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Buy Local: RI-made jazz albums to mellow the mood

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who make their lives through the gig economy have been dealt a tremendous blow from the general shutdown of society due to social distancing and other important mitigation strategies being put in place to thwart the spread of the disease. Some of those who have been hardest hit are those in the creative sectors, including and especially musicians, who make their livings largely through live performance and the sales of merchandise through those concerts. This means that there are a lot of local RI artists out there who face some real economic challenges right now and could use your help by purchasing an album, donating to their Venmo or buying some merchandise.

In order to help out the local jazz musicians who call Rhode Island home, and whom have been entertaining, inspiring and spiritually filling our lives all for years, I’ve put together a brief list of a few musicians who could use your support and their albums, all of which are worth their cost.

Obviously, if you, too, are in a financial strain from all this, do all you can for yourself first and foremost, but if you have a little extra to give, please consider helping these fine folks out. The great thing is that you’ll be helping local musicians AND you’ll have some new music to listen to!

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Dave Zinno Unisphere’s Stories Told: available at whalingcitysound.com; with Dave Zinno on bass, Mike Tucker on saxophone, Tim Ray on piano, Rafael Barata on drum and Eric “Benny” Bloom on trumpet

Evening Sky’s Guest Stars: eveningsky.bandcamp.com; with Chris Brooks on pedal steel guitar, Eric Hastings on drums & percussion, Joe Potenza on bass and Gino Rosati on guitars 

Geo Trio’s We Made An Album: geotrioband.com; with George Leonard III on guitar, Matthew Knippel on bass and Austin Andrews on drums

Carniaux/Goldman/Carniaux’s Carniaux/Goldman/Carniaux: bcarniaux.bandcamp.com; with Brendan Carniaux on saxophone, Ryan Carniaux on trumpet and Max Goldman on drums 

Bastilla’s Bastilla: available at ryankowal.bandcamp.com; with Jeff Platz on guitar, Kit Demos on bass, Max Goldman on drums, Ryan Kowal on vibes & marimba, Matt Crane on percussion and Scott Getchell on trumpets

Marcus Monteiro’s Another Part Of Me: whalingcitysound.com; Marcus Monteiro on alto saxophone, John Harrison III on piano, Fernando Huergo on electric bass, Steve Langone on drums and Nick Sanfilippo on piano on track 7

Greg Abate & The Tim Ray Trio’s Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ The Z: gregabate.com; with Greg Abate on saxophone, Tim Ray on piano, Mark Walker on drums and John Lockwood on bass

Anthony Defeo-Gelman’s Ground Floor: available April 1; with Anthony Defeo-Gelman, Patrick Lynch, Leo Weisskoff and Corey Hall

Although there is a lot of music here, this is just a starting guide. I strongly suggest you follow these musicians and see what else they have and also who they have played gigs with in the area, and you’ll find a deep pool of extraordinary jazz musicians here in the ocean state.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep listening to jazz!

Ben Shaw is a local composer, performer and writer. Find him at benjaminshawmusic.com.

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