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Trenton, NJ

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Jacque Howard's Trenton 365 is a community building program that advocates for and endorses private citizens, nonprofit groups and businesses in the greater Trenton area. 

Lifestyle By Amans Brindled

Retrospective of REJS Entertainment Jazz Concert Series at Tavern on the Lake

REJS Entertainment at Tavern on the Lake
Review for Trenton 365 by Ritu Mukherjee

In a series of intimate concerts REJS Entertainment and partner Trenton 365 have showcased the talents of a new generation of jazz artists.  Local jazz lovers and the larger community have whole-heartedly embraced young musicians, including jazz bassist Gregg August, saxophonist Nick Biello, pianist Steven Feifke, and percussionist Thomas Galliano.  

Tradition and innovation are key to all REJS artists.  In addition to playing live, August, Biello, Feifke, and Galliano maintain tradition through original arrangements of old standards thereby introducing classical pieces and artists to a new generation of jazz lovers.  Youth aside, the sophisticated and elegant styles of these artists exude maturity well beyond their years.  While their purpose may be uniform, REJS musicians speak to jazz lovers of selective and varying tastes, bringing their unique and individual talents to the stage.  For example, August’s seductive bass playing, reminiscent of a film noir score, was followed by Feike’s celebratory big band sound. 

Often playing alongside these young artists are their mentors. Recently, legendary jazz bassist and musical visionary, John “Jellybean” Benitez, played as part of the The Nick Biello Quartet.  In an interview with Trenton 365’s Jacque Howard, Benitez humbly defined his success as achieving “a connection with the people” each time he takes the bandstand. While Biello, on playing with his mentor and teacher, Phil Markowitz, stated:  “I’m never satisfied…Phil [Markowitz] introduced me to a whole new musical language…showed me a level of excellence…and showed me where the bar was set.”  

International musicians have also been introduced to American audiences via REJS Entertainment.  In 2011 Jazz Percussionist and Composer, Galliano, a native of France, relocated to New York City in order to refine his musical skills by immersing himself in America’s historic jazz roots.  Speaking to Howard, Galliano stated that he had made it a point to encourage his fellow European Jazz musicians to follow suit. 

The international and intergenerational set of musicians and concertgoers attests to the fact that the world has indeed grown smaller and more personal through musicianship, live performances and the exchange of ideas rather than social media.  REJS also works to bring music and education to teens and adolescents via their Youth Spotlight program.

On Friday December 5, 2014 REJS Entertainment will proudly host Violinist and Composer Sonya Robinson at Tavern On The Lake in Hightstown, New Jersey.