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Friday, April 13, 2018

Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci Performs at 19th Annual Michael Benson Concert May 6

Jazz at its best will be performed on Sunday, May 6 at the 19th annual Michael Benson Concert, held in the Walter C. Deye, S.J. Performance Center at St. Xavier High School, 600 W North Bend Road, 45224. This year’s guest artist is renowned trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, who will be featured with the Phil DeGreg Trio and St. Xavier High School’s award winning jazz band.

The afternoon begins at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater, where you will be treated to refreshments (donation only) and music from Farinacci and Phil DeGreg Trio in a night club atmosphere. After a short intermission, the entertainment will continue in the main theater with Farinacci and St. Xavier’s own Jazz Ensemble, bringing high energy and enthusiasm to their performance of big band music.

Tickets - $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, children and students -  may be purchased online at or at the door the night of the benefit.  All proceeds benefit the Michael Benson Endowment, which provides scholarships for jazz students to attend the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop.

The Michael Benson Concert is an important tradition at St. X. Bob and Rosalyn Benson created this wonderful celebration of music out of a very tragic circumstance. Their son Michael, an active member of the St. X band, passed away in a car accident less than a month after his 1999 graduation. To honor Michael’s love of jazz, the Bensons set up an endowed fund to send aspiring musicians to jazz camp and to bring in some of the nation's top jazz artists.

Dominick was recently credited the title Global Ambassador to Jazz at Lincoln Center by Wynton Marsalis, working to further integrate jazz into communities around the world. He graduated from The Juilliard School in 2005 launching his career in Japan with a prolific run of eight albums, later releasing two more globally. He has performed in more than 120 cities in 14 countries around the world, was a featured guest on ABC’s Good Morning America, and is a TED Speaker. Music icon Quincy Jones says of Dominick’s accomplishments in performance, recording, education and advocacy, “This kid is 360 degrees!”

Phil DeGreg
His most recent recording “Short Stories” is produced by Tommy LiPuma. This was Tommy and Dominick’s first collaboration, and was recorded in their hometown of Cleveland at the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts.

Dominick is co-creator of Modern Warrior LIVE, a new performance theatre collaboration with U.S. Military Veteran Jaymes Poling. This innovative theatrical music experience explores the psychological weights of war, the challenges of reintegration as a civilian, and the potential for positive personal and communal growth.

In addition to advocacy work amd touring around the world with his band, Dominick has been successful in his personal endeavors on bringing music into the community through Arts and Wellness & Education. He was invited by TED to be a TED Speaker at the 2014 TED MED conference at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He is a featured performer for the Cleveland Clinic in both Ohio and Abu Dhabi, and organized the very first jazz performance for patients in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. For Dominick, music and health go hand in hand, most recently organizing panel discussions around patient-doctor communication through music with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

Dominick serves as Artist in Residence at the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. His educational reach recently expanded to the GCC, in schools such as Weill Cornell Medical CollegeQatar Music Academy, the American School of Doha among others.

A Cincinnati native, Phil DeGreg is  accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. His versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. He was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, was named one of the 10 finalists in Jazziz magazine's 1995 "Keyboardists on Fire" competition, and was a 1996 finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition.

For 16 years, he served as the house pianist at Cincinnati's famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club, accompanying visiting artists on weekends. His jazz festival appearances include the North Sea, Pori, Monterey, Montreux, Brecon, Wigan, and Elkhart. Phil has performed in clubs and concerts, as well as been a visiting artist/clinician for schools, throughout the United States, Europe and Central and South America. In 2008 Phil was awarded a four month Fulbright Fellowship to lecture about jazz in Brazil.

He has taught for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops (since 1982), the UK Jazzwise Jazz Camps (since 1996) and has served on the faculty of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Miami Valley Summer Jazz Workshops, and the Jim Widner Jazz Camps. Phil has presented lecture/demonstrations to the International Association of Jazz Educators, the National Group Piano Teachers Association, the Ohio Music Educator's Association, the Ohio Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association, and has published articles for Jazz Player magazine. In 1995 he published "Jazz Keyboard Harmony," a chord voicing method written for non-pianists and beginning jazz pianists, which is now used in private teaching and at universities throughout the world.

For more information email Bev Watanabe at .

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