Scott Gasaway is the new Band Director at Stivers School for the Arts – though he’s not new to jazz, or to the Dayton area. Born on November 9, 1987, in San Diego, California, Scott’s family moved to Dayton when he was just six years old. Scott credits his mom, Lourdes, with providing him — and his two brothers, Nicholas and Matthew with supporting their education in the arts, an opportunity she did not have as a child.
Scott came up through the Centerville High School band program, which is where, under the guidance of many highly influential teachers, he discovered his passion for music and decided that music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Upon his graduation, Scott went on to pursue music education and saxophone at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied under saxophonist Dino Govoni and saxophonist and clarinetist Shannon LeClaire and performed with vibraphonist and composer Victor Mendoza and bassist Oscar Stagnaro.
Upon graduation from Berklee, Scott accepted a position as the high school music director with Hull Public Schools, in the Town of Hull, Massachusetts, where he was put in charge of starting the band program — teaching band, piano and music technology. It was while he was back home in Dayton to visit his family last summer, that Scott received a call from Stivers Jazz Orchestra Director Emeritus Claude Thomas.
Scott had met Thomas when Thomas was a faculty member of the Miami Valley Jazz Summer Camp and Scott was still an aspiring jazz musician. Thomas was calling to say that he had retired from Stivers to focus on composing full-time and that he wanted to recommend Scott for his position. The rest, as they say, is history.
Scott is now responsible for the operation of the band at Stivers School for the Arts, where he teaches music theory, directs the middle-school concert band, the high-school symphonic wind orchestra and the jazz orchestra. “It keeps me on my toes — and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he says, with great pride and excitement.
Scott will make his debut with the Stivers musicians in their March 18 concert entitled “On the Shoulders of Giants” — a salute to the celebrated Stivers student musicians who captured national honors at three separate Berklee High School Jazz Festivals in Boston and who were invitees and performers at Lincoln Center during the New York City Jazz Festival last year.
The March 18 concert is also a celebration of the release of the new CD “From Boston to New York.” The Stivers musicians will be joined by international jazz artist Greg Abate, who played lead alto sax with the Ray Charles Orchestra and who has recorded with jazz legends Rufus Reid and Kenny Washington. The evening’s program will include works from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich and more.
Here are some (not all) of the upcoming jazz events for the next couple of weeks:
Today Wednesday, March 13 – Brian Cashwell Trio is at Wright State’s Student Union Hearth Lounge in Fairborn, OH and you can Swing Dance with Lizz & Rex Review at the Dayton Event Connection.
Thursday March 14 – The Dayton Art Institute kicks off with The Shin Sings Orchestra to open it’s 2013 its Vectren Jazz and Beyond series and Gilly’s presents a Funk In My Backyard benefit.
Friday March 15 – the Chicago Fire Comes to Dayton with Brad Goode & Bill Burns at Jazz Central, trumpeter Al Hood plays with the Sinclair Jazz Ensemble and the Classic Jazz Stompers are at Jay’s Seafood all in Dayton.
Saturday March 16 – A St. Patty’s Day Blues Jam with Kevin Dumont and Mississippi Red is at Jazz Central In Dayton.
Sunday March 17 – the Jam Session w/ Kenny Baccus continues at Dayton’s Jazz Central.
Monday March 18 – Stivers School for the Arts presents “On the Shoulders of Giants” with their new director and special guest Greg Abate.
Tuesday March 19 – the JD Allen Band is at the Blue Wisp in Cincinnati and the Part St. Tavern Jazz Jam continues in Columbus.
Wednesday March 20 – the eleven piece Different Hats Band at the Dayton Event Connection.
Thursday March 21 – the Generations Big Band plays Jazz Central in Dayton and the Rick Brunetto Big Band is at The 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant in Columbus.
Friday March 22 – Shawn Stanley Trio is at Carvers Steaks & Chops in Centerville and Stanley Jordan is Nighttown in Cleveland Heights.
Saturday March 23 – C’est Tout Bistro in Oakwood presents James & Moore and the Randy Fankell Jazz Trio will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dayton.
Sunday March 24 – Petra’s Recession Seven Band is at the Gallagher Student Center Theater, of Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Monday March 25 – John Taylor Trio is at the Brio Tuscan Grille in Beavercreek.
Tuesday March 26 – Ed Moss & the Society Jazz Orchestra are at the Schwartz Point Jazz Club and Jazz Cab is at The Greenwich both in Cincinnati.
More info and jazz listings can be found at JazzAdvocate.com