Greg Abate Quartet to Perform at Highfield Hall

FALMOUTH – A quartet featuring internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist, flutist and composer Greg Abate will perform at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth this month.

Filling out the quartet will be Ben Cook on piano, Paul Del Nero on bass and Gary Johnson on drums. The concert is part of Woods Hole Jazz, the longest running jazz series in Massachusetts.

Whether playing jazz classics or one of his own compositions, Abate is known for his hard-driving and energetic approach.

Known as the “Prince of Bebop” throughout the club scene, reviewers describe him as an “absolute powerhouse” and his music as having a “feverish intensity,” full of “verve and swagger.”

One reviewer described Abate’s sound as “the distillation of swing’s easygoing vibe and bop’s more animated groove.”

Abate studied at the Berklee College of Music and then played lead alto saxophone for the Ray Charles Orchestra for two years. In 1978, he founded the sextet Channel One, performing across New England and New York.

From 1986-1987, he played tenor sax with the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under the leadership of Dick Johnson. In the 1990s, he ventured out as a post-hard bop soloist, playing festivals, jazz societies and jazz clubs throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K. and Russia.

Abate has more than 18 acclaimed recordings. His most recent release, Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan’s, pairs him and Phil Woods with the Tim Ray Trio.

Abate was inducted into the Rhode Island Musical Hall of Fame in 2016. He performs around the globe, touring 225 days per year and has been a New England favorite for more than 25 years. He is an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and leads jazz clinics in the U.S. and abroad, sponsored by Conn-Selmer.

Bass player Paul del Nero was a regular choice of jazz and blues legend Mose Allison. He has performed at numerous national and international jazz festivals and toured with several Broadway shows and the famous Artie Shaw Orchestra. 

Drummer Gary Johnson has also kept time with the Artie Shaw Orchestra and music greats like Scott Hamilton, Dave McKenna, Kelly Smith and Ken Peplowski.

Ben Cook has performed as a jazz pianist with a variety of artists, including the Kenny Hadley Big Band, John Allmark Orchestra, Marshall Wood, Rebecca Parris and Herb Pomeroy, and recorded on Miles Donahue’s Standards, Volumes 1-3 albums.

The performance will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at the Highfield Hall & Gardens, located at 56 Highfield Drive in Falmouth.

Admission is $35 for Highfield members, $40 for nonmembers.

For tickets and additional information, visit

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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