing up backstage at gigs, Mineola native Cardillo juggles the duties of booking agent, promoter, marketer, music teacher and bassist. Networking with musicians is the easy part. Finding clubs and an audience is much more difficult. "It’s so tough to book a gig," says Cardillo. "There’s a plethora of players vying for the same gig as you—but it’s so much fun. I wouldn’t stop for anything."

And nothing stops him. Cardillo is a dedicated jazz warrior keeping the sound of jazz alive in clubs across Long Island. "I prefer the Long Island scene to Manhattan’s," says Cardillo. "Long Island is starving for great jazz, and I want to bring that energy here. It’s a great place to make an impression on. There are a lot of people going into the city to see great jazz. I always thought I could offer them the option to see such greatness in their own backyard. You make very little money, but playing jazz is worth a lot more."

With the promise of a few dollars, a plate of pasta and appreciative Long Island audiences, Cardillo has been able to cajole and persuade some of the finest players around, including Steve Turre (the trombone player from Saturday Night Live who sometimes plays seashells), Lew Soloff, Jeb Patton, Danny Mixon, Bill Easley, Chris Potter and Vic Juris to play with him at his various weekly gigs. "These guys just want to play," says Cardillo. "I’ve played with some good players. Through referrals I have quite a nice lineup now."

Much more difficult than getting world-class musicians to play with is finding sympathetic club owners willing to take a chance on jazz. Al Cardillo and Friends have taken a page from the diligent dance promoters who set up shop at any club that will have them. Since losing his twice-a-week gig at Papa Razzi in Westbury after five years, Al can now be found at Mixed Notes in Elmont on Fridays, and on Tuesdays he hosts an open jam at Jessica’s Lounge in East Meadow.

Cardillo says he prefers the LI scene, but being so damn close to the greatest jazz city in the world has its cons. The talent pool is bottomless, and many jazz fans prefer to hit Manhattan for their rhythmic fix. To combat this, Al has built a mailing/e-mail list of over 800 Long Island-based jazz fans. He also has a website, http://www.alcardillo.com/, containing links for every musician’s site who plays with him.

As an orchestra teacher in the Hewlett-Woodmere school district for the last 15 years Cardillo has introduced students to his deeply felt love of all things musical. And playing the circuit has enriched his teaching efficacy.

"You play with many different players, you’re learning about yourself and learning about people that have played with many different people,” says Cardillo. “To be a successful teacher you have to be able to juggle many different situations."

What’s the most effective advice Cardillo has for any student who has aspirations in music? "Go out and play with as many players as possible. The only way you get better is by playing with people that are better than you."

Like most music teachers, he just wants to go outside and play with his friends. Lucky for us he has a lot of them.
Al Cardillo & Friends

Driven by acoustic bass artist, Al Cardillo, Al brings not only his own talents but some major-league booking clout. These performances have been outstanding. Long Island, NY audiences get jazz-mecca type performances without the high-rent markup of big city clubs. That's the only difference - the price. No kidding about the names, either; these are people who live on the stage or in the studio, or people you NEED to know. Just look at March 2002: Bill Easley, Janice Friedman, Jerry Weldon, Dave Lalama, Joe Ascione, Monte Croft, David Hazeltine, Dave Pietro, Mike LeDonne, Joe Farnsworth, Ted Rosenthal, Eliot Zigmund, John Hicks, Cecil Brooks III, Madeline Kole, Richie Iacona, Bob Dorough, Steve Berger.

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