‘We are a small, but mighty force,” Bill Tiberio. leader of his self-titled band, announced as he welcomed the audience to the May Room this past Saturday. The Bill Tiberio Band, with opening act Parotia, put on a fantastic show for jazz music aficionados.
Parotia started the concert off with a bang, literally, as senior Sam Fishman laid down a booming beat on the drum set. One tune transitioned perfectly to the next, and the music never stopped, not even when the bassist encountered some technological difficulty on stage. Instead, Sam took over with one of his many great solos. The group demonstrated excellently what the phrase ‘the show must go on” is all about.
While I could listen to Parotia’s groove for hours, the focus of the evening was the Bill Tiberio Band, and I could not have been more excited to hear the group perform. I had heard Tiberio, who is the conductor of the UR Wind Symphony and the UR Jazz Ensemble, play a number of times before in Jazz Ensemble rehearsals and as a featured soloist in some of the University’s music ensemble performances, but never before had I heard his own group play. With my personal opinion about his playing already formed, I was thrilled to have the chance to hear an hour’s worth of material.
The group opened with a Yellowjackets’ song called ‘Mile High,” during which Bill’s impeccable technique on the alto saxophone was surely showcased. Warning us from the get-go that the saxophone was not allowed to be too loud, he played some notes that, like the title of the tune, sounded a mile high. To maintain such incredible intonation and play with a rich, full tone in a high register like that is extremely impressive. Every time he hit those high notes, I smiled in amazement. I knew I had come to the right place for a musical treat.
Joe Chiappone on guitar, Phil Lake on drums and Geoff Smith on bass all demonstrated sheer talent and proved themselves as masters of their instruments throughout the show. Scott Bradley, the group’s trumpeter and keyboardist, not only did thesame, but he also composed the group’s original tunes. He and Bill led the band on the second tune, an original called ‘Broth-ers.”
The trumpet and the saxophone worked together to create the melody.
Like the title suggests, it was easy to see how these two instruments behaved like brothers particularly when Scott Bradley, not missing a beat and while playing, put his arm around Bill.
Every song brought something special and unique to the room. The third tune, ‘The Chosen Spot,” was written about a beautiful lake that, after hearing the music, I am sure is truly a paradise.
‘Papa,” the band’s fourth, revealed talent on the keyboard with a phenomenal jazzy introduction, and the following tune, ‘Travels,” allowed for an alternative drumming style in which metal brushes and mallets were used as opposed to drumsticks.
The ninth and final song of the show, another Scott Bradley original called ‘Variations on a Theme by Miles Davis,” exemplified what jazz is really all about: expression.
The trumpet and the saxophone both adeptly expressed distinct musical ideas, both melodically and rhythmically, yet they fit together like a hand in a glove.
My only disappointment of the entire show was that more people were not there to share in the passion, expression and talent of each musician. I was glad to see, though, that people did continue to trickle in after the show began.
Even if you are not a big fan of instrumental music, I advise you to check out the Bill Tiberio Band.
The band offers its listeners an intimate musical experience that is ideal for many occasions. I assure you that if you need a break from reality, you can find it somewhere within this group’s music.
Or, if you have finally reached the last day of your busy week, the Bill Tiberio Band presents several upbeat, celebratory tunes.
But if you are simply a fan of jazz music, this is definitely a group you should hear. The music is beyond a doubt inspirational.
Seligman is a member of the class of 2012.

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