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Friends & Love Guest Artists

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Don Potter, guitar
Don Potter has been singing, playing guitar, writing songs, and recording and producing music for the past 40 years. During this time it has been his pleasure and privilege to meet and perform with more musical greats in the music industry than can be mentioned. Don ran the Hylie Morris’ Alley coffeehouse in Rochester, which is where he met Chuck Mangione, and he was part of the original Friends & Love concert. He has recorded numerous CDs of his own music and authored many articles and one book. In addition, Don is a top producer on many major projects in Nashville, Tenn. Over the years, he has become known as the most productive man in Nashville and the man who created The Judd’s sound.
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Steve Gadd, drums
Born in Rochester, N.Y., Steve Gadd studied with former RPO timpanist John Beck from high school through graduation from the Eastman School of Music. During this time he often was working six nights a week, with both Chuck and Gap Mangione, and was part of the original Friends & Love concert. In the years since, Steve has performed with Chick Corea, George Benson, Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Paul Simon, Weather Report, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Michel Petrucciani and James Taylor, among others. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the prestigious Berklee School of Music and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. 
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Tony Levin, bass
Born in Boston, Tony Levin trained as a classical bass player and attended the Eastman School of Music, where he played in the RPO and met drummer Steve Gadd. In Rochester, he played with Chuck Mangione, Gap Mangione, Don Potter and Bat McGrath and was part of the original Friends & Love concert. He has recorded with John Lennon,Pink Floyd, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Gary Burton, Buddy Rich, Herbie Mann and many more. Tony currently tours and records with Peter Gabriel, the progressive rock group King Crimson and the Tony Levin Band. For more information, visit www.tonylevin.com
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Gap Mangione, piano
Born in Rochester, N.Y. to a close, music-loving family, Gap and Chuck Mangione took up instruments. In their teens, they began performing together as the Jazz Brothers and recording for Riverside Records. Gap’s first solo album, Diana in the Autumn Wind (1968), featured Steve Gadd and Tony Levin in their first recordings, and new works by Chuck Mangione. Throughout the 1970s, Gap toured with his own group and as featured pianist in his brother’s orchestral performances including the original Friends & Love concert/recording. He continues to play at Woodcliff (since 1987), works regularly with his Big Band, and plays the Rochester International Jazz Festival and many private engagements. Gap has recorded 10 solo albums. For more information, visit www.gapmangione.com.
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Bat McGrath, guitar
Born in Glens Falls, N.Y., Bat McGrath began his musical career in a rock band called The Showstoppers.  Legendary talent scout John Hammond signed the group to Columbia Records and they released two singles. When that band broke up, Bat and Don Potter formed a duo and released an album on Epic Records. In 1970, Bat wrote the lyrics for Chuck Mangione’s Friends & Love and performed in the live concert. He recorded with Amherst Records and Mirror Records before moving to Nashville and releasing two CDs on his own label. Bat has had his songs recorded by Wynonna Judd, Kenny Rogers, Earl Thomas Conley, Chely Wright, Chalee Tennison, Chad Austin, John Landry and Eclipse. For more information, visit www.batmcgrath.com.
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Gerry Niewood, saxophone
Following graduation from the Eastman School of Music, Gerry Niewood embarked on a recording and concert schedule with the Chuck Mangione Quartet, with which he performed for more than 16 years. Six years after graduation, Gerry relocated to the highly fertile music scene of New York City and began freelancing. He was a natural for settings as diverse as the music of Astrud Gilberto, Judy Collins, Gerry Mulligan, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra. He is also the First Saxophonist of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, has performed on soundtracks to movies such as A Bronx Tale and When Harry Met Sally, and writes original music.
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Lew Soloff, trumpet
Lew Soloff is a consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. Among the many artists he has performed with are: Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Ornette Coleman, The Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Ray Anderson, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chuck Mangione, Elvin Jones, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon. He has also performed with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he also leads his own ensembles and conducts workshops at various schools and universities.

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