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Jazz Legend Lifts The Green

by Kathryn Cross | Jul 22, 2014 10:11 am

Paul Bass File photo When he was 13, back in 1940, Donn Trenner started his own jazz orchestra, the Donn Trenner Orchestra, at the old downtown Hillhouse High School in New Haven. The orchestra included 16 of his local classmates who played jazz arrangements that Trenner wrote for them.

“Now, there are jazz orchestras in a lot of schools and it’s become a definite art form and it’s very special,” Trenner said. “In my high school, that wasn’t the case.  Mine was the only band,” he told the Eagle in an interview after a recent concert on the Branford Green.

Jazz took over his life, as it has been known to do. He managed to graduate from high school and then took off for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to sign up with a swing band.

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Cool Events In Branford This Weekend

by Emma Zehner | Jul 10, 2014 8:17 am

If you like jazz and bluegrass, this weekend is for you. If not, that’s okay too: You can find new plants for your garden or join the Blackstone Library for kids’ crafts.

Thursday, July 10

Branford Jazz on the Green Series


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The “New Duke” Swings Branford

by Kathryn Cross | Jul 9, 2014 12:33 pm

He plucked his bass string.  Cleo Laine’s voice began to accompany him.  It was 1974 and Carnegie Hall heard jazz double-bassist and composer Brian Torff for the first time—and he was only 20.

Forty years later, Torff is still playing—most recently on the Branford Green.

Today, Torff is a music program director at Fairfield University, Fairfield Arts Council’s 2008 artist of the year, and the Branford Jazz on the Green series’ latest performer.  Click on the video to hear him play Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” last Thursday night on the Green.

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Cool Events In Branford This Weekend

by Emma Zehner | Jun 26, 2014 1:33 pm

Get involved this weekend. Start off by listening to Jazz on the Green. Next, maybe stop by the Branford Flower Show with family or friends. If you’re still looking for things to do, try a scenic tour of the Thimble Islands in Stony Creek.

Thursday, June 26

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A&E Reality Show Starts Filming On Belden Island

by marcia chambers | Jun 26, 2014 1:13 pm

Mary Johnson Photo A sleepy Thimble Island is about to become a “Love Prison,” with the whole world watching.

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Cool Events In Branford This Weekend

by Emma Zehner | Jun 19, 2014 11:32 am

Mary Johnson File Photo This weekend, enjoy the beginning of summer with a number of local events. For starters, attend an exciting new show in the Stony Creek Quarry, help out at a Blood Drive, or take in the dynamic annual Fireworks Display with family and friends. (Branford celebrates July 4th a little earlier than most towns.) 

Thursday, June 19

Branford Graduation

Mary Johnson File Photo The Branford High School Class of 2014 graduates tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. The ceremony will be held on the town green.

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The Earth Moves In Honor of Joy Wulke

by Emma Zehner | Jun 18, 2014 11:50 am

With Permission Before Joy Wulke died earlier this year, she wrote most of the script for the multi-media show Terra Tractus: The Earth Moves. Tomorrow The Earth Moves will debut at the Stony Creek Quarry, the first of eight shows over the next two weeks.

Wulke, a sculptor, was the founder of P2k: Projects for a New Millennium, the group responsible for the Quarry production. This was her last major project before she passed away in February. She was 65. 

In addition to commemorating the 20th anniversary of P2k, the show is intended to remember Wulke, a leading sculptor from Stony Creek and her many contributions to Quarry life over the years.  The eight shows will run from June 19-29.

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Tony Winner Brings It Home

by Diana Stricker | Jun 16, 2014 8:16 am

Diana Stricker Photo It came as no surprise to Branford residents that native son Greg Nobile, who won a Tony Award last week for his work on Broadway, was back in town Saturday overseeing musical productions at the Branford Festival.

Townsfolk would expect no less of the 21-year-old whose musical talents and philanthropic efforts began at age 6.

People know him as the youngster who co-founded the Lemonade Gang in 2007 with buddy Ryan Bloomquist to help a fellow 6-year-old who had just been diagnosed with a rare medical disorder. In 2009, Nobile and Bloomquist and the Lemonade Gang were honored by the American Red Cross with its Youth Good Samaritan Award for raising more than $60,000 for medical research in 10 years.

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Remember Arlo Guthrie? It’s 30 Years Later at the Branford Festival

by Emma Zehner | Jun 12, 2014 8:11 am

With Permission Thirty years Arlo Guthrie sang “Alice’s Restaurant” on the Branford Town Green, and a new tradition was born: a summer-starting celebration of arts and culture and community.

That tradition continues this weekend with the 30th annual Branford Festival. Arlo won’t be there—but hundreds of people as well as a line-up of performers and presenters will fill the center of town for three days.

Diane Hubley McDade remembered that weekend 30 year ago when she literally bumped into Guthrie, while Chris Kling got his autograph on the back of a candy wrapper.  Ask the members of the Growing Up in Branford Facebook group about their early memories of the Branford Festival, and Arlo Guthrie of talking-blues fame comes to mind again and again.

That’s the thing about the Branford Festival. It is an event where memories are made. And this weekend’s festival will be no different for those who take their families and friends to the town Green. It’s an event they wouldn’t miss.

There are tight parking and road restrictions in the center of town. The Branford Police Department suggests you click here to find out where you can and can’t drive and park. 

Continue reading ‘Remember Arlo Guthrie? It’s 30 Years Later at the Branford Festival’ »

Stan Wheeler’s Muse Fills The Law School

by Staff | Apr 11, 2014 12:55 pm

The Yale Law School auditorium was packed as the 7th Annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert took off with two of the ensembles Wheeler played with during his long tenure at the law school. 

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