The New North Jersey Jazz Trio is a rotating collection of musicians celebrating the different genres, personalities, and musical colors of jazz which have resonated with listeners for the past century. The group was founded in 2022 by pianist Peter Favilla after extensively studying jazz repertoire with guitarists Raymond Milici and Sean Villere.
This inaugural New Year's Eve performance presents musical selections by Ray Milici, who will be playing guitar alongside pianist Peter Favilla and New York City drumming legend Alex Cohen.
Although credited as assembling in the United States, jazz is a multicultural creation which has taken on a global life of its own. The concert will highlight this diverse scope with songs ranging from homegrown standards to the bossas of Brazil; going as far away as the Pokemon towns of Kanto and the quiet cafes of Paris.
Come grab a table in the back or a seat up front and spend your New Year's Eve with the New North Jersey Jazz Trio!"
Peter Favilla is a dynamic pianist, composer, and teacher currently residing in northern New Jersey. Raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Favilla discovered a deep love for his instrument at the early age of two. Since then, he has been performing, composing, producing, and teaching all around the world. He actively participates in numerous live performances that span a deep variety of repertoire. After receiving a degree in piano performance at Penn State University in 2016, he began routinely performing solo concerts as well as collaborations with multiple musicians, ensembles, and artistic mediums.
Some of his recent notable performances include solo concerts in Athens and Cyprus, with singer Luminosa in Pittsburgh, The Marsley House in NYC, Bourbon Street House of Blues in Nashville, TN, with Gary Guitar, and performances with City Live Music in Liberty State Park. Favilla hosted a performance of his major piano works at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, including the premiere of his Piano Suite No. 1, “Ghosts”. This suite later earned him a semi-final spot in the 27th International World Music Competition, held in Vienna, Austria.
Favilla continues to perform, compose, teach, and collaborate with artists all over the world, premiering new piano works and contributing to a multitude of projects. He consistently uses music to connect with the people and communities around him. Favilla “believes that music is the foundation for life, the very building blocks of the universe”, and advocates for a philosophy that every person is capable of creating and should have accessibility to their own music.
Ray Milici is a Philosophy Major and a Jazz Studies minor at Montclair State University. He has always carried a deep passion for preserving and arranging the songs of early jazz traditions, for either solo guitar or intimate ensemble. Milici enjoys a strong balance between dedicating his time to musical and academic studies, as well as his career in professional gaming. Milici has earned a top 100 ranking as a Dota 2 player multiple years in a row, competing professionally in national and international tournaments.
Milici has collaborated with arrangers from all around the world, including Franceso from Italy, who provided many of the arrangements being performed this evening. He focuses his musical output into practicing and arranging from the Great American Songbook, performing solo or in bands around the many venues in Morris County. Milici is currently a private instructor at Bach to Rock.
Named as one of the drummers ‘Raising the Bar’ by Drumhead Magazine, Alex Cohen distinguished himself as one of the most advanced progressive drummers today. His book, ‘Ultimate Progressive Drumming’, was published by Hudson Music and hailed as a modern classic by drummers ranging from Derek Roddy to Charley Drayton. As a professional musician, he has performed and recorded with artists ranging from NYC Death Metal legends Malignancy, to the late rapper Mac Miller.
Recently, Alex has teamed up with drummers Yoni Madar and Ramon Montagner to teach their advanced concepts in a group masterclass, and Alex and Ramon are currently working on their second book together, which is due to be released in the Fall of 2022.