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Peter McEachern

by Joseph Montebello

If you have heard the No Chordtet combo play before, you know what you can expect Friday when four members of that august jazz group—Peter McEachern, Mike DiRubbo, Dave Santoro and Tom Melito are joined by pianist Jimin Park at the White Gallery in Lakeville for a Winter Jazz Concert.

If you have not heard them, mark your calendars and prepare for a treat.

Four members of the group, now known as the Peter McEachern/Dave Santoro Quintet, have been playing together in one form or another since the 1990s: McEachern on trombone; DiRubbo, saxophone; Santoro, bass and Melito, drums. The quartet added a fifth member recently—pianist Jimin Park.

Originally called No Chordtet, the group has collectively played on more than 100 popular CD labels, from Polygram, Knitting Factory, Steeplechase to Blue Note and Red Records.

As the original name implies, the group explores the jazz idiom without employing of a chordal instrument—the bass and horns provide the melody as well as the harmony.

“We present a unique brand of jazz while referencing the time-honored tradition of the art form,” explained McEachern. “We play original compositions as well as works of other composers. We don’t use a chordal instrument to outline the harmonic material. Instead, we use the bass and horns for this function.”

McEachern has been a teaching artist on the Litchfield Jazz Camp faculty for more than 20 years and is a major force in promoting jazz locally. He has recorded several CDs, the newest of which—"Bone-Code”—will be released in September 2018.

McEachern has been the recipient of grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. Additionally, he has been chairman of the music department at the Salisbury School for the past eleven years.

DiRubbo, a Connecticut native, began playing the clarinet in fourth grade and switched to the alto saxophone at age twelve. He graduated from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz of the Hartt School, University of Hartford and has worked with some of the biggest jazz legends. His style has been described as “a big bold alto tone—deep, dark, immense with a machete edge that denotes a ready-for-anything urban sensibility.”

Santoro’s work has been featured on more than fifty jazz CDs and he has played, toured, and recorded with the best of the best: Joe Magnarelli, Red Rodney Quintet, Kenny Baron, Victor Lewis, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Dizzy Reece, Junior Cook, Houston Person, Terrel Stafford and the Village Vanguard Orchestra, to name but a few. He is a full professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Tom Melito has been a mainstay on the New York City jazz scene for many years. As a drummer, he has supported such artists as John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Weiss, Harry Allen, “Sweets” Edison, and Lew Tabackin. A strong advocate for jazz education, Melito plays on Jerry Bergonzi’s CD play-along method and is currently recording a series of educational jazz CDs for Windplayer magazine. More recently, he can be seen accompanying pianists Pete Malinverni and Larry Ham.

Jimin Park is a student at Berklee School of Music and an up-and-coming jazz star in her own right. She was most recently featured at Small’s in New York City with the Neal Smith Band. Park began as a classical music prodigy but fell in love with jazz and is now devoting her energies to that art from.

“Art encompasses more than what’s on the wall,” said Tino Galluzzo, co-director of The White Gallery. “Jazz is a wonderful art form and this group is exceptional. They play original compositions and selections from the Jazz canon with a style all their own.”

The quintet will perform many of their classic hits as well as some new arrangements. The program will begin at 7PM at the White Gallery, 342 Main Street, Lakeville. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. There is a suggested contribution of $20 which benefits the group. Refreshments will be served.

For reservations and additional information call 860-435-1029 or visit