Smooth Jazz for Scholars raises money for local music education

The Annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert has been set for Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 and will be held at the Parsons Complex, 70 West River Street.

Doors will open at 7 p.m.; the concert begins at 8 p.m. The corporate sponsors for this year’s performances are Colonial Toyota of Milford, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Briarpatch Enterprises and The Milford Bank.

Now in its 12th year, world renowned jazz musician and local resident Jay Rowe donates a portion of the ticket sales back to the Milford Public Schools Music Department. Rowe continues to make this annual donation as a way to thank the educators who were there at the beginning of his musical career.

He is a graduate of Calf Pen Elementary and Joseph A. Foran High School. Rowe has donated more than $54,000 to the district’s music program since he started the program.

Rowe will have two separate artist line-ups for each night. On April 18 the show will feature guitarist Chuck Loeb (of the jazz super-group Fourplay), saxophonists Kim Waters and Steve Cole and Rowe's boyhood idol pianist/keyboardist Jeff Lorber.

The show on April 19 will feature guitarists Chieli Minucci and Nick Colionne and saxophonists Marion Meadows and Nelson Rangell.

The back-up band for both nights will be guitarist Rohn Lawrence (4/18 only), Trevor Somerville on drums, Dave Anderson on bass and percussionist Steve Scales, (who has performed with the Talking Heads, Tina Turner and Michael Bolton).

“I am so pleased to be able to bring a show of this quality to Milford for two nights — it gives residents the opportunity to see a first-rate festival-like performance right here in town, without having to travel to New Haven, Hartford, or NYC,” Rowe said. “It is also an honor for me to be able to bring an artist like Jeff Lorber who is a major influence of mine and a true legend of the Smooth Jazz genre into this already great line-up or artists. And, of course, I am so pleased to be able to contribute in this way to our schools. To bring awareness and attention to the importance of music education is why we do this every year.”

Rowe has performed and recorded with the elite in the world of jazz throughout the world and has played in many major jazz festivals across the U.S., and around the world, including Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Norway, Germany, Holland, South Africa, China and Indonesia. As a solo artist, he has recorded and released five CDs, “A Dream I Had” (1994), “Jay Walking” (1997), “Laugh Out Loud” (2001), and “Red, Hot and Smooth” (2006) and "Live At Daniel Street"(2011).

“Last year’s event, covering two nights, was a big hit,” Rowe said. “Many of our long-time supporters of this event are traveling to Milford from out of state and many of them come for both shows and stay and shop in Milford for the weekend.”

Tickets are $40 for one night and $70 for two nights. The first 250 tickets sold are for reserved seating. Tickets sold after that will be for general admission seating. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Café Atlantique, The Canvas Patch, Milford Fine Arts, Arciuolo’s Shoe Store and the Villa Gourmet. For additional information, go to or call 203-874-4150.