The Jazz Loft

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook presents the following events in February:

Wed. 2/2     Young at Heart: Here’s to the Ladies at 1 p.m.

The monthly themed afternoon jazz series Young at Heart was originally designed for those with memory issues and their caretakers. It has become a favorite for those that like jazz in the afternoon.

This month music written by women and to women will be performed by The Jazz Loft Trio.

Tickets $10


Wed. 2/2     Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m.

The Jazz Loft Trio led by bassist Keenan Zach performs at 7 PM followed by a jam session at 8 PM

Tickets: $10 at 7 PM, $5 at 8 PM


Thurs. 2/3    Jazz Loft Big Band at 7 p.m.

The 17 member Jazz Loft Big Band led by Jazz Loft founder Tom Manuel, performs jazz standards

and original compositions and arrangements written by band members.

Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Wed. 2/9       Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m.

The Jazz Loft Trio led by bassist Keenan Zach performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: $10 at 7 PM, $5 at 8 PM


Thurs. 2/10   Interplay Jazz Orchestra at 7 p.m.

The 17 member Jazz Loft Orchestra co directed by Joe Devassy, trombonist and Gary Henderson,

trumpet, performs original compositions and arrangements written by band members.

Tickets: $30 adults,$25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Fri. 2/11       Acoustic In The Living Room at 7 p.m.

NYC based Latvian singer, composer and arranger Arta Jekabsone performs accompanied by Steve Salerno on guitar in the intimate setting of The Jazz Loft living room.

Tickets: $ 40


Sat. 2/12     Here’s to the Ladies at 7 p.m.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with The Jazz Loft All Stars, Ray Anderson trombone, Tom Manuel cornet,

Mike Hall bass, Steve Salerno guitar and Ellis Holmes drums. Music for women and by women will be featured. A glass of champagne and chocolate by Stony Brook Chocolate are included with admission.

Tickets: $40 adults, $35 seniors, $30 students, $25 children, children under 5 free


Wed. 2/16   Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m.

The Jazz Loft Trio led by Keenan Zach bassist performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: $10 at 7 PM, $5 at 8 PM


Thurs. 2/17   Bad Little Big Band at 7 p.m.

The 12 member Bad Little Big Band led by pianist, composer and arranger Rich Iacona performs the music of The Great American Song Book. Vocalist Madeline Kole accompanies the band.

Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Wed. 2/23    Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m.

The Jazz Loft Trio led by bassist Keenan Zach performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: $10 at 7 PM, $5 at 8 PM


Fri. 2/25        Acoustic in the Living Room at 7 p.m.

Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Rubens De La Corte, Brazilian singer and actress Corina Sabbas and guitarist Steve Salerno will perform Brazilian, jazz and fusion standards in the intimate setting of The Jazz Loft Living Room.

Tickets: $40


Sat. 2/26      Acoustic in the Living Room at 7 p.m.

Taylor Ackley, multi stringed instrumentalist and vocalist and cellist and vocalist, Alison Row perform in the genres of blue grass, folk, Western swing and Old Time music. Steve Salerno guitarist accompanies. Performance will be in the intimate setting of The Jazz Loft living room.

Tickets: $40


Tickets are available at and if available before events. For more information, call 751-1895.

Renowned New York City based dance company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet returns to Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook on Saturday, Feb. 5 for a spectacular evening on the Mainstage featuring their two newest full length pieces performed on the same program for the very first time, in celebration of Black History Month. The show starts at 8 p.m

Under the artistic direction of dance Icons Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, (both former principal dancers with ALVIN AILEY DANCE and star choreographers), COMPLEXIONS will perform two monumental pieces, “WOKE” and LOVE ROCKS”, born out of the current crisis’ we are facing in the world. Through dance, COMPLEXIONS confronts this moment in time and the question of what it means to exist in today’s society and how we connect in spite of it.

“WOKE” is a physical reaction to the daily news. A bold and dynamic socially conscious one act ballet featuring the full company that examines our humanity in conjunction with today’s political climate.

LOVE ROCKS, which also features the full company, is set to the powerful music of Grammy Award-winner Lenny Kravitz. It is a fun, thrilling and moving dance and a tremendous compliment to “WOKE”.

Dancing these two pieces together in the same program is a challenge for the company. Complexions Dance is working overtime through extreme pandemic conditions to create this unique program for the Staller Center as they present it to the University community and greater Long Island region.

Tickets range from $42 to $58. For more information or to order, visit,  call 631-632-ARTS or email [email protected]

Major Sponsors are News 12 – Campolo, Middleton & McCormick – Danfords Hotel & Marina – Friends of the Staller Center – Hilton Garden Inn – Island Federal – Jefferson’s Ferry – Renaissance – Stony Brook Medicine – Suffolk County – WLIW – Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation.


The Staller Center prioritizes the safety of its patrons, staff and students, and will enforce strict Covid-19 protocols for the Fall 2021 season. At this time, visitors must show proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event (children ages 12 and under are exempt when accompanied by a parent or guardian who meets the requirements). Additionally, each audience and staff member must wear a mask while inside the venue. All audience members will be advised to not attend if they feel unwell, have symptoms of Covid-19 or have recently been exposed to someone with the disease.

With these guidelines, the Staller Center ticket policy for return or exchange of tickets will be liberalized to accommodate patrons who cannot attend due to the above.


Complexions Contemporary Ballet was founded in 1994 by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and the legendary Desmond Richardson with a singular approach to reinventing dance through a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, Complexions represents one of the most recognized, diverse, inclusive and respected performing arts brands in the World. Having presented an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement on 5-continents, over 20-countries, to over 20-million television viewers and to well over 300,000 people in live audiences, Complexions is poised to continue its mission to bring unity to the world one dance at a time.

Complexions has received numerous awards including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award. It has appeared throughout the US, including the The Joyce Theatre and Lincoln Center in NYC, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Paramount Theatre/Seattle, The Music Center/Los Angeles, Winspear Opera House/Dallas, The Cutler Majestic Theater/Boston, The Music Hall/Detroit, and has toured extensively around the world to venues including The Bolshoi Theater, The Kremlin, The Mikhailovsky Theater, and the Melbourne Arts Center.

The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole.

Together, Rhoden and Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 27 years since its inception, the company has continued to awaken audiences to a new, exciting genre with their singular approach of reinventing dance and contemporary ballet. Their work has borne witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself.

With stunning gifted dancers and powerful choreography, Complexions has been hailed as a “matchless American dance company” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Companies like Complexions are game-changing: they’re forging a path for what ballet can be instead of what it historically has been.”- The Guardian

The Saturdays at Six Concert series at All Souls Church, 61 Main Street, Stony Brook continues with a free concert by eGALitarian Brass, a New York based brass ensemble presenting brass trios written by women composers, performed by women musicians, on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. As a brass trio (trumpet, horn, and trombone), their performance will explore these three instruments as their voices intertwine in new ways through works by Lauren Bernofsky, Faye-Ellen Silverman, Adriana I. Figueroa Mañas, among others. Please bring a can of food to donate to a local food pantry. Call 631-655-7798 for more information.

By Melissa Arnold

There’s nothing quite like the energy of a live performance, especially if it’s been almost two years since your last show.

The Staller Center for the Arts on the campus of Stony Brook University is as eager to welcome audiences back as showgoers are to be there. Following an abbreviated but otherwise successful fall season, their upcoming spring lineup will feature a wide mix of dancing, theatrical performances and comedy.

“I had a lot of theatrical events planned for the fall, but when we scheduled them earlier this year, we had no idea what the rules were going to be for health and safety,” said Alan Inkles, the Staller Center’s director. “So we decided to focus more on bands for the fall and concentrate on theatrical performances in the spring. It’s been smooth, and everyone is just glad to be out and enjoying the theater.”

It’s a special year for the center’s quartet-in-residence. The Emerson String Quartet recently announced they will retire in 2023 after more than 40 years of performing as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles. They’ll be presenting two concerts this spring on Jan. 26 and April 18.

For a quarter of a century, the Broadway rock opera Rent has broken down taboos as it chronicles a group of friends fighting poverty, discrimination and addiction in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. This fall the cast kicked off their 25th Anniversary “Farewell Season of Love” tour which will include a performance at the Staller Center on March 3.

“You never know when you’re going to be seeing a show for the last time, and with something as iconic and well-known as Rent, we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see a wonderful, high-quality touring production,” Inkles said.

Grace, skill and beauty are all on display this season with two unique dance companies. Complexions Ballet Company pushes the boundaries of traditional and contemporary styles while tackling a variety of topics, from current events to diverse cultures and renowned musicians. Look out for “Love Rocks” during the Feb. 5 show, which celebrates the music of Lenny Kravitz.

Dance-illusionists MOMIX return to the Staller Center on April 2 for “Viva MOMIX,” a two-act collection of dance vignettes using light, shadow and props to create stunning effects. The vignettes will take the audience on a magical journey that showcases the greatest moments in the company’s 40-year history.

If you’re looking for something interesting for kids, consider The Queen’s Cartoonists on April 5. These jazz and classical musicians will take you on a crazy romp, playing live music to accompany cartoons projected onscreen above them. The cartoons are from a variety of time periods and countries, allowing audience members of any age to enjoy old classics and new discoveries.

“The Queen’s Cartoonists is a 7 p.m. show, which gives families a chance to enjoy it without staying out too late — it’s always great to introduce kids to live and orchestral music by letting them see it up close,” said Daria Carioscia, Staller’s director of development. “They’ll be performing in our recital hall, which provides a great perspective from wherever you’re sitting, and the cartoons playing behind them will be entertaining and fun for everyone.”

Carioscia also recommends the high-energy, New Orleans jazz sounds of The Hot Sardines on March 19, as well as the May 7 appearance by The Doo Wop Project. If you’ve ever wondered what the music of Jason Mraz and Maroon 5 would sound like if the Jersey Boys sang it, look no further. Both shows are heavy on audience participation, so get ready to sing and dance along. It’s a great time to introduce kids to different genres and eras of music they may have never heard before, she said.

A few more events round out the season: 

■ March 12: 2022 Gala, including performances by Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma. Regular tickets are sold out. Become a Gala Supporter to receive VIP tickets.

■ March 30: “Starry Nights,” an evening of music featuring cellist Colin Carr and Stony Brook University musicians

■ April 21: “Queen of the Flute” Carol Wincenc

■ April 22: Comedian, satirist and Grammy nominee David Sedaris

Of course, the Staller Center staff and performers all love to see their shows sold out. But when that’s not possible, they get creative and offer a seat to those who might have never seen a live performance before.

“We’ve been working really hard to fill the theater, and on the nights where we have unsold tickets, we give them away to local school districts, Stony Brook students, and other populations who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to attend,” Carioscia explained. “Ultimately, we want to make the arts accessible to as many people as we can. It’s good for the community, and a full house also changes the energy in an exciting way for our performers.”

The staff knows that there is still some understandable concern in the community about crowds and public events, and they are dedicated to helping audiences feel safe. Masks are required in the center, as well as either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. No time frame is required on testing. Additionally, concessions are not being sold at this time to limit the need to remove your mask.

“We recognize that everyone is in their own place regarding what they feel comfortable doing right now. People will come back when they’re ready, and we’re going to be fair with what we’re asking from our audiences as far as safety,” Inkles said. 

“It’s been smooth, and everyone is just glad to be out and enjoying the theater. We’ve spent the last 2 years stuck inside at home, watching movies on big screen TVs. We want to give people the energy of live performance, the opportunity to have a night out and spend time together and connect again. You can’t duplicate that experience with Netflix or HBO. There’s nothing else like it.”

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts is located at 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. Tickets for the Staller Center’s Spring 2022 season are on sale now. A 10 percent discount is offered on all shows through Dec. 12. For more information, visit or call 631-632-ARTS (2787) or email [email protected]

All photos from Staller Center for the Arts.

On Dec. 3, musicians from the Stony Brook Music Department’s Instrument Petting Zoo caroled throughout the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital spreading holiday cheer and joy to the children, families and staff, thanks to funding provided by Island Federal. 

The Staller Center’s Instrument Petting Zoo is a program which helps the Staller Center for the Arts reach out to the community and share live interactive musical experiences for young people. 

“To be able to spend time at the Children’s Hospital and see the smiles on the kids faces and the tears of joy in the parents eyes as the musicians performed holiday music was emotional, but we’re so happy we were able to come together and collaborate in this way,” said Paul Newland, the Staller Center’s Outreach Director. “We are grateful to Island Federal who helped provide the support for this initiative and we’re already planning more musical visits.”

Matt Hoffman

Reviewed by Jeffrey Sanzel

Matt Hoffman’s debut album, The Start of Something Big, featured jazz and pop standards including “When You’re Smiling,” “What Are you Doing the Rest of Your Life?,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and the title song. He celebrates these favorites with his own terrific take. Hoffman has an effortless tenor that both soars and charms. Dropping in May 2019, it has since garnered over one million cumulative streams on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.

Matt Hoffman

After receiving the Celebration Award from Michael Feinstein’s Songbook Academy Vocal Competition (held at the 3,500-seat Palladium Concert Hall), Hoffman performed with Feinstein at Manhattan’s 54 Below. He has sung at New York City’s Birdland, with The New York Voices’ Lauren Kinhan and Janis Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer. Hoffman made multiple appearances there for Jim Carouso’s “The Cast Party,” where the legendary Billy Stritch accompanied him. Additionally, he has been seen at New York’s Swing 46 as well as The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook.

Hoffman’s voice crosses many categories. His influences range from Harry Connick, Jr., to Frank Sinatra. Both contemporary and a throwback, he has a unique and vibrant sound. His blend of studio and theatre background splendidly colors his presentation, enhancing the beautiful vocals with a resonant emotional connection.

And now, Hoffman’s sophomore outing, Say It Ain’t Snow!, offers his personal flair on popular holiday fare. The seven tracks feature a wonderful range of material and boast a thrilling seventeen-piece Big Band with strings. The arrangements, by Trevor Motycka, are exceptional, perfectly matching Hoffman’s ability to shift from the grand to the witty to the heartfelt. There is the twinkle of holidays past—the spirit of the season of the great singers of television, vinyl, and CDs.

Say It Ain’t Snow! kicks off with an appealing, magnetic “This Christmas.” Hoffman’s knowing “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” winks to so many fireside holiday specials. The Christmas Classics medley—“Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”—shows an exceptional variety with seamless segues and a particularly exciting rendition of “Let It Snow.” 

The sense of discovery in “The Christmas Song” is unique and surprisingly introspective. “Silver Bells” readily zings from a pastoral stroll in the snow to the lights of the city, showing off his jazz chops with masterful scatting. The simplicity and honest clarity of “O, Holy Night” is the perfect contrast to his letting loose with the final song, an exuberant, wry, “Run, Rudolph, Run.” In every number, Hoffman doesn’t just sing—he paints a vocal picture that is rich, evocative, and inviting.

Returning as album producer is Jackson Hoffman, who partnered with Hoffman on The Start of Something Big. Jackson Hoffman produced and co-wrote 2020 Voice winner Carter Rubin’s latest single. Here, he has assembled exceptional musicians to create the overall sonic landscape, coupling the Big Band sound with the neo-Swing era music arrangements.

There are not enough accolades for the band, which swings with bold brass playing magically against the lush strings. The ensemble creates the ideal backing for Hoffman. Hopefully, Hoffman and company will continue to offer seasonal treats as well as a wide range of jazz, classical, musical theatre, and standard catalogs.

No holiday season is complete without Christmas music. Whether you are a fan of traditional carols or lean towards the contemporary, music inspires holiday cheer. Hoffman’s Say It Ain’t Snow! has something for everyone, with its warmth, sense of wonder, and real joy. It is a gift for this, next, and all the Christmases to follow.

Say It Isn’t Snow! is available on music streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music and SoundCloud.

A scene from Ohman Ballet's The Nutcracker'

Young dancers from local towns will share the stage with New York City Ballet stars Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht in New York Dance Theatre’s 39th season of “The Nutcracker” at Hofstra University in Hempstead,  on Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19 with performances at noon and 5 p.m. 

A scene from Ohman Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

The girls, students at the Ohman School of Ballet in Commack, perform multiple roles in the iconic holiday story ballet including children in the Party Scene, Toy Soldiers and Mice in the Battle Scene, Snowflakes, Angels, and various confections in the Land of Sweets. Galina Hellman, an eighth grader at West Hollow Middle School, and Nina Van Zandt, a seventh grader at Commack Middle School, share the central role of “Clara,” each in two of the four performances at Hofstra University. West Hollow Middle School eighth grader Adrianna Stucchio and sixth grader Aviva Hellman share the pivotal role of Clara’s brother “Fritz,” who breaks Clara’s Nutcracker and sets the plot in motion, each in two of the four performances.

This year’s cast includes young dancers from all over the area as follows: Chloe Cantillo, Anna Clemente, Elysena DeStefano, Claire DeVaney, Brynn Farino, Anna Gross, Isabel Gross, Sofia Gross, Karen Li, Ava Napolitano, Victoria Rodgers, Alyssa Tavares, and Nina Van Zandt of Commack; Elodie Hennessy of Centerport; Roxanne Benoit, Chloe Cheong, Esther Cheong, Mikaela Gluck, Emma Grabelsky, Aviva Hellman, Galina Hellman, Charlotte Neville, Elizabeth Pau, Carina San José, Gita Seto, Adrianna Stucchio, and Anna Tang of Dix Hills; Addison Candelaria of East Northport; Charlotte Stratton of Huntington; Isabella Lenarduzzi and Magdalen Schaefer of Kings Park; Olivia Deng and Emily Yong of Melville; Eileen Huntsman, Erin McKenna, and Delaney Mulholland of Northport; Sophia Ferro of Setauket; Katie Fox of Shoreham; Laila DarConte, Amelia Grace Novellino, Chloe Foster, Sophie Niemann, and Samara Kolodny of Smithtown; Sonya Russo of St. James; and Olivia Wu of Stony Brook.

NYDT’s production is the largest Nutcracker on Long Island and the only one performed in the tradition of New York City Ballet’s Lincoln Center version. Through the years, founder and longtime Centerport resident Frank Ohman created original dances and scenes for the ballet that set his production apart from others on Long Island.  As a former student and soloist under George Balanchine Ohman was one of a select few authorized to use the original pas de deux choreography of his mentor, which continues to distinguish this production.

Special guest artists, New York City Ballet principal dancers Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht, will perform as the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier. Mr. Ulbricht serves as an artistic advisor for the Ohman School of Ballet, a division of New York Dance Theatre, and has been a recurring master class instructor at the school including on Zoom throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the elegant Christmas Party Scene, the drama of the magical growing Christmas Tree, the Battle of the Toy Soldiers and Giant Mice, the live Snow Storm, and the brilliant dancing in the Land of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” appeals to all ages.  In all, a cast of 80 children, pre-professional and professional dancers will bring this classic story ballet to life on the stage of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. The children’s roles are performed by students of the Frank Ohman School of Ballet in Commack.

Tickets for this full production ballet are $42.00 and $32.00 (seniors and children 12 and under) plus $3 fee, available at  or 631.462.0964. Details about Covid-19 protocols for audience members are outlined on the website and are subject to change according to local government guidelines.

Director & Conductor Eric Stewart

By Martina Matkovic

The Long Island Symphonic Choral Association (LISCA) and Island Chamber Players present a holiday concert of music from the baroque period on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

A lovely venue, the Three Village Church, 322 Main St., Setauket, will host this exciting program which features works by Bach, Charpentier and well-known selections from Handel’s Messiah. Eric Stewart, director and conductor of both groups, will take the baton.

Singers love to sing. The hiatus from that beloved activity imposed upon the  members of the chorus has been a hardship for the performers as well as the audience. LISCA is back this holiday season, but reconfigured to chamber size for continued safety consideration. 

This March, 2022  LISCA is planning and hoping  to return to its’ full  complement of singers for a  seasonal concert.

On Dec. 11 the singers will be joined by the newly formed Island Chamber Players comprised of superb instrumentalists, including some from the graduate music program at Stony Brook University that have accompanied the chorus in past performances.  

Proof of vaccination and mask-wearing by all quests and performers will be required as recommended by the CDC and American Choral Directors Association.

Tickets costs will be $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors, available at the door or at Students are free. Live streaming of the concert will be available at no fee at For further information, please call 631-751-2743.

The Long Island Gay Men's Chorus

There’s nothing like a holiday TV special for unforgettable songs and memories – and the Long Island Gay Men’s Chorus (LIGMC) is celebrating the season by dusting off the songbook for concerts brimming with yuletide classics.

Featuring legendary musical favorites from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and more, LIGMC’s “Home for the Holiday Special” concerts are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10 at Saint Francis Episcopal Church, 1692 Bellmore Ave., North Bellmore, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 12 Prospect St., Huntington. Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase at the door or online at

“There’s no getting around the fact that the last few years have been very challenging for so many people. However, such during turbulent times, traditions have been a source of great comfort,” Bradley Meek, President of the LIGMC Board of Directors, said. “That is why the iconic holiday specials we’ve enjoyed throughout the years resonated so deeply with our members and provided the spark of inspiration for choosing the songs we look forward to performing.”

The 16-member LIGMC returned to the concert stage on Oct. 23 with the standing-room-only “Be Our Guest! A Magical Disney Cabaret” at Sayville VFW Post 433, marking the group’s first live performance since February 2020. LIGMC will continue to observe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for indoor gatherings during performances.

“Since resuming our rehearsals in September, it has been an absolute joy to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of returning members and new singers,” LIGMC Artistic Director Jeanette Cooper said. “We hope you’ll be able to join us and ‘tune in’ for what promises to be a very special series of performances!”

Contact the Chorus at [email protected] for additional details.