JOSA Jazz on a Sunday afternoon


Held at the Center at Eastman in Grantham, NH, Wightsteeple Productions' JOSA or "Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon" was the brain child of Bill Wightman and the late Rink Mann. It's a jazz music series intended to replicate those "jazz sessions" of the 1930s and 40s in New York and Chicago where renowned players like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis would come together, sit-in and jam for hours on end.

Now in its 22th year, the JOSA formula is tried and true. From December to April, every other Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7, JOSA director and pianist, Bill Wightman both produces and performs with the JOSA Ensemble. They get behind each of the featured JOSA performers, often internationally acclaimed, for a wonderful afternoon of good food, drink and incredibly spontaneous musical magic! Of course it's never long before many of the familiar jazz musicians from the audience are invited to join the group on stage as the afternoon quickly becomes a full fledged "jam session!"

The JOSA Ensemble that backs up each of JOSA's featured jazz performers are some of the top free lance side men in the New England jazz scene. They include Bill Wightman (piano), Don William or Roger Kimball (bass), Tim Gilmore (drums), and Richard Gardzina or Matt Langley (multiple saxes and flutes). Sit-In Musicians are welcome and encouraged to just show up, let their presence be known, and join the frenzy.

Pianist, Bill Wightman from Sunapee, NH, chairs the Arts Dept. and is the Instrumental Music and Music Technology Director at Proctor Academy in Andover, NH. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and, since the mid 1970s, has been performing, teaching, directing and producing in music and theatre both in education and for the public throughout New England and New York.

Bassist, Don Williams from Plymouth, NH, received a bachelor of science degree in music education at Plymouth State University, with further study in the master of fine arts program in music at the University of New Hampshire. He also performs with Tonkin Toys, Plymouth State University Faculty Quartet ,and the Loli Sterling Group. He has appeared at The Blue Note, Rainbow Room, and Saratoga Jazz Festival, and has performed with the Platters, Randy Brecker, Jack Wilkins, and Bob Guilotti. He is also on the faculty of Plymouth State University.

Bassist, Roger Kimball of Haverhill, MA, studied both jazz and Classical music at the University of Miami, FL and Boston University. He studied bass with Lucas Drew and cello with Ingus Naruns of the Miami Philharmonic and with with Mischa Nieland of the Boston Symphony. He has toured the U.S, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East performing with Carly Simon, Billy Eckstine, Frankie Avalon, "The Coasters," "The Shirelles," Little Anthony, Fabian, Leslie Gore, "The Marvelettes," and Del Shannon. Roger's performance history includes the Blue Note, The Bitter End, and CB's Gallery in NYC and at Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, Scullers, and The Regattabar in Boston. He maintains a private bass and cello studio and is a professional arranger and music copyist.

Percussionist, Tim Gilmore from Lebanon, NH, attended Berklee College of Music, and studied with both drum legends Max Roach and Alan Dawson. Having performed with such jazz greats as Mary McPartland, Dick Johnson, and Warren Vache among others, Tim is a recipient of the Presidential Arts Scholarship. He brings to JOSA an up-beat and delightful attitude, and is known for his occasional, intricate and sometimes epic (never to be missed) drum solos.

Reedman and flutist, Richard Gardzina from Barnstead, NH, and has a B.A and M.A. in music composition from both the University of North Texas and UNH. His performances include dates in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New England with such jazz greats as Red Garland, David "Fathead" Newman, Little Feat, and "Blue" Lou Marini to name a few. With two CD releases to his credit, Richard brings consistent freshness and innovation to JOSA with solos that support and compliment the performance of each featured artist.

Saxophonist, Matt Langely from Eliot, ME, is largely self taught and has also studied briefly with Lou Marini, David Baker, and Stan Strickland. Matt has toured the US and recorded 6 CD's as a member the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet. Having also recorded with Ron Carter, John Medeski, Billy Martin, Chris Wood, Gene MacDaniels, Roswell Rudd, among many others, Matt enjoys a vibrant, diverse musical career. Matt brings to JOSA a warm, personal approach and an alert ear for enhancing any musical situation.