May 20, 2019

Essex Winter Series Presents Jeff Barnhart & His Hot Rhythm, Sunday

Jeff Barnhart plays Sunday in the next Essex Winter Series concert.

Jeff Barnhart plays Sunday in the next Essex Winter Series concert.

DEEP RIVER — Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm will celebrate the rollicking jazz and pop styles of the first half of the twentieth century with a concert on the Essex Winter Series on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Barnhart, the renowned pianist who serves as Jazz Artistic Advisor forEssex Winter Series, will be joined by a band of all-stars, including Anne Barnhart on vocals and flute; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums.

Essex Winter Series Concert Director Mihae Lee.

Essex Winter Series Artistic Director Mihae Lee.

Known for both the quality and variety of its concerts, Essex Winter Series, under the artistic direction of Mihae Lee, features one jazz concert each season. Named for a former board member who encouraged the inclusion of jazz in the series, The Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert has become very popular, attracting a large and loyal audience.

The Feb. 21 concert is sponsored by the Clark Group and Tower Laboratories.

Tickets, all general admission, are $35 ($5 for students) and may be purchased online at or by phone at 860-272-4572.

Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer (member of ASCAP), educator and entertainer.  He began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut. Here he began to learn the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century.

The 21st century has found Barnhart constantly appearing as a soloist and band pianist at parties, festivals, clubs and cruises throughout the world.  In addition, he leads two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band, which concentrates on hot music of the 1920s, and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s. Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Barnhart is in increasing demand as a participant in international jazz events as either a soloist or as pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles.

 Among the great musicians in the band is the renowned Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax.

Among the great musicians in the Hot Rhythm band is the renowned Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax.

In addition to his widely acclaimed solo and band appearances, Barnhart is enjoying great success performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his talented wife, flutist/vocalist Anne Barnhart. Ivory&Gold® has become a mainstay at many jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the US, the UK and Europe.

Barnhart enjoys playing dual piano and has done so with such jazz luminaries as Ralph Sutton, Neville Dickie, Louis Mazetier, John Sheridan and Brian Holland. In addition to his own label, Jazz Alive Records, Barnhart plays piano and sings on the international labels GHB, Summit-World Jazz Records, Music Minus One, and the two largest jazz labels in the UK, Lake Records and P.E.K. Sound.

In 2006, Barnhart joined the roster of artists featured on the Arbors Records label, with four recordings currently available:  the most recent featuring jazz legends Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli. Barnhart has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full-length albums.

He averages 40 weeks a year on the road, bringing his music to all corners of the globe. Music composer, performer and reviewer Jack Rummel, recently summed up the reason for Barnhart’s popularity, averring, “When it comes to talent, speed, versatility, creativity, mastery of multiple genres and just plain entertaining zaniness, Jeff Barnhart stands alone”.

In addition to his active performance and recording schedule, Jeff is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator.  His double BA in Music and English, combined with his MA in Education, make Barnhart a formidable and entertaining force in the clinic, master class and inspirational speaking forums. In the first quarter of 2015, he and his wife have appeared as clinicians at Lone Star College in Kingwood, TX, The University of Colorado Denver and Mississippi State University.

The remainder of Essex Winter Series concerts are listed below.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School.


March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert 
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to the series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website,, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos are available on the Essex Winter Series website,