2017 Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame Jazz and R&B Inductions & Concert
ARTIE CABRAL- Born in Providence in 1940, Artie Cabral is a world-renowned jazz drummer and a dedicated music educator. He began his career in 1956 and spent two decades touring the world with a host of jazz masters including Stan Kenton, Junior Mance, Dakota Staton and Mel Torme. In 1969, he joined Woody Herman’s Seventh (and final) Herd which included backing R&B great Dionne Warwick. Along with bassist Bob Petteruti, he was a member of pianist Mike Renzi’s trio which served as the house band at the Kings & Queens in Pawtucket in the 1960s and Allary in Providence in the 1970s backing the guest artists including Mose Allison, Johnny Hartman and Phil Woods. His discography includes recordings with Ben Webster, Carol Sloane, Toshiko Akioshi, Gray Sargent, Greg Abate and Herb Pomeroy. He holds a BA from Berklee and has taught in the Pawtucket Public School System, served on the faculty of Berklee and the Rhode Island School of Music, founded the R.I. School of Performing Music with trombonist Hal Crook, and, in private instruction, has mentored dozens of New England’s finest drummers. Since 1998, he has served as President of the Providence Federation of Musicians.
DAN MORETTI- By the time “Some Time Inside,” his first album as a leader, was picked up by Blackhawk Records for international release in 1985, saxophonist Dan Moretti, of Narragansett, had already established himself as a world-class player in both Jazz and R&B. He was co-owner of Celebration Sounds recording studio in Pawtucket where he became recognized as a top-notch producer and engineer. As a recording artist, he has released 17 best-selling and critically-acclaimed albums as a leader and tours the world. As a sideman, he has performed and/or recorded with some of music’s biggest stars including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Robert Plant, Kid Rock, Dr. John, Dave Liebman, and Nile Rodgers & Chic. He began teaching in the mid-1970s in Providence and in 1996 accepted a position at the Berklee College of Music where he is a Professor teaching Ensembles and Contemporary Writing and Production. He has created curriculum for Berklee and has published several books on composition, arranging and recording and presents seminars around the world including Europe, South America and Africa.
BILLY OSBORNE – When 16-year-old Providence drummer Billy Osborne arrived in Manhattan in 1959 to join the Jimmy Giuffre Quartet, his impact on the heart of the Modern Jazz scene was immediate. He was named Metronome magazine’s Best New Drummer before his first recording session and spent a decade performing with the legends of the era including Wes Montgomery and Archie Shepp and he was one of John Coltrane’s favorite drummers. In 1969, he moved to L.A. establishing himself in the R&B field as musical director for The Friends of Distinction and as the composer of “Check It Out,” the first hit for his Rhode Island pals Tavares. In 1974, his brother Jeffrey’s band, Love Men Ltd., joined Billy in L.A. where they combined forces to become L.T.D. with Billy on keyboards, Jeffrey on drums and the two sharing lead vocals. By 1976, they were at the top of the Billboard charts with “Love Ballad” (#1 R&B, #20 Hot 100). After moving Jeffrey out front, L.T.D. mined Gold and Platinum for the next four years with a string of hits including two more #1 singles, “Back In Love Again” and “Holding On.” In 1980, Billy moved into production and helped launch Jeffrey’s solo career. In 1990, he signed with Ray Charles and became his right-hand man, writing, arranging and producing for “The Genius” until Ray’s passing in 2004.
FRANK POTENZA – After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1972, Providence jazz guitarist Frank Potenza launched parallel careers as a performer and an educator appearing regularly with the area’s top jazz and blues artists and teaching at the Rhode Island School of Music. He moved to California in 1980 and quickly established himself on the West Coast scene performing and/or recording with a “who’s who” of jazz greats including his mentor, Joe Pass, and legendary pianist Gene Harris and teaching at Long Beach City College. His career skyrocketed after signing with TBA Records in 1986. His first four albums hit Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart with two, “Sand Dance” and “Soft & Warm,” reaching the Top Ten. At the time of his induction into the Hall of Fame, Frank remains a dedicated music educator and is Chair of the USC/Thornton Jazz Guitar Program. His latest album, “For Joe” – his homage to Joe Pass – received a four star review in Downbeat.
The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, formed in 2011, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and preserving the legacy of Rhode Island musicians, educators and industry professionals who have made significant contributions to both the national and Rhode Island music scene. At last year’s sold out induction/concert event, the public saw 10 displays unveiled honoring the inductees in the museum space located in the hallways of Hope Artiste Village. This year’s induction ceremony on April 30 will see ten more displays unveiled celebrating the 2017 inductees and bringing the total to 53 inductee exhibits produced in just six years. Eventually, the museum will hold more than 100 displays as well as assorted Rhode Island music history memorabilia and interactive components for visitors to enjoy.
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