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Clarkson Professor Releases First Album As Part Of Musical Duo
Bill Vitek, professor of philosophy at Clarkson University for 18 years, has teamed up with St. Lawrence University math professor and bassist Dan Gagliardi to release their first album together “A Fine Line,” a collection of jazz standards and originals.
Vitek has been playing music since his undergraduate days at Union College. After graduating in 1979, he studied jazz piano with Crane School of Music alum Frank Stagnitta, and worked as a musician for many years in the Albany area and went on to record three albums of jazz nursery rhymes with Albany musician Josh Greenberg. Their recordings have won a number of awards, including the Family Life's Critic's Choice Award, an American Library Association "Notable Children's Recording," and The Oppenheim Gold Seal Best Audio Award. Vitek has played professionally around the North Country since his arrival in 1987.
Gagliardi studied at the Eastman School of Music, and has played with some big names in jazz, including Tom Harrell, Bruce Barth, and Steve Hobbs before turning to mathematics.
“It’s such a pleasure to share our love of the great American songbook with our audiences,” Vitek says, “and to demonstrate the musical forms and structures specific to jazz.”
Vitek and Gagliardi have been playing together for two years. Since their first gig together, they have worked to create melodies that celebrate the duo rather than music that vaunts the soloist. The twosome’s tunes move easily from hard, driving swing to open ballads, and the players are always listening and responding to each other.
“The jobs of musician and professor both have an element of performance,” says Vitek. “Whether in front of a lecture hall of students, one’s peers, or on a coffee house stage, Dan and I enjoy the challenge of engaging an audience.”
“We’re so very fortunate,” says Gagliardi, “to be intellectually challenged and rewarded in our day jobs as teachers and academics, and to be able to have so much fun playing the music we love after hours.”
To purchase a copy of “A Fine Line,” or to learn more about their performance schedule, contact Vitek@clarkson.edu .
PHOTO CAPTION: Clarkson University professor of philosophy (at the piano) has released a collection of jazz standards and original songs with St. Lawrence University math professor and bassist Dan Gagliardi. The album is titled “A Fine Line.”