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  • The Packing house 156 River Road Willington, CT, 06279 United States (map)



[SPECIAL NOTE: I had the good fortune of meeting Greg Abate after a Holiday concert at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. I immediately knew this sax man extraordinaire was what we needed at The Packing House. Greg called me that same afternoon and we worked it out. Greg is a true gentleman and friend. I am honored to have him back to The Packing House with fellow musicians Matt deChamplain, Ben Bilello, and welcome Josh Uguccioni.  TB]


Greg Abate jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer continues as an International Jazz/Recording Artist with 225 days a year touring the globe.

In the mid 70’s after finishing a four year program at Berklee College Of Music, Greg played lead alto for the Ray Charles Orchestra for 2 years. In 1978 Greg formed his group 'Channel One' which was a favorite in the New England area and from there had the opportunity to play tenor sax with the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under leadership of Dick Johnson from 1986 to ’87.

Following this experience Greg ventured out as post hard bop soloist playing Jazz Festivals, Jazz Societies and Jazz Clubs throughout the U.S. Canada and abroad, including most of Europe, UK, and Moscow and Georgia Russia.

Greg’s newest release The Greg Abate Quintet features Phil Woods, Jesse Green, Evan Gregor and Bill Goodwin (Rhombus Records). Greg will be joined at The Packing House by Matt deChamplain on piano, Josh Uguccioni on bass, Ben Bilello on drums [].

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see this jazz great in our intimate historic setting. This concert is a part of The Packing House Acoustic Artist Series hosted by the Friends of The Mill Works. Cabaret and theater seating available. Snacks and soft drinks available. "BYOB" - Beer and Wine ONLY (I.D. Required).

Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

The Artists:

Greg Abate

Greg Abate recorded his first CD Live At Birdland NYC in 1991 on the Candid Jazz Label with the trio of James Williams, Rufus Reid and Kenny Washington. To tdate Greg has recorded over 17 other recordings as leader.

Greg is also an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and is also a very active jazz clinician with co. sponsorship from the Conn-Selmer Instrument Co., conducting workshops and master classes through the U.S and abroad.

This year, Greg was inducted into the RHODE ISLAND MUSIC HALL OF FAME (2016).

What some say about Greg Abate:

“I sleep a lot better knowing there are alto players like Greg! It was a joy to make music with him and he writes good songs that are challenging.”  Phil Woods

"Abate is not content to rely on stock bebop riffs and standard chord progressions. Rather, the sharp angularity of his phrases and the often startling pauses in his fast-moving lines give his work a feeling of constant invention and creativity.” –Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“…Abate’s musical style can be seen as a distillation of swing’s easygoing vibe and bop’s
more animated groove. He has developed a unique voice. –METRO San Jose,

“Greg Abate is an absolute powerhouse who will absolutely not let hard driving bebop die.
One of the most exciting players around today, Greg’s commitment to the music is total…” –W. Pickowitz, Jr., The Jazz Messenger

“Multi-saxophonist Greg Abate is a prime example of the ‘rear back and blow’ school of contemporary bop-based players. The tunes he writes or chooses are based on the kinds of changes that harmony-oriented jazzmen have favored since the beginning and he swings through them with and eager and easy virtuosity.” –David Franklin, Jazz Times

“Greg Abate is one of the most appealing saxophonists on the scene today. He is mature with an abundance of gentle self-confidence. The result is that he plays music with sweetness and daring.” –Jim Merod, New Jazz Recordings


Matt deChamplain

Matt deChamplain grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut attending the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts during high school, obtaining his bachelors degree from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music and graduated magna cum laude with his masters from the University of Toledo in Ohio in 2012. He has opened for Wynton Marsalis’ Quintet, Dave Brubeck and Hank Jones, played with Dave Brubeck, Shawnn Monteiro, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Javon Jackson Jose Feliciano, Paul Keller and Jon Hendricks and has appeared at the JVC Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and jazz clubs such as the Regatta Bar in Boston, Smalls in New York City and Yoshi's in San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                              Matt was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program where he engaged in a two week intensive composition and performance workshop led by Dr. Billy Taylor and Curtis Fuller culminating with three performances filmed live from the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has participated in the Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris, France, toured New Ross, Ireland with bassist Nat Reeves, and released two albums as a leader, "Stride Bop" and "Pause". He has also been featured on guitarist Norman Johnson's album "Get It While You Can" (2011), jazz violinist Jason Anick's album "Tipping Point" (2012) and recorded several songs with vocalist Jon Hendricks for "Holiday Wishes II: River of Stars" (2013). Matt currently holds a faculty position at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford), teaches piano at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and is a visiting clinician for the Glastonbury High School Jazz Ensemble. While maintaining an active performance schedule, he continues to teach and compose.


Ben Bilello

Ben Bilello received his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies at the Hartt School of Music, where he studied with Ben Toth, Glen Velez, Michael Carvin, and Tony Leone.  Since graduating from Hartt, Ben has performed and recorded with Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Javon Jackson, George Cables, Joe Wilder, Anthony Braxton, Charles Flores, Steve Davis, Jimmy Greene, Wayne Escoffery, Dezron Douglas, New Jazz Workshop, and Shelton “Fatman” Laster, among many others.

In addition to performing with noted jazz musicians, Ben has toured with the South American folk groups Viva Quetzal and Markamusic. At this time, Ben can be seen performing with his own trio, Josh Evans and The Connection, bassist Jeff Fuller, and Earl MacDonald’s New Directions Ensemble, as well as many others.


Josh Uguccioni

Josh Uguccioni was born and raised in Cheshire, CT, a small suburb of New Haven. Josh was exposed to many different musical styles at a young age. Beginning on both trombone, tuba and electric bass, Uguccioni gained familiarity playing in various musical settings. Soon after entering high school Uguccioni began to play the upright bass due to an opening in the high school jazz program. He quickly excelled in the high school orchestra and jazz band along with other local youth big bands and small ensembles.  Cheshire High School's Jazz program, along with other local youth bands allowed Uguccioni opportunities to play with a multitude of professional musicians including, Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, Dick Oatts, and Gary Dial. 

Uguccioni went on to pursue his musical endeavors at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music. The Jackie McLean Institute provided valuable insight from several highly acclaimed professionals including, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Eric McPherson, Abraham Burton and Javon Jackson. Uguccioni has played/ recorded at several notable venues including, Side Door Jazz Club, Daryl’s House, Infinity Hall and Converse Rubber Tracks Studio.

The Packing House  |  156 River Road, Suite 1301Willington, Connecticut 06279  |  (518)791-9474