Xavier Music Series hosts Brian Newman

By: Nick McGill

The Xavier University Music Series has built a reputation around consistently featuring world-class musicians, many with Cincinnati connections. The Music Series will host Brian Newman and his quintet along with The Nati’ 6 led by Dan Karlsberg On Jan. 24. CET will be in attendance recording the show for television.

Brian Newman, Lady Gaga’s jazz bandleader, is perhaps best recognized for his work with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on the 2014 Grammy-winning album “Cheek to Cheek.” This album featured arrangements by Newman and his band. He is widely recognized as one of the top jazz performers and is a popular choice for major brands as a master of ceremonies and bandleader for high-profile special events. He plans to release his own debut album in 2016 produced by “Cheek to Cheek” producer Dave Bennett.

“What fascinates me about Brian is how he performs classic songs but makes them sound fresh and new,” Polina Bespalko, director of the Xavier University Music Series, said. “He encompasses both jazz and swing, and he breaks down generational walls. His music appeals to audiences of all ages. I think he could be the next Sinatra.”

Newman and two of his band members both graduated from the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM). “I am excited to be coming back to perform for the Xavier Music Series because I feel so connected to Cincinnati,” Newman said. “I wanted to be a real New York City jazz player and the Cinci scene had a huge impact on making that happen. ”

Newman and his quintet will be joined on stage by Karlsberg and the Nati’ 6. Karlsberg was born in Cincinnati and received both Masters and Bachelors degrees in jazz studies from CCM, where he now teaches.

“It’s an honor to be involved with the Xavier Music Series, because it is known for featuring world-class artists,” Karlsberg said.

“I can’t wait to perform on the same stage as Brian Newman and other old friends of mine from Cincinnati’s jazz community.”

The Xavier University Music Series will present the Brian Newman Quintet and The ‘Nati 6 at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24 in the Gallagher Theater. Tickets range in price from $3 to $28 and can be ordered by calling 513-745- 3162 or 513-745-3939 or by visiting http://www.xavier.edu/musicseries/.