By Scott Hayes
Southern Connecticut State University's Lyman Center for the Performing arts will be swinging Saturday night with a double-bill concert featuring smooth jazz performers - saxophonists Elan Trotman and Waterbury's Vincent Ingala, a young, quickly rising talent in the music genre.
Ingala, who made his mare with a 2012 release, "Can't Stop Now," lit up the stage at Toad's Place last December playing with saxophonist Marion Meadows during his annual holiday jazz event in New Haven. The versatile Ingala was handed the sax lead during the show by the established Meadows, another Connecticut musician now living in Arizona who returns yearly to Toad's to partner with New Haven musicians and provide a heavy dose of smooth jazz to his loyal Elm City following.
Ingala has drawn acclaim at a young age from Sirius XM Radio Watercolors' Breakthrough Artist of 2013. His New Haven stop Saturday, May 3, is his only Connecticut stop on a 16-concert tour along with keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen that includes four dates in London and one in Vancouver, British Columbia. The New Haven college concert is the second date on the coast-to-coast tour.
Trotman, who is a powerful saxophone presence on stage in his own right, will open the twinbill event at 8 p.m., with Ingala and Fritzen to follow. Trotman's smooth jazz has a distinct Grover Washington, Jr. influence, carrying on the bluesy, soulful style of the late Philadelphia-bred saxman.
Ingala who began musically on piano as a youth before changing over to saxophone, also plays drums and wrote or co-wrote seven of the tracks on his debut recording. He also played all the instruments on the release, so you never know where you'll find him on stage -- jamming on saxophone, behind the drum set or at the microphone singing. He's a versatile young musician who's hot on the jazz scene and worth catching locally while you can. He draws his influences as Elvis Presley, fellow smooth jazz saxophonist Richard Ellitt, Sam Butera and Wilton Felder.