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Wed, Jul 26


Merrimans' Playhouse

Andy Bianco Trio

Featuring new original jazz compositions of his design, as well as other jazz composers of note. "Andy Bianco is an amazing guitarist. He has great ideas, a fantastic sound & boundless imagination & fire!" - Jazz guitar master Peter Bernstein

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Andy Bianco Trio
Andy Bianco Trio

Time & Location

Jul 26, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

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


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. End time is estimate.

Critically acclaimed NYC jazz artist, composer, guitarist, and advocate, Andy Bianco, launches his 2022 micro tour with six public shows across four US states in the Northeast and Midwest. Featuring new original jazz compositions of his design, as well as other jazz composers of note – he will feature a trio at Merrimans’ Playhouse, with new albums and merchandise available.

Andy Bianco - guitar

Tony DePaolis - bass

Andrew Kirk - drums


New York City based jazz artist/composer/educator/advocate Andy Bianco has performed with Angie Stone, Deborah Cox, Kandace Springs, Ray Chew, Elle Varner, Bob Moses, George Burton and many others at such renowned venues as ABC Television's Good Morning America, Billboard Live Osaka/Tokyo, The Howard Theater, Blues Alley, The 2013 Long Beach Jazz Festival, The 2014/2015/2019 Essence Festivals in New Orleans, The 2014 BET Awards, The 2017 Richmond Jazz Festival, Sculler’s Jazz Club, Cafe Wha, SOB's, Joe's Pub, The Bitter End, and The Blue Note. He’s also the guitarist for the Grammy winning RnB artist Elle Varner, with whom he's toured the USA and Japan. He was a finalist in the 2012, 2015 and 2019 USA Songwriting Competitions and his 3 official jazz album releases as a leader have received domestic and international critical acclaim from Downbeat Magazine, Elsewhere New Zealand, Bop-N-Jazz, The New York City Jazz Record, and other publications.

Andy has performed his original jazz compositions as a touring jazz artist and bandleader, and with other groups, at such renowned jazz hot spots as Chris' Jazz Cafe, Smoke Jazz Club, Minton’s Playhouse, Cornelia St. Cafe, The 55 Bar, and The Zinc Bar. In addition, his music has been licensed for use in Hollywood film and prime time network television. He has completed a 6-month tour of New Zealand and Japan as the guitarist with the critically acclaimed stage production entitled, "Empire", is a private instructor with New York Jazz Workshop, and a teaching artist with Wingspan Arts & Midori & Friends in NYC. Andy is also an advocate for music and education and has created the Phillip Bianco Memorial Music Scholarship which annually awards a substantial monetary sum to young adult music students through the Keynotes Foundation Scholarship Competition in Pittsburgh.

Long hailed as a shining star in his hometown of Pittsburgh, bassist Tony DePaolis is also a singular songwriting voice with a keen ear for arranging. DePaolis, the son of musical parents, first began his professional career performing alongside Horace Silver alum, drummer Roger Humphries. DePaolis also did notable stints with vocalist Sandy Staley and guitarist Jimmy Ponder. He spent most of the late 20-aughts on the bandstand with then up-and-coming trumpet star Sean Jones.

DePaolis’ compositions and arrangements have appeared on releases by Charles “Poogie” Bell, Colter Harper, Francesco Lo Castro, Erik Lawrence, Reid Hoyson, Tony Campbell, and Paul Cosentino’s Boilermaker Jazz Band. In 2019, DePaolis was the recipient of a grant from the Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh Foundation for the completion of a new original recording project. The project, titled Life Unbound, was written for quartet, sextet, septet, nonet, and strings, has an anticipated release of 2023. DePaolis currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

A resident of Pittsburgh, PA, Andrew Kirk found his love for jazz through going to see the legendary drummer Roger Humphries perform around the city, sitting in with his band, and becoming a lifelong student of his. Andrews has also lived in Charlottesville, VA and Philadelphia, PA where he performed regularly, including in bands led by John D’Earth (trumpet) and Mike Boone (bass). He also has been a featured guest performer with both the James Madison University and University of Virginia Jazz Ensembles. His engaging sound speaks to his passion for music and pulls vocabulary from a career encompassing a very wide range of genres.


"Deliciously dynamic jazz Andy Bianco – NYC STORIES: This is actually my first listen to Andy’s perfectly performed jazz guitar work… what he presents on this album is some of the most deliciously dynamic jazz you will ever listen to…"-Dick Metcalf, “NYC Stories" review, Contemporary Fusion Reviews, November 2020.

"NYC Stories aims at depicting a sense of triumph over adversity, which comes through on album opener 'For Those Who Battle Demons'.... New York might be the most written about city in the country, but Bianco still has stories of his own." - Chris Barton, "NYC Stories" review, Downbeat Magazine, June 2020.

"Judging by the jut of his shoulders, clench of his jaw and verve of his writing and playing, Bianco will soon be back with some more stories." - Tom Greenland, "NYC Stories" review, New York City Jazz Record, April 2020.

"Overall, this was a well-played mainstream jazz album, the musicians played very well together on the ensemble sections and the solos were well done without going overboard. Bianco’s themes were well written and his guitar playing was consistently interesting." - Tim Niland, "NYC Stories" review, Jazz & Blues Blog Spot.Com, February 2020.

"One wishes McLaughlin would hire Bianco as his tonal guru, as the latter’s sound is closer to the Mahavishnu Orchestra than anything McLaughlin is doing these days..." - Stanley Zappa, "Forces of the Wild" review, New York City Jazz Record, August 2013

"A terrifying and intense journey.  Love it!" - Jazz guitar master Ben Monder (referring to "Forces of the Wild")

"Andy Bianco is an amazing guitarist. He has great ideas, a fantastic sound & boundless imagination & fire!" - Jazz guitar master Peter Bernstein

"Andy Bianco is a very fine guitarist with a natural spark. His playing embodies strong elements of the past and the future." - Jazz drumming master Bob Moses

"Good guitarists are like Starbucks, one on every corner. Great guitarists develop their own harmonic voice and then move to the next level, Andy Bianco is a great guitarist." - Brent Black,

"Bianco - who has doubtless heard and studied John McLaughlin's more restrained work in the Seventies and Eighties - describes this album (Homefront ARCD8031) as forward thinking yet rooted in tradition, and that seems a very honest assessment... Well worth checking out."  - September 2015 review of "Homefront" by Graham Reid

"It's Andy on guitar gliding, painting broad strokes behinds this sweeping playing. It all comes together here. It's kind of perfect. Bianco also practically tingles...."Anthony Dean-Harris


Andy Bianco is endorsed by ESP Guitars, Godin Guitars, Reunion Blues Cases & Dean Markley Strings.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023 season). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons).

The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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