The Grill at 1951 Calendar
The Tony Boffa Jazz Quartet
Tony Boffa graduated from Cheverus High School in 1968. He somehow knew at age 15 that music would be his life. While learning the pop tunes of the times, he was also intrigued by the improvisational styles of the great be-bop players. Music in various styles was the only thing that motivated him. His natural urge to entertain led to the development of his unique musical personality. Under the tutelage of local educators Don Doane and Thomas Bucci, Tony graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1973. Tony earned his way through college, teaching privately, instructing at Bowdoin College, and playing extensively as a sideman in show and jazz bands. Frustrated with the leadership skills of many of his employers, Tony began leading his own ensembles. Tony credits Don Doane, Tom Bucci, and Commercial band leaders Larry Bisso(Massachusetts) and Arnold Most (New Haven, Connecticut) with helping him combine schooled musicianship with entertainment skills.
As Tony winds down his career fronting The Tony Boffa nine-piece show/dance band, he returns to his roots. Come and see The Tony Boffa Jazz Quartet Tuesday nights at The Grill At 1951. Jazz means many different things to many different people. The repertoire for Tony’s jazz performances is familiar and fun. It features the Great American songbook and creative renditions of pop tunes.
Enjoy this great video of tony Boffa
British born and new to the USA, Natalie sings, plays saxophone, flute and clarinet and is currently developing as a jazz artist here in South West Florida.
Natalie was raised in Cornwall, in the South West of England and studied classical piano and clarinet for most of her childhood. In her late teens, she studied the saxophone and played in youth regional big bands, where she developed a love for contemporary music and jazz.
Natalie recently moved to the USA after a career teaching High School Science in England, Ghana, West Africa and the Cayman Islands, where she later trained as a Master SCUBA Diver Instructor. Travelling around West Africa and the Caribbean was an enriching experience that exposed Natalie to multiple cultures and genres of music.
Since Natalie has moved to the USA, she has returned to her first love, music. The encouragement of many accomplished jazz musicians in the South West Florida musical community has led to her playing and working on her art full-time and to have the opportunity to develop as a jazz artist.
She currently plays and sings with her own quartet, writes and records her own music, and works as a freelance musician for theatres, big bands and a variety of ensembles. She also has weekly residencies in local restaurants, including “The Grill at 1951”.
Jazz Singer / Piano Man
Glenn was born and raised near Trenton, NJ and began playing the piano at age seven with a local teacher. At age 10, Dad’s money got tight, so Glenn began teaching himself from his father’s “fake books,” which his father had used in his own combo since 1937.
At age 18 (1972), while still in high school, Glenn auditioned for and won a spot with a Trenton based 16 piece (+ vocalists) big band known as “Bob Smith’s Lamplighters.” The Lamplighters were an authentic 1940s style orchestra playing original charts from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Count Basie, etc., 5 and 6 nights every week. Bob was a classmate at Ewing High School of the great alto saxophonist Richie Cole who often sat in with the band. The exposure to jazz, be-bop, swing and Latin music in the Lamplighters was extremely valuable to Glenn. Glenn resumed his studies at age 18 with pianist Norman Schnell of Cranbury, NJ, who had played with Gene Krupa’s big band. Glenn studied the art of big band piano accompaniment with Norm as well as how to effectively support a vocalist without stepping on their toes. He also studied in New York City with the great pianist Walter Bishop, Jr.
After leaving the Lamplighters, Glenn went on to play with an all-black (except for Glenn, of course ) R&B/Funk band called “Afterworld.” Afterworld played shows with artists such as Archie Bell and the Drells, Instant Funk, Bunny Sigler, George Buzzy, Eddie Kendricks, Brooke Benton and members of the great r & b group “Kool and the Gang.”
Glenn attributes his time with “Afterworld” instrumental to him developing his sense of rhythm.
Glenn then performed and traveled with the Delfonics from Philadelphia who were trying to make a comeback in 1979, but, alas, the Stylistics had taken their place at the top of that genre.
Glenn then travelled and performed extensively throughout Northeast hotels and resorts for eight years in a musical duo with his former wife, Gloria McKee. “Combined Effort,” as the duo was called, played a mix of dinner music, jazz and swing, ballads, Latins, rock and roll and country music. It was during these years that Glenn was exposed to and developed an appreciation for country music. One of his favorite activities as a pianist is backing a vocalist.
Glenn’s passion now is straight-ahead jazz, and since relocating to Florida five years ago (most recently from New Hampshire), he has had the honor of getting to know and play with some of the great jazz musicians who have settled in Southwest Florida.