Vanessa Rubin All-Star Quartet NYC vocalist extraordinaire celebrates the Holidays at BLU with All-Star Quartet, featuring Concord recording artist Helen Sung (piano), Peter Dominguez (bass) & Ray Porrello (drums)!

Saturday, December 27

New York City jazz icons, Vanessa Rubin and Concord recording artist, Helen Sung, join forces with Northeast Ohio rhythm section heavy-hitters, Peter Dominguez and Ray Porrello, for an All-Star Quartet appearance at Akron’s brand new jazz hotspot!
Get your tickets now as this is sure to be one of our biggest events of the year!


Vanessa Rubin

Endowed with the kind of liquid phrasing and sheer wisdom that comes from depth of experience on the jazz performance campaign trail, Vanessa Rubin is an ever-evolving classic singer in the making. The development of a true jazz singer is a long-range prospect, laden with learning experiences that forge the voice into a true instrument, rich with passion, deeply invested in living through life’s joys and perils; such is the journey of Vanessa Rubin, jazz singer extraordinaire. Capable of employing the gamut of emotions, the mature Ms. Rubin can range from whisper to shout in the blink of an eye; from honey-laden ballads purring like a kitten, to up tempo swinging and scatting like a fluent saxophone, she delivers the goods.

Helen Sung

An award-winning classical pianist,Houston, TX, native Helen Sung went on to graduate from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and win the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition.
Since establishing herself in New York City, she has worked with such luminaries as Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Steve Turre, the legendary Wayne Shorter, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter; and, in addition to her own band, can currently be seen with fine ensembles including the Mingus Big Band & Dynasty Band, the T.S. Monk Group, and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy-winning Mosaic Project.

Peter Dominguez

Peter Dominguez grew up in Milwaukee playing with his father, pianist and singer Frank DeMiles. Peter went on to study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his baccalaureate and masters degrees. In 1981 he was the first recipient of the Milton J. Hinton scholarship competition award and continued doctoral studies at the University of Miami, Coral Gables.
Eventually securing positions in both the Florida Philharmonic and Michigan State University, Peter chose MSU, served as Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies from 1984-96, and was instrumental in developing their Jazz Studies program.
The former Principal Bass with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the American Sinfonietta, Peter is currently Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Ray Porrello

Ray Porrello started playing his father’s drums at age three, and a love of jazz began with a record collection of drumming artists like Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, Shelly Manne, Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Jimmy Cobb. Ray started studying formally at age 13 with local teachers Eddie Bobick and Bob McKee. Soon Ray was introduced to world-renowned jazz drummer Louie Bellson, who would become a mentor and inspiration. On Bellson’s recommendation Ray soon did a short stint with the Count Basie Orchestra.
Shortly following and again on Bellson’s recommendation, Ray auditioned for and was hired by Sammy Davis Jr., becoming his personal drummer. Ray played with Sammy on all of his TV appearances, including The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, and Mike Douglas, as well as on Sammy’s own show, Sammy and Company. Sammy took Ray on the road to Japan, New Zealand, Europe, and Australia, and to famous theatres including Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium, and the Sydney Opera House for the live recording of Sammy (available as a compilaiton of Sammy’s greatest hits).
During his time with Sammy, Ray worked with great jazz artists like JJ Johnson, Doc Severinsen, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Ray Brown, Paul Smith and Al McKibbon. Ray eventually settled in Las Vegas, where he played in the Mickey Finn Show and in the house band at Ceasars Palace.
Upon returning to Cleveland, Ray began teaching in the Jazz Studies Program at Cuyahoga Community College. More recently he has worked with noted locals Ernie Krivda and the Fat Tuesday Big Band, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Dave Banks Big Band, Helen Welch, Evelyn Wright, Laura Varcho, After Dark, the Joe Hunter Trio, Dave Sterner, The Avenue, and many others. He also leads his own group, Ray Porrello and Fine Jazz.

7:00 pm, 9:30 pm


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BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.