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Swingtime Big Band with Zach Alexander playing my arrangement of I've Gotta Be Me 

The Swingtime Big Band performed at the Astoria Fireworks Celebration on Thursday June 29th in Astoria Park.  Here's a video of the great Zach Alexander performing my arrangement of I've Gotta Be Me-- this chart is based on a great Steve Lawrence live TV recording that Zach found and commissioned me to write for him.  Great to be able to perform it with him!


Performance at the Games in Music Concert at Chan Centre in British Columbia 

I'm excited to have a work of mine featured on this great concert of movie and video game music.  It's a treat to be on the same program as several of my composer heroes and former employers!  I did an arrangement of Korobeiniki--the Russian folksong that was used as the Tetris game theme.  Often you don't hear about these performances, but the nice thing about social media is that often tags can find you!  Here's the program plan and notes for the November 4th concert.

This arrangement is available for purchase here:


Guest conductor Lucas Waldin leads the UBC Symphony Orchestra and UBC A Cappella for a night celebrating new and classic video game soundtracks. Experience the epic sounds of Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek: Into the Darkness, and relive the frenzy of the tetris theme song. VR immersive artist Juliana Loh will paint the scores of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings live. This concert also premieres the orchestral scores of both Celeste and Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between. 


Various (Ralph Ford)
Suite from Video Games Live
Halo Theme / Coronation & Baba Yetu (Civilization IV) / Bounty Hunter (Advent Rising) /Kingdom Hearts

Lena Raine (arr. Gabriella Yorke)
Music from Celeste

Maxime Goulet
Level Up!
Risa Tonita, keyboard soloist

Howard Shore (arr. John Whitney)
Symphonic Suite from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Juliana Loh, VR immersive artist

Traditional (arr. Chris Rinaman)
Korobeiniki Fantasy (Theme from Tetris)


Michael Giacchino
Star Trek: Into the Darkness

Devin Vibert (arr. Antony Knight)
Music from Glitchhikers: The Spaces in Between

Brower/Duke/Hayes (arr. Jerry Brubaker)
Music from World of Warcraft

Maxime Goulet
Beachball Games for Orchestra

Toby Fox (Steven Stanke)
Music from Undertale

John Williams (arr. Stephen Bulla)
Star Wars Through the Years
Juliana Loh, VR immersive artist

The Kennedy Dream at The Jazz Loft 

Over the past year, I've been working on a really exciting project with Tom Manuel at the Jazz Loft and the concerts are happening this weekend.  We will be performing Oliver Nelson's tribute suite to John F Kennedy, The Kennedy Dream, with a 35-piece jazz orchestra.  The 2nd half of the concert features 9 new original compositions by Tom Manuel, Dan Pugatch, Ray Anderson and others, and I have arranged 6 of those new compositions for the 35-piece orchestra, including a new work by Oliver Nelson, Jr.

Concerts are Saturday, March 26th at 7pm at the Jazz Loft, and Sunday, March 27th at 7pm at the Staller Center at Stony Brook University.

More info and tickets are available through The Jazz Loft website:

Here's the original recording of The Kennedy Dream-- check it out and then come hear it live!


The Jazz Loft & The Staller Center Present 

The Kennedy Dream Project 2022 

Performance of musical tribute to ideals of late president will include new compositions by Stony Brook University Jazz Department faculty 

Stony Brook, NY-Fifty-Five years ago American composer/arranger Oliver Nelson recorded The Kennedy Dream: A Musical Tribute to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Nelson drew his inspiration and focus for the music from the universality of JFK’s legacy and the President’s belief that our freedom, comparative wealth, scientific advancement, and problems are all products of the creativeness of the individual. 

Nelson’s 1967 work will be both reproduced and expanded upon as The Kennedy Dream Project 2022, a special series of concert performances, funded in part by a $5,000 New York State Council on the Arts Creative Communities grant, with additional funding from the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. 

The project is also being funded by generous donations from Michael Ardolino, founder and owner of Ardolino Realty, and Dan Oliveri. 

"I am thrilled to once again partner with The Jazz Loft for this creative and timely project,” Ardolino said.  “Music can help to heal and inspire people, and I believe the Kennedy Dream Project is needed in these challenging times." 

The Kennedy Dream Project 2022 will be performed by the Stony Brook University Jazz Department and Indiana University’s Jazz Department faculty including Oliver Nelson, Jr, as well as Ray Anderson and Thomas Manuel, of the University’s Jazz Department. Manuel is also the founder of the Jazz Loft. The second half of this project presents new compositions as produced by artists Manuel, Anderson, Oliver Nelson Jr., Grammy-nominated Dan Pugach, Steven Salerno and Jeff Lederer. These musical statements speak to the struggles of the current time, be it the COVID pandemic, equality, equity, advocacy for the arts and artists, as well as other themes. 

“This project is an attempt of all the artists involved to emphasize and bring to the world’s attention the really important themes, subjects and ideals which Kennedy championed; challenges which confronted mankind in the 1960s, and challenges which, some, sadly still confront us today,” said Manuel. “The motivation and purpose of the addition of these new compositions is to again emphasize that the conversation in Jazz, the conversation begun by Oliver Nelson in 1967 is far from finished.” 

“The Staller Center is honored and delighted to be collaborating with Tom Manuel and the Jazz Loft in hosting this exciting project in our hall,” said Alan Inkles, Director of the Staller Center for the Arts and the Stony Brook Film Festival. “The Jazz Loft continues to be an ever-growing important musical addition to our community and region; exploring all areas of jazz and more. This project is a perfect addition to a season at Staller that has embraced the times and issues we are facing in the world today. Art needs to be entertaining, sometimes challenging and always relevant. The Dream Project embraces all of these and is a perfect continuation of the exciting work being done at The Jazz Loft.” 

“I am both honored and excited to be a part of the Kennedy Dream Project,” said Oliver Nelson, Jr. “My dad saw in President Kennedy a man with a vision of what America could be. Kennedy’s tragic death had a profound impact on him personally and musically. I was at the original recording session and remember the creative energy that was exhibited by all the musicians. The Kennedy Dream Project helps to keep the legacy alive of both President John F. Kennedy, and the prolific composer, arranger, and saxophonist Oliver Nelson.” 

A Sunday, March 27, 2022 performance is scheduled for the Staller Center for the Performing Arts on campus at Stony Brook University. A performance at the Jazz Loft in Stony Brook Village will be on Saturday March 26, at 7 P.M. 

Mr. Nelson will be working with the Stony Brook University Jazz Department students in an open workshop on Friday, March 25 on the University campus, as well as presenting a music business workshop with Loft School of Jazz students at The Jazz Loft on Saturday, March 26.

Play It Momma for 4 Trombones 

This is a great Mary Lou Williams tune I arranged for 4 trombones.  This was done for the virtual jazz jam at Flushing Town Hall hosted by Carol Sudhalter.  

It's a really funky, fun tune, but there isn't a traditional melody-- it's more of a groove tune that Mary Lou Williams used to improvise over, so I arranged some of her piano voicings for the main trombone melody.

The Jazz Loft Presents "Music in Conversation" featuring trombonist, arranger and composer Chris Rinaman 

Enjoy the latest installment of our Music in Conversation Series as Jazz Loft founder Tom Manuel talks with trombonist, composer and arranger Chris Rinaman. Tom and Chris got to pull up a chair recently at the Jazz Loft and talk about inspirations and early teachers growing up, Jazz pioneer Jack Teagarden, and their new collaborative project celebrating the music of Oliver Nelson and his 1968 album "The Kennedy Dream".


Grammy Time! 

I've been involved with a few projects this year that are up for voting (if you're a NARAS member) for Grammy consideration this year:

  • My arrangement of Quincy Jones' song from The Color Purple, called "Sister" on the most recent Band of Bones album, "Picadillo? Yes, Madly!" featuring The Band of Bones and vocalist Antoinette Montague.  Check it out!
  • The Band of Bones album "Picadillo? Yes, Madly!" is up for consideration in the Best Latin Jazz Recording Category
  • I played trombone on the Original Cast Recording to the show "Kris Kringle: The Musical" -- up for consideration in the Musical Theater category

Good luck to everyone with projects up for consideration this year!

Check out Sister and the Band of Bones here:

On Eagle's Wings Single Released 

Today a single I recorded in 2008 was released to be available online wherever you get your digital music, as well as on my site here.  This is a track I recorded as a gift to my mother, in memory of her mother-- Elva Lois Greene.  I hadn't planned on releasing it, but have shared it with people over the last 10 years.  It's a song that has a lot of meaning for many people and I hope you will enjoy hearing it and remember the special people in your life who may have passed on.  

Live concert of Motown Classics with Full Orchestra 

I've been working with the Richmond County Orchestra on a concert of Motown Classics, arranged for orchestra-- these will be premiered on Sunday, April 22 at a FREE concert in Staten Island, with the Richmond County Orchestra, and the band Not From Concentrate.  The concert is at 3pm at the Snug Harbor Music Hall-- a beautiful old vaudeville concert theater in a really interesting historical village on Staten Island.

On the concert are classics including the tunes My Girl, Reach Out, You're All I Need to Get By, Pastime Paradise, ABC, Stop In The Name Of Love.  Working on these has further convinced me of the genius of James Jamerson, bass player on many of these original recordings.  And take some time to check out the original recording and string arrangement of My Girl-- that is a tune I thought that I knew-- until I really took a close listen to it!  

Come hear these live on Sunday!


Celebrate America Concert and Arrangement Premiere! 

The Richmond County Orchestra is premiering my new arrangement commissions of three July 4th classics this Saturday, July 1st.  I pulled out all the patriotic stops on these new arrangements of God Bless America, Bring Him Home, and God Bless the U.S.A., which will be performed by vocalists Alison Madill, and Tim Mercaldo.


Beatles Blast 2017 

I'm working on a concert of orchestrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles classic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."  This concert is on June 2, 2017, in the beautiful St. George Theater in Staten Island, and will feature the Richmond County Orchestra conducted by Alan Aurelia.  I've worked with this orchestra many times, and this will be the 2nd time I've been commissioned for a complete concert of arrangements in the St. George Theater.