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The Chris Klaxton Quartet with Taylor O'Donnell
The Dance Hall
Kittery, ME
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The Chris Klaxton Quartet with Taylor O'Donnell
This newly formed quartet features the vocal stylings of Taylor O'Donnell, showcasing her affinity for Brazilian bossa nova and choro. Ms. O'Donnell, after moving to the seacoast several years ago, has quickly garnered an appreciative fan base and a reputation for delivering lyrics passionately and authentically in a variety of styles and settings. Her seacoast fans have yet to hear her deliver a lyric in Portuguese!

The Brazilian program will be balanced with O'Donnell and Klaxton's favorite selections from the American Songbook / Classic jazz canon, supported by one of the seacoast's most capable and dynamic rhythm sections: Dave Newsam on guitar, Les Harris Jr. on drums, and Matt Hogan on bass.

Taylor O'Donnell

Taylor O'Donnell, a Colorado native, is a contemporary vocalist who mainly uses her roots in classical vocal performance, musical theater, jazz, folk and R&B.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, and graduated with a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami.

           Her instruction in jazz/classical voice performance and pedagogy has come from teachers including Diana Spradling (renowned jazz pedagog) Fred Hersch (Grammy award winning composer and pianist), Grammy nominated vocalists Peter Eldridge and Lauren Kinhan, and New Hampshire native, Lila Mori.  Taylor also studied composition with celebrated trumpet players and composers, Dave Douglas and Terence Blanchard during her time in the Henry Mancini Institute Ensemble at the University of Miami.

           Highlights of Taylor's performing and teaching career have been an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show working with producer David Foster, performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in NYC, working in Miami with Grammy award winning producer Rudy Perez, working at Miami Dade College as a Professor of Jazz Voice, and singing background vocals for singer-songwriter Ben Folds.  Taylor has performed alongside Donny McCaslin, Terence Blanchard, Lyle Mays, Fred Hersch, Jamey Haddad, Janis Siegel, the Real Group, New York Voices, Sunny Wilkinson, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, and with choral group, Seraphic Fire.  Currently, Taylor performs with various groups in the Seacoast area playing jazz and folk, and also can be seen in the up and coming soul group, Mother Superior and the Sliding Royales.      

           Taylor is proud to hold a private studio in Maine, along with her current teaching positions at Bowdoin College and Portsmouth Music & Art Center.  In addition to teaching vocal contemporary style and classical technique for all ages and experience levels, she is available for composition and piano lessons in the Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast area.

Matt Hogan

Matt Hogan, bass, is glad to be back on the Seacoast after a long hiatus. A 2004 graduate of the Hartt school, Matt studied under jazz legends Nat Reeves and Steve Davis before moving to Boston. He enjoyed being part of both the Boston and NH scene, and spent many hours on the road with his bass.

In 2009, Matt moved to Tokyo with his wife Sarah. There he performed on bass with ex-pat and Japanese musicians, learning just enough of the language to get in to trouble. His two beautiful children, Liam and June, were born in Japan. In late 2014, Matt returned to NH with his family, and quickly jumped back into the swing of things. He is currently the manager of the Ryan Seacrest Studio at Boston Children's Hospital.

David Newsam

David Newsam grew up in Connecticut where he was a student of Robert Shaw. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with Jim Kelly, Larry Baione and William Leavitt. David also completed his studies in the Modern American Music program at Longy School of Music where he studied with Thom Noren and Charlie Banacos.
David currently works as an assistant professor in the guitar department at Berklee where he has taught since 1989. He is also employed as a senior lecturer in music at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where he teaches guitar and jazz improvisation. David created the jazz guitar program at the University of New Hampshire where he teaches, directs the UNH Jazz Guitar Ensemble and coaches jazz ensembles.

David performs solo and group engagements throughout New England. He has performed in concerts and clinics with many noted musicians, among them guitarists Jim Hall, Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden, pianists Dave McKenna and James Williams, drummers Ed Shaugnessy, Louis Bellson, Bob Moses and Alan Dawson, and jazz legends Clark Terry, Phil Wilson, Joe Williams and Milt Jackson. He has extensive theater experience including performances with Jack Jones, Mitzi Gaynor, Dianne Carroll, The Fifth Dimension, The Shirrelles, and Carol Channing. Recent concert appearances include performances at Berklee College of Music, Longy School of Music, Dartmouth and St. Anselm Colleges, The House of Blues and the Boston Hatch Shell. David is the author of the book, Making Money Teaching Music, published by Writer's Digest Books. He has produced the instructional DVD Accelerate Your Classical Guitar Playing, for Rittor Music in Japan, and authored the course, Fundamentals of Classsical Guitar, for Berklee Online. David is a member of the Back Bay Guitar Trio.


Les Harris Jr. began playing the drums at a young age under the tutelage of his father. He was sitting in with jazz greats Herb Pomeroy, Bob Wilber, Dave McKennna, John LaPorta, and Teddy Wilson by the time he was 14 and began playing professionally at the age of 15, working weekends with pianist/vocalist Annie Bosteels and her trio.

While attending Berklee, Les studied with Joe Hunt and Robert Kaufman and upon graduation, he studied extensively with legendary drummer and educator Alan Dawson. From 1983-1995, Les was the drummer with the jazz vocal group, "The Ritz", appearing on seven recordings,(five on the Denon label, two on Pausa). As a member of The Ritz, Les performed at The Sea Jazz Festival in Finland, The Blue Note Jazz Clubs in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Jakarta and NYC, The New Morning Club in Paris, George Wein's "Newport Jazz Festival in Japan" as well as engagements in Singapore, Italy, Germany, Morrocco, Vienna, and throughout the United States and Canada.

Les has toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra,(under the direction of Dick Johnson), and with tenor saxophone great Scott Hamilton, including performances with Scott at The Subway Club in Cologne and the Montreal Jazz Festival. In the early 90's, Les worked with Diana Krall and her trio in Boston and in 2001 he toured with "Moxie" featuring Cheryl Bentyne, of The Manhattan Transfer.

Les was a longtime member of Seacoast Jazz great Tommy Gallant's Trio and has had the opportunity to play with some of the best known artists in jazz, including Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Annie Ross, Teddy Wilson, Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Marian McPartland, Jimmy Heath, Ken Peplowski, Al Grey, Marshall Royal, Buddy DeFranco, Bud Shank, Harry Allen, James Moody,Rufus Reid, Benny Green, Charlie Mariano, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan and Geoff Keezer.


$12/advance   $15/door


The Dance Hall (View)
7 Walker St
Kittery, ME 03904
United States


Music > All Ages
Music > Jazz

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No


Owner: The Dance Hall
On BPT Since: Aug 12, 2011
The Dance Hall

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