Wendy Pedersen and Jim Gasior have been enduring personalities in the South Florida music scene, each widely known for their passionate commitment to a notable breadth of musical projects, both live and in the studio.
Collectively, they have performed and/or recorded with Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Alejandro Sanz, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ariana Grande, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Little Richard, Arturo Sandoval, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Robin Eubanks, and countless others.
As a duo they are dedicated to a deep respect for the Great American Songbook – with fresh arrangements and performances filled with freedom and joy. Their first recording, We Two, will be released in March of 2016.
The songs for We Two were selected for their enduring significance and the creative malleability that they offer. The listener will at once sense their heartfelt appreciation for these well-loved standards. In addition, their partnership embodies all of the spontaneity, intimate communication and fun of a jazz performance.
The playfulness of It Ain’t Necessarily So, the gospel-tinged Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, the lonely heartbreak of ‘Round Midnight, and the clever spin on My Favorite Things in 11/8 meter are just a few of the personal and emotive interpretations by the duo.
Wendy and Jim’s sincerest hope is that the listener might experience these songs as if for the first time and feel welcome to share in their lively and lyrical journey.
“Jim is a musician’s musician!”
Jim Gasior is a pianist, jazz educator, and arranger based in South Florida.
He has performed and/or recorded with international pop artists and groups – Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Chayanne, Jose Feliciano, Little Richard, Michael Bolton, Smokey Robinson, as well as jazz artists – Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Terell Stafford, Patti Austin, John Fedchock, Duffy Jackson, Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Robin Eubanks, Jeremy Pelt, Jay Leonhart and the Jaco Pastorius Reunion Big Band. Jim performs regularly in South Florida with Wendy Pedersen, Ed Calle, The Fernando Ulibarri Quartet, Melton Mustafa, and others.
Jim is the Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida where he serves as the director of the national award-winning NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble. His students regularly receive top honors and recognition such as Downbeat Student Music Awards, GRAMMY High School Jazz Band, and admission into the nation’s top college jazz programs.
Jazz at Lincoln Center frequently sends Jim to conduct clinics and master classes for high school students and band directors throughout the United States.
Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance, a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy – both from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
Wendy Pedersen is one of South Florida’s favorite performers. Her high-energy vocal delivery, with deep, convincing emotion has been impacting audiences for many years.
A graduate of the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program, Wendy began her singing career in high school, but her earliest memory is poring through her mom’s record collection, practically wearing out the vinyl on Elton John and Beatles records. Eventually, her heart found its way to jazz and it has felt like home ever since.
Wendy has won many awards including the Southern Bell/Pace “Jazz Artist of the Year” and a Miami New Times “best vocalist”. Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald said, “when she sings, her voice an elegant melismatic instrument, evokes the standard emotions, yes, but deeper longings and muted desires.”
Doug Adrianson, also of The Miami Herald said, “..she can steam up your contact lenses from 100 feet away.”
The Miami New Times said, “Wendy can shake the rafters or break your heart…”
Wendy Pedersen’s discography includes her debut CD Me + Three,
Ho Ho Ho, Under The Influence, Boy Meets Girl, and her brand new release We Two with Jim Gasior.
Wendy is also a highly sought after studio singer and has recorded for or performed with artists such as Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Arturo Sandoval, Rita Moreno, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, James Brown and countless others.
* Hors d’oeuvres and desserts are generously sponsored by Ever Cook Miami.
** Wine tasting generously sponsored by Barton & Guestier.
*** Piano generously sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery Miami & Dr. Fred Jonas.
The price of the ticket includes a concert, hors d’oeuvres, wine and desserts.
The online price will be available until April 9th at 3pm. Tickets are non refundable.–
* Vivica Genoux performance was made possible by the generosity of Dr. Marvin Sackner. ** Hors d’oeuvres are generously sponsored by Riviera Focacceria Italiana *** Open wine bar generously sponsored by Barton & Guestier. **** Desserts are generously sponsored by GB Catering.
Recipient of the City of Halle’s 2017 Händel-Preis, mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux hails from Fairbanks, Alaska. In the course of her two-decade career, her unforgettable voice has been heard in many of the world’s most important venues, including Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago Symphony Center, London’s Barbican Centre, the Metropolitan Opera, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Theater an der Wien, and Wiener Staatsoper.
During 2017, Vivica achieved several milestones in her career. In addition to her rôle débuts as Lepido in Händel’s Lucio Cornelio Silla (Wiener Konzerthaus; recorded for commercial release) and Eternità and Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto (Opéra national du Rhin) and returning to the rôle of Malcolm in Rossini’s La donna del lago (Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele), Vivica founded V/vox Academy and supervised the Academy’s inaugural course. Further concert appearances in the first half of 2017 took her to Aarau, Bilbao, Budapest, Chicago, Geneva, Halle, Istanbul, Karlsruhe, Valencia, Valletta, and Vienna.
Following the conclusion of 2017’s V/vox Academy, Vivica lead masterclasses at Weimar’s Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT and Fondazione SGM’s Roma Opera Campus.
In further concert outings in 2017, Vivica joined Concerto Köln for Une Voix Virtuose pour Vivaldi, featuring music by Castrucci, Galuppi, and Vivaldi, in Sisteron, France. Then, she reunited with frequent collaborators Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for an all-Vivaldi concert at Bucharest’s George Enescu International Festival. Biondi also conducted Vivica and Sonia Prina in a performance of Geminiani’s La foresta incantata and Vivaldi’s La Gloria e Imeneo in Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. After her first performance of the rôle of Arsamene in Händel’s Serse at Opéra de Versailles, she and Les Musiciens du Louvre take an exciting programme of works by Händel, Hasse, and Vivaldi to Barcelona.
Engagements in 2018 include Deux Génies en Italie, a presentation of music by Händel and Alessandro Scarlatti, at Paris’s Salle Gaveau and performances of Vivica’s Pauline Viardot- themed multimedia show in Spain. Additional concert dates take her to Chicago, Essen, Metz, Milan, and London’s Wigmore Hall.
Encompassing music from four centuries, Vivica’s operatic repertory extends to sixty-five rôles, forty-two of which are travesti parts. Particularly celebrated for her interpretations of Baroque and bel canto music, she has garnered praise from critics and audiences for her incredible bravura technique and the dramatic intensity of her portrayals. She has been honored with numerous awards, and her career is documented in an array of critically-ac
claimed CD and DVD/Blu-ray recordings. Her advocacy of the music of Hasse has contributed indelibly to the revival of interest in this unjustly-neglected composer, and her enthusiasm for sharing her experience and expertise with young singers is manifested in masterclasses and teaching engagements throughout the world.
Home is where the kitchen is for Rocco Carulli, the chef and owner of R House, Wynwood. Born in New Jersey and raised by immigrant parents from Southern Italy, food was always at the heart of the household. He’d regularly journey to the local market to pick the freshest ingredients, learned from his father how to butcher lambs, rabbits and chickens, and he would take joy in preparing fresh hand-made pasta for hours on end with his grandmother; Chef Rocco found solace in cooking.
At 19, he acquired his first job at Old Time Tavern, a family restaurant in his hometown, where he worked as a waiter and his infectious personality shined with the customers. Chef Rocco went on to attend Rutgers College to study accounting, but after taking multiple courses the young student realized he didn’t have a passion for numbers. After a three-year stint working at a local bank, he asked himself what he was really passionate about in life, and when he looked back on his most cherished memories, they were those of cooking in the kitchen and working in a restaurant. This is when Chef Rocco made the decision to begin his journey of becoming a professional chef.
Kicking off his cooking career at 24, Chef Rocco worked as a line cook at Rumble Seats restaurant. After a year, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he finally felt he was where he belonged. Once he graduated, the aspiring chef took his newfound skills to New York City to follow his dream of working in the fast-paced atmosphere and glamour of the Big Apple, after a demanding year passed, Chef Rocco relocated to a smaller town that still had its own unique charm; Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Once in Provincetown, he was hired as a sous chef at Café Edwige, a seasonal restaurant decorated with fine art, serving a menu of contemporary American cuisine. Due to its seasonal occupancy, Chef Rocco spent his winters living and working in various cities across the country including San Francisco and various parts of South Florida. After thirteen or three? seasons of moving back and forth, the multi-city chef desired a permanent home and decided to relocate to San Francisco full time. He returned to the front of the house taking positions as a bartender at Zuni Café and, soon after, Asia SF where he learned about various wines and vineyards, and the craft of mixology and signature cocktails for the next two years.
At 32, Chef Rocco was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime; the owner at Café Edwige wanted to lease out the dinner space so he teamed up with the restaurant’s original chef, Steven Frappolli, and the two created Edwige at Night, running the restaurant together for six years. Managing front of house operations, Che Rocco eventually took full ownership of the dinner space. Hesitant to trust another chef, he decided to helm his own kitchen as the restaurant’s executive chef, conceptualizing the menu with a combination of classic favorites and new recipes.
For seven seasons, the one-man-show would run the kitchen by day and host guests at the front of house by night. In the quaint, 75-seat bistro, Carulli relished his ability to interact with the loyal customers that he’d come to know by name over the years. During the off-season, Carulli had established himself in Miami where he worked for the late developer Tony Goldman of Goldman Properties at WISH café in South Beach.
After many years of success with his seasonal venture, Chef Rocco felt it was time to seek a year-round project where he could showcase his front and back of house experience. With much encouragement from his family, friends and supporters, the talented chef and restaurateur decided to open his own restaurant R House in Wynwood, Miami’s eclectic neighborhood, which seemed like a natural location choice. Chef Rocco was drawn to the gritty, urban district and Goldman’s passion for the area’s reinvention. Feeling inspired, he decided to become a part of Wynwood’s makeover into a funky artist’s paradise and foodie haven.
Naturally, art has been incorporated into the restaurant, with Chef Rocco including a gallery in the space, that is now known as R HOUSE, or as locals affectionately know it, Rocco’s place. Inspired by his Italian heritage and experience working in new Californian farm to table restaurants, Chef Rocco has crafted a menu that focuses on Italian-American, family-style dishes made with fresh ingredients. R House is a perfect display of Chef Rocco’s culinary talent, vibrant personality and long-standing industry experience.