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Fri, Nov 18


Merrimans' Playhouse

AlbaTrio & Wright, Rousseau, Sturm, Taddeo (Two Groups - One Night)

J.J.'s newly-formed quartet explores deep meaning through improvisation; AlbaTrio is a trumpet trio that brings a diverse and eclectic sound to the jazz idiom, celebrating their debut album.

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AlbaTrio & Wright, Rousseau, Sturm, Taddeo  (Two Groups - One Night)
AlbaTrio & Wright, Rousseau, Sturm, Taddeo  (Two Groups - One Night)

Time & Location

Nov 18, 2022, 7:30 PM EST

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $15 General/$10 Student.


SB Tribune Article

AlbaTrio and The J.J. Wright Quartet perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Merrimans’ Playhouse. Comprised of Tommy Lehman on trumpet, Tim Lekan on bass and Anthony Taddeo on drums and percussion,  AlbaTrio started in 2019 to explore one of Taddeo’s favorite trio formations. The group’s compositions highlight the various nuances and textures of each instrument while pushing their role in the context of a jazz trio. AlbaTrio’s performance is part of its tour to promote its self-titled debut album. The quartet consists of J.J. Wright on piano, Franky Rousseau on guitar, Ike Sturm on bass and Taddeo on drums and percussion.

SET ONE: Wright, Rousseau, Sturm, Taddeo

Our Home Grown Jazz Performance Series presents the J.J. Wright Quartet featuring J.J. Wright on piano, Franky Rousseau on guitar, Ike Sturm on bass, and Anthony Taddeo on drums and percusssion. This newly-formed quartet explores deep meaning through improvisation. Seamlessly integrating original melodies, soaring improvisations, and mesmerizing grooves, the four musicians create a sonic tapestry that invites shared contemplation by constantly challenging each other and their audiences to be in the moment together.

J.J. Wright - piano

Franky Rousseau - guitar

Ike Sturm - bass

Anthony Taddeo - drums

J.J. Wright’s style cannot be easily categorized. Trained as a jazz improviser at the New School for Jazz in NYC, he’s also passionate about sacred music. Palestrina and Bach vie with Monk and Cannonball Adderley as just a few of his harmonic and melodic inspirations. While with the U.S. Naval Academy Band, Wright performed for the President, as well as several other high-profile diplomatic gigs, and with the Caribbean Jazz Project: Afro Bop Alliance, recording and performing with vibraphonist Dave Samuels. The album was nominated for a GRAMMY for ‘Best Latin Jazz Album’ and won the Latin GRAMMY in the same category. In addition to Mr. Samuels, J.J. has had the privilege of performing with Billy Hart, Ike Sturm, Nate Wood, Chris Cheek, Zach Harmon, Mark Ferber, Matt Ulery, and Delfeayo Marsalis.

In November 2016, Wright’s Advent cantata with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, O Emmanuel, debuted at the top of the Billboard Classical Charts where it remained for eight weeks. He did his graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Notre Dame and had a fellowship in Rome, where he researched and wrote his dissertation on the early Baroque oratorio while studying at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and interning with the Sistine Chapel Choir. Wright became the Director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir in 2017, and has released two albums with the choir: Catch the Spirit, which celebrates African and African American sacred music and They Tell Me of a Home: Celebrating 40 Years of the Folk Choir. When he’s not conducting, composing, or recording, he’s a husband and father to three beautiful children.

Born in 1989 in Montréal, Franky Rousseau trained as a guitarist at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His notable credits as a producer include Fred Hersch’s “Breath by Breath” and Emma Frank’s “Come Back”. He has written for and conducted for various ensembles, such as the Reykjavík Big Band, l’Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal, the Munich-based Jazzrausch Big Band, and the Tokyo-based Keio Light Music Society along with pianist Aaron Parks and drummer Arthur Hnatek.

He has worked in different capacities for Chris Thile, Nico Muhly, Philip Glass, Jon Batiste, Phoebe Bridgers, Kelsey Lu, and Gabriel Kahane, among others. He was the house arranger and chart-maker for the two final seasons of American Public Media's "Live From Here". He has worked on various orchestral projects involving the music of Andrew Bird, Jónsi, and Rhiannon Giddens. As a composer, he released "Hope" in 2012, written for the pianist Austin Peralta. Along with Dominic Mekky, he wrote a multimedia music drama entitled “April”, which tells the story of a singer in her early thirties who is irreparably losing her hearing, and the ensuing toll this takes on her and her two close, but unhealthy, relationships. He is currently in the writing and development stage of a new audio drama with collaborators Dominic Mekky and Tristan Cooley, and composing for an upcoming oratorio for the University of Notre Dame’s folk choir, led by Dr. J.J. Wright.

Bassist and composer Ike Sturm was raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, learning from his father, renowned composer and arranger, Fred Sturm. Ike has performed with Gene Bertoncini, Theo Bleckmann, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. He has played on four Downbeat award-winning recordings, as well as several Steve Reich releases on Canteloupe and Nonesuch Records. He has performed with Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble, along with numerous creative ensembles in New York. Ike studied jazz and classical bass and composition while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he drew inspiration from studies with legendary bassist Dave Holland.

Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan, where Sturm served as Music Director for the Jazz Ministry from 2004-2021, commissioned him to compose Jazz Mass, a work for voices, strings and soloists that merges diverse musical languages into a powerfully unified aesthetic. The piece was released to critical international acclaim, named one of Downbeat’s “Best Albums of the Year” and has been performed across the U.S., Scandinavia and Europe.

ENDLESS FIELD, Ike’s ambient acoustic duo with guitarist Jesse Lewis has been featured live on WBGO New York’s “The Checkout” and on NPR. Their eponymous 2017 album was released on Biophilia Records and includes GRAMMY-winning soloist Donny McCaslin. The project aims to engage others in environmental awareness and activism through music and volunteer activities. In 2019 Ike and Jesse trekked to Utah to record a live wilderness album using a solar-powered battery, collaborating with National Geographic videographers and L.A. sound engineers. Alive in the Wilderness was released to critical acclaim in 2020. Endless Field has been featured live on NYC’s “The Checkout” on WBGO and National Public Radio (NPR). Ike is currently touring, finishing a new album for Ike Sturm + HEART and composing several new 2022 large-scale commissions for choir and string orchestra to be premiered and recorded in New York and Israel.

SET TWO: AlbaTrio

AlbaTrio…  is comprised of Tommy Lehman on trumpet, Tim Lekan on bass and Anthony Taddeo on drums and percussion. A relatively new trio, the project was started by Anthony Taddeo in 2019 to explore one of his favorite trio formations. The compositions of the group deal greatly with the various nuances of each instrument all while pushing their role in the context of a jazz trio. Taking from the sounds of Miles Davis, Dave Douglas and Avishai Cohen, AlbaTrio is a trumpet trio that brings a diverse and eclectic sound to the jazz idiom.

Anthony Taddeo - drums and percussion

Tommy Lehman - trumpet

Tim Lekan -bass

Anthony Taddeo is a percussionist, composer and ODP performing artist currently residing in Cleveland, OH. Early on in his musical career he studied with world renown percussionist Jamey Haddad before moving to New York City in 2009 to further pursue his musical career at The Newschool for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Anthony has toured North America and Europe extensively playing at festivals such as Tri-C Jazz Festival, Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Ciclo 1906 Jazz Fest in Spain. His versatility as a musician has led him to be featured on over 30 albums with a diverse array of musicians and genres. Anthony is an active composer and arranger for projects in NYC and Cleveland; his most recent composition work being the film score for “Making Montgomery Clift” that debuted at the LA Film Festival in Sept, 2018. He also teaches drums and percussion at Cuyahoga Community College, and is endorsed by “Out of the Drawer Percussion” as a performing artist. He is currently studying to get a masters in Composition at Youngstown State University. Many of the compositions on this tour are Anthony's.

Trumpeter Tommy Lehman is a native of West Akron and graduate of Firestone High School. He has been playing professionally for 8 years, regularly performing with Nathan-Paul and The Admirables, Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, and his own groups — The Squadtet and Acid Cats. Upon his completion at the renowned jazz studies program at Tri-C in Cleveland, Tommy transferred to the prestigious Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut to continue his collegiate studies with Freddie Hendrix, Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Javon Jackson, amongst others.

Bassist, composer and educator Tim Lekan began his musical journey touring the United States playing electric bass in R&B bands. His love of jazz and the bass playing of masters such as Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Red Mitchell, and Charlie Haden eventually led him to the acoustic bass. Tim has had many influential teachers, including Ron Thomas, Michael Moore, Dennis Irwin and Martin Wind. A native of Cleveland, Tim lived and worked in New Jersey from June, 1986 through April, 2016. As a free-lance bassist he had the opportunity to work with and accompany many artists including Joe Barrett, Oscar Brown Jr., Paul Jost, Barry Miles, Rebecca Paris, Jim Ridl, Gina Roche, Steve Ash, and Ron Thomas. During this time he was also a member of The George Mesterhazy Trio, The Antfarm Quartet and Trio Music (with drummer Bob Shomo and pianist Jim Ridl).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation, Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation, and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission. Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season).


  • General

    $15 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $10 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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