Brian Newman Quintet to Headline Xavier University Music Series Concert in Cincinnati, Jan. 24

Lady Gaga's jazz bandleader collaborated on Grammy-winning album "Cheek to Cheek"
By: Xavier University Music Series
Brian Newman collaborated with Lady Gaga on her Grammy-winning "Cheek to Cheek."
Brian Newman collaborated with Lady Gaga on her Grammy-winning "Cheek to Cheek."
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Xavier University


Cincinnati - Ohio - US

CINCINNATI - Dec. 28, 2015 - PRLog -- Several critically acclaimed jazz artists with ties to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)—some of whom have recorded and toured with Lady Gaga—will perform in concert at Xavier University on Sunday, January 24, as part of the Xavier University Music Series. Tickets are now on sale.

New York-based trumpeter and vocalist Brian Newman and his quintet will headline the event, with Cincinnati pianist and composer Dan Karlsberg and The ‘Nati 6 opening. Newman and two members of his band—pianist/arranger Alex Smith and saxophonist Steve Kortyka—graduated from CCM. Drummer Paul Francis, who attended Ohio State University, also has musical connections to Cincinnati, having studied with drummer John Von Ohlen of the Blue Wisp Big Band, who is also known for having worked with the late Woody Herman and Stan Kenton.

Newman, who is Lady Gaga’s jazz bandleader, collaborated with the pop superstar and legendary singer Tony Bennett on their 2014 Grammy-winning album “Cheek to Cheek,” which featured arrangements by Newman and his band. The single “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” debuted at number one on Billboard. Newman plans to release his own debut album in 2016, produced by “Cheek to Cheek” producer Dae Bennett.

“I am excited to be coming back to perform for the Xavier Music Series because I feel so connected to Cincinnati,” Newman said. “Guys like John Von Ohlen, Steve Schmidt and Ed Moss, who I still look up to, taught me so much. There were also great musicians I met at school that were super helpful, like Alex Smith and Andrew Neff. I wanted to be a real New York City jazz player and the Cinci scene had a huge impact on making that happen.”

In addition to his concert at Xavier University, Newman will teach a one-day master class at the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) as part of the Mayerson Artistic Excellence Program, which is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Newman and his band have appeared on notable television broadcasts including PBS’s “Great Performances,” NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” “The Tonight Show,” “Today,” “Saturday Night Live,” “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly,” ABC’s “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving,” “Good Morning America,” BBC One’s “Strictly Come Dance,” BBC Radio 1’s “Big Weekend,” MTV’s Video Music Awards, Bravo’s “Watch What Happens: LIVE!” and New York City’s Columbus Day Parade.

“What fascinates me about Brian is how he performs classic songs but makes them sound fresh and new,” said Polina Bespalko, director of the Xavier University Music Series.” “He encompasses both jazz and swing, and he breaks down generational walls. His music appeals to audiences of all ages. I think he could be the next Sinatra.”

Dan Karlsberg, meanwhile, has performed as a sideman with the likes of Tim Warfield, Donald Harrison, Ted Nash, JD Allen and many others, as well as headlining his own concerts, in addition to teaching at CCM. He has released three albums, most recently “The ‘Nati 6,” which is currently nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award (CEA) in the Jazz category, as well as for Album of the Year. The album was titled after the group of acclaimed musicians who perform on it: bassist Jim Anderson, drummer Art Gore, trumpeter Kim Pensyl, saxophonist Brent Gallaher, trombonist Marc Fields and, of course, Karlsberg himself.

It’s an honor to be involved with the Xavier Music Series, because it is known for featuring world-class artists,” Karlsbeg said. “I can’t wait to perform on the same stage as Brian Newman and other old friends of mine from Cincinnati’s jazz community.”

The Xavier University Music Series will present the Brian Newman Quintet featuring Dan Karlsberg & The ‘Nati 6 in the Gallagher Theater at Xavier University on Sunday, January 24, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets range in price from $3 to $28 and can be ordered by calling 513-745-3162 or 513-745-3939 or by visiting

Information about Brian Newman is available at Information about Dan Karlsberg is available at

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