The Hebron Historical Society will be hosting a benefit concert on Sunday, Sept. 18, featuring the jazz group, Quintessential.
Quintessential is part of a long line of extremely talented RHAM High School musicians. The members include Garrett Masotti (keyboard), Olivia Knightly (bass), Jacob Ouellette (drums), Aaron Ouellette (trumpet), and Paul Tamburro (trombone).
Quintessential was founded during the summer of 2015.
"The majority of us had played together in the RHAM High School Jazz Band, and wished to broaden our musical experiences by playing in a combo setting," said Tamburro.
Tamburro said the group was largely inspired by the jazz combos that perform at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, and wanted to potentially compete alongside these for RHAM.
"The quintet evolved out of casual jam sessions between myself, trumpet player Aaron Ouellette, and drummer Jacob Ouellette, into a more formal group with a defined set list," said Tamburro.
Tamburro said he has known Hebron Historical Society President Chris Ambrose for several years due to his involvement in the AHM Summer Youth Theater program.
"He approached me about a potential benefit concert for the historical society, and explained the success of previous concerts such as [former RHAM student] Kelly Whitesell's," said Tamburro.
Tamburro said that Quintessential enjoys being involved in the community, and has played at locations around Hebron in the past, including other fundraisers.
"Therefore, we felt this would be a meaningful way to give back to the town," he said.
Tamburro has been playing trombone for nine years, and studying privately for five.
"I have participated in the Eastern Regional and All-State bands and jazz bands throughout high school, and received various awards at jazz festivals such as the Berklee High School Jazz Festival," he said.
In both 2015 and 2016, Tamburro attended the auditioned Summer Jazz Studies Program at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York, and also attended the Eastman Summer Trombone Institute in 2016. Tamburro has been a recipient of the Jorgensen Outreach for Youth scholarship since freshman year, and regularly performs in both the high school jazz band and wind ensemble.
"I am seriously considering a career in jazz performance, and am entering my senior year of high school," he said.
Aaron Ouellette has received much attention both locally and nationally after winning Hebron's Got Talent, with an original composition, in sixth grade. He traveled to Georgia in the spring of 2016 and won theJuniordivision of the National Trumpet Competition.
Ouellette has performed in the Eastern Regions jazz band throughout middle school, and also participated in the Litchfield Jazz Camp during the past two summers. He also playswith the local band TheModern Riffs,and the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, studies both classical and jazz trumpet privately, and will join both the high school wind ensemble and jazz band as a freshman. He hopes to pursuea career inmusic as well.
Knightly has played alto saxophone, electric bass, and upright bass. She has performed in local bands, such as By Chance and Silk and Steel, as well as both the high school jazz band and wind ensemble.She has also played in the RHAM musicals pit band. This year, she participated in the Litchfield Jazz Camp. Knightly loves classical music as well, but is a talented and dedicated jazz bassist, and is considering pursuing a degree in music education, as she enters her senior year.
Jacob Ouellette listens to a wide array of musical genres, with a strong interest in contemporary jazz styles, and performs in local bands, such as By Chance and The Modern Riffs. He has participated in the Eastern Regions bands for the past three years, as well as the All-State band in the past year. He plays in RHAM's wind ensemble, jazz band,pit band, and will participate this year in the school'sfirstpercussion ensemble. He has been playing percussion since elementary school, and is entering his senior year.
Masotti is a multi-talented musician who studies both piano and trombone privately. He has a strong interest in jazz and is the newest addition to Quintessential, as a replacement for his brother, Ryan Masotti. Masotti participated in both the Eastern Regions and All-State Jazz bands as a trombone player during his sophomore year, and also attended the Litchfield Jazz Camp over the summer of 2016. Masotti plays trombone in the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, and has played both trombone and piano with the Modern Riffs. He is entering his junior year of high school and is considering a career in music, as well.
"[RHAM High School band teacher] Mr. Kokus has been a wonderful mentor for the group, offering advice on song selection, aiding in the search for gigs, and pushing the group to achieve the best possible performance," said Tamburro.
The Quintessential performance will help support the Old Town Hall, a beautiful landmark building on Route 66 owned by the Hebron Historical Society.
"The upkeep and maintenance of any 178-year-old structure is a major challenge for its owners, and the society is dedicated to keeping it beautiful, while at the same time, providing the community with a venue for historic exhibits, music, lectures, art and more," said Ambrose.
Hebron's food truck, the Pizza Pixie, will be on hand selling wood-fired pizzas and drinks at the event. Patrons may place their orders before the concert, and pick them up during the 30-minute intermission.
The suggested donation is $15, and 100 percent of the funds will be put toward the replacement of the Old Town Hall's roof and a new coat of paint.
Seating is limited, so call 860-228-4433 to reserve your seats for an end-of-summer, Sunday afternoon of jazz. The Quintessential concert takes place on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Old Town Hall on Main Street in Hebron.