Real Good for Free: Tribute to Nick Brignola, 9/24/11

September 19th, 2011, 3:30 pm by Greg

Nick Brignola

Nick Brignola

The third annual International Festival will be held at the Hill Street Market Place (on Hill Street between Washington and Liberty streets) in Troy from 11am-sundown on Saturday (September 24), and one of the sure-to-be highlights of the fest with be a special tribute to the late, great Nick Brignola, the Troy native and jazz baritone sax master who passed away in 2002.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of Brignola, and in his honor, an all-star jazz quartet – featuring drummer David Calarco, guitarist Chuck D’Aloia, bassist Otto Gardner and former Brignola student and saxman Brian Patneaude – will play a special concert at the fest at 5pm.

Admission is free.


PearlPalooza @ North Pearl Street, Albany (Saturday, September 24)
Live at the Bearsville Theater @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock (8pm on Mondays)
Music @ Noon @ the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy (12noon on Tuesdays)
September in the City @ Tricentennial Park, Albany (11:30am on Wednesdays)
Frequency North Reading Series @ the College of Saint Rose, Albany (various days)


VIDEO: Tribute to Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck, 1/29/11

February 7th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg

On Saturday, January 29, the Van Dyck in Schenectady hosted its annual Tribute to Nick Brignola concert by the Van Dyck All Stars, a primo ad-hoc jazz band featuring some of the best jazz talents in the 518 area code, including pianist Lee Shaw, saxman Brian Patneaude, guitarist Chuck D’Aloia, drummer David Calarco and bassist Otto Gardner.

You can read Rudy Lu’s review and see his photographs from the concert right here. More of Lu’s photograph’s are also on view at

And here’s a video clip from the show – guitar maestro D’Aloia leads the band through “Backwoods Song”:

LIVE: Tribute to Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck, 1/29/11

January 31st, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Lee Shaw, Chuck D'Aloia, Otto Gardner and Brian Patneaude

Lee Shaw, Chuck D'Aloia, Otto Gardner and Brian Patneaude

It wasn’t just jazz fans who crowded into the Van Dyck in Schenectady on Saturday night, making for a standing-room-only evening. Memories and love filled the room to capacity, as well, for the annual Tribute to Nick Brignola concert. And the stage was packed, too, as some of Nippertown’s finest jazz musicians gathered together to form an all-star band that offered a marvelous musical homage to the great saxophonist who passed away nearly a decade ago.

Emcee Bill McCann – the long-time host of WCDB-FM’s “Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz” – gave the first of many reminiscences of the warm person and brilliant musician that Nick was. Drummer David Calarco and guitarist Chuck D’Aloia shared their personal memories of what it was like to play with Nick. Calarco noted how Brignola would continually tease and challenge his bandmates, often warning them by saying, “Not too fast!” and then counting off the very next tune at a blistering, break-neck tempo.

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Tribute to Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck, 1/29/11

January 26th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Lee Shaw and Nick Brignola in the 1990's (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Lee Shaw and Nick Brignola in the 1990's (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Nobody could blow that big, bad baritone sax like Nick Brignola.

An internationally acclaimed jazz star, baritone sax master Nick Brignola was born in Troy, and whenever he returned from a trans-Atlantic tour of European jazz fests, he always landed right back home in Nippertown.

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LIVE: “Tribute to Nick Brignola” @ the Van Dyck, 10/30/09

November 6th, 2009, 3:33 pm by Greg


The conversational buzz of the audience in the venerable Schenectady jazz club came to a sudden stop as the Van Dyck All-Stars took the stage last Friday evening.

Pianist Lee Shaw shot a huge smile into the room as she sat down on the piano bench. Rich Syracuse picked up the upright bass and cradled his instrument against his chest. Dave Calarco positioned himself behind the drum kit, looked at electric guitarist Chuck D’Aloia and fired off a readied glance at saxophonist Brian Patneaude.

Kicking off the “Tribute to Nick Brignola” concert in front of a sold-out house of fans, family and friends, the band launched into an impassioned and lyrical version of the old jazz standard, “Stella By Starlight.”

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