Aurora to headline Jazz Crawl

·4 min read

May 1—CUMBERLAND — The Pittsburgh-based jazz fusion group Aurora will headline the annual Jazz Crawl set for May 12 in downtown Cumberland.

Presented by the Cumberland Jazz Society, the event will feature three acts at three different venues at contrasting times to allow patrons to attend all shows.

At 6 p.m., the Zach Worthy Trio, featuring Worthy on piano, Tom Harrison on bass and Todd Hocherl on drums, will perform at the Centre Street Collective at 6 p.m. There is no admission charge and a special menu is being prepared for the event.

Aurora will perform at Loft 129 beginning at 8 p.m. The group focuses on playing instrumental jazz by artists such as Jeff Lorber, Chick Corea, The Brecker Brothers, The Crusaders, Weather Report, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr. and more. Aurora members include Marty Ashby on guitar, Mike Tomaro on saxophone, Max Leake on keyboard, Brian Stahurski on bass, Jeff Bush on trombone and Hugo Cruz on drums. Tickets for this performance can be purchased at

The final performance of the Jazz Crawl is at the Corner Tavern, 171 N. Center Street, and will feature long-time favorites Seth Maynard, guitarist/vocalist, and Rich Norwood on sax. There is no cover charge for the show scheduled to run from 10 p.m. until midnight.

As part of the Jazz Society's educational initiative, there will be two workshops at Frostburg State University on May 12 in the Performing Arts Center at 1 p.m., Ashby and Renee Govanucci, executive producer, and director of Manchester Craftsman's Guild jazz series in Pittsburgh will present a workshop regarding being a jazz presenting organization, careers in jazz and discussion on the role of women in jazz in room 102.

Tomaro will lead an open rehearsal in room 213 at 2 p.m. featuring his arrangements with the FSU Jazz Orchestra.

The workshops are open to the public as well as high school and middle school students and teachers.

Ashby is a programming consultant and motivational speaker. He is executive producer of MCG Jazz, which he started in 1987 and since then he has produced more than 2,000 concerts and over 60 recordings garnering five Grammy Awards and 11 Grammy nominations.

He has performed with Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, Nancy Wilson, Paquito D'Rivera, Herbie Mann, Phil Woods and The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

Bush began studying music at the age of 4 on banjo. He followed with piano and then trombone, which has become a lifelong pursuit. He has served on the faculty of Youngstown State University and West Virginia Wesleyan College and is currently an adjunct instructor of jazz studies at Duquesne University.

Cuban percussionist Cruz is the leader of the group Caminos, which has performed at the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, Fábrica de Artes in Havana, Cuba, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, Pittonkatonk Festival, City of Asylum, The Frick Museum, Musicalidades, Market Square and Con Alma. He fuses rhythms and melodies of Afro-Cuban, Cuban and American music.

Leake has been a part of jazz piano in Pittsburgh since the 1970s and has performed with the Ink Spots and the Marcels as well as Roger Humphries, Stanley Turrentine, Rick Margitza, Dwayne Dolphin, Henry Johnson, Rebecca Parris, Billy Price, Joe Negri, Sandy Staley, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Orchestra, Tommy Tedesco, David "Fathead" Newman and Don Latarski.

Stahurski received bachelor's and master's degrees in jazz performance from Duquesne University and has performed with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony and WQED's "Live from Studio A" on PBS television.

He has toured with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau band. He also performed on two notable recordings: vocalist Michael Feinstein's "Big City Rhythms" and with Maynard Ferguson and vocalist Diane Schuur on "Swingin for Schuur."

Tomaro, a saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger and educator, has been the director of jazz studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh since 1997. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 17 years as a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious "Pershing's Own" U.S. Army Band.

While a member of this group, he performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. His music has been performed by David Liebman, Wayne Bergeron, Ivan Lins, Claudio Roditi, Mike Stern, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker and New York Voices. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras.

Sponsors for the Cumberland Jazz Society's Jazz Crawl and educational initiatives are the Allegany Arts Council, Frostburg State University Department of Music, Loft 129, Center Street Collective and Corner Tavern.

Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email and follow him on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.