Rich Syracuse, a graduate of Manhattan School of Music in NYC, has been a mainstay in the New York area scene for more than three decades. In the 1970’s Rich performed with “The Group for Contemporary Music” under the Conductors Charles Wournin and Harvey Solberger. He performed extensively with “The Hartford Ballet” and the “New Jersey Lyric Opera Co”, as well as numerous jazz groups which included John Mehegan, Joey Calderazzo, Ted Rosenthal, Nick Brignola, Mose Allison, Kurt Elling, Dave Liebman, Brubeck Brothers, Warren Bernhardt, Sumi Tonoka, David Torn, Mike DeMicco, Peter Levin, Sam Morrison, Bernard Purdy, Jeff “Siege” Siegel, Dena DeRose, John Medeski, Michael Musilliami and Ali Demogli. For the past 22 years, Rich has been the Bassist for Pianist Lee Shaw. Currently, Rich is the Professor for String and Electric Bass Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York; Hotchkiss School in Lakeville Connecticut, and the Millbrook School in Millbrook New York. He is an Individual member of the International Association Schools of Jazz.
In a career that spans more than 25 years, Michael Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator. Born and raised in California, Musillami was inspired early on by musicians including Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. He studied with renowned guitarist Joe Diorio before moving permanently to the East coast in the early 1980’s, working primarily in organ trios led by Richard “Groove” Holmes and Bobby Buster among others. Misillami has performed with musicians such as Junior Cook, Dewey Redman, Curtis Fuller, Thomas Chapin and Mario Pavone as well as numerous others. He has since led and co-led a variety of ensembles, releasing 15 CDs as a leader and touring in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. In addition to his work as a performer, and overseeing the daily operations of Playscape Recordings, Musillami is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT.“A prolific guitarist with an exceptionally warm, round tone, California native Michael Musillami has a deep catalog of albums that are filled with soulful compositions in a variety of settings. Here, he teams with veteran bassist Rich Syracuse, a bassist with a bright sound and lithe technique that matches well with Musillami’s single-note attack.” Downbeat, December 2017