CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In 2011, the New York Times published a review of a new jazz album, “Dawn of Goodbye,” by a trumpeter named Dominick Farinacci. The album cover, printed with the article, showed a black and white image of a handsome, but very young-looking, 28-year-old musician. That picture caused some jazz aficionados to assume the album was the work of a novice. The Times review intended to correct that misconception.
“Mr. Farinacci plays beautifully, with expressive control, throughout a program of love-haunted standards and compatible originals, including his yearning title track,” the review stated. “His phrasing attests to some close study of Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, but avoids outright imitation.”
At 7:30 p.m. on April 6, the Dominick Farinacci Quintet will visit Austin Peay State University’s Mabry Concert Hall to headline the 52nd Annual Mid-South Jazz Festival. That concert is sponsored by the Clarksville Community Concert Association, with the support of the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, The Leaf-Chronicle and the Clarksville Arts and Heritage Development Council.
Farinacci may be young, but he’s already had an impressive career. When he was only 17, he opened for Wynton Marsalis and his big band during a jazz festival in Cleveland. He went on to perform as a special guest with Marsalis on a live PBS broadcast, “Live From Lincoln Center.” He was also part of the inaugural class of the Julliard Jazz Program. By the time he graduated from Julliard, he had received two Gold Disc Awards, the International New Star Award, had won first place in the ITG Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition and had traveled to Japan to promote his records over a dozen times.
“We only have one real jazz event a year, and I’ve always tried to get as top drawer musicians that we can get,” David Steinquest, APSU professor of music, said. “And I have a feeling that we’re having Dominick here before he sort of explodes.”
The Mid-South Jazz Festival is a four-day event at APSU that was founded in 1961 as a way of bringing jazz musicians to Clarksville to work with APSU students. It has since morphed in the last 27 years, under Steinquest’s leadership, into one of the region’s most successful, professional jazz experiences. Luminaries such as the Joel Frahm Quartet, pianist Fred Hersch and Jason and Delfeayo Marsalis have visited the University over the years as part of the festival.
The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, with a performance by the Cumberland Jazz Project. That group, under the direction of Mike Ritter, consists of local musicians from the middle Tennessee area.
“It’s a great group, and they have a good following here,” Steinquest said.
At 7:30 p.m. on April 4, the APSU Jazz Combo will present a program featuring works by some of the giants of jazz trumpet.
“I put together a program of jazz pieces written by a bunch of different jazz trumpet players,” Steinquest said. “Classic giants like Miles Davis, and we’re doing a couple by Dominick Farinacci, and everybody in between. It forces the students to get to know 10 different player/composers from the 1940s to now. I think it makes for sort of an interesting program for the audience too.”
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, April 5, the APSU Jazz Collegians, will present a free evening featuring the popular jazz standards.
At noon on April 6, the festival will host middle school and high school band performances. Farinacci will give a clinic at 4 p.m. that day. All events are free and open to the public.
On Saturday night, the festival closes with the Dominick Farinacci Quintet. Tickets for that performance are $25 a person, $5 for students and free for APSU students.
“The place should be packed,” Steinquest said.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.clarksvillemusic.org or by phone at 931-552-6093. For more information, contact the APSU Department of Music at 221-7818.