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SUNY Middletown Presents Dick Sarpola in Jazz Ensemble Performance

The Bass ~ Swinging from Broadway to Birdland is the master class that professional bassist Dick Sarpola, is presenting on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 12 noon in Orange Hall room 24.

Join the Jazz Ensemble class in learning firsthand how Sarpola made his way from Oregon where he attended at Mount Hood Community College to the New England Conservatory in Boston, from which he graduated, and then on to New York City.

Dick Sarpola plays both upright bass and electric bass depending on the genre of music he is performing. His flexibility in playing show tunes, jazz, and pop in a variety of venues has created his way of making a living with the bass. He will explain how his life has evolved and then demonstrate a variety of music accompanied by Chris Parker, pianist & professor emeritus of SUNY Orange, a native Oregonian himself.

Since 1991 to the present, he has played in the orchestra pit of 19 Broadway shows including his present gig with Aladdin started in 2014. Sarpola has also performed in nearly 100 major films has made three live recordings at

Carnegie Hall. In addition, throughout his career he has played at numerous jazz and pop festivals around the world including The Newport, JVC and Kool Jazz. He has toured internationally with Liza Minnelli for more than 9 years and performed with Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra and worked with Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Barbara Cook, Maureen McGovern, Rebecca Luker, Karen Akers, and Charles Aznavour.

His extensive background in recording and performing includes such Jazz notables as George Shearing, Mel Torme, Marian McPartland, Susannah McCorkle, Peggy Lee, Chris Connor, Fred Hersch, and Howard Alden. And his big band experience includes performances with the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, and the John Fedchock New York Big Band. His well-rounded career has included studio experience work with a diverse roster of artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Wyclef Jean, Celine Dion, Nellie McKay, Judy Collins, and Rufus Wainwright.

This master class is free and open to the public. Questions may be addressed to Cultural Affairs at (845)341-4891 or Also visit the Cultural Affairs website at

Free parking is available in lot #one adjacent to Orange Hall which is located at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues, (GPS: 24 Grandview Ave.) on the Middletown campus of SUNY Orange.

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