Garden Concert Series: The Gabriel Mervine Trio featuring Alicia Jo Straka




Garden Concert Series: The Gabriel Mervine Trio featuring Alicia Jo Straka

Jazz great, trumpeter Gabe Mervine, brings the Gabriel Mervine Trio featuring Alicia Jo Straka, to Fort Collins and OtHA opening Garden Concert Series. Playing music from around the globe — from Jazz to Pop, Polka to Parisienne, and beyond — with promises of eclectic sounds from musicians of the highest caliber.

Please join us as we gather at the lake-front home of Dani Grant for a mellifluous afternoon of music, wine, and great company.

Pre-concert wine reception: 12:30 pm
Concert: 1:30-3:30 pm
Tickets: $32 for adults, $10 for students
(Purchase Tickets Below)

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About The Gabriel Mervine Trio featuring Alicia Jo Straka

Gabriel Mervine

At a time in music where history and originality never seem to go hand in hand, Gabriel Mervine takes steps every time he picks up his trumpet to bring these two closer together. With a musical upbringing, Gabriel has deeply rooted himself in the traditions of Jazz and Classical music while at the same time contributing to the modern music scene. He wishes to leave no stone unturned and no genre unexplored because in his mind, all music has the power to make the artist who he/she is.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Gabriel began his professional playing career at the age of thirteen. By the time he graduated high school, he was already looking at making a career out of playing the trumpet. He then went to the Colorado University at Boulder for Jazz Studies, but after one year decided to dedicate his time to becoming a working trumpet player, which would include continuing his studies privately with people such as Bobby Shew, Roger Ingram, and Greg Gisbert, just to name a few.

Gabriel quickly gained recognition and began performing with people such as Natalie Cole, Christian McBride, The Colorado Symphony, The Temptations, Terence Blanchard, Lettuce, Karl Denson, John Scofield, Hugh Jackman, Lonnie Smith, Russell Malone, The Who, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Roberta Gambarini, the Motet, and Houston Person while also building a strong freelance career playing everything from Mariachi to Mahler. Gabriel now resides in Denver, Colorado, and keeps a rigorous schedule of local and national performances. He is currently seeking to broaden his musical repertoire with his own groups stretching into more modern original works while simultaneously trying to keep the music that inspired him at such a young age alive and well.

Dru Heller

Dru Heller has made his home in Denver since 2013. He has toured and recorded with some of the greatest names in Jazz, including Don Byron, John Ellis, Ron Miles, Art Lande, and Greg Osby. Dru keeps up a busy schedule as a bandleader and sideman in a multitude of projects in the live jazz scene in Denver and can be seen frequently in different clubs and concert halls around the area. Dru is an engaged and empathetic teacher, having been an artist in residence for many colleges, high schools, and music festivals around the country. He has a private teaching studio for all ages and ability levels and is a music faculty member of the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dru attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he received an M.M. in Jazz Performance/Pedagogy.



Seth Lewis

Music has been an essential part of life for Seth since he was a child­, singing with his mother and playing numerous instruments until age 12 when he found the bass. His most recent recording, Dream Theme, produced by Octave Records is available on all platforms and he can be heard on many other recordings as a leader and a sideman. Thanks to his life in music Seth has traveled the world performing and teaching and has collaborated with celebrated jazz artists as well as performing with Broadway and Las Vegas shows. During his time in New York, Seth regularly appeared at well-known jazz clubs including Smalls, Smoke, Dizzy’s Club Coca­-Cola, Cleopatra’s Needle, and The Iridium. Some of the outstanding artists Seth has worked with include: Mulgrew Miller, Louis Hayes, Eric Alexander, Adam Nussbaum, David Hazeltine, Chico Freeman, Bobby Watson, Harold Mabern, Gabriel Mervine, Jerry Dodgion, Randy Brecker, Sheila Jordan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Greg Gisbert, Dave Liebman, Eric McPherson, Abraham Burton, Josh Evans, Stacey Dillard, Dawn Clement, Alexis Cole, Benny Golson, Jeff Hamilton, Evan Sherman, Jonathan Barber, Emmet Cohen and many others. Seth studied privately and was mentored by two legendary bassists; the late Bob Cranshaw and Ron Carter. Seth has also studied with Christian McBride, Nat Reeves, John Lockwood, Martin Wind, Bill Charlap, and Steve Davis.

Seth has been awarded research grants from the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and the University of Northern Colorado. His research has been published in Allegro Magazine (Feb. 2020) and he has presented research at the Jazz Education Network Conference and the International Society of Bassists Conference. Seth holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music and a Master of Music degree from William Paterson University and a Doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado. Seth currently teaches at Colorado State University, The University of Wyoming and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Seth has previously taught at the Hartt School of Music, The Artists Collective, Newark Academy, and the Litchfield Jazz Camp. Music is a gift that is meant to be shared and Seth is grateful for the continued opportunities he has to bring music to new audiences.

Alicia Jo Straka

Alicia Jo Straka (previously Baker) is a professional accordionist, singer, pianist, and composer from Portland, OR, currently residing in Denver, CO. Throughout her career, Alicia has won multiple International accordion competitions, worked as an artist for the prestigious Roland Corporation, sung leading operatic roles, and has performed at many notable venues including Carnegie Weill Hall and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Versatility has always been a point of pride for Alicia, which is highlighted through her diverse repertoire; jazz, Parisienne, pop, funk, opera, polka, and techno to name a few. Alicia currently spends her time teaching private students, performing, composing, and arranging.




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