Sax artists Joe Riposo, Frank Grosso to perform in 'Fall Jazz at the Culp'

Frank Grosso (left) and Joe Riposo

JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 19, 2015) – Saxophonists Joe Riposo and Frank Grosso will headline the “Fall Jazz at the Culp: OCC-Tech” concert at East Tennessee State University on Friday, Dec. 4.

This concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium, is presented by the Jazz Program in ETSU’s Department of Music.

Onondaga Community College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, is called “OCC-Tech” by many and has a reputation for producing world-caliber performers and educators.

Riposo, internationally recognized as an educator, composer/arranger and saxophonist, is a retired director of jazz studies at “OCC-Tech.”  He has also taught as the chief instructor in the Syracuse University School of Music and served as director of music education in the Liverpool (New York) School District for over 30 years.

He has performed with such notable jazz artists as The Woody Herman Orchestra, Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Diane Schuur, Ella Fitzgerald and the McGuire Sisters.  The multi-woodwind instrumentalist is a veteran of the U.S. Army Band Program and has conducted numerous jazz ensembles, “backing up” many jazz legends.  He currently plays in the Salt City Jazz Collective and freelances in the central New York region.

Riposo is the former president of the New York state unit and coordinator of the North Eastern Division of the International Association of Jazz Educators, as well as jazz coordinator and judge for the New York State School Music Association.  He has published over 50 books on developing the jazz technique and jazz language.

Appearing with Riposo in the “Fall Jazz at the Culp” concert are two of his successful former students from “OCC-Tech,” Grosso and Dr. David Champouillon, along with the ETSU Jazz Ensemble.

Grosso has been a music educator in public schools for over 26 years at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and his ensembles have won numerous awards and honors.  He has given master classes on jazz performance and improvisation and has been a guest conductor and adjudicator in the Central New York area.

Grosso has appeared with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bob Hope, Lena Horne, The Spinners, The Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, Liberace, Johnny Mathes, Wayne Newton and others.  He also performs regularly with a variety of ensembles, including the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, Walter White’s Small Medium At Large, the Salt City Jazz Collective and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.  Equally at home in the blues idiom, he has played in jazz and blues festivals across the eastern United States, Canada and Belgium.

Champouillon, a Bach Trumpets Artist/Clinician, is professor of trumpet and director of the Jazz Studies Program in the ETSU Department of Music, which now offers a bachelor of music degree with a concentration in jazz studies.  He is the bandleader of The Jazz Doctors, a straight-ahead jazz group comprised of area musicians that appears regularly at festivals, special events and a variety of venues throughout the region.  The U.S. Air Force Band Program veteran has performed with major artists as well as various orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles and brass groups throughout the country. 

The ETSU Jazz Ensemble is comprised of student musicians in the Jazz Studies Program.  Under the direction of Champouillon, the group has performed in numerous area festivals and venues, and its members have had the opportunity to appear on stage with such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Rufus Reid, Al Hood, Vaughn Nark, Ed Shaughnessy and many others. 

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for students.  Advance tickets are available by visiting or calling the Department of Music at 423-439-4276; tickets will also be sold at the door.

For more information, call the number above.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

direct edit