Two luminaries of the jazz world are back in their hometown and Cuyahoga Community College this week to create a star-studded album in the College's state-of-art recording studios.
The project unites acclaimed trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and five-time Grammy winning producer Tommy LiPuma with an impressive team of musicians. The recording will be the first time nationally recognized artists, engineers and producers make an entire album at Tri-C's Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts.
For Farinacci, the project fulfills his long-held wish to make an album with LiPuma.
"I have been dreaming of this since I was 16, when I first met Tommy at Tri-C JazzFest," said Farinacci, who participated in Tri-C's Jazz Studies program as a Solon High School student. "His records have an unmistakable sound, and the way he brings musicians and material together is magical."
Musicians joining Farinacci and LiPuma in the studio will be bassist Christian McBride, the 2014 Tri-C JazzFest artist-in-residence; drummer Steve Gadd; guitarist Dean Parks; pianist Larry Goldings; percussionist Jamey Haddad; and vocalist Jacob Collier. Seven-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt will be the engineer.
Recording sessions will take place daily throughout the week in Studio A at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, which opened in 2010 on the Metropolitan Campus. The building was dedicated in 2012 to LiPuma, a music industry leader who grew up in the neighborhood around Metro Campus.
"I'm really proud of this building and the studios and can't wait to see the looks on my friends' faces when they come in to record," LiPuma said.
An educational program has been built around the making of the record. Students from Tri-C and area high schools and colleges will observe the recording process and participate in master classes with the visiting artists.
"The experience offers students a glimpse into the highest levels of the recording process while demonstrating what we offer at Tri-C," said Paul Cox, dean of Creative Arts at the College.
The album, not yet named, features an eclectic song list that includes Peggy Lee's "Black Coffee," the rock anthem "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream, "Detresse" by revolutionary tango composer Astor Piazzolla and the Gnarls Barkley hit "Crazy."
LiPuma said he was drawn to the project by Farinacci's talent, soulfulness and lyrical playing. Since they both live in New York, they've become close friends.
"We've been hanging out, listening to music, discussing and choosing material," LiPuma said. "As it turns out, our families have history. I've known Dom's grandmother since I was 8 years old; she was my older sister's best friend. And I played in a band with his uncle for several years.
"Who would have thought that two Italians from Cleveland, separated by several generations, would be working on a record together in their hometown?"
This project is supported by the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation and generous community donors.