Pentucket jazz combo presents fund-raising concert to support trip to New York

Pentucket Regional High musicians (from left) Joe D’Amore, Duncan Tarr, Josh Torvi, and Eddie Gaudet will perform Sunday to help pay their way to New York City.

NEEDING A LIFT TO MANHATTAN: A jazz combo from Pentucket Regional High School in West Newbury has its sights set on the Big Apple.

The four student musicians - seniors Joe D’Amore and Duncan Tarr and juniors Josh Torvi and Eddie Gaudet - will be attending the annual three-day Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York, sponsored by the Manhattan School of Music, next month.

To raise money for the trip, the jazz combo presents a concert Sunday at Blue Ocean Music Hall at the Pavilion on Salisbury Beach.


The quartet features D’Amore on piano, Tarr on bass, Gaudet on drums, and Torvi on guitar. Their 90-minute set Sunday will feature the work of jazz greats including Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, Ornette Coleman, and Wayne Shorter. A portion of John Coltrane’s masterpiece “A Love Supreme’’ is also on the program.

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The combo is directed by Pentucket music teacher David Schumacher.

Owners of Blue Ocean have donated the space for the fund-raiser, ensuring that all ticket sales will be used to help offset the $3,000 cost of the trip.

The national competition challenges big band and jazz combos from public and arts-specific high schools to arrange and record three compositions by Mingus, a jazz bassist and composer. The top three groups from each category are invited to compete in a final round, with prizes including full tuition to Manhattan School of Music for the competition’s best soloist.

In addition to competing at the event, the combo will participate in master classes, workshops, jam sessions, and concerts.


The jazz combo has had numerous top finishes at the Berklee College High School Jazz Festival and has won several gold medals in other statewide jazz competitions, but it is the first Pentucket ensemble to earn a spot in the prestigious Mingus competition.

Sunday’s concert begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by e-mailing

HOSPITAL BENEFIT: The Winton Club, a nonprofit women’s organization supporting Winchester Hospital with service and fund-raising activities, opens its annual cabaret Tuesday at Winchester Town Hall, with shows through Feb. 4.

This year’s theme is time, in recognition of the hospital’s 100th anniversary.

The song-and-dance cabaret features performances by entertainment professionals, doctors, medical personnel, teachers, and town employees.


The producer of this year’s show is Winchester resident Jean Buckley, a member of the Winton Club for 13 years.

The club’s fund-raising activities helped it recently complete a five-year, $500,000 donation commitment to the Center for Cancer Care in Winchester.


DO-IT-YOURSELF TIPS: Northern Essex Community College is offering a four-week course covering the ins and outs of designing a kitchen or bath.

The course is taught by Donna Arasi-Gudinas, who has more than 20 years of design experience and is the owner of Interior Concepts in Hampstead, N.H.

Participants explore the essentials of designing and remodeling kitchens and baths, including selection of materials, planning a budget, determining value for money spent, life disruption concerns, potential contractor and construction issues, and special considerations related to the age of the home.

The course, offered through the college’s division of workforce development and community education, begins Feb. 8 and meets 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Northern Essex at Riverwalk in Lawrence. The cost is $189.

Call 978-556-3700 or visit the college’s website,

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Jared Blake of Burlington and Brittany McGuire of Westford, both students at Middlesex Community College, recently traveled to Cambodia with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. They were among 300 international volunteers who helped build 22 homes in a new community outside Phnom Penh . . . Paula Richards, an assistant professor of English as a Second Language at Northern Essex Community College, and her students recently collected and delivered books to children living at Emmaus House, a family shelter in Haverhill. The books - donated by faculty, staff, and students at the college’s Haverhill and Lawrence campuses - are available in the children’s library at the shelter and are also being given to children who are transitioning to permanent housing.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at