This talented group has gained recognition performing all over the state at the largest venues including Syracuse Jazz Festival, Utica Monday Night Festival, Oswego Harborfest, Glenora Winery, Crystal City Jazz Fest in Corning, Chautauqua Institution, and the CNY Jazz Arts Festival. They have opened for groups like the Rippingtons and Steve Reid’s Bamboo Forest, and the members of esp have performed with big names in jazz like Joey DeFrancisco, New York Voices, and Kevin Mahogany.
With their release on the Spider Records label they anticipate the same encouraging critical and popular response that they received from previous records. esp performs an exciting and creative mix of straight ahead improvisational jazz, funky jazz and Latin jazz. Live performances are full of surprises and are always well received.
Matt Vacanti: bass
Matt plays string bass and Pedulla fretless bass in the group.His string bass playing brings a real straight ahead jazz feel to the group.
Yet growing up in Buffalo New York, his compositional style is influenced by groups that got their start in western New York, like Spyro Gyra, Chuck Mangione, and Bobby Millitello. Matt is an orchestra director at the Fulton N.Y. High School, and earned the title of Teacher of the Year for his outstanding work with the kids in Fulton. Send Matt an email for more information about ESP anytime!
John Magnante: guitar
John graduated from Oswego State with a minor in music performance. In Oswego, he studied with guitarist Rick Balestra and was a featured soloist in the school's highly acclaimed Solid State Jazz Ensemble. He also studied guitar at the musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles.
John is a co-founder of ESP as well as a major contributor of the groups original compositions. In addition to his responsibilities with ESP, John performs with such bands as Atlas and Soft Spoken.
Brian Scherer: saxophone
Brian grew up in Buffalo NY. Today he counts Mike Brecker, Stan Getz, Bobby Mintzer, and Grover Washington Jr. as some of his main influences but he was always greatly inspired by the strong jazz scene he experienced in Buffalo in his youth. Buffalo jazz greats like Bobby Militello, Jay Beckenstein and others can be heard in his playing. I used to sneak into the old Tralfamadore Cafe when it was just a hole in the wall to hear Spyrogyra long before they ever made their first record. says Brian. Studying sax and flute at Fredonia State, Brian got his education degree and taught public school for 10 years before becoming a professional musician. Over the years Brian has become one of Central New York's most popular sax players working with Stroke, Mario DeSantis, Blue Norther, and of course E.S.P.
Karl Sterling: drums
Growing up in central New York, Karl Sterling first started working on the music scene with his father's band in 1975. He attended Onondaga Community College for 2 years majoring in music and studying percussion with John Barker. Karl has also studied drums with Peter Erskine, Danny D'Imperio, Joe Morello, Mike Melito, and Wilby Fletcher. Over the years, Karl has had the good fortune to play with many wonderful musicians and bands in the Syracuse, Rochester, and New York City area's including; Ronnie Leigh, Nancy Kelly, Dino Losito, Jeff Palmer, Devin Garramone, Rick Montalbano, Bob DiBaudo, John Rohde, Mark Copani, Joy Adler, Mala Waldron, Steve Salerno, Miriam Sullivan, Classified, ESP, Eye Level, Moss, Prime Time, Seaflight, Dave Hanlon's Cookbook, Rick Sheppard & The Drifters and many others.
Awards:2011 SAMMY Award for best jazz CD of the year
True jazz improv, yet glistens with a modern sound -JAZZIZ MAGAZINE ____________________________________________________________
Al collection or soulful, passionate songs with a combination of excellent musicianship and years of instinctual experience - Jimmy Haslip, The Yellowjackets ____________________________________________________________
Both jazz purists and contemporary fans can easily enjoy -Ron Jackson, smoothjazzvibes.com ____________________________________________________________
5 Stars, Nothing short of awe-inspiring -C.L. Adams, CASHBOX MAGAZINE ____________________________________________________________
Without hesitation, ESP is the Best Contemporary Jazz Group to emerge from Upstate New York since Spyro Gyra exploded on the National scene three decades ago. These guys are the real deal! -Frank Malfitano, founder & producer, Syracuse Jazz Fest; past producer, Detroit International Jazz Festival ___________________________________________________________
Worth the Wait
It has truly been worth the wait for this new ESP album because the band has taken their music to a whole new level this time around. The band does a great job blending innovative concepts and styles and each song forms its own narrative and conveys a rich musical conversation with the listener.”
Eric Cohen, WAER Jazz88 ___________________________________________________________
ESP: Changing the Face of Syracuse Jazz Len Senecal, THE EDGE ___________________________________________________________
Band Can Play with the Best ESP is talented and versatile. by Mark Bialczak, THE POST STANDARD ___________________________________________________________
Produced by ESP engineered by bassist Matt Vacanti, ESP introduces one of the area's most creative collaborations of 1999. By Russ Tarby, Syracuse New Times ___________________________________________________________
Well...We're Huge in Europe
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